Lewiston family son on History Channel survival show

Every Thursday Adele and Ron Barnes of Lewiston watch their son on television.

They’ve seen him build a boat, pick cranberries and boletus mushrooms, and even fight a grizzly bear.

“I am truly grateful to know that he is home safe and sound,” said Adele Barnes. “If this was filmed live I think I would be an absolute wreck. I can’t imagine how worried I would be if I didn’t know he was safe at home.

Colter Barnes was a contestant on the final season of the survival show “Alone,” which was filmed last fall and is currently airing. On Thursday morning, Barnes was one of the other four cast members. Clay Hayes, of Kendrick, Idaho, is also on the series and among the cast members vying for the $ 500,000 prize. (Hayes was featured in The Spokesman-Review on July 2)

To earn the money, they must survive alone on the shores of Chilko Lake in British Columbia.

Barnes grew up in Madras, Oregon, but his parents now live in Lewiston, as does his brother, Wes Barnes. Although his mother would be concerned if she did not know he was safe, she and her husband are responsible for his participation in the program. Colter lives on a remote island in Southeast Alaska. During a visit, her parents suggested they watch the show.

“We started looking at him, and he kept saying, ‘Why didn’t you tell me about it. I would love to do that, ”said Adele Barnes.

They encouraged him to apply and he was selected from over 18,000 other applicants to appear on the show. Barnes teaches survival and colonization skills in Alaska, where he has lived for 14 years.

His parents have said he is no stranger to adventures, and this one, where competitors can “let off steam” and call for help via satellite phone, is far less dangerous than many of his trips. He sailed the Bering Sea, where the wind howled at 100 mph, and spent 18 days canoeing the Yukon River.

“Some people are probably thinking, ‘What kind of mother would encourage her son to continue? It’s so dangerous. But that’s what he’s been doing all his adult life. He’s had all of these very dangerous adventures, ”she said. “I can cite six other adventures he went through that there was no satellite phone to listen to.”

Like many families in the Pacific Northwest, the Barnese spent much of their free time outdoors.

“He, his two brothers and I hunted a lot and fished a lot, so he got a lot of experience in Oregon,” said Ron.

Colter Barnes’ older brother, Shane, lives in Moxee, Washington, and helped him obtain essential equipment for the show. Participants are allowed to take 10 survival items with them. Adele Barnes said her son was on the verge of taking a gillnet before learning local regulations would not allow him to use it during his first 45 days in the isolated nature.

When he heard the news, he chose to take a tarp instead and rushed to find one that would meet his needs. Eventually he used the tarp to build a boat. But it almost did not happen. Home to Barnes Island means he has to shop from a distance. He enlisted the help of Shane Barnes, who found the type of tarp Colter wanted in Yakima and put him overnight in Alaska. But the package, slowed down by health and travel restrictions linked to COVID-19, took nine days instead of one and arrived just before competitors shipped.

Adele Barnes believes the tarpaulin boat gives her son an important advantage in securing food.

“I believe Colter is still on this show because of this boat,” she said.

Ron Barnes believes his son has key advantages besides the boat. Like the others who had not yet given up, he has some very sharp survival skills. He has 14 years of experience living and working with grizzly bears; he spends months alone every year, so he is used to isolation; and he’s single. Ron noticed that many contestants for the show were dropping out because they missed their families.

“He doesn’t have a wife and children shooting him,” he said.

The show airs at 6:30 p.m. on Thursdays and airs for a fee on Amazon Prime.