“Survival is not who dominates something, but for those who have humility and respect for nature, then everything flows. Letting go of EGO is key.”
My name is Kamilla Monteiro; I am 30 years old and from Goiania, Brazil. I was on Discovery's Naked and Afraid and stayed 21 days in jungles in Colombia.
I used to work as a firefighter and an adventure guide for almost 10 years and have been used to going outdoors since I was young.
I lead two adventure groups, one for men and women and the other just for women, a self-knowledge project in the woods aimed at women. I know it is harder to bring women to the adventurous side, but I will not give up; it can transform their lives.
People from Discovery contacted me on Instagram. I was a firefighter and a mountain guide, as well as a woodsman, which they thought it would be a perfect match. At first, I thought it was impossible, like a trick, but I accepted. Now, here I am, a survivor. I felt so excited about the opportunity that it was impossible not to say yes. The process took around four months, during with I spent a lot time preparing my equipment and studying about living in the wild.
From my perspective, It is the greatest real survival challenge in the world! It was 21 days shown in less than 4 hours on TV. Exposed to the dangers of a wild and hostile region of Colombia —no food, no purified water and no clothes, only a machete, pot and mosquito net were provided along with a stranger, who has now become my brother.
I decided to carry a machete and a mosquito net.
When choosing your equipment, you must think of something that's going to help you in different situations. People usually know the importance of a machete, so I am going to explain the mosquito net. I used it to protect against insects during the day and night, helping with the cold. It was also used for fishing and gathering supplies, making clothes, and even more.
We also got a flint, a pot, and a map that were very important for water purifying, keeping warm, cooking food, protecting from animals, and knowing our location.
My partner was Tito, and he is amazing; I am really glad to have had him with me. Our relationship was incredible, we were supportive of each other, and we each came in very knowledgeable about many things; we were both techniques.
We never did anything without the other or without the opinion of the other. We even bathed each other, I bandaged his finger when he cut himself, and a lot of things in that sense. The main thing he had difficulty with was letting me take care of him too. We were both alphas, so you know what happens. We learned a lot together, and we stayed together until the end. But I mean it was intense.
We had a lot of difficulties all the time. It was hard to get purified water, and there was cold. We had very little food during the whole program. We’ve only eaten one small snake and some termites and ants. Almost in the end of the program, we got a present from another survivalist, honey. The thing is, we had to have a strong mind. There is a moment when the body stops working, and you must keep thinking and living, being strong, and knowing that you can pass through it.
The most substantial thing we ate was a small snake that we killed and shared. We always shared the food with each other. Besides that, we ate termites, tiny seeds, fruits, and honey. We left knowing that we were going to have hard times. I was prepared to not eat. I gained some weight before going, but by the end, I was the woman that lost more weight, 12kg.
Primitivity Survival Rating (PSR) is the score a contestant is awarded for competing in a wilderness survival contest in Naked and Afraid. My PSR at the beginning of the program was 7.0, and I finished with 7.8. I was proud of myself in the beginning and in the end. I knew finishing the challenge was the only option. Those were very difficult days that I'm going to take as a lifelong teaching.
I actually stayed away from society for a while before I feel better. I am taking care of myself and organizing some future projects. People usually don't think about the consequences of going into this challenge. We have insect marks and sunspots. I am undergoing treatment for inflammation and pain in the body, replenishing vitamins and minerals, among many other things. We need a lot of support after survival.
People recognize me on the streets, on Instagram, and on other social media sites, so I am giving a lot of interviews about the experience. I am very excited about this new start that I am having.
First, you should consider if you really want to participate. It's not a game; it's real. You are going to be afraid, you are going to starve, and you will have to fight for water and be strong to survive.
For both cases, you must study and train a lot, learn the techniques, the niches, the biology… Understand what you can eat, and drink, how to hunt, fish, collect food, make shelter, and basically how to survive. You can study by yourself but having courses or training with people that are already survivalists is better. You can find training all around the world and you have to be prepare for different circumstances. Train your mind to be strong and go easy.
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