Alex Mileham survives in Tassie’s wilderness for a living.


As the Chief Instructor at Survival Courses Tasmania (SCT), Alex knows a thing or two about keeping warm, and your cool, when surviving in the wild.

I chatted with him about the upcoming season of Alone Australia and what people underestimate about bush survival.

Which ten of the 41 possible items listed would you choose to help you survive in the Tassie wild? 

  • Survival/outdoor knife
  • Fire steel/Flint
  • Axe
  • Tarp
  • Paracord
  • 1-litre water bottle
  • Cloth tape
  • Metal pot
  • Fishing line and hooks (although we teach you how to improvise these on SCT’s courses)
  • Small sewing kit

Read more: Our First Reactions to the 41 Approved Gear Items For Alone Australia

If you were on Alone Australia, what would be the first thing you’d do when dropped in the wild? 

I’d look for the best possible location for where I’d build my shelter. Then, I’d build my shelter and get firewood – you’re going to need plenty of it.

Read more: Alone Australia Has Revealed the 10 Contestants for Season 1

In your opinion what’s the most useful skill or knowledge to have as a contestant on Alone?

Comprehensive survival training would seriously help, but knowing how to light a fire and what it takes to light one with different materials and in all kinds of weather conditions, terrains, and altitudes etc. would be crucial.

What’s something people often overlook when thinking about surviving in the wild? 

That things are going to go wrong! It doesn’t go the way you think it’ll likely go. You have to be fluid and, more importantly, you have to accept in your mind that things often aren’t going to work for you – and not let these little failures get you down, because that’s what will get to you in the end.

It’s a downward spiral if you let the negative things affect you badly. Accept that it will likely go wrong, and don’t give up, or move on to the next task and come back to it.

Read more: Alone Australia Season 2 is Casting Now

In your opinion, which environment is the most difficult to survive in? 

The desert would definitely be the hardest, in my opinion.

What’s the biggest mistake people often make when alone in the bush? 

They panic. Once they panic…this can really override everything else and affect their decision-making abilities (which is critical in the wild).

Plus it would restrict them massively from what ‘survival psychology’ teaches us, which helps them to break things down into bite-sized chunks, in order for them to overcome the situation they’re in. Survival psychology is something we teach here at SCT.

Would you ever sign up for Alone yourself? Why or why not?

Personally, unlikely. There are two types of survival – static and dynamic. We have to remember that Alone is designed to be good entertainment (and it is!) and it’s a competition. Alone is an example of static survival.

Contestants can’t try to hike out of there to seek rescue. In a real-life survival situation – assuming you still have a heartbeat and either one or two legs working – you should really be trying to hike out of there to get to rescue faster.

Want to learn how to survive in the wild?

Alex runs regular survival courses in Tasmania’s wilderness. 

Check it out! 

Survival Courses Tasmania


Alone Australia premieres Wednesday 29th of March at 7:30pm on SBS! Don’t miss it!

Read more: How to Host an Alone Australia Viewing Party


Feature image thanks to Alex Mileham