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t’s no exaggeration that Matt Wright is Naked and Afraid’s alpha hunter.

Above: Matt stalks prey with a knife in hand and an indomitable spirit in his heart. (Photo: David E. West)

Time and time again, Matt, needing sustenance to keep his body and mind performing at top capacity, could be seen carrying a large, wild game animal over his shoulder or a string of fish secured within his hand. Every catch gave him the energy to continue on—whether grouped with his fellow survivors or running solo—while in the wilds of a foreign land. In addition to being self-sufficient in the outdoors, Matt is also a custom knife maker. He uses his experiences in real-life scenarios to help him perfect the knives he creates and maximize their multiple uses in the outdoors, whether hunting, fishing, constructing shelter or creating fire.

16 KNIVES ILLUSTRATED • MAY/JUNE 2019

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"'A FIXED-BLADE IS ALWAYS WHERE MY HEART LIES. IT CAN BE USED IN A GREATER RANGE OF SITUATIONS.'" Now, this “juggernaut” of the outdoor world takes time out from stalking prey and forging his creations to talk about his past adventures, his time on Discovery Channel’s most physically and mentally challenging show and the pleasure of creating a knife from raw product to a polished beauty—using his own mighty two hands.

An Early Start Opposite page: Matt, with an arrow ready to fly, keeps a focused gaze upon his target. (Photo: David E. West)

Knives Illustrated: You have been immersed in nature from a very young age. Was it because of your parents or another mentor in your life? Or was it something you desired deep down inside you?

Matt Wright: From the time I learned to walk, my parents gave me the permission to immerse myself in the outdoors. They were my biggest influences to explore and do more as far back as I can remember. KI: Traditional archery and other primitive weapons were prominent in your early years. How did that passion begin? MW: As a young child, I preferred the harder, more primitive ways to challenge myself. I’ve always enjoyed the added challenge of primitive skills and traditional archery to test myself.

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Profile for Knives Illustrated

Knives Illustrated May/Jun 2019  

Knives Illustrated May/Jun 2019, The Zieba Knives, BushCraft Vision : The Lagom Collaboration, A Touch of Style : 5 Custom Gentleman's Folde...

Knives Illustrated May/Jun 2019  

Knives Illustrated May/Jun 2019, The Zieba Knives, BushCraft Vision : The Lagom Collaboration, A Touch of Style : 5 Custom Gentleman's Folde...