SFU alumna strives to survive in “Alone”

December 08, 2016

By Wan Yee Lok

You would think working in both polar regions and surviving multiple Grizzly bear, black bear and cougar close encounters would yield plent of captivating stories.  But SFU alumna Megan Hanacek decided to take it up another notch by  participating in the History Channel's survival documentary series,"Alone".

Leaving behind her career as a professional forester and biologist, her husband and their two young children, she was the only Canadian woman selected from more than 50,000 applicants to stay alive alone in the cold, isolated region of Patagonia, Argentina.

She was equipped with limited gear, her wilderness experience and 80 pounds of camera gear to self-document her adventure.

"In the wild, the challenges quickly become apparent," says Hanacek. "Persevering through these difficult times really does make you grateful for the daily amenities in our modern word, such as buying food at the grocery store, having shelter and not having to light a fire with a ferro rod every day to get warmth, to sterilize water and to cook food." 

Hanacek says her SFU degree in biology helped prepare her for the adventure. 

"My time at SFU gave me a solid foundation on ecosystems and fishery biology. Both were very helpful as I strived to survive in Patagonia."

Watch Hanacek take on some of the world’s harshest environments tonight at 9 p.m. on the History Channel.