A Fayetteville resident is up for a $500,000 cash prize in the latest season of the History Channel’s survival show, Only.
Local resident Adam Riley is one of 10 contestants on the show which pits survivors from across North America against each other to see who can make it the longest this season in the northeast wilderness. from Canada.
Only is in its 9th season on the History Channel and has a simple premise. Each season, contestants are dropped off alone at a remote location with just 10 items they can decide to bring with them, along with photo gear to document the trip. The contestant who taps last is the grand prize winner.
This season currently has around six episodes, in the first 33 days of the challenge since it last aired this week. Riley, 36, an alpaca shearer and treehouse builder for Natural State Treehouses in Fayetteville by day, is still among the final seven nominees for the award.
Riley’s 10 items to survive on the show included sleeping bag, 12×12 tarp and axe, folding saw, multi-tool, fishing rod, fishing line and hooks, pot of 2 pints, a trap wire and a bow. and arrows for his survival adventure in the series.
So far he is making the most of these items and his opportunity.
Riley cast the show out of about 50,000 contestants, he said. He certainly has the qualifications to pass the challenge. According to his biography on the Alone website, Riley was at sea alone for more than 80 days on an 8,000 mile voyage across the Pacific a few years ago.
“I’ve been doing bushcraft and survival stuff for about 15 years,” he said. “I have also done several expeditions over the years. I crossed the Pacific in my sailboat completely alone in 2018.
That was probably one of the main reasons I got on the show,” he said.
After the trip, which included a 22-day, 3,500-mile crossing from Galapagos to French Polynesia, Riley had hoped to continue around the world, but was ultimately forced to sell his boat when the COVID-19 pandemic closed borders in time.
Riley’s love for nature started early. His family emigrated from England to Florida when he was 9 years old and, according to his biography, quickly took a liking to the swamps.
“He spent his childhood in the woods catching snakes and building forts, and when he graduated from high school he quit his job as a professional alligator wrestler, bought a ticket to Madagascar and spent four months exploring the island’s jungles and mountains,” her biography says. “Upon returning to the United States, he moved to the desert southwest and worked as an instructor in a wilderness therapy program where he honed his backcountry and survival skills.”
Riley has been back in Fayetteville for a while now, and he said he calls the town home after living here for most of the past 9 years.
“It’s the longest time I’ve ever lived in one place,” he said.
Without giving too much away, we asked him this week about his overall experience on the show.
“It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “I had the opportunity to test my skills against some of the finest and most talented people in North America.”
“I really got to see what I was made of,” he said.
Only airs on the History Channel weekly on Thursdays at 8 p.m. Central Time, and the show is available to stream the following day.
For more information on the show, visit history.com/shows/alone.
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