POCATELLO — One of eastern Idaho’s reality TV stars is looking for his next big adventure — and this time he’s set his sights on something very different than anything he’s done before.
“Naked & Afraid” star Jeff Zausch wants to go to the North Pole — and he needs local support to do it.
Zausch is hoping to compete in the Fjällräven Polar, a weeklong, 300 kilometer dogsled race deep inside the Arctic Circle at the northernmost reaches of Norway and Sweden. The annual event is hosted by Swedish company Fjällräven, which sells winter apparel.
“I’ve never truly done an Arctic expedition, but it’s been on my bucket list for years,” Zausch said. “I love the cold and the snow, and the thought of being able to travel 300 kilometers on open snow covered plains — to me that’s what happiness is.”
Fjällräven chooses two people from every continent to participate, Zausch said. Part of its selection process is done through online voting. One of the two people chosen from each continent is the person with the most votes. The other is chosen by a Fjällräven jury.
Right now Zausch is ranked third in North America out of several thousand applicants. He is asking for the local community to vote for him, to increase his chances of being selected for the expedition.
Zausch is well-known for taking opportunities to survive in places with extreme climates. The Pocatello native has spent 121 days nude in the wilderness for Discovery’s “Naked and Afraid.” He spent 21 days in the Madagascar desert, 40 days in a Colombia jungle, and in the newest season of “Naked and Afraid XL,” which aired in June, Zausch survived 60 days inside a jungle in the Philippines.
During his last expedition, Zausch contracted meningitis and became severely sick. He spent weeks in a hospital in Dallas, Texas. He tells EastIdahoNews.com he has spent the last 10 months recovering and training for his next adventure. He hopes this is the one.
“There is no prize for the end of the Fjällräven Polar,” Zausch said. “It’s all about the experience and doing something that very few people have ever done.”
If chosen for the Fjällräven Polar, Zausch will spend time in Sweden training for the expedition, which begins March 30, 2020 and ends on April 5, 2020. The expedition is not broadcast on television, but it is documented and shown on the internet.
Learn more about the Fjällräven Polar here. Voting for the expedition ends on Dec. 6.