Matt Wright: Naked and Afraid Allstar

Naked and Afraid has been around for many seasons, and its fanbase has been growing steadily over the years, creating an army of hobby survivalists along the way. Some have even turned from audience into applicants and, ultimately, participants. 

Watching people scale unfamiliar terrain in search of prey or shelter tells the experienced viewer whether new contestants know what they are doing.

One to always pass the test is Matt Wright, seven-times Naked and Afraid veteran, supreme hunter, custom knife maker, survival instructor, and public speaker.

If there is more you want to know about the seemingly indestructible reality star, we’ve got you covered!

Matt Wright’s Age, Height, & Body Measurements

Wright, the Naked & Afraid contestant, stands at a height of 5 feet and 8 inches (approximately).

Early life, Parents, Education

“Savage” Matt Wright was born in Denver, Colorado. The diehard bowhunter grew up loving to hunt, and his passion led to him “harvesting” his first elk at 12. 

He credits his parents with never pressuring him into choosing a profession he wouldn’t be enthusiastic about.

He went to college on a baseball scholarship until an arm injury ended his young career.

Professional Career

Matt says that his passion for business goes all the way back to 2005. At a young age and eager to take on as many jobs as he could, Matt tried himself in welding, installing technical equipment, running heavy machinery, and guiding hunting parties.

The latter gave him the most pleasure, and he knew that this was something he wanted to pursue professionally. He started his career in survivalism by making custom knives and selling them to his hunting clients.

At about 20 knifes a year, the business wasn’t huge, but it gave him enough validation to start teaching survival classes.

The first classes he ever taught were to homeless people. He thought he could make their life a little easier by showing them how to catch fish, make bigger shelters or add insulation. 

That was an awarding experience and put Matt on the path to starting his company, Extreme Instinct LLC. 

After joining the air force, he used his expertise to expand the army’s training by teaching other military members advanced survivalist skills and even taking orders for custom knives.

Unfortunately, he suffered an injury that led him to go back to Colorado as a civilian, hunting and climbing. 

Eventually, he met his future wife, which he describes as the “flame under my fire.”

With a marketing degree, Brook Benham saw big potential in Matt’s early ventures and helped him gain more visibility with an online shop, resulting in an explosion of custom knife orders. 

Matt Wright on Naked and Afraid

The Colorado resident has spent more time on the popular Discovery network series than anyone, and he’s the first contestant to ever kill a large game animal on the show.

In addition to surviving the Amazon jungles twice, Matt conquered the Atchafalaya Basin in Louisiana for 60 days, made it through Naked and Afraid Sharks in the Bahamas, and completed 60 days in Africa.

Before embarking on the epic “Savage Solo” journey, he spent 21 days in Thailand’s Jungle and was in the Amazon jungle for Naked and Afraid XL 3.

If that’s not enough, he took an inexperienced fan of Naked and Afraid on a 21-day challenge in South Africa and a People Magazine journalist to the jungles of Belize.

It’s fair to say that he’s done everything there is to do on the show!

But don’t let the “Savage” part scare you off – he’s actually quite gentle. While he’s never looking to be the alpha dog, his fellow participants often choose him as their pack leader due to his incredible survival skills, mastery on primitive weapons and knowledge of the outdoors.

He’s been featured in numerous magazines, including Men’s Journal, Outdoor Life, Outside, National Geographic Adventure, Popular Science, The New York Times, USA Today, and Wired.

An encounter with flesh-eating bacteria

Wright is used to being exposed to all sorts of challenges on some of his Naked and Afraid adventures. But one encounter came dangerously close to taking a serious chunk out of him.

During his stint in the Ecuador Amazon basin, Matt found that a flesh-eating bacteria was eating away at his toes excessively. “You can almost watch it eat away flesh,” he quipped.

He thinks he contracted the aquatic bacteria while moving dirt on the river floor during fishing. 

matt wright flesh eating bacteria

Wright was forced to tap out after his test results showed that he had developed necrotizing fasciitis. He was forced to stay in an Ecuadorian hospital for seven days, attached to an IV and receiving antibiotics.

On a positive note, his doctor reassured him that this experience did not increase his chances of contracting the bacteria again in the future.

Animal killings on Naked and Afraid

Among Naked and Afraid diehards, Matt is known for being the first person to introduce real-world hunting to the show. 

After going out and killing a wild boar in the Amazon, a stunned film crew had to decide whether to follow along while Matt gutted and processed the animal.

From the perspective of a professional hunter, this was business as usual. For the production team, however, it marked the beginning of a much more ‘raw and real approach to filming the show.

Expecting backlash from animal activists after the airing of episodes with wildlife killings, Matt was pleasantly surprised to get mostly positive feedback. The audience was impressed with his showing of appreciation and emotions for the animals he killed.

Matt claims to even have converted a PETA member into a supporter of the show after receiving a call from her. She told him she’d been watching the show and loved seeing how Matt treated the animals.

“There are people who watch the show who have never seen anything like it,” he said. “They’re just blown away by how good we were with the animals.”

How does Matt prepare for Naked and Afraid?

The show’s production team gives the contestants anywhere from 6 days to 2 months’ notice to get ready for the show. Once Matt gets the casting call, the first thing he does is go out and walk barefoot.

Since he’s done 7 of these challenges, he tries to always keep his feet in a “state of readiness.” That includes walking in the snow!

And of course, this Naked and Afraid Allstar keeps his traditional bow and atlatl hunting skills sharp.

He says, “I’m a hunter. I’ve hunted since I was a kid. It’s what I know best.”

Personal life and relationships

Wright has been married to Brooke Benham Wright since June 26, 2016. He and his wife appeared as a couple on season 10 of Naked & Afraid. They are one of the first married couples to appear together on the Discovery Channel series Naked & Afraid. In their own words, “a couple that hunts and gathers together, stays together.”

Matt Wright’s Net worth

Wright has an estimated net worth of $500K – $1 million. 

What is Matt Wright doing now?

Today, Extreme Instinct LLC serves clients in two locations, Colorado and Florida. It offers adventure tours, survival classes, custom knives, and other gear for survival.

The couple’s business is also famous for its all-natural Beef Jerky, which regularly sells out!

In addition, Matt and his wife are sought-after public speakers. They have regular appearances at outdoor expos and on survivalist shows and podcasts, where they love to mingle with a dedicated community.

We are convinced that we haven’t seen the last of Matt Wright yet. We can only hope that he’ll soon be back again on Discovery Channel’s Naked and Afraid!

Update: Matt is a contestant on the brand-new Naked and Afraid: Last one Standing. We wish him the best of luck!