Local Survivalist Competes on "Naked and Afraid"

Reported by: Dani Beckstrom
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Updated: 3/17 10:55 pm
 

A local man proved he might be naked, but definitely not afraid, when he starred in an episode of the Discovery Channel reality show testing the limits of human survival.

If you aren’t familiar with the TV show, it takes 2 survivalists, a man and a woman, and drops them off in a remote area for 21 days with no clothes or shelter, only allowing one personal item. This scene might be straight out of a nightmare for some, but for Jeff, it was a welcomed challenge.

“I knew I could do it,” he explained, “but I also knew that I could do it better than a lot of people on the show.”

Jeff was raised roughing it out, his family avid big game hunters and outdoorsmen, creating a unique thirst for a challenging adventure.  

“I’ve just wanted to push the limits you know, I don’t just want to climb a mountain 10,000 feet tall, I want to climb one 15,000 feet tall.”

Jeff has been on numerous survival expeditions, from Alaska to the Mojave Desert, but never alone with a woman who wasn’t his wife, and especially never with his clothes off.

Gabby Zausch, Jeff’s wife, told us “I gave him a big no because I knew it was going to be hard and I wasn’t happy with the idea that he was going to be naked with another woman. So I had to set the rules, you have to go under the condition that you don’t spoon with her, don’t cuddle with her.”

Jeff agreed to Gabby’s conditions and hopped on planes, trains, and automobiles, before getting dropped off in a desert in Madagascar with nothing but a burlap sack and his choice weapon: a flint.

“Then they were like okay dude take your clothes off lets walk across the desert now,” remembers Jeff, “Let’s go meet your partner. That was the weird part, and then to be honest, within like 48 hours we totally forgot that we were even naked, we totally forgot that there was a camera crew there, because the survival aspect of it really hit.”

A seemingly impossible test of brains and brawn to survive all 21 days with only the company of a stranger, snakes, scorpions, and spiders, but Jeff’s success is proof of his strength, and his wife’s support.

“Jeff was the one doing it, it wasn’t me, but it is really hard. I mean you need to be a strong woman to be without your husband for an entire month, it is not easy this is no joke as everybody says, this is real.”

Jeff’s episode airs this Sunday night on the Discovery Channel and he and Gabby will fly to Los Angeles to participate in the live after show. Jeff told us that when people watch his episode, he encourages them to break out the Oreos and candy, and feel grateful for their shoes, you’ll find out why when you catch the show.  

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