In 2017, Canadian Megan Hanacek participated in the third season of The History Channel’s hit reality TV show, Alone.
Megan was one of 10 trained survivalists transplanted to the rugged wilderness of Patagonia and confronted with living off the land.
Like all contestants, Megan was only allowed to pack 10 survival items for the solo journey. We were pretty chuffed when we found out she had chosen her favorite Laundromat sweater to keep her company.
A professional forester and biologist, surviving Patagonia would turn out to be the ultimate challenge for Megan—and the ultimate test of endurance for her Laundromat sweater. In the end, she lasted an incredible 78 days to become the longest surviving Canadian (and mother) ever featured on Alone.
Kept cozy by her Laundromat sweater, Megan built her own shelters, foraged food from the land, and overcame Patagonia’s harsh weather. At one point, she even used threads and fur from the pompom of her Yoko Sweater to fashion fishing lures. Talk about giving a whole new meaning to multi-purpose knitwear!
When Megan came home to Canada, Laundromat offered to replace her Yoko Sweater—but she turned us down, arguing that her favorite sweater was still in perfect condition! Instead, we sent her new sweaters for the entire family.
We asked Megan what lessons she took away from her Alone experience.
“I’ve had a lot of kids say they were inspired by watching me on Alone. My biggest concern with society today is the growing divide between people and the outdoors. The average amount of screen time by the average North American is six hours a day, and the stats show that people check their phones every four minutes. I worry that our youth may not have the opportunities to see the value in ensuring healthy ecosystems and wildlife.
“I am really appreciative that in the middle of my life I was allowed to have this amount of time by myself to do a bit of life reflection. It’s an immensely powerful thing to be alone and to be in solitude... Nature has immense power to it, and when you’re fully immersed in it for a significant amount of time, you really get an appreciation for every minute of every day and how fragile life is. You have to live positively and if you have the right mindset, it’s amazing what can be accomplished.”
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