Homer man goes it ‘Alone’

The History Channel’s excessive survival TV collection, “Alone,” places 10 individuals to the final word take a look at: survive so long as you’ll be able to with restricted instruments and kit in probably the most excessive environments on the earth. The $500,000 prize goes to the final particular person standing and who hasn’t been pulled out of the competitors.

Participants get video cameras with a number of batteries and media and file their journey. They can name for assist in the event that they now not really feel secure taking part, and periodically test in to let present producers know they’re secure.

Under these parameters, a robust contestant could be an Alaskan, in fact, and somebody who might need these qualities:

• Grew up in a rural space looking and fishing

• Moved to Alaska and lived in a 2004 Buick LeSabre by the winter

• Worked the docks in Homer day after day on the lookout for a deckhand job

• Hasn’t eaten any meat however wild fish or recreation in 10 years

• Has taken 30 or 40 one-month wilderness or looking journeys, and

• Is affable, personable, well mannered and just a little bit goofy.

In these respects, Alaska’s newest contestant on “Alone,” Terry Burns, 31, of Homer, checks all of the bins.

Season 9 of “Alone” begins Thursday, May 26, at 5 p.m. Alaska time, 9 p.m. Eastern time. The season runs 11 episodes, with the winner introduced within the final episode. In Season 9, Burns joins fellow Alaskan Jacques Turcotte of Juneau. Another Homer resident, Mary Kate Green, competed in Season 2 beginning in April 2016.

The Season 9 individuals began their journey final September. In idea, if anybody hangs in there lengthy sufficient, it might probably go as much as a 12 months. For the most recent collection, the ten individuals went to Labrador, Canada, with the blessing of the Nunatsiavut Inuit, mentioned government producer Ryan Pender.

Each participant can choose 10 objects from an inventory of 40 objects divided into classes like shelter, bedding, looking and so forth. Burns chosen an ax, sleeping bag, bows and arrows, fishing line and hooks, Ferro rod (a fire-starting software), paracord, a 2-quart pot, trapping wire, a multitool, and a cross-cut noticed. They can also select a complete wardrobe with numerous parameters, together with boots and hats, that don’t rely in opposition to their 10-item gear listing. It’s as much as contestants to pick their very own gear.

Burns grew up in rural Hurricane, West Virginia. After highschool he labored putting in plumbing and fireplace safety methods, placing in 100 or extra weeks. Burns mentioned he lives to hunt and fish, and tries to fish 300 days a 12 months. He received uninterested in the rat race. The catalyst of totalling his truck in a 17-car pile up when he received hit by a semi-tractor trailer compelled him to maneuver to Alaska. He drove up in February of 2011 in his grandmother’s previous 2004 Buick, first getting a job caretaking a lodge in Cooper Landing. In April he got here to Homer to discover a job fishing.

“I walked the dock every single day, rain, shine,” he mentioned. “I went to the boat yard. I went to the Gear Shed.”

He slept within the Buick along with his 13 fishing rods. Because he didn’t have a lot cash for gas, he didn’t run the automotive heater.

“I fall asleep and wake up shivering,” Burns mentioned. “And I’d run around the car until I warmed up, and then I’d get back in the car.”

Burns nonetheless lives in his automobile, now a Chevrolet truck with a topper. When he goes into the wilderness, he has a very nice tent.

“I’ve got this real bad thing about settling down,” he mentioned. “Yeah, it’s not natural or healthy, but I’d rather take the money that I would spend on anything else and put it toward hunting, fishing. I’m fine with camping in my truck.”

When he’s not fishing — or competing in actuality TV exhibits — Burns goes into the woods for monthlong adventures. He’s particularly keen on looking caribou, and can drive up the Haul Road and hike off into the backcountry. One time he shot three caribou and spent 56 hours hauling meat — an expertise that wore him out a lot he took day off to get well.

During that point, whereas at a Homer buddy’s home he occurred to see an episode of “Alone” and received mesmerized. His pals informed him he ought to apply to be on the present.

“They thought I’d do great,” Burns mentioned. “‘This is the kind of stuff you do for fun.’”

At first he brushed apart the concept, however later determined, What the heck? He utilized. Months handed after which the producers responded, wanting extra data.

“And it just has snowballed from there,” Burns mentioned.

After an preliminary interview, he received invited in June to what “Alone” calls boot camp, an opportunity for candidates to point out off their expertise and winnow the sector additional. Pender, the present’s government producer, mentioned about 25,000 to 30,000 individuals utilized for Season 9.

Burns can’t speak about what occurs over the season. He mentioned he didn’t obsess over his instruments, saying what issues extra is realizing learn how to survive and the power to improvise.

“I just love being out there,” he mentioned. “So I’m smiling like a fool because I just enjoy it and, you know, some folks will struggle with the isolation. … I find something beautiful in it.”

Each contestant wears a satellite tv for pc cellphone gadget, the yellow brick, that retains them confined to a couple of 3- to 5-mile space. Burns mentioned they’ll ship set messages like “I’m OK” or “need help.” The producers periodically do medical test ups. Pender mentioned limiting contestants to an space makes it simpler to search out them within the occasion of an emergency.

“‘Alone’ is about participants pushing themselves to the brink,” Pender wrote in an e-mail. “… Participants know when to pull themselves out, but when they don’t, can’t or won’t make that choice, the call will be made to take them out of the experience and get them to a hospital to begin the road to recovery.”

In “Alone,” Burns mentioned, “It’s a full-time job of harder work than most folks are accustomed.”

Without freely giving an excessive amount of, Burns mentioned that as a result of he already has been out within the wilderness a lot, the expertise didn’t have an effect on him profoundly.

“It’s really visceral,” Burns mentioned of the present. “… One thing that’s really interesting about the series is, you know, you get to see the human condition and what we go through.”

Reach Michael Armstrong at

“Alone” participant Terry Burns of Homer, Alaska, poses for a photo in the reality TV show about surviving in the wilderness. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)

“Alone” participant Terry Burns of Homer, Alaska, poses for a photograph within the actuality TV present about surviving within the wilderness. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)

The 10 participants in season 9 of “Alone,” premiering on May 26, 2022, on the History Channel. Terry Burns of Homer is the third from left, back. Another Alaskan in the series, Jacques Tourcotte of Juneau, is the fourth from left, back. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)

The 10 individuals in season 9 of “Alone,” premiering on May 26, 2022, on the History Channel. Terry Burns of Homer is the third from left, again. Another Alaskan within the collection, Jacques Tourcotte of Juneau, is the fourth from left, again. (Photo by Brendan George Ko/History Channel)

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