SANFORD, Maine — What happens when two complete strangers are dropped into one of the most extreme environments on the planet and have to survive on their own without food, water, and clothes?
Sanford’s own Charlene “Cheeny” Plante could tell you, but then she’d be a spoiler. To see for yourself what happens, you’ll need to catch Plante in the upcoming episode of “Naked and Afraid,” the reality show on the Discovery Channel, this Sunday, April 10, at 8 p.m. The show also streams on Discovery+.
“You will see me put my skills to the test in the wild land of South Africa,” Plante said in an interview earlier this week. “You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, and you’ll be proud to be a Mainer!”
Plante was born and raised in Sanford and graduated from Sanford High School in 2008. Producers of the show discovered her on social media and approached her about doing an episode for the series, which is currently in its 14th season. A look at her hobbies and interests suggests why she was a shoo-in for the show.
“I love backpacking and camping,” she said. “I’m used to being out somewhere for a long time, and I prefer it that way.”
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Plante agreed to do the program – and sure enough, found herself, naked and afraid, somewhere in South Africa for the shoot last August.
How long was Plante out there, trying to survive in the wild? That and other details are under wraps until viewers tune in this weekend.
“I can’t give details on the length of the shoot, unfortunately,” she said.
What Plante can say is what she enjoyed about the experience.
“I made sure to watch the sunrise and sunset every day from my shelter,” she said. “Nothing could ever beat the night sky out there, either, with the hyenas and baboons in the background, making a ruckus.”
And what did she find most challenging? The boredom, she said.
“You don’t always fall asleep right away, and some days you have to relax and conserve energy,” she said. “There aren’t any books to read when you are waiting for your water to boil.”
Pilots Cove Cafe, located at 199 Airport Road in Sanford, will host a viewing of the episode this Sunday. Plante has to work and will not be able to attend, she said. Professionally, she is doing a “little bit of everything at the moment,” including painting houses and working on a fishing boat.
“My interests and hobbies are always changing,” she said. “My life has many chapters.”
And viewers will glimpse one of those chapters when they catch “Naked and Afraid” on Sunday.
“My resourcefulness really came in handy!” Plante said.
This article originally appeared on Portsmouth Herald: Maine woman braves the wild on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’