Melissa Miller came to recognition after appearing in Discovery Channel's primitive survival challenge reality show, “Naked & Afraid.” In the Season 7 finale “Worlds Collide”, she survived 3 weeks in the Amazon Jungle with only a fishing line, knife, and fire starter. After achieving success in her 21 day challenge, Melissa was asked back to compete in the “Naked & Afraid XL All Stars” challenge where she had to survive 40 days in the Selati Basin of South Africa primitively.
Born and raised in America's high-five, Melissa spent most of her life in the outskirts of her hometown Fenton, Michigan. A country girl, she roamed the woods barefoot catching frogs, snakes and turtles in the creeks along her neighborhood. She learned how to fish when she was 4 years old, entering local fishing competitions and spending countless hours on the edge of her family's dock.
With her passion for wildlife, Melissa entered college as a biology major and ended with an education degree. During college, she also studied multiple natural sciences, tree and plant identification, and Native American studies, developing an admiration for the ways of survival in the indigenous tribes. She became passionate about foraging wildflowers, plants, and fungi for edible and medicinal uses. During this time, she began to develop a love for living off the land and using only natural resources in survival. Entirely self-taught, she worked on primitive fishing techniques, trapping, primitive fire making, and shelter building. Upon graduation, she became a Park Naturalist at a Michigan nature preservation where she now leads hikes, constructs outreach programs, and teaches all ages about wilderness survival, botany and organic gardening, insects, animals, fungi, and other natural sciences.
Aside from nature and survival, Melissa competes in trail races, sprint triathlons, and obstacle racing. A thrill seeker, she is involved in mountain biking, cycling, skiing, hiking, kayaking, and climbing as a part of her workout regime, always looking for new ways to challenge her body and mind. Melissa is passionate about wildlife conservation and educating children on the benefits of getting outdoors.