SEI Native Creek Stewart Leads Fat Guys In The Woods; Reality Show Premiers Sunday
By Mike Perleberg
(Milan, Ind.) – In what was one of the harshest winters in recent history, Milan native Matt “Creek” Stewart found himself stuck in the Appalachian Mountains wilderness with three completely unprepared, overweight, unskilled men.
But Creek persevered, teaching each of the men to light their own fire, gather food, and build a proper shelter.
And the cameras caught it all on tape.
Stewart, a 1994 South Dearborn High School graduate, is the star of a new reality television show titled Fat Guys in the Woods. The series premieres nationwide on The Weather Channel on Sunday, August 10 at 10:00 p.m. eastern.
The show will run for eight episodes with the possibility for a second season if it gains enough viewers.
The premise of the show – its tagline is “Get off the couch and into the weather” – can be easily surmised from its title. Stewart, an outdoor survival expert and trainer based in Anderson, Indiana, escorts three men – nondescript regular Joes used to modern amenities like electricity and grocery stores – into remote locations where they need to rely on their ability to meet minimum requirements for survival.
“No matter where you turn in today’s society, you’re running into something that’s survival-related. I think people are intrinsically interested in facing Mother Nature and seeing who comes out on top,” Stewart told Eagle 99.3 Friday.
“I always say it’s not if, but when. I really believe that these skills matter. I believe that everyone should have some basic survival skills in their mental tool chest.”
HEAR EAGLE 99.3’S BUBBA BO INTERVIEW WITH CREEK STEWART IN THE AUDIO PLAYER BELOW.
Stewart said he’s been asked to appear on other survival-focused television shows, but none were the fit for him. Then one Tuesday afternoon he received a phone call from Los Angeles television producer Evan Goldstein.
“He told me this idea and I loved it. It involves everything I love about what I do. It involves wilderness and self-reliant skills, but it also involved the idea and the concept that wilderness can change people for the positive,” Stewart explains.
The name of the show might be considered outrageous or harsh towards the rookie outdoorsmen, but Stewart says the show’s premise is very serious.
“I take three guys deep into the wilderness to prove that if they can survive a week with me, then they can do anything they put their mind to when they get back home. It’s not a weight loss show. It’s a wakeup call,” Stewart said.
Stewart said there were close calls in each of the eight episodes filmed. He was proud that not a single guest gave up, though circumstances to be revealed when the episodes air prevented some from completing the challenge.
These days, countless survival shows can be viewed on a variety of channels during primetime. Stewart is hopeful that Fat Guys in the Woods stands out.
Stewart isn’t the first southeastern Indiana Hoosier to appear on a reality survival show. One of Stewart’s associates, Aurora native Clint Jivoin, was on an episode of the Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid, which puts survival experts into challenging environments without clothes.
Creek’s mother Margaret Stewart, of Milan, first shared news of her son’s television venture with Eagle 99.3 in July. She told Eagle 99.3 she wouldn’t have watched her son on “that naked show.”
Stewart is a survival trainer and has published books on the subject. You can keep up with Creek Stewart on his website, www.creekstewart.com.