Nicole Apelian

Season 5

Age: 48
Raymond, WA
Wilderness Living Skills Instructor

Nicole’s passions range from living and teaching wilderness living skills (fire, water, shelter, trapping, foraging, etc.) to prepping/emergency preparedness to her deep knowledge of medicinal plants and herbal medicine. Nicole grew up in Massachusetts and connected with nature at an early age. Her first exposure to true wilderness living however, began while working as a field biologist in Botswana in the mid 90s. Following a job as a game warden with the US Peace Corps, she began tracking and researching lions in Southern Africa and immediately fell in love with the African landscapes and the San Bushmen’s way of life. Already having a Master’s degree in biology, she later completed her doctorate while working with the San Bushmen. After developing strong relationships within the tribe, Nicole learned many of the primitive skills and ways she practices and teaches today.

At home in the Pacific Northwest, she makes her own herbal medicines from local plants as part of her healthy living strategy after being diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis in 2000. This diagnosis changed her lifestyle and eating habits, but didn’t deter her from becoming one of the founders and primary guides of her own tracking and wildlife safari company, as well as being an adjunct professor at Prescott College. There, she brings her passion for nature connection, indigenous knowledge, ethnobotany and research to her graduate students.

Nicole also thrives as a personal wellness and life coach helping people develop personalized holistic life plans, especially as related to autoimmune issues, and has her own herbal medicinal apothecary line. She teaches workshops on her land in Oregon and Washington, and also travels to teach skills across the globe. She will miss her home, but will gain strength from thinking about her two sons back in the Pacific NW.

After spending 57 days on Vancouver Island during Season 2, Nicole is excited to test her skills living off the land in this challenging foreign environment. She is grateful for all her mentors and supporters and is sure to channel them when facing the many challenges that await her in the wilds of Mongolia.

Here are the ten items Nicole selected to bring on her survival journey to Mongolia:

1. Knife
2. Saw
3. Sleeping bag
4. Ferro rod
5. Multitool
6. Pot
7. Fishing line and hooks
8. Gill net
9. Trapping wire
10. Food ration