My name is Laura Zerra, I was dropped in Panama and given no food, water or clothing. All I had to keep me company was a Machete and a Naked Stranger. We survived the harsh Panamanian environment for 21 days for Discovery Channel's TV Show Naked and afraid.


My website:

youtube link:

I will be answering any questions you have about Me, the TV Show, Zerra Expeditions or Antlers.

This is the end of today's AMA.

Thanks for all your questions guys!! I'll be posting a video with some of my favorite questions soon. Time to hit the river :)

I'd also like to send a huge "THANK YOU!!!" to Michael Loggia and Zubair Parkar of Metis Counsel for all their help and making this AMA Possible!

Update 9/6/2013

As promised, here is the video with some of your questions! Thanks everyone!

Comments: 171 • Responses: 45  • Date: 

-Grazzhoppa25 karma

how was that first shower after naked and afraid?

which was worse: being naked or being afraid?

laurazerra29 karma

Un. Fucking. Believable.

NWAIA22 karma

Your co star was a such a whiner. How did you keep from beating the crap out of him?

laurazerra31 karma

Hey, I gotta say, I wasn't perfect out there either. You'd be surprised at what the lack of sleep, food, and basic amenities does to your mental state. Clint and I got through most situations with a sense of humor, honesty, and our mutual "well, fuck it!" attitude.

Mass_Hole15 karma

Enjoyed your episode. How come the woman are always stronger than the men? Not really a question anyone can answer, but I found that fascinating! Also, you and my wife are the only two things to come out of NH attractive!

laurazerra20 karma

Most fascinating for me is how many people assume attractive women can't be total badasses!

EldestPort14 karma

What's the scariest situation you've been in?

laurazerra21 karma

I've been feet away from grizzlies, swam with sharks, alligators, and crocodiles, hopped freight trains and hitchhiked from Guatemala to Canada and across the US from east to west several times. But scariest? Probably driving a car every day.

fullautophx10 karma

You actually feel physical fear when you get into a car to drive?

laurazerra27 karma

I guess its more of an awareness that my life is in the hands of every drunk texting idiot that decides to get behind a wheel and share the road with me.

garyukuleleca13 karma

Hi Laura, thought you and Ky were the best (& the best butts too, hehe). How did you avoid getting completely sunburned?

laurazerra17 karma

Good genetics :)

Midge9612 karma

I haven't watched any of Naked and afraid, tell me why I should watch it?

laurazerra17 karma

Um, other than the obvious, that you get to see me?? ;)

ToTheBoneZone12 karma

First off, NH represent! Did not expect find that out when learning about the show. Secondly You were with another naked stranger during the show... Surprised no ones asked this yet, any sparks fly doing your show?

Naked sparks

laurazerra16 karma

I'm pumping my fist in your general direction from the White Mountains as we speak. And to quote myself from episode 7, "there was NOTHING romantic about it"! That's a no.

pez5432110 karma

What was it like having (clothed) camera men filming you all day? Did you ever have any privacy?

laurazerra19 karma

It's amazing how quickly you forget anyone else is there.

surfvivalist10 karma

Want to go on a backpacking trip with a few cool chicks in California?

laurazerra12 karma

Hell yea!! Where are we going??

surfvivalist9 karma

Sweet! Lets do a week on the PCT!

laurazerra11 karma

hit me up on my facebook fan page :)

dannyboy7019 karma

Do you have a Boyfriend?

laurazerra21 karma

is this a proposition? ;)

zennk8 karma

Your episode was awesome! My Q: Did the camera men/production crew ever have to advise you guys?

laurazerra10 karma

It was like being in a zoo. We knew they were there, but they were observing and recording, not instructing.

Inktopian8 karma

Are you into this stuff just for something to do? (As in, it's fun) or is it more like you believe the end of organized civilization is a real possibility? Basically, what's up with the survivalism?

laurazerra20 karma

It gives me freedom. I have less strings attached... I don't have to rely on others to meet my basic needs... I can be in remote wild places, have crazy adventures, and be comfortable. That's freedom.

UnrealSlimShady8 karma

Okay, serious but perhaps nsfw/tmi question: For most adults, I would think 21 days is a loooong time to go without any sexual stimulation. Did you find any "alone time" to take care of those needs/urges? Or does the survival situation damper/hinder those urges??

laurazerra19 karma

I definitely had more important things to worry about. Not dying being one. :) Also... what alone time??

Frajer8 karma

Do you think the popularity of the Hunger Games will inspire others to do similar things?

laurazerra11 karma

I sure hope so!!

danimaltime8 karma

The first time I saw naked and afraid was your episode, you got me hooked! BTW, at what point does being naked feel "normal" or become "comfortable", especially around a stranger.

laurazerra9 karma

When your survival is at stake. When you have no guaranteed food, shelter, or water, you get over the little things pretty damn quick.

HolmesSherlockHolmes8 karma

Is it awkward? Being naked and all...

laurazerra10 karma

Not for me! Would YOU feel awkward??

HolmesSherlockHolmes21 karma


laurazerra12 karma


garyukuleleca8 karma

Did you have any lasting physical effects from the experience that took time to heal?

laurazerra15 karma

My cut was right over the joint on my left hand, and it still doesn't quite bend all the way from the scar tissue. And, my body still wants to be in survival mode, expecting the next lapse in calories.... building muscle is harder than it used to be, my body wants to take all the resources it gets and store fat.

Henryparson7 karma

I'm way late to the party. No questions. Just a great show and my daughter and I agree the women were way more tough and seemingly psychologically sound than the men. We also agreed you would be the most physically and mentally attractive person to do the show with.

laurazerra7 karma

Better late than never! and thank you! :)

ChunkyPee7 karma

Where would you consider the toughest spots in the States to do a Naked & Afraid episode?

laurazerra12 karma

After seeing what Billy and Ky put up with, I'd say the bayou!! Although, anything super high altitude with low resources would suck. and winter. I'm not a huge fan of long term naked snow activities.

IShotTheSheriph7 karma

When was the naked stranger most useful to you?

laurazerra15 karma

Clint stepped in when my body was failing me and cranked out a bowdrill coal, finally getting us fire. One of many of his contributions.

count_phistula7 karma

What 3-5 things can you recommend that someone should always have with them when they head out into the wilderness?

laurazerra11 karma

I'd be pretty comfortable with a metal knife, a metal pot, and a length of parachute cord.

count_phistula6 karma

Thanks! This totally made me realize I did not pack any cord for my trek this weekend. I'm thinking I'll go naked for shits and giggles.

laurazerra7 karma

I support you!! Watch out for bugs.

jalmes6 karma

At any point did you think that you were seriously not going to survive?

laurazerra6 karma

The most intense thing I had to deal with was the swelling of my feet, and eventually lips and face, with the thousands of chitra bites. I try to be an optimist, but, it did cross my mind that if something happened at 3 am I'd probably be screwed.

hilaryhess6 karma

Hey Laura! Excited to hear that you'll be back at Doe Camp ( teaching a survival class this fall! What would you do to survive a Vermont winter?

laurazerra26 karma

Start walking south ;)

Gravy-Leg__6 karma

You got to bring a survival item with you. If you had to do it again, would you select the same item?

laurazerra9 karma


bellekid4 karma

What were the best and worst things you were able to eat during your time on Naked and Afraid?

laurazerra11 karma

Best... the guaba fruit. It didn't make the edit, but its a big bean pod that contains white fleshy fruit around a seed. It takes like vanilla ice cream and it rocked my world. Worst... raw snails. Not because of the taste, but because you can never get all the shell out of the meat and its like "nails on a chalkboard" on your teeth.

dannyboy7014 karma

Id LOVE to see you in person someday. Im an hour from the Georgia coast and would LOVE to make that reality if you ever visit there.

laurazerra5 karma

oooo I should do a chigger survival course... they might be a close second to chitras!

TheDavkas4 karma

Hi Laura, First off, You are extremely beautiful, and your skills make me melt. Secondly, If you were given the option to experience Naked and Afraid again, but you get to choose where you go. Would you do it, and where would you go?

laurazerra11 karma

Hey, thanks! I would jump at the opportunity. I'd go to Mongolia. And capture a horse. And a golden eagle to hunt with.

champagne_and_ripple4 karma

Antler enthusiast???

laurazerra8 karma

Antler obsessed. Antler crazed. What, is that weird??

champagne_and_ripple4 karma

I don't know, but there is a definite possibility. I'm not sure I understand. Do you collect, wear, just obsess over things with antlers? What does it mean?

laurazerra11 karma

I like finding shed antlers, looking at other antlers people have found, or seeing animals with cool antlers growing out of their freakin' skull.. how crazy is that???? it grows out of their HEAD every year!!!!

beachi3 karma

What do you do with the antlers you collect?

laurazerra5 karma

Obsess over them. Oh, and give some away as gifts if I'm feeling super nice. I think selling them is sacrilegious.

juschels1 karma

I can't wait til I find my first set of antlers. I'm an outdoors woman myself, mostly into archery, and my goal is to make a mini antler chandelier with found antlers one day! :)

laurazerra2 karma

Be careful, once you find one, you'll never stop looking for more! :) Hey, there are worse addictions... good luck!!!

mackenziecole3 karma

You've been through some rough things the last few years, did any of them help you get through Panama?

laurazerra3 karma

YES! all of them. Naked and Afraid presented a completely unique experience that the rest of my crazy life prepared me for.

shrance843 karma

I have always wanted to start a blog, mainly focusing on outdoor activities/survival and traveling the globe. How did you start your site and what was difficult about it? How do you make the funds to live an outdoor lifestyle such as yours?

Also, I'm an antler enthusiast myself. My old email started with antleredboy, I collected sheds during the summer, and I love venison. The last shed I found was only the left side and was quite weathered. I left it at our hunting camp and one of the dumb fucks in our camp cleaned it up with sandpaper because he thought it was ugly looking. I don't hunt there anymore.

laurazerra4 karma

AND hello to a fellow antler hunter :)

laurazerra4 karma

I contacted my amazing web guru/specialist in everything Michael Loggia of Metis Counsel .... I'm a backcountry girl, and I don't have time to figure that stuff out, so it was awesome to just be able to vomit info at someone and have them create a cohesive and beautiful site(s). As far as funds go... I'm an opportunist.... and can survive with nothing but a machete :)

UnrealSlimShady2 karma

Naked and Afraid is the one show my wife and two boys all watch together -- we love it. Our biggest question/wonder: it's obvious you guys were hungry given how much weight you all lose. Can you describe as best as possible how hungry you were? We're you tempted to eat things you knew you shouldn't? Was it the hungriest you have ever been in your life?

laurazerra1 karma

It's really funny, food wasn't an option, so I never felt the hunger pains I'd experience when I, for example, miss lunch. It makes me wonder how much of it is emotional for me. But, around day 7, I started fantasizing about eating cheese pizza, something I don't normal eat in everyday life. Definitely my body craving fats. It was definitely the longest I've gone eating so little while burning so many calories.. but not the hungriest I've FELT.

HolmesSherlockHolmes2 karma

Would you call naked and afraid a good or bad experience? If given the choice, would you do it again?

laurazerra7 karma

An incredibly good experience. I live for that shit. I'd do it again in a heartbeat.

billy_zeitgeist2 karma

I watched a lot of episodes and noticed, only once, that the woman had hair on her legs. Most everyone else didn't have any pit or leg hair. Am I wrong or did you come up with a clever way to shave?

laurazerra3 karma

I wish!!!!! I think I scratched most of mine off trying to get at the chitra bites.

billy_zeitgeist1 karma

You guys came up with a way to brush and floss. Was this only personal hygiene you had? I imagine going to the bathroom, so to speak, was awkward.

laurazerra5 karma

All I have to say about that is that when you're expending that much more than you're consuming... it's not really an issue.

que_shiraz2 karma

Can we get a few hundred acres of land in Vermont, get married, and live off the land forever?

laurazerra6 karma

Make it Idaho and you have a deal!

tony19551 karma

hello laura

laurazerra1 karma


brbman20021 karma

Laura, first of all I want to say thank you for doing this AMA! My questions for you are about the extreme weight loss you endured. I am intrigued by the lasting effects of survival weight loss on the body. Did you find it hard to get back into a normal routine without overdoing it and how long did it take you to get back to a normal weight for you? Last one, did you notice any effects on your mental profile or physical detriment to your organs?

laurazerra5 karma

YES! No one thinks about that. My body wants to store everything as fat. I was gaining two pounds a day upon my return. Muscle takes forever to put on. It wreaks havoc on your hormones. I'm still not back to normal weight. The lack of sleep was definitely more notable on my mental state than the hunger. There were days that felt like walking through a dream.