Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3: “Human Prey”

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3 Discovery
Sometimes bros gotta talk.

Are you an optimist or a pessimist? Is 13 days: 1/3 done of the 40-day experience? Or 2/3 of the ordeal left to go? I’d like to think that I’d be an optimist and congratulate myself for finishing 1/3 of something unpleasant, but in reality, after nearly two weeks in the South African sun, I wouldn’t know the date, or my name.

Day 13
We start this week in Tsonga Basin, where is Kim is suffering from Tick Bite Fever.
“How ya doin’, Hon?” her partner Darrin asks. Kim hasn’t eaten in almost a week, which is slowing her recovery. Darrin vows to hunt and feed his partner, subjecting himself to the day’s punishing heat. In this Naked and Afraid experience, Darrin is opening up about his First Nations ancestry, which is really intriguing. He says that he’s far more than a survivalist because this is his history; living close to the land is his way of life.

The large group in the Swati Valley have big plans for the day.
Phaedra’s is going to fish, Alyssa wants to set snares and Jake wants to use a net to catch minnows. But by mid-day, they haven’t caught anything and regroup at the campsite. Tawny feels like she has the flu and fears that she also has Tick Bite Fever. Which is not to be confused with Cat Scratch Fever. The rest of the large group wonders who’s the next to fall…

Day 14
The men of Pondo Ravine aren’t sleeping either. South Africa is a noisy place at night. While Angel and Steven rest during the hot part of the day, Ryan heads down to his blind to see if any critters come for a drink. He sees a monitor lizard and pulls a sneak attack with the net that he tied on Day 2. Whatever this technique is called, snare, snag, trip-up, it is great! It is much easier to catch quick animals if you can figure you a way to slow them down and give your wily — but slow — human-ness a fighting chance. His partners run down with their knives and deliver the fatal blow.

While the men eat, they share their life stories. Angel tells how his difficult upbringing has turned him into the father he never had. That night, Angel talks directly to the camera, and shares a message of love to his family. Ruh-roh, Whenever N&A participants start talking about their families, it’s a sign that their head isn’t in the game. C’mon dude, snap out of it! Angel is a mellow dude, but he was pretty focused and ballsy in his appearance on Naked and Afraid. I don’t like to see his emptions getting the best of him and his talents wasted. I want to see him build some of his awesome traps; sitting around is boring anyway! Clubbing a wildebeest with a massive rock would be gnarly! (Angel once made a massive figure-4/deadfall trap that may or may not have winged an alligator)

Day 15
Kim hasn’t eaten in 9 days and is feeling terrible, but stays busy be weaving a fish basket. While Darrin is hunting, he starts feeling nauseous and heads back to camp.

In the Swati Valley, Phaedra and Stacy find a large kill near their shelter. They’re freaked out that an African leopard may still be nearby, but the prospect of meat is too tempting to pass up. They grab the rest of their crew and head back for the kill. Alyssa is so starving that she says it smells, “Disgusting … and delicious.”

They drag the animal away from their camp and process it. But not only are they excited at the prospect of meat; Jake is excited to have a hide to make into shoes.

And we get to remember this bloody handful of meat for all time…

Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3
I may now be a vegetarian.

After boiling the meat, they give it a tentative taste. It is disgusting and rancid. But Jake encourages his partners to eat it: it’s meat and calories. And they really can’t afford to be picky. And while the meat may be stinky, boiling should have killed any gross germs. I think that everything eaten on Naked an Afraid should be boiled. You don’t lose any of the meat’s mass due to burning/charring/fluid loss form grilling, and you can ensure that the contents will get cooked all the way through. Alyssa giggles that it tastes like diarrhea. Okay, Alyssa, you little weirdo. 😖 The group knows that the animal that lost its meal is probably mad and can smell that they’ve eaten well; so it’s gonna be a loooong night. But a night with a full belly.

Day 16
Ryan is up with the pounding Pondo sun, but his partners are still sleeping. His plan is to use the precious morning hours to look for warthog dens. He comes upon a herd of wildebeest, but they see him and scatter. Ryan is frustrated because if his partners were there to help him, they might have been able to stalk and bring down the bigger game.

He heads back to the shelter and tells Steven and Angel how frustrated he is. It doesn’t go well. All three men are great survivalists, but Ryan wants his partners to share his drive. I’m not a fan of the whole, “We’re on a reality show and I need to have a long, sit-down talk with you.” It rarely works, because one person has had a chance to think about what they want to say and the pother person/people haven’t, so they get defensive. Here’s what I would have done:

Kellie (as Ryan): “Hey partners, I saw some meaty critters over yonder. It looks like they move near our camp really early in the morning. (Strokes magnificent beard) Tomorrow at daybreak, let’s head down there and see if we can try that hunting technique that Steven mentioned.
Steven: That’s the best idea I’ve ever heard!
Angel: I’m in!
Steven: Wake me at sunrise!
Angel: Ryan (but really me), you are the real angel of this team.

See how much better that went? No finger pointing. No long, drawn out discussions, because I hate long, beat-the-horse discussions. Even a plan that acknowledges somebody else’s ideas. Perfection — if I do say so myself.

Well, I can’t wait to see how the fellas get over this feud, but first, let’s check in on the peeps in Tsonga Basin.

Kim is upright (yay!) and she and Darrin check her fish trap. It’s empty. (boo!) Kim is discouraged, but Darrin tries to keep his teammate’s spirits up. Later he heads out on a hunt. Darrin would rather hunt for small stuff, but hasn’t seen any sights of any rodents (because — rat kabobs), and hadn’t planned on trying to bring down big game on his own. It may be time for D-Ran to set his sights higher on the food chain.

Pondo Ravine-loving Ryan has woven his 100 lb. fishing line into a snare with 700 lbs. of capacity. Steven is in the blind by himself and is a kid in a candy store. When talking about his outspoken partner Ryan, Steven admits, “He’s got a hundred skills, but so have I.”

That night, Angel keeps watch and talks to the camera again. He says he misses his family and without them, he feels like a tree that is being hacked down little by little. It’s poetic, and sad. He and the rest of the men are kept awake by strange whooping noises coming from just outside their camp. They never identify what the sound is, but I’m dying of curiosity. (My guess is zebra. BTW, I have a friend from South Africa and the way she says zebra is beyond adorable. I say “zēē-brŭh,” she says “zĕh-Brăh” I would says it that way too, but I’d be afraid some well-meaning person would correct me.)

Day 17
Swati Valley. Tawny still feels like junk, but her fever has finally broken. Jake wants to go on a scouting trip to see if he can find other people, so Alyssa and Phaedra go with him, and Stacey stays with Tawny.

Whilst on their roundabout, Phaedra, Alyssa and Jake (or PAJ) hear/see a panther. We don’t see the actual leopard; instead, we see beautiful stock footage shots. Like this one. We eventually see it running away. The camera work looks like footage from The Blair Witch Project. Lots of shakiness, but not a lot of substance. Meh.

The men of Pondo are fighting. So their useless score dips from 7.2 to 6.5 out of 10. I guess the monitor lizard that they caught means nothing.
The Swati snatched a kill from an apex predator, but their useless number still falls from 8.1 to 7.7 out of 10.0
The Tsonga twosome’s randomly generated numbers change from 6.6 to 5.9 out of 10.0.
And all of them give absolutely zero f@#ks, because it’s like telling me I have 23 out of a possible 1000 jitterbugs. If it’s a random measurement, it doesn’t matter.

Inter-cut with many stock footage shots, Angel decides to tap out. So many stock footage shots! The shots are beautiful, but for all I know, they could have been taken at the San Diego Zoo. Angel wants to be a great father more than he wants to be a great survivalist. It’s a bit out of left field, but after we picked apart the cast photo, I know that he’d be one of the early ones to tap out. (Clarence, Carrie and Angel were totally PhotoShopped into the image).


Naked and Afraid XL Episode 3
PhotoShop sleuthing could be my superpower.

Angel’s Pondo partners are stunned and know that they’ve lost their buffering middle-man. Gosh I hope that they continue to butt heads!

Jake, Phaedra and Alyssa arrive atop a ridge and yell into the abyss. Who will hear Jake’s dulcet calls? We’ll have to find out next week.

Next week’s scenes seem to show that everyone is in the same group and suddenly, “there’s a lot of chiefs.” Grammar notwithstanding, I can’t wait!

Primitive Survival Item. Each survivalist brought a blade each trio was given a cooking pot, and each of the dozen survivalists was allowed to bring one primitive survival item. I’m keeping track here:
Jake- Spool of wire (Learned in personal interview)
Stacey- Fishing hook and line (Learned in Episode 1)
Clarence- Unknown -left in Episode 2
Phaedra- Unknown
Alyssa- Fire Starter (Learned in Preview Episode)
Tawny- Casting Net (Learned in Episode 2)
Kim- Bow & Arrow (Learned in Episode 1)
Carrie- Unknown -left in Episode 1
Darrin- Buck Skin (Learned in Preview Episode)
Angel- Unknown -left in Episode 3
Steven- Sling shot (Learned in Preview Episode)
Ryan- Spool of 100-lb. Fishing Line (Learned in Episode 1)

More Naked and Afraid XL
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 2 “Man on Fire”
Recap: Naked and Afraid XL Episode 1 “Lions at the Gate”
Naked and Afraid XL Season 2 preview
Interview With Jake Nodar
Jake Nodar’s 4 butt-kicking survival tips


  1. It’s day 13 and Kim has been battling tick fever for two days without anything to eat. If she can’t get enough protein her immune system will continue to weaken. Her teammate Darrin is willing to step up in order hunt for food. He hasn’t had any luck, though. There’s tension in the all male group between Ryan and the other two. He has many plans for the campsite and how to hunt. He finds the other two to be too unmotivated for him. While at the small pond hunting, Ryan catches a lizard. It’s the first food for this group since the challenge started.

  2. SURVIVALISTS: check out this new product,called MadiDrop? Made locally here in Virginia.. “a porous,biodegradable ceramic tablet that is designed to release silver ions that will disinfect water. One tablet can be reused continuously for 6 months, potentially purifying 500 gallons of water”! (Early tests also showed that tablets stored unused for 8 years still had full potential!) Retailing at only $8! Created to help 3rd world countries with awful water, but the uses are very desirable to us as well? Your comments??

  3. LJ- Big Sur burning? How sad- many amazing places to park when ingressing beween “fingers”. One with waterfall conceals “paths to nowhere../just veer right up switchback trail..”. Endless fields of grass & beyond! JC- hidden hot sulphur springs/baths off access road to Vandenburg AFB, just south of Goleta/Isla Vista. Us hippies ventured where others may not.. ( & Isla Vista is/was a very cool town..)

    • AlK. I remember the hippies up and down the coast and in the mountains, They were filthy, strung out on drugs, trespassed, broke into and robbed and destroyed other peoples summer homes and and homes in the small towns. Their trail was visible in the trash and refuse they left everywhere.

      • I was never that kind, & hope you can tell that from the nature of my posts. Please don’t judge us all because of a few? Many such as I have gone on to be very responsible members of society.

      • I always have, & still do pick up trash (every week beer cans and McDonald’s wrappers/bottles full of chaw spit, thrown out windows of cars traveling down my nice country road. And in my backpack (where space is a valuable commodity) I had my harmonicas/silver flute,/hand percussion. I was always welcome at any campsite- even Hell’s Angels! And as mentioned, you don’t have to worry about any aspects of your fire with me.

      • As I have aged, & hopefully matured/gained wisdom,I am learning to look beyond the outer facade in people. “Don’t judge a book by it’s cover?” Yes,many hippies are fakers,users & dirty druggies- the best ones moved up the coast to Oregon & beyond years ago. Or settled in & did something positive in their own communities. We have to start somewhere,though-..Right?

        • OK Al. I go by actions I can see or hear. I have found little error in that. Most people I could see rotten on the outside were also rotten on the inside. My answer wasn’t directed at you in particular.

          • Perhaps I am over-generalizing myself as “hippie” unfairly. I am very conservative now,compared with my peers. However,that’s the way I got started on this adventure,& am trying to still honor that/not be a hypocrite or turncoat. I really respect U & Ken as my elders, & would gladly leave this conversation due to that. And you were here first! That is the way I avoided getting my ass kicked while visiting every state except Alaska, & now I am invested in the greatest challenge ever: being a “Yankee Jew” in a southern state.
            Hippies love being NAKED, & are not AFRAID of anything except haters such as white supremacists, & meth-heads. (well, I have learned to have a healthy avoidance of sharks & alligators also..). The best duos are often comprised of ex-military, with naturalists. Granted,I am not a good representative of the latter- “hippies” better than I are fluent in herb identification & shelter building, but I am still willing to learn & grow- even to kill if it were necessary! (don’t know ANYTHING @ guns, & had my rights taken away by the government to ever own one because of a 40 year old drug conviction..!). I know nothing @ strippers or their clubs, either- as previously stated & hereby reiterated, we love nakedness & it fosters a more healthy attitude towards the human body. Can we find middle ground & get along/learn to appreciate each other, & perhaps more? The world would be a better place..!!!

          • Al K. There isn’t any middle ground that can be satisfactory. Each person is an individual and is, or should be free to pursue their own desires IF they do so without infringing the rights of others. The Democrats are loaded with elitists that know how everyone else should live and want to make them comply or kill them. All Nazis. We all need someone(s) we can depend on and we should be free to choose them. I am a new thought Christian not OTR of any kind (OTR=Old time religion which is all dogma). Islam is the worst. I studied Zen for 5 years and I believe Christ and Buddah learned from the same book.

          • Why choose to follow ANYONE? That is my worst nightmare, & would die to defend that right! Isn’t that almost “Republican” ? DON”T TREAD ON ME!!!

          • I have never been a proponent of forced integration, but hope that if we are forced to co-exist in the same space, that we can find common ground (or tolerance of/cooperation with each other..?). I was becoming embarrassed to be a Democrat until Donald Trump came along! (& still am). What are my choices..?

  4. KenO. I tried to watch an episode of Alaskan Bush People (repeat??) last week but I started choking on the BS. I couldn’t get it done. I did read some of Ryan Berenz’s recaps. Ryan has tongue in cheek so much I hope he doesn’t choke himself; or get a serious tongue bite. Oh, well it’s a living!

  5. LAURA JANE- I want to share some valuable experience with you regarding your belongings(hopefully some survived?)/smoke damage, & insurance claims. Because I was trying to be decent & honest with my provider, & also detest the disposable attitude of our culture, I attempted to save as much as possible of my possessions. Like KenO, I am a semi-retired professional musician (those bars & late nights will wear you down, & the pay sucks where I live), & have many instruments,amps,electronics. What I found is that some things can be cleaned, but most cannot. My tech assistant warned me @ smoke danage getting inside the circuitry, & that one day the device that was working fine will just quit! Same with TVs, microwaves, anything with solid state circuitry inside. My insurance company was kind enough to pay me in full for things like that I wanted to keep (a 40 year relationship with your instrument is worth more than just the $$.). Most of my electronics did die within the next year. My instruments are OK, thank God. One very important piece of advice, as well-they will tell you that they can clean your clothing/bedding/couch covers/etc. That is total BS!! You will be so continually frustrated if you allow them to attempt that- even if you return it to them multiple times. If by chance they give you something back & it does smell OK, once the stuff they spray on it wears off (app. one week!), you will be even more bummed. I did have limited success washing some of my more heirloom quilts,etc. myself (multiple times), & made them pay for my time,electricity,soap,etc. This was one area where they were not so willing to concede, but they did so reluctantly. I recommend you stand your ground on this topic.
    P.S.- that smoke smell from burning wires & whatever else your house is made up of besides wood is SO rancid- I will never forget it. And I am still SLOWLY getting over my fear of fire (& this coming from the guy that will keep our fire going 24/7, sleep by it, sit staring into it trancelike..). It is truly an awesome “living” thing, & also one to be completely feared & respected. Wishing you not just the best, but even more. PEACE

  6. RWB- thanx for responding re house fires. My insurance company, a small-owned Southern farmer’s provider, were absolutely saintlike in their compassion toward me. TRUE Christians. Didn’t bat an eye regarding contents, & they even have these charts where even if your shitty old couch is worth maybe $20, they willingly give you $800! Laura Jane take heart! I replaced maybe one third of my furniture, & put the rest in the bank!
    P.S.-You are dead right @ going after The Power Company! That’s what my insurance agent said as well- he would rather pay me than deal with them. Thanx, man

  7. Laurajane. I lived in Livermore 34 years. I loved to travel to SC and play the Pasatiempo golf course.

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