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FedEx Accountant Braves the Wilderness on History Channel’s “Alone”

December 6, 2016

Britt AhartYou don’t typically think of corporate finance and wilderness survival skills going hand-in-hand. Of course, there are exceptions to every rule. Britt Ahart is one of those exceptions. Britt spends his days as a senior accounting coordinator at FedEx. When he’s not working, he enjoys camping trips, hikes and being outdoors. Britt was born and raised in Virginia, and said he always felt a strong desire to be in the wilderness. He recently took that desire to the next level when he participated in Season 3 of Alone, a survival reality show on the History channel.

Read below to find out what Britt had to say about his experience surviving alone in the wilderness in the Patagonia region of Argentina. Don’t forget to tune in to the History channel on Thursday, December 8th at 8 p.m. CT/ 9 p.m. ET to see Britt in the Season 3 series premier.

FedEx: For those who don’t know, tell us about the premise of the show Alone on the History channel.

Britt: They take 10 participants. You’re allotted 10 survival items. You can choose from a list whatever suits your needs or what you think you would need in the field. You get taken to an undisclosed location and left there to basically try and survive and thrive on your own. You have to self-document everything. There is no camera crew. There is nobody there to assist you. You have to create your own shelter, provide your own meals, fend off predators if need be and survive as long as you can. Whoever makes it the longest wins.

FedEx: Did you see the other participants or interact with them?

Britt: You are totally alone. You don’t even know where the other people are.

FedEx: Why did you want to be on this show? Did you consider trying out for other shows similar to this?

Britt: I’m a solitary person by nature. I enjoy being by myself and outside doing things on my own. I’ve always been that way. I didn’t fit in with most of the groups I grew up with. It was tailored to my lifestyle and my love of the outdoors. I watch these shows all the time. This was the first show I’ve ever seen on TV that seemed like it was not a farce. There’s not someone who’s pretending to be in peril when there’s really a guy with a camera who can put a band-aid on him and give him a Snickers. It was something that I thought was real and would actually pit you against yourself outdoors. It’s sink or swim. It’s not something that’s fabricated by a network with someone really there to assist you with every step. I thought it would be an excellent way to see what I could do on my own.

FedEx: A lot of people would call you crazy for wanting to do this. What would you tell them?

Britt: I probably am a little crazy. Everyone who tried out for the show had a little crazy in them. It made everyone special. The first people to put their feet on this earth did these same types of things. As time has progressed and creature comforts have become the norm, people have forgotten their roots and the things that everyone before us used to be able to do. It’s not crazy. It’s about getting more of a feel for the earth and what it should be providing for more people, but we ignore on a day-to-day basis.

FedEx: How did you make it on the show?

Britt: I filled out an application and sent in a couple pictures of myself and why I thought I’d be a good candidate to be one of the participants. Six months later I was checking my voicemail, and I had missed a call. It was a call saying they were interested in me. From there, I had to do more interviews, self-documentation and work my way through the elimination process until it was down to the Top 10.

FedEx: Tell us about your family. What did they think when you found out you had been chosen to participate?

Britt: It was a combination of disbelief coupled with ‘I’m not surprised’ because they know me. They hadn’t heard much about (the TV show) because I watched it on my own, and then I’d tell them about it. They were shocked but not surprised. I’m the type of person who does odd things here and there. They were totally on-board for it and supported me. It’s been such a long, ongoing process, it didn’t seem totally real to them until they saw me on TV. They are just as excited as I am. They had difficulty dealing with me being gone for a while. That was the toughest part, because we are a close-knit family. I’m extremely close with my son. For me to be gone the amount of time I was gone, the family started to take on a different dynamic until I came back and we were a total group again.

FedEx: What did you do to train and prepare for Argentina?

Britt: I delved a little bit deeper into the things that I choose to do anyway. I worked more on my traps, more on my wild edible identifications. There was a lot of reading. I worked on my knots because I wasn’t concerned about things like fire and shelter. I didn’t have to look into that because I could do that already. I just looked into what I’d be able to do to secure sustenance. Everything else I already knew how to do. I tried to get myself in the mind frame of being in total isolation, which is impossible. That didn’t work. It was mostly studying about the tools I’d be using and how I could best utilize them to my advantage.

FedEx: I’m sure you researched the Patagonia region before you left for filming. What were your concerns heading into it?

Britt: I didn’t have any concerns. Since I knew we were going to be inland, I knew we’d have water. The animals don’t scare me. The dark doesn’t scare me. The cold, I live in Ohio. I’m outside every day, even in the deepest part of the winter. The cold didn’t really concern me. I didn’t have any fears, I just wanted to make sure I covered my bases in knowing what to expect. I wasn’t overly worried. It was just the mind frame and thinking of doing it all by myself for an extended period of time that I had to get locked into my head.

FedEx: What do you do at FedEx?

Britt: I am a senior accounting coordinator. I do cash application, month-end close, reconciliation and things of that nature.

FedEx: How, if at all, did your work at FedEx translate into anything useful for the show?

Britt: Without a doubt, my organization and attention to detail helped me. What I do day-to-day with spreadsheets and looking at numbers, I have a focused brain. I’m able to categorize and keep things in a concise, orderly fashion. That absolutely carried into my journey on the show as well as my everyday home life.

FedEx: Are co-workers surprised when they hear about your interest in this type of thing? Finance and surviving in the wilderness don’t exactly go hand-in-hand.

Britt: I was born in Reston, Virginia. When I was doing these things growing up, I was doing them alone. I was hiking alone and making fires alone. I was trying to do my little studies outside alone. When I moved to Ohio, I dropped off the map for a whole lot of people. I’m popping up 11 years later, and they see I’m doing this. My co-workers know me mostly on a professional level. Everyone was very surprised when they found out about it. I get these incredulous looks and everyone wants to know how I got involved with something like this. That’s the question people ask me the most. It’s a lost knowledge.

FedEx: What is bushcraft?

Britt: You can take it literally for what the word is: crafting while you’re in the bush; taking a branch and being able to fabricate it into a snare of sorts and crafting things in the wild and using what nature provides and use it for your needs.

FedEx: How did you get into this?

Britt: It started off with me taking hikes in the woods and enjoying being by myself and not being around so many people and feeling like a sheep in a herd or just a tiny piece of an unorganized puzzle. I discovered things when I was in the woods, different animals, plants and flowers. I later joined the Boy Scouts for the camping. I wanted to be outside, fish and sleep in the woods. When I moved to Ohio to a very rural area, my passion continued to bloom from there. I had more time and more wilderness around me that allowed me to be able to explore and learn and practice. I also really enjoyed watching survival and wilderness TV shows, and that just furthered my fascination with what you can do when you get deep into nature and start understanding what it has to offer.

FedEx: Aside from being reunited with your family, what were you most looking forward to upon returning home?

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Britt: It has to be food and all the food you’re missing. You could ask anyone, and that’s what they’d say across the board. You take for granted how simple it is to acquire something to eat every day. When that ease is removed, you really appreciate how easy it is to get up off the coach and walk to the refrigerator

FedEx: What’s the first meal you ate when you came home?

Britt: The first thing I ate was a big plate of my wife’s buffalo wings, a huge pile of cheese-covered broccoli and a Yeungling. I practically sat at the table and cried on my plate it was so good.

FedEx: If you could give one piece of advice for someone out there that would like to do this, what would it be?

Britt: If you’re going out in a solitary manner, you have to be very comfortable with yourself. Prepare for some deep-seeded demons to resurface that you have to deal with. Also, you need to have your center, some place you can reset to and regroup your mental state because there are times you start going on crazy tangents, brain firing uncontrollably in different directions. I found you had to have something that would bring you back to zero.

FedEx: Would you do it all over again if you had the chance?

Britt: No doubt. I’d log off and walk into the woods right now.

Hear more from Britt in a web exclusive from history.com:


Comments

    Judy Etheredge says:

    Congratulations, Britt! I have no idea whether you won or not, but I do intend to watch, and I am sure it will be an entertaining series. The word is out so I also expect that many of your high school friends will be watching, too. I am glad to know that you are home and safe and I want to wish you and your family a very happy Christmas and New Year. Mr. Etheredge joins me in all the good wishes.

    Pamela Sands says:

    It seems I have found a new show to watch and someone to root for! Thank you for sharing such a unique experience with those of us who will not be leaving behind the comforts of home anytime soon.

    Stachia Manson says:

    Wow, what a great opportunity and a great achievement! looking forward to watching the show

    Fatima Lane says:

    Wow Britt! You are amazing! My family love the show “Alone” and are planning on watching. We will definitely be routing for you to win. No matter what happened….you are a winner for even having the courage to do this. BZ to you!

    Derrick Willis says:

    Wow Brit! When I first met you I thought this guy is cool and I see why Laura started dating you! Now I am just blown away at all the great things you are doing. Great job and I’m glad you are in Ohio!!

    Jeff Atnip says:

    Wow, I had no idea this show was out there. I love this kind of stuff. I am definitely going to look this up and watch. Way to go, Britt!

    Gail Dickson says:

    Britt, it would be great if more people stopped to think how we would handle a life changing event such as you did, an opportunity to experience a different type of survival…thank you for sharing and I will spread the word at FXFC to watch the show 🙂

    Roger Geary FXF says:

    This just gave me a reason to watch ALONE this season. I will be rooting you on as a FedEx Employee but also as a fellow Boy Scout. Can’t wait to see the season premier tonight!!

    Robert Armstrong says:

    Your a great inspiration to those who aspire to similar philosophies of nature and individualism. I’ll be rooting for you and hope to hear of your other adventures.

    Deanna Frock says:

    Am looking forward to watching the show. It isn’t something I would normally choose, but the way you’ve described it and the preparation you put into it makes it sound very interesting.

    Bear Grylls says:

    Atta boy Britt, go gettum!

    Martin Shupe says:

    I’ve watched the first two seasons of Alone, and I have been impressed with the quality of the show and contestants. Regardless of how long you lasted, you have already won just by getting on the show and participating. I am sure you learned some things about yourself and came out more confident in your survival skills than when you started. I’ll be watching and rooting for you. Well done, sir!

    Steve Irwin says:

    You’re a brave one, mate!
    I will be watching every minute of the show and rooting for you.

    chuck says:

    Unfortunately I missed this last evening. tried to find it on demand but can’t. Anyone know when there’s a rerun?

    Brian says:

    Chuck, you can find it on demand if you search by network. Also they will usually have a marathon after a few weeks of the show running, maybe on a Saturday.

    martin lagun says:

    I’ve watched every episode and I’m proud to have one of our own step up and represent our company and your passion. I’m a education mentor from fedex freight SBO ca. and we are rooting for you

    Mario Gallant says:

    Sound like an amazing adventure. I watch the show once in a while. The ones I see are usually filmed off the cost of Vancouver, British Columbia. Congratulation on your adventure. I missed the original airing. I’m sure there will be a repeat. Will look for it.

    Cheers,
    Mario Gallant
    Ops. Coordinator
    Moncton, NB
    Canada

    Mario Gallant says:

    WOW!! What an adventure. Now that’s living the dream..
    Will watch episode online.

    Fraser Smith says:

    Britt, you the man. I am avid ALONE fan; been watching the show since the 1st episode of Season 1. The show only states you are an accountant; had no idea you are part of the FedEx Family. I’m glad you are teaching your son woodcraft and survival skills. Will continue watching the series and see you did. Totally Awesome

    Shondra says:

    Thank you for sharing your story. I didn’t even know a show like this was on. I’ll be cheering for you. Best Wishes and Happy Holidays to you and your family.

    Brian says:

    I Have enjoyed this show for some time and hope you do well. I know that it is not easy to be in the wild and live off the land. But I also know that it is even harder to do it ALONE. Good luck to you and I hope you go far.

    Michael Pentecost says:

    Outstanding!! Glad you were able to experience the challenge!

    Rich Bennett says:

    Really nice to get this Q&A as an added bio. I’ve watched the first 2 seasons, already watched this years first show that introduced location and selection process. Will be very interested in your journey.

    Ricardo Alfredo Castillo says:

    I love the show, ‘Alone’. Amazing that you are in it. I will for sure watch the season and root for Team Purple! Congrats Britt for making far. Cheers from Miami!

    Colleen Debardeleben says:

    WOW my husband and I love this show and watched the 1st episode. I had no idea you were a FedEx employee!! Good Luck and we’ll be rooting for you!!

    Regina Watson says:

    I have watched this show from the very beginning and have started watching this season as well. I had no idea you were a co-worker when I started watching but you were one of my favorites from the beginning. I loved your walks with your son at the beginning of the show. I am sure since he was the Man of the House when you were gone all went well. Don’t thing there are any losers on this show as it seems everyone has a life lesson money can not buy

    Mike says:

    Congratulations.

    Mike says:

    So many people in life waste their time being unproductive. To see someone step out of their comfort zone, and push themselves to the limit is inspiring. Congratulations.

    michael says:

    Congratulations.

    Rosa Jimenez says:

    Britt-what a story! Congrats. You are the epitome of ME time. Keep on teaching the lost arts.

    Joe Z says:

    Awesome experience, way to go.
    Happy Purple Holidays

    Theresa Reed says:

    Super Cool!!!!!! I’m going to find this episode online and enjoy watching it. Congratulations Britt. By the way… you could be a model for Lands End clothing or something.

    Jim Rockwell says:

    Britt– Congratulations! Very inspirational write-up, as well as the fact that you earned the right to participate in this series–you are already a winner. Great job and good luck in attaining all your life’s goals. It is great to follow how you conquer your challenges on the show, but it’s also outstanding to see you back here with us in the office. BZ Britt!

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