We’ve introduced you to other cast members Don Mann “The Navy Seal” and Carley Julien “The Nurse”. This week, Kaleb Summers “The Cowboy” stops by The Revolution with his personal insights from this journey.
Also known as “Catfish”, Kaleb is a guy with an eclectic life experience and one that enjoys a good adventure. An avid outdoorsman, Kaleb is an archery hunter that loves chasing mule deer and elk in Colorado. He’s also an angler with a real passion for noodling. In addition, Kaleb competes on the rodeo circuit in steer wrestling. His background in rodeo also gives way to his experience as a horseman, working with horses not only in the arena but also in the backcountry. Furthermore, on a day to day basis he works as a subcontractor. Is his diverse experiences and skills enough to help him in this challenge? It will be fun to find out.
How do you think you would pack and prepare for a journey like this? As it turns out, it’s a little more difficult than Kaleb anticipated. Drawing from his experience hunting in the backcountry and wanting to pack as light as possible but still be prepared, Kaleb says he loaded his pack with just the essentials and when he was done it tipped the scales at almost 70 pounds. When the team members first met, they introduced themselves and then dumped out their packs and talked about the gear they brought along and why they thought they needed it to survive. Kaleb reflects upon the moment that team member Don Mann dumped out his gear and much to his shock and surprise, Don’s bag only weighed 27 pounds. At that point, not knowing anything about him, Kaleb laughs and says that he thought this guy either really knew what he was doing or had no clue at all. It wasn’t until he was sitting in a canoe next to Don, rowing upstream and feeling the physical fatigue and pain that comes along with that kind of strenuous task that he began to understand just how much of a beast Don was as he listened to his stories from experiences as a Navy SEAL Team SIX Commando. Kaleb says he grew close to Don and very much respected his skill set and experience. In general, he says that all the cast members looked up to and respected their peers for the skills and knowledge that they brought to the table.
Kaleb says going into the competition he didn’t think the journey would be as hard as it ended up being. Is it really as hard as they make it seem? That’s a question Kaleb says he gets often and one that he can emphatically say “yes” it really is that hard. However, as difficult as it was for the cast, he notes that he was beyond impressed with the camera crew that were working every bit as hard as they were to capture the journey as it unfolded. Lugging around camera equipment and working their tails off, Kaleb says that they were an elite crew that really hustled and honestly weren’t much better off than the cast members themselves. From a viewer’s point of view, you don’t often consider the amount of work it takes to film something like this and Kaleb says both the Brigade members and the crew that surrounded them worked incredibly hard in rough circumstances.
Being hungry was something that they experienced daily, and they did a substantial amount of fishing for their meals. Kaleb says that while he likes to eat fish, he never wants to taste pike again. When the journey began, they would fillet the fish and pick out the bones and carefully cook it. However, Kaleb says it didn’t take long before they were just tossing the fish over the open fire and digging the meat out of the skin, putting it in a coffee cup and mashing it up with some noodles. While it may not seem all that appetizing, Kaleb notes when you’re that hungry it feels like a gourmet meal. As a hunter, what was even harder was traveling through a hunter’s paradise but being stripped of your tools. He didn’t have a bow, gun or even slingshot, they had to be mindful and not take animals out of season and Kaleb says that was difficult. To be so hungry and have the skillset to procure your food but be unable to do so was something that very much wore on him.
The 10-person team couldn’t be more different, each coming from different walks of life. Kaleb says there were clashes in ideas and more specifically politics as they made this trek, however those differences quickly faded when they were faced with the challenges of the trail. Through the rowing portions of the journey the team found themselves tired, cold, hungry, sore and somewhat irritable. But, when it came to the hiking portions of the journey, that’s when the team really bonded as they leaned more heavily on each other for support. Because they were so far back in the wilderness, deep in bear country, they were looking out for each other and working together to properly secure their gear. Kaleb says at some point he realized that everyone was struggling and notes that it’s those moments when “people” become “good people”. It’s in those moments that you find the compassion and generosity in yourself and others. Kaleb says that the differences politics and world views fade away when you see someone falling to their knees. Without a second though, team members helped each other, taking weight from someone else’s pack and shouldering it for them. It was in those moments where everyone was at their best Kaleb says.
“The Brigade: Race to the Hudson” premieres on Outdoor Channel, April 22nd at 8pm ET. It’s an adventure and a history lesson rolled into one incredible show. Follow “The Brigade” as they retrace the York Factory Express, the same route fur traders used more than a century ago. It’s an epic journey Kaleb says, one you’ll want to see to find out if they actually made it to the end. Listen in for a really fun discussion with Kaleb Summers, “The Cowboy” and cast member on “The Brigade”.
Don’t miss the premiere!