Editor's Note: Above video is a report on how two Idaho teens survived a freezing night in the wilderness
SPOKANE, Wash. — A North Idaho native's survival skills will be put to the test on the latest season of a History Channel show.
Jordan Jonas, who graduated from Sandpoint High School and North Idaho College, is one of ten contestants on ALONE, which premiers at 10 p.m. on Thursday, June 6. The show documents what it is like for contestants to survive on their own while self-documenting their journey without camera crews.
The contestants on the show’s sixth season survived in the frigid conditions of Canada's Great Slave Lake and entered the wilderness carrying 10 items of their choice in a small rucksack. They are separated from one another and completely isolated.
The last person standing on the show wins $500,000 in prize money.
The History Channel contacted Jonas several years after he submitted an application for the show, he said.
“One thing led to another and I guess they stuck me on there,” he said with a laugh.
He was then selected from a group of 22 other contestants when the show tested their outdoor knowledge with challenges, including building traps, shelters and fires.
Jonas said survival is not unfamiliar to him, as he spent many years living in the harsh conditions of Siberia with nomadic reindeer herders.
During his time in Siberia, Jonas decided to hunt on hunt and trap game on his own.
“I spent a month-and-a-half in Siberia alone in the forest, so I had a similar prior experience. So when I got there it felt very familiar. It’s kind of a similar climate,” Jonas said.
Jonas was also an avid camper who learned survival skills while growing up in Athol, Idaho.
The items Jonas brought with him into the wilderness included an axe, wooden bow and arrow, trapping wire and fishing hooks.
“They’re all pretty primitive stuff. You can’t take a gun or anything like that,” Jonas said. “In my opinion, you gotta take an axe. All of the Siberian forest people and hunters say that’s the only tool you need to survive in the wilderness, and I agree from my experience.”
Jonas knew finding food would be critical to his success on the show but his plans to hunt grouse on the first day were thwarted when a wildfire burned through the area.
He cannot go into much detail about how he survived or how long he lasted since the show his not aired, but he did say he was able to adapt to the area and find unexpected food sources.
Jonas now lives in Virginia with his wife and children, but plans to move back to Athol next year and work his family farm. His wife plans to attend NIC for nursing.
Jonas said the return to city life after competing on the show was not as shocking as people might expect.
“For me, it all felt very familiar. All of the time I spent in Russia – you’re in a really primitive environment. My wife’s from New York City and I’d come back and be in the city,” he said. “The culture shock and the changes like that almost don’t bother me at all. I tend to be pretty adaptable.”
Overall, Jonas enjoys spending time in the wilderness. He said it offers him an opportunity to clear his head.
“You can delve into your thoughts in ways that you never have an opportunity to. It’s amazing how that way of life just feels like the way we’re meant to live,” he said. “It’s directly connected to the way people lived for thousands of years.”
Watch the trailer for season six of ALONE below: