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
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.
CARLEIGH FAIRCHILD: L.T. WRIGHT GENESIS
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.
ZACHARY FOWLER: COLD STEEL SPECIAL FORCES SHOVEL, VICTORINOX SWISSTOOL SPIRIT (MODIFIED)
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.
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.
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
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.
MEGAN HANACEK: CLINT CHISAN CUSTOM BOWIE KNIFE
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.
DAVE NESSIA: MORAKNIV COMPANION
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.
CALLIE NORTH: KESTREL TOOL BONE HANDLED 1095 CUSTOM
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.
GREG OVENS: CUSTOM BONE HANDLED ARCHER KNIFE
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.
JIM SHIELDS: Pathfinder Knife Shop Scorpion XL/HD
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.
DAN WOWAK: BATTLE HORSE KNIVES COALCRACKER
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.
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.