Brace yourself: The newest reality adventure show “The Brigade: Race to the Hudson” has kicked off on the Outdoor Channel, which unites ten strangers to conquer a grueling wilderness canoeing expedition.
Brush aside, for a moment, the notion that you might not see perfect draw and J-strokes all the time. With $500,000 dollars at stake, the plot is a cooperative competition that forces participants to work together as they travel over 750 miles across the York Factory Express – an historic fur trade route legendary for its danger, isolation and beauty. Throughout, they’ll paddle, portage and hike through treacherous waterways and unforgiving terrain, with only 28 days to complete their journey.
Oh yeah, and they have no fuel or GPS. If they can pool their skills, strengths and courage and make it to the end in time, they’ll split the cash prize. But if the team unravels, failure is inevitable. “The Brigade” is not about eliminating foes, maintains the proudcer, but about hanging onto every member against the odds.
Meet the Characters
Your Co-Host: Austin Metheny
Austin is a true outdoorsman in every sense of the word. Not only does he own a successful landscaping business, but Austin’s also a duck hunting and canoe guide, avid hiker, and third-generation whitewater rafting guide with 20 years of experience on the water. During the winter months, he can be found in Panama offshore kayak ﬁshing. Austin is a take charge kind of guy who believes guiding has helped shape him into the man he is today. He’s been known to sleep under the stars in hammocks and was once surprised by a black bear licking the salt off of his backside. Not one to be intimidated, Austin has one goal to accomplish this year: to conquer the York Factory Express.
Your Co-Host: Carley Julien
As a challenged teenager, Carley used the great outdoors as an outlet for her energy and hiked the West Coast Trail with her dad as a coming of age experience when she was 16 years- old. She soon realized expeditions and adventures could be beneﬁcial for other young people and in 2007, helped start a wilderness school for at-risk youth. Carly spent six years teaching kids wilderness, survival, leadership, and communication skills. Fueled by her love of adventure and her fear of complacency, Carley has hiked the Paciﬁc Crest Trail, North Coast Trail, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. When not in her hiking boots, Carley works as a registered nurse. With her compassion for others, medical training, and adventurous spirit, participating in a cooperative expedition is deﬁnitely in Carley’s wheelhouse.
Your Co-host: Don Mann
Don is the oldest team member on The Brigade, and he may also be the wisest. After 21 years as a Navy Seal Team Six Commando, a Seal medic, and leader of several military training missions, this lifetime adventurer has no plans to slow down. Alongside a distinguished military career, Don is one of the original IRONMAN athletes, and a world-class adventure competitor. When he’s not outdoors, he is a motivational speaker and New York Times bestselling author who is currently working on his 16th book. An adventurer at heart, Don attempted the dangerous, sometimes deadly feat of climbing Mount Everest where he nearly lost his life. Having survived avalanches, hypothermia, frostbite and heatstroke, Don’s “never quit” attitude always sees him to the ﬁnish line.
Your Co-host: Dylan Applebaum
Dylan’s love of the outdoors started in his teens on summer canoe trips. He continued to hone his skills in navigation, whitewater paddling, and bush craft into his early 20s. He now shares his knowledge with others as a guide for various summer camps. Dylan credits working with kids for his strong group management acumen. Dylan knows how to leverage the strengths of his group members and how to use his risk assessment skills to remain safe in dangerous situations. For Dylan, being in the outdoors has always felt like a place where he can be himself. Recently, he graduated from the John Molson School of Business and is working towards a CPA degree. His penchant for numbers and navigation are an excellent addition to The Brigade.
Your C-host: Kaleb Summers
As a self-proclaimed adventure adrenaline junkie, Kaleb seeks danger and obstacles that most people choose to avoid. In 2007, Kaleb headed off to Colorado on his ﬁrst mule deer hunt to gain mountain experience and has been back every season since. As an avid hunter, Kaleb’s specialties include archery hunting, steer wrestling and bulldogging. Having received a college scholarship for rodeo, Kaleb is an excellent horseman both in the wilderness and in the ring. But mastering the land just wasn’t enough for this thrill seeker, so Kaleb took to the water and became an expert noodler, winning his ﬁrst of many noodling championships in 2012. Kaleb earns a living as a self-employed subcontractor and considers his no nonsense, common sense approach to life one of his greatest assets.