FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. — Adam Riley is a contestant on season 9 of the History Channel's survival series, Alone.
Riley is an alpaca shearer and treehouse builder in Fayetteville. He says he watched TV in 2020, like most during the pandemic, when he stumbled upon the survival series.
"Like a lot of people who watch the show I thought to myself, 'I could probably do that,'" Riley said. "So I applied. Sent them an email and I applied. About six months later, I got an email back and that started the process of getting selected to be in the final ten for the season."
In 2018, he completed an 8,000-mile journey from Panama to New Zealand. He sailed alone on the journey and planned to continue his trek across the world, but COVID restricted travel.
"I grew up reading adventure books and books of explorers and sailors and that sort of thing and I was always captivated by the sea, and I wanted to do something that really tested me and kind of tested my abilities to their ultimate limits," Riley said.
"There's no kind of greater self-reliance than being completely alone on a boat with nothing but the things that you brought with you. There's no rescue team, there's no tap-out button, once you lift your anchor and go, you're really just jumping off a cliff."
While Riley’s Hunger for adventure fuels his journeys, his time on Alone was fueled by his love for family.
"My mom is an incredible woman. I moved here from England with my mom and my brother, and she raised us as a single mom for quite a long time before she met my stepdad and moved to another country with two kids. High school education and putting yourself through college and doing everything that she's done is, you know, she's like one of my heroes," Riley said.
"Winning the half-a-million dollars was a big motivating factor for me because I want to be able to help my family in the same way that they helped me when I was growing up."
According to the season's website, Riley brought the following:
- Sleeping bag
- 12×12 tarp
- Folding saw
- Ferro rod
- Fishing line and hooks
- 2-quart pot
- Trapping wire
- Bow and arrows
Being stripped of everything but his clothes, 10 tools, and camera equipment alone in Labrador, Canada came with quite a few lessons.
"The most important mental tool I had was keeping my sense of humor and continuing to have fun out there even when it was a grind, even when I was really hungry," Riley said.
"Every day I just reminded myself of how grateful I was to be there, how incredible of an experience it was and just try to have some fun you know."
You can watch Riley on season 9 of Alone on the History Channel or on their website. Episode 8 premieres Thursday, July 14 at 9/8c.
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