Croton Resident Appears On Naked and Afraid—Hiking Through the Colombian Jungle
Charlie Frattini, Croton resident and former Marine, helps us prepare for anything.
Photo Courtesy of Discovery
You may recognize a little too much of Charlie Frattini. That’s because, this past June, the Croton-on-Hudson resident appeared on the Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid—hiking naked through the Colombian jungle. If you’re unfamiliar with the reality show, each episode follows two survivalists as they meet for the first time and work together—naked—to survive 21 days in the jungle. “I’ve shot more than 50 TV shows, and most reality shows are 70 percent real; Naked and Afraid is about 95 percent real,” says Frattini, a former Marine and reality show veteran. “They don’t help you. They don’t support you—you either need to find things for your own survival, or you quit.”
Contestants who complete the challenge are given no monetary prize, just a stipend for participation. Inspired by his 86-year-old father, also a former Marine, and his two sons, Frattini took on the challenge to prove how tough he could be. “I preach to my children not to be weak, and I wanted them to know that their father practices what he preaches,” Frattini says. “Why do people climb Mount Everest? They don’t get paid for it.”
Since he obviously knows a thing or two about making due, Frattini has some survival tips, whether you’re planning on tackling the Naked and Afraid challenge yourself or just going camping in the Adirondacks.
Be psychologically prepared—for anything.
“No matter how much of a survivalist you are, you need to be psychologically prepared. If you get lost in the woods, sit down, relax, and control yourself; you’ll also control the environment you’re in. Not panicking is very, very important.”
Make sure you’re getting plenty of food and water.
“I was never dehydrated the way I was when I was in Colombia. Your motor skills are affected when you’re hungry and dehydrated, and while I didn’t find it a huge challenge to be hungry, it was still affecting me physically and mentally. You think you’re working with a tool or a knife the right way, but in reality your motor skills aren’t working to 100 percent. You end up making careless mistakes, and you get cut.”
Practice even the skills you think you won’t need.
“Just try and be prepared, and hone your skills. You go out camping, and you have fire starters; but you could lose them, and then you still need to know how to start a fire. There are three basic skills you need to learn—starting fires, knowing how to find adequate food and water supply, and how to make shelter.”
Stop freaking out about bugs.
“I’ve had more than 69 ticks on me, and it is what it is. Spiders, snakes, ants—don’t freak out. That’s the woods.”