Age: 31 years old
Occupation: Registered Nurse; American Red Cross CPR & First Aid Instructor
Current Residence: La Crosse, WI
Relationship Status: Married for 10 years
Survival Skills: Wild edibles, Shelter construction, Bow drill, Hunting, Fishing, Water purification, First aid
Born and raised near the rural farming community of Lansing, Iowa, nestled along the Mississippi River, Debbie was exposed to a variety of survival skills early in life. Her parents owned and operated a bait shop for numerous years, where she helped pick nightcrawlers, fished for crayfish, and hunted for frogs to sell at the shop. Spending most of her time in the outdoors she developed her strong work ethic and love of nature: gardening, fishing, hunting, and foraging wild edibles on their 100-acre property were a part of daily life.
During her twenties, Debbie completed nursing school and moved to Flagstaff, Arizona in 2004. There she met her husband. After starting their family, they relocated to La Crosse, Wisconsin in 2007. The past decade of her lfie she has focused on working and raising her family as a busy mother of three amazing children.
With her kids getting older and more independent, Debbie has had more time for herself to get back in touch with nature. Expanding upon the survival skills she gleaned in her early years, she took an extensive wilderness survival course to include primitive fire starting, shelter construction, and water purification techniques. She practices survival skills with her children as she feels these skills are important for them to be aware of; she feels even the basic knowledge of survival can be the difference between a positive and negative outcome in a situation. Fitness and wellness are vital to her life, and she incorporates that passion into her family life. Debbie enjoys endurance challenges and has completed many half marathons, four marathons, and triathlon. Her favorite sport is trail running which combines her two loves: running and nature.
Debbie is always pushing herself beyond her so-called limits; she enjoys doing what may seem to others as crazy or impossible. Although some of her survival skills are fairly new, she is confident and feels her ability to stay calm under pressure, her mental toughness, and positive attitude will help her get through the challenge. She looks forward to being immersed in nature throughout the challenge, where she draws inspiration.