Chimacum woman to be on an episode of ‘Naked and Afraid’

Laurea Hughes of Chimacum will be appearing in an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid” on March 29. (Discovery Channel)

Laurea Hughes of Chimacum will be appearing in an episode of the Discovery Channel’s “Naked and Afraid” on March 29. (Discovery Channel)

CHIMACUM — Laura Hughes of Chimacum will make her small-screen debut on March 29 in an episode of “Naked and Afraid” on the Discovery Channel.

The reality television show is described as pairing two people, usually a man and woman, together and strands them in an extreme environment and literally strips them down to their bare skin and challenges them to survive in that environment for three weeks.

A watch party is planned at the Valley Tavern, 21 Chimacum Road, in Port Hadlock at 9 p.m. March 29, when the show airs.

So how did Hughes get involved in the show?

She got an email and has been friends with previous competitors on the show.

“They [producers] reached out and sent me an email a number of years ago. At the time I was married and my husband was like ‘no, I’m not comfortable with you doing that,’ so I didn’t do it. A few years later I got divorced and they had reached out again and I was like actually yes, I would like to do that,” Hughes said.

Hughes has been in the U.S. Army and has taught primitive/survival skills at North American Bushcraft School in Virginia.

“I was already fairly familiar with the show and people that had been on the show, so when they reached out it wasn’t like it was completely out of the blue or way out of left field that they would be contacting me about this challenge,” Hughes said.

Hughes’s episode was shot in late April in Baja, Mexico, about two hours outside of the town of San Felipe in the Sierra de Juarez mountains.

“So it’s really desolate … tons of cactus, just a really harsh environment,” Hughes said. “Where we were at it was really dry, you don’t get any rainfall … and they were already into their dry season down there.”

Hughes was paired with another competitor, Christopher James, from Calgary, Canada. Neither Hughes or James had ever experienced a climate quite like the dry desert and rocky mountains of Mexico.

One of the key components of the show is that the first task is to find the fellow competitor.

“You don’t know who your partner is until you actually begin filming,” Hughes said.

“They drive you out to the location, you strip all your clothes off and just walk off into whatever general location they tell you to start walking.

“You’re basically wandering up to the only other naked person in the desert — I’m assuming they’re my partner.”

They must work together to survive the elements, which in the deserts of Baja can include up to 27 species of poisonous scorpion, among other predatory animals.

A medical assistant is with the camera crew during the day and stays within shouting distance at night should any serious injuries occur.

Otherwise, the competitors are completely on their own.

Another element of the show allows the competitors to choose four items they would like to take with them during the challenge. The producers ultimately choose one of those items for competitors to use throughout the show. Hughes chose a Varusteleka Skrama, a type of tactical machete.

“It has two different edges on it, so you can use it for chopping and hacking or for real fine stuff like fleshing things out,” Hughes said.

James’ item was paracord, a type of rope originally used in parachutes that have become an overall utility cord.

Using just these tools, Hughes and James have to figure out how to build a shelter, find food and water and deal with other aspects of survival — all while being as vulnerable as a human can physically be in front of near-complete strangers, knowing that more complete strangers will be watching later.

“That was definitely weird … Disrobing in front of the camera crew for the first time, but you know you have to do it two or three times so they get takes that they want, so by the second or third time it’s like, whatever,” Hughes said.

“You’re kind of more focused on the discomfort and the coming challenge more than you’re worried about what people think.”

Hughes filmed a second episode in a different location in November, but she couldn’t say much about it as it does not have an air date yet.

________

Jefferson County reporter Ken Park can be reached at [email protected].

More in News

Clallam County seeking volunteers for boards, commissions

Clallam County is seeking volunteers to fill 74 vacancies… Continue reading

A home is left gutted by fire after an early-morning blaze said to have been accidental and likely caused by discarded fireworks that smoldered and spread. (Clallam 2 Fire Rescue)
Lake Sutherland blaze leaves family homeless

Firefighters say combustion may be from fireworks

A doe and its fawn make tracks on the beach Tyler Street Plaza in Port Townsend. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Checking out the beach

A doe and its fawn make tracks on the beach Tyler Street… Continue reading

The Port of Port Townsend has installed a no fireworks sign by the entrance to the Gardiner boat launch ramp to discourage illegal fireworks use that has been an ongoing problem, residents say, along with illegal camping and overnight parking in the lot across the road. (Paula Hunt/Peninsula Daily News)
Gardiner no-shoot area is denied

Stakeholders pursue different solutions

Avian flu case reported in Jefferson County

State highest in nation for infected backyard flocks of birds, poultry

Port Angeles Parks and Recreation Department worker Richard Foster picks up spent fireworks on Tuesday at Sail and Paddle Park on Ediz Hook. Despite a city-wide ban on fireworks on Port Angeles, many people purchased the devices in Clallam County and nearby Native American reservations and brought them into town for Independence Day celebrations. (Keith Thorpe/Peninsula Daily News)
Fireworks cleanup

Port Angeles Parks and Recreation Department worker Richard Foster picks up spent… Continue reading

A hallway at the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe’s Healing Clinic at 526 S. Ninth Ave. leads to several meeting rooms, where patients with opioid-use disorder (OUD) treatment receive counseling. The facility officially opens today. (Michael Dashiell/Olympic Peninsula News Group)
Healing clinic opens in Sequim

First day to see patients is today

After a three-year hiatus, the popular Fiddle Tunes is back at Centrum with workshops and performances culminating in a Fiddle Tunes finale on Littlefield Green at Fort Worden State Park on Saturday. Sharing tunes at Fort Worden Commons on Tuesday afternoon are, from left: WB Reid of Seattle, Paul Rangell and son Benny of Santa Cruz, Calif., and Suzy Thompson of Berkeley, Calif. Thompson is a past Artistic Director of the Fiddle Tunes. (Steve Mullensky/for Peninsula Daily News)
Fiddle tunes

After a three-year hiatus, the popular Fiddle Tunes is back at Centrum… Continue reading

Shooting ban area hearing to be set

Neighbors can ask to join if interested

Most Read