Johnny Rolfe
Source: Instagram

'Life Below Zero: Next Generation' Cast Members Test Themselves in the Alaskan Wilderness

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Mar. 16 2021, Updated 12:22 p.m. ET

A spinoff of the original wildly popular Life Below Zero, Life Below Zero: Next Generation is a unique take on its big brother program in that it follows Alaskans who tried a life of comfortable contemporary living and have instead opted to test their luck in the brutal and unforgiving Alaskan wilderness,

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Originally premiering in fall 2020, Next Generation assembled an eclectic cast of individuals who were seemingly fed up with the mundaneness of daily life in a technologically driven society. Unlike their predecessors on the original Life Below Zero, however, much of the cast is entering this dangerous and largely unknown space with little to no real world training on how to survive in the conditions the Alaskan wilderness brings about.

So, who exactly are the members of the Life Below Zero: Next Generation cast, and what are the unique takes they have on the program as a whole? Here's what we know so far.

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life below zero next generation cast
Source: Instagram

Who's on the 'Life Below Zero: Next Generation' cast? Johnny Rolfe is the latest addition.

With the latest additions to the cast being Johnny Rolfe and his dog, he joins the likes of Michael Manzo, Alex Javor, Kaleb and Brittany Rowland, and Chris and Jessi Morse on their individual journeys to find personal fulfillment and ultimately survive the harsh conditions they have chosen to live in.

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Johnny describes himself as an "ethical hunter/gatherer, forager, nomad," and "off grid hermit" who "finally sold out to social media & tv," via his Instagram. A man with a clear penchant for the outdoors, he and his dog, Java, have become mainstays ever since joining the cast.

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Michael Manzo has focused on sustainable studies, something that he puts to use on the show.

According to Alaska Pacific University, Michael was a graduate of their school in 2014 for sustainable studies, and his "winters also involve sustainable transportation honed by Native knowledge. He relies on dog teams to support his winter hunts, feeding his dogs salmon and meat and avoiding gasoline altogether."

Alex Javor isn't here to play games with anyone encroaching on his space.

Alex is next on the cast, and like Johnny, he has both a dog and a cynical, yet funny take on being filmed living in the wilderness. In an Instagram post, he detailed his experience working with National Geographic as such, "If you think I’m gonna have some LA people come up here and tell me what to do you’re crazy. I agreed to be on LBZ: next gen because the company operates with journalistic integrity."

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life below zero next generation cast
Source: Instagram

Kaleb and Brittany Rowland represent the show's family unit.

Alongside their children, Gilbert, 6, and Elovie, 4, Kaleb and Brittany are the family unit of the program. A former commercial fisherman, Kaleb opted (with his wife's agreement, of course) to uproot their family and try an existence roughing-it up north. Always willing to do whatever it takes to care for their family, Kaleb and Brittany provide an amazing chemistry that viewers have seemingly enjoyed since the show began.

Chris and Jessi Morse are out to forge a new life for themselves.

Chris and Jessi represent the youngest couple on Next Generation, and despite not having children (yet), they share fundamental knowledge of the outdoors and rely heavily on their ability to chop and process wood for a variety of tasks they need to complete around their cabin. Like Kaleb and Brittany, their dynamic is another now-integral part of how the show carries itself episode to episode.

Life Below Zero: Next Generation airs Thursdays at 9 p.m. EST on National Geographic

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