Matt wright goes it alone on naked and afraid xl all-stars westword gas variables pogil worksheet answers

But the Amazon did end up getting the better of him. Halfway through the forty-day challenge, he contracted necrotizing fasciitis as flesh-eating bacteria gnawed away at his toes, with no plans to stop. Wright was forced to tap out or risk his life, and he was devastated.

For the current season of Naked and Afraid XL: All-Stars, twelve contestants from previous years were sent in pairs to different spots around the desolate, drought-stricken Selati River Basin in the northwest horn of South Africa. Under the show’s rules, they were allowed to take a satchel, a pot and two items of their choice; they were also equipped with a necklace with an embedded microphone. Wright, the thirteenth contestant, was dropped off miles away, all on his lonesome, with the option to search for the others.

One camera person would come up for about a half-day, but other than that, Wright says he mostly filmed himself, starring in his own sub series, Naked and Afraid XL: Savage, on the web. “Not only will they have to survive the unforgiving desert temperature swing,” the narrator of that web series says of the dozen other contestants, "they’re going to be tested by some of the most dangerous predators in the world. But this time there is one predator they didn’t even know to prepare for: Matt Wright.”

Even before Wright received his invitation to go to Africa, three All-Star contestants had asked him to make custom tools that they could take on the show. “I know all of this is going on, and I’m frustrated that I’m not going,” recalls Wright. “I was just sitting there in the house, and I’ve just been kind of bummed for a month or so making these items, not being able to go myself. I was just bummed about it. All of a sudden, I got a phone call.”

After Wright got off the phone with the producer, he realized how little time there was to get ready, when most contestants had already had a month or two. In preparation for the Amazon, Wright had gone on barefoot runs to toughen up his feet, visited tanning booths so he wouldn’t suffer sunburn, and researched the landscape. This time he had just six days to get everything in order before going off the grid for forty days and forty nights.

A week later, a camera crew dropped him off on a barren plateau, and Wright quickly got to work. He found his source of water: a murky, thirty-foot-wide puddle. It was clearly a drinking hole for local wildlife, because it was surrounded by feces. Wright set up camp, building a protective barrier, or boma, constructed out of thorny branches, and started boiling water.

“I’m watching this water, and it’s just green broth coming off the top of it,” recalls Wright. “It smelled exactly like the National Western Stock Show. It tasted exactly like you would imagine. It tasted like if you would run water through a cattle stall and then drink it.” Still, Wright had to drink about a gallon of that a day in order to get by.

After a kill, to celebrate the warrior spirit, Wright always starts by taking a bite of the uncooked heart. Then he eats the other organs and tenderloin. Nothing is wasted: The hide is cured, the bones are boiled in water and cracked open for the nutrient-rich marrow, and Wright spins the tendons into cord, later attaching a thorn or carved bone to the line in order to fish. Wright hangs the rest of the meat in a tree to sun-dry into biltong, the African word for jerky.

On the sixth day, Wright killed another impala. He had so much meat that he built what he calls a “meat boma,” hanging his biltong in a tree wrapped in thorny bushes. He urinated a circle around the tree to let his furry neighbors know that the cache was his. Still, at night he’d hear panthers and hyenas come up and pull on the branches. One night he finally jumped up and yelled, scaring them off.

“A lot of people tell me, ‘Ah, they wouldn’t let you get hurt on the show,’” says Wright, but he notes that “there is no way they could protect us." Contestants have a radio they can use to call for help, but Wright points out that he probably wouldn’t have time to do that if he were being attacked by a leopard.