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Fayetteville Resident “Alone” on the History Channel


A Fayetteville resident is in the running for a $500,000 cash prize as part of the latest season of the History Channel’s survival show, “Alone.”

Local resident Adam Riley is one of 10 contestants on the show that pits survivalists from all over North America against each other to see who can make it the longest this season in the northeast Canadian wilderness.

“Alone” is in its 9th season on the History Channel, and has a simple premise. Each season, contestants are dropped off in a remote location alone with just 10 items they can decide to bring with them, along with some camera equipment to document the journey. The contestant that taps out last is the winner of the grand prize.

This season is currently about six episodes in, through the first 33 days of the challenge as of the latest airing this week. Riley, 36, an alpaca shearer and treehouse builder for Natural State Treehouses in Fayetteville by day, is still among the final seven contestants vying for the prize.

Riley’s 10 items for surviving on the show included a sleeping bag, a 12×12 tarp, and ax, a folding saw, a multitool, a Ferro rod, fishing line and hooks, a 2-quart pot, trapping wire, and a bow and arrows for his survival adventure on the show.

So far, he is making the most of those items, and his opportunity.

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Riley made the cast of the show out of roughly 50,000 applicants, he said. He certainly has the credentials to succeed in the challenge. According to his bio on the Alone website, Riley was at sea alone for more than 80 days on an 8,000-mile journey across the Pacific a few years ago.

“I’ve been doing bushcraft and survival stuff for about 15 years,” he said. “I’ve also done a number of expeditions over the years. I crossed the Pacific in my sailboat completely alone in 2018.

That was probably one of the main reasons I got on the show,” he said.

After the journey, which included a 22-day, 3,500-mile crossing from the Galapagos to French Polynesia, Riley had hoped to continue around the globe but was ultimately forced to sell his boat when the COVID-19 pandemic shut down borders at the time.

Riley’s love of nature started early. His family emigrated to Florida from England when he was 9, and according to his bio, took a quick liking to the swamps there.

“He spent his childhood in the woods catching snakes and building forts, and when he graduated high school he quit his job as a professional alligator wrestler, bought a ticket to Madagascar, and spent four months exploring the island’s jungles and mountains,” his bio says. “Upon returning to the US, he moved to the desert southwest and worked as an instructor at a wilderness therapy program where honed his backcountry and survival skills.”

Riley has been back in Fayetteville for a while now, and he said he considers the city home after having lived here for the better part of the last 9 years.

“It’s the longest I’ve ever lived in any one place,” he said.

Without giving too much away, we asked him this week about his overall experience on the show.

“It was one of the most incredible experiences I’ve ever had in my life,” he said. “I got the opportunity to test my skills against some of the most talented people in North America.”

“I really got to see what I was made of,” he said.

“Alone” airs on the History Channel each week on Thursdays at 8 p.m. central time, and the show is available to stream the next day.

For more info on the show, visit history.com/shows/alone.

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Dustin Bartholomew is the co-founder of Fayetteville Flyer, an online publication covering all things news, art and life in Fayetteville, Arkansas since 2007. A graduate of the Department of English at the University of Arkansas and a lifelong resident of the area, he still lives in east Fayetteville with his son Hudson, daughter Evelyn, his wife Brandy, and his two dogs Lily and Steve. On occasion, he tickles the ivories in a local band called The Good Fear.

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