Lacey Jones is an all-star survivalist who is being featured on Season 11 of Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid: Alone, premiering Sunday, January 19, 2020, at 10 p.m. EST. Lacey, who was challenged to survive by herself in Africa for 21 days, still has flashbacks about being cold and alone in the African savannah.
This is Lacey’s third time on the Naked and Afraid franchise and it’s slated to be one of the toughest seasons yet. “The challenge is stepping up the game, bringing the best of the best to the most isolated locations around the world, leaving them there with nothing on their backs and no one by their side,” Discovery wrote in a press release. “With no help of any kind, the essential tasks of getting food, water, and shelter become even more demanding with no partner or tribe. Mental toughness will also play a key role in making it through the 21-day challenge alone.”
Lacey, an Army veteran who was deployed to Iraq, is no stranger to rough conditions. She grew up on a remote island off the coast of Maine without any running water. But Lacey is going to be faced with some tough obstacles, according to the description of Sunday’s episode, which reads, “Survivalist Lacey Jones is isolated, vulnerable and tired as she takes on the African bush. Completely alone, Lacey is pushed to a breaking point where madness awaits on the other side.”
To find out more about Lacey’s latest adventure, continue reading below.
1. She Wanted to Push Her Mental Boundaries on Naked and Afraid: Alone
One of Lacey’s hardest battles while out in the wilderness has been with herself. She learned from her parents how to fend for herself in the outdoors, but it’s the mental game that’s been the hardest for Lacey to conquer. That’s why she wanted to give the reality show another shot.
“I love adventure and I love challenging myself,” Lacey told Heavy.com. “This last one was more about a personal journey. There are so many aspects to Naked and Afraid that are difficult: You’re naked, you’re alone, you’re cold, you miss your family and for me, it just came down to the mental aspect. I wanted to do Naked and Afraid: Alone to push my mental boundaries to see if I can do it.”
Missing her family really got to her. While participating in the challenge, survivalists aren’t allowed to call family members, receive updates or bring pictures. But Lacey told Heavy.com she would picture her children in her head and that’s what helped her get through some of the cold nights.
2. Lacey Shaved Her Head to Avoid Getting Bugs In It
Some people who are familiar with Lacey’s appearances on Naked and Afraid might remember that she’s gone through several different hairstyles. The first time around she left her hair long, then she shaved it off and the third time around she has a pixie cut.
Lacey’s hair changes weren’t about fashion. Being in the wild means not being able to take care of her hair, and it was easiest just to get rid of it.
“I shaved my hair because the malnutrition makes it fall out anyway,” she told Heavy.com. “I contacted something in Ecuador that was ravishing my hair… Not being able to clean it… it gets bugs in it. It was like dreadlocks after my first episode. [Being out there] took a toll on my body and my hair, so I was like I’m shaving my head. I’m not going to worry about ticks or fungus or things growing in it. I’m just going to just go totally all in.”
3. The Animals Were Her Favorite Part About Being in Africa
During Lacey’s first days of the experiment, she comes across a heard of elephants, with one elephant coming within feet of her boma during her first nights in Africa. While the animals were frightening at night, they were one of her favorite things during the day.
“I absolutely love the animals,” she said. “This last time in Africa, during the day, I would be like, ‘Oh my God. I can’t believe what I am getting to do and see.’ I lived among the elephants.
As much as she loved the animals, the nights were brutal for Lacey. She regularly contemplated whether the days were worth the fierce nights.
4. She Started To Resent Her Boma
Lacey made herself a shelter on her first day in Africa out of thorns and branches to keep her safe and warm. While it was keeping her protected at night, it also started to feel like a prison.
“It was really difficult to crawl into my boma every night,” she said. “I had to be in this shelter in order to survive, but the very thought of getting back in there was like crawling into a jail cell. It felt like solitary confinement. It was like I was having to force myself every evening to go into this hell, where I knew I was going to be stuck for hours and hours being cold, alone and just miserable. Leaving the sunlight and going into this dark shelter was literally the hardest thing. Every night I had to convince myself to get back in that shelter.”
Lacey added it was also hard for her to be away from her family: “If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times: [My family] is the drive that gets me through the day, but they are also my greatest weakness.”
5. She Would Rather Be With Shane Than Alone
Lacey famously butted heads with Shane Lewis on Naked and Afraid XL. But after Alone, she told Heavy.com she rather being fighting with Shane than surviving alone in Africa. She joked that she made a similar remark while filming and told the production crew to cut that out of her episode.
“I definitely would rather be with a partner,” she confessed, and that’s saying something since Lacey isn’t really friends with any of the Naked and Afraid veterans. “If I’m being totally honest I don’t really get along with any of the survivalists, except maybe one or two,” she said.
Even if she wanted to compete again—and this time with another person—she’s not sure if anyone would want to be her partner. “They have their own group and I’m kind of an outsider, so I don’t know if there’s anyone who would want to be my partner,” she said. “I’m not of the group mentality and sometimes it gets drama and high school and I’m a very honest person…I have an abrasive personality.”