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The Knives of History’s Alone, Season 3

Season 3 of History’s Alone is back, December 8th. Like before, the show disperses ten contestants in a wilderness environment, alone, with just camera gear to film themselves, ten items of their choosing to affect their survival, and a satellite phone they can use to “tap out” when they’ve had enough. Last one standing gets a big cash prize.

This third season brings the show to a new location. Seasons one and two took place on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, but the new episodes will be taking place in Patagonia. New environments bring new challenges, so the contestants can not (necessarily) use the first two seasons as a guide on what ten items they should bring.

They are prevented from taking certain items such as firearms, so all the tools are typically simpler. If there is one thing you need out in the wilds it is a good knife. Let’s see what blades the cast of Alone Season 3 chose to bring.


BRITT AHART: BECKER BK7

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Accountant and primitive skills enthusiast Britt Ahart has brought along his well used Becker BK7. It looks like he has wrapped the handles with some sort of tape for added grip, and he is carrying it in a custom leather sheath. The BK7 is a design that I think of as ideally suited to “survival” scenarios – a larger wood and animal processing tool with self defense (human or animal) applications baked in. This is not the first time a BK7 has appeared on Alone as Tracy Wilson carried one in Season 2, her’s with micarta scales installed for the extra grip.

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CARLEIGH FAIRCHILD: L.T. WRIGHT GENESIS

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Carleigh Fairchild lives in a remote Alaskan community where she fills many roles including carpenter, landscaper, gardener, roofer and more. She is carrying my favorite modern iteration of the classic Kephart blade, the Genesis by L.T. Wright Knives. This is the third Genesis to appear on Alone. One was carried by a Chris Weatherman in Season 1, as well as by last season’s runner-up, Larry Roberts. It looks like Carleigh’s knife is the full-flat ground, A2 steel version.

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ZACHARY FOWLER: COLD STEEL SPECIAL FORCES SHOVEL, VICTORINOX SWISSTOOL SPIRIT (MODIFIED)

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Like a few previous contestants, professional boat builder Zachary Fowler has decided to forgo a fixed blade knife, instead favoring a pliers-based multitool paired with a small sharpened shovel.

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The Cold Steel Special Forces shovel is made of mild carbon steel so it will not hold an edge for very long, but it will sharpen easily.

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According to History’s website, his multitool has a gut hook and a spoon gauge [sic]. In the video, you can clearly see the Victorinox logo (it looks like one of the Swisstool Spirit models to me) but none of them (that I know of) sport those tools, so it is unclear which exact model he is carrying, or if he has modified it in any way.

UPDATE: A reader send us this link to the Wilderness Suvival Forums archives that appears to show Mr. Fowler did indeed modify his Victorinox Swisstool Spirit. Here is what he did to it as of April 28th of this year.

So far I turned the small screwdriver into a sewing awl, turned part of the big screwdriver into a gut hook, sharpened the side of the chisel so it’s another knife edge , and turned the can opener into a spoon gouge.


ZACHARY GAULT: BATTLE HORSE KNIVES DUTCHMAN

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Gault has made primitive living a way of life for himself, spending prolonged periods of time living deep in Northern Ontario’s boreal forest. He has picked a blade by Battle Horse Knives, the Dutchman in O1 steel. Much like the BK7 above, this knife can fulfill all the wilderness requirements while also being a worthy offensive device.

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MEGAN HANACEK: CLINT CHISAN CUSTOM BOWIE KNIFE

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Professional forester and biologist Megan is carrying a forged bowie knife made by Clint Chisan. It has a 10-inch blade of differentially heat treated W2 steel, wood handles and a leather sheath. The blade seems like it is somewhere between the recurve and dropped shape of a kukri and a traditional bowie blade shape.

While it may seem unconventional, the Nepalese have used kukris as their main utility blades long before they became famous as weapons in the hands of the Gurka. I’ll be interested in seeing how it gets used on screen during the show.

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DAVE NESSIA: MORAKNIV COMPANION

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Dave Nessia, a desert survival instructor, is carrying the featherweight Morakniv Companion. A Companion appeared in Season 2 in the hands of Mary Kate Green, but unlike her, Dave has chosen the stainless version utilizing Sandvik’s excellent 12C27 steel. The Companion may not be as strong as the full-tang Mora Garberg, but it makes up for that by being so incredibly lightweight that you could clip it to a pair of athletic shorts and never know it was there.

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CALLIE NORTH: KESTREL TOOL BONE HANDLED 1095 CUSTOM

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Herbal apothecary Callie North lives in a forest cabin with no electricity or running water, so it definitely looks like she has the skill set for primitive living, and her choice of knife is equally rustic, although I certainly wouldn’t say it was primitive. Handmade by Charlie Prince and Gregg Blomberg of Kestrel Tool from 1095 carbon steel with a bone handle and inlaid with abalone and silver. It appears to also have a deep forced patina, which should add some corrosion resistance on this otherwise rust-prone steel.

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GREG OVENS: CUSTOM BONE HANDLED ARCHER KNIFE

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Drywaller and self taught survivalist Greg Ovens had a knife custom made for this trip. The History website describes it as a “high carbon steel archer knife” and it has giraffe bone handle scales with bolster, mosaic pins and lanyard tube and a fileworked spine. It is a very nice piece, but I would hesitate to push the knife too hard; I know giraffe bone is not the toughest material for hard use. The blade looks roughly 3.5″ long with a hollow grind.

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JIM SHIELDS: Pathfinder Knife Shop Scorpion XL/HD

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Jim Shields has quite the resume… high school teacher, wilderness survival and mountaineering instructor, and certified Wilderness EMT. His puukko-esque knife has a 5-inch blade of carbon steel with a scandi grind, carried in a kydex sheath with a bright orange blaze for visibility. The intro video never shows enough of the handle for me to positively identify the knife. If anyone recognizes it, please chime in below.

UPDATE: After getting a better look at the knife in Episode 1, it looks very much like either the PKS Scorpion XL or PKS Scorpion HD by Self Reliance Outfitters. Both of those knives feature a full-tang blade of 1095 steel. The XL’s blade is 1/8″ thick, while the HD is a beefier 3/16″ thick but they are otherwise the same.

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DAN WOWAK: BATTLE HORSE KNIVES COALCRACKER

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Trapper, endurance athlete and lifelong outdoors enthusiast Dan Wowak is also carrying a piece by Battle Horse Knives, a custom with O1 steel and a spalted wood handle.  This is actually the prototype of a knife Wowak designed called the Coalcracker, which will be entering production soon. With a blade just over four inches, this should be a super handy bushcrafting knife.

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I can’t wait for the start of the new season. I have enjoyed the first two, and am looking forward to seeing what the new location will throw at the cast. It is also good to see a greater number of women jumping in to the fray with the guys. Let us know what you think of their knife choices in the comments!

If you’d like to see the other items each contestant brought, check out this playlist on History.com.

Discussion

38 responses to ‘The Knives of History’s Alone, Season 3

  1. Hi!

    Callie here 🙂 … wanted to pass along about my knife , it was made by renowned knife makers Charlie Prince and Gregg Blomberg (they specialize in carving tools and have been the main supplier of Northwest Coast Artists for many decades) Kestrel Tool Knifes. http://www.kestreltool.com/

    Thanks for posting. Fun to see everyone’s knifes all together.

      • Hi Callie, I’m up to Episode 6, a spider bit your bottom and it got infected. Bad luck.

        Whether you win or lose, you are a great role model for boys and girls all over the place.

        I have a ton of knives, however, for Patagonia, I’d take a Cold Steel barong machete instead of an ax. but I would take a crosscut saw. I would take the Victorinox Locksmith knife.

      • Callie. I just want to send you a quick message of support. I have never seen an individual that is more enthusiatic about her life in the ‘wild extremes’ than you. You have a zest for life that I absolutely love. I wish you all the best. ” Mr. President….it’s Go Time” . Love it..keep it up.

    • Awesome Callie!! Thanks for the info and for being so cool…Living in nature isn’t about “surviving”, it’s about living! Love how you demonstrate that and hope lots and lots of people are paying attention. And of course, I’m hoping you win. But even if not, you are a wonderful role model. Way to go!!

  2. Cool that Callie comes on here to give us more information.

    I think they all seem pretty reasonable except the multi-tool and shovel combo? Also not a fan of sharpening a hollow grind knife in the field or that edge geometry for survival tasks in general.

    Obviously processing firewood with the mora is risky business, but not a problem if the contestant is planning on utilizing an axe and/or saw.

      • I process wood with that shovel all the time and have dug into completely frozen ground with it as well. It’s a beast, but it does dull quickly.

    • I have the same multi-tool and the knife blade has a flat grind, not a hollow grind. Between the Victorinox and any of my Leathermans, I much prefer the Victorinox multi-tool since I feel it is more comfortable in the hand for different carving and cutting techniques.

  3. Regarding Zachary Fowler’s Victorinox Swisstool…came across this link. http://www.wilderness-survival.net/forums/archive/index.php/t-28325.html. Assuming it’s the same Zachary Fowler, he says that he modified it in the following ways…”… turned the small screwdriver into a sowing awl, turned part of the big screwdriver into a gut hook, sharpened the side of the chisel so its another knife edge , and turend the can opener into a spoon gouge.”

  4. Don’t like many of the knives without a guard. Far too easy to slide your hand down the blade, causing a bone deep slice (nasty to see your knuckle flexing as the blood pours out as I have done.) Cuts have eliminated a couple of participants already, although they were from axes. I did wonder if these folks had prepared with proper medical equipment, whether they might have been able to hang in, possibly cleaning and stitching with clamps etc. Tough call.
    Bottom line – when you are alone the safer the knife and the more caution used, the better.

  5. Concerning Megan’s knife, I made it early this year and her husband purchased it for her specifically for Alone. I forged it from a 3″ diameter round bar of W-2 and gave it a clay coat differential heat treatment after many heat cycles to refine the grain. The handle is cocobollo wood with some stabilized African Blackwood spacers and stainless guard. Clint Chisan

    • Hi Clint, beautiful knife. I am a fan of W-2 High Carbon steel.

      I am a knife accumulator. I can’t say collector because collectors never use the knives. I have 2 or 3 hundred so far and I have used all of them, at least a little.

      In Patagonia, Pigs are the most calorie and fat rich game there is. In the south part of USA, killing wild pigs with a knife is a common sport. Your knife looks like a great working knife, weapon and Pig Sticker.

      Megan could have done a lot worse. She is lucky to have your knife.

      I picked a Cold Steel Barong because the 1055 steel is hard to break when batoning and gives reach as a defensive weapon or pig sticker.

      I picked the Victorinox Locksmith because it has a lock blade, 2 saws, an awl, etc. I would round out the can opener into a gouge for making spoons or bowls. I would sharpen the large screw driver into a chisel and I would drill a small hole in the awl to make it easier to sew using fishing line or dried gut.

  6. No webpage. I did at one time but let it die a natural death. Knifemaking is a past time for me and when it turned into pressure to get knives done, it was work! I sell a few on gun and knife forum sites and have some repeat/serial customers.

  7. Hi!
    My name is Isara and I writing an article for our school newspaper on Lopez Island. I am writing an article about Callie North’s experience on Alone and I would a photo in the article too. I saw that you had a photo of Callie and I was wondering if I could use it in my article.
    Our newspaper needs to be printed soon so please reply as soon as possible.
    Thank you so much!
    Isara Greacen- Editor in Cheif

  8. Have really enjoyed watching this series and my personal opinion is that Callie has got it together, attitude, personality, ingenuity in one great package. So go Callie!!

  9. I have to admit, At the first part of Season 3 Alone I didn’t give the girls much chance. Boy did I make a serious mistake! All 3 of the girls are as tough as any guy I’ve ever seen on the show, even more so. The girls in ways showed up the guys, I mean, here you are literally starving and you build a sauna, or a walk way to your shelter, or a drum or a guitar! I really got where as the show went on, Callie and Fowler were my two favorites. I was shocked when Callie tapped out. Right before that she has a 3 course meal, complete with salad, lol. So, now as long as they have went, I’m rooting for any of the final three, because to have made it to day 75(?), they are all tough as hell, and done lasted me by about 65 days! Good luck to all left on Alone, great show.

  10. I truly have enjoyed all 3 seasons of Alone and have been surprised at how long the contestants made it in season 3 with not much food to be found except fish, and sometimes not evet that!
    I felt after a few episodes that Callie would do great, which
    she did,because of her positive attitude and her knowledge of the outdoors. It was a very emotional time at the end with Carleigh getting pulled. Zachary was a very deserving person to have won and I am proud for him. Good luck to all contestants on living the future!!!

  11. Wow. Callie North posted a reply. How cool is that. Ok, I would take a Ka-Bar with a 7″ blade, partially serrated, Kraton G handle, and hard plastic sheath.

  12. Loved watching season 3 of alone. All contestants were truly amazing and inspiring to watch especially the ladies!!!
    Anyone know where I can watch the reuninon special?? My husband accidentally deleted it☹️.

  13. I agree with Vanessa, Season 3 of Alone is really amazing. All of them gave their best to put up a good show. I hope the next season (if there’s one) would be interesting and exciting as this one.

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