Fowler, as he’s known, was born in Vermont, where he grew up enjoying outdoor adventures with his parents. After high school, he studied boat building in Maine and discovered such a knack for it, that he began building boats as a career. At age 21, he permanently moved to coastal Maine and bought two and a half acres of rugged, wooded land. During this time, he spent his days making boats, and every free moment playing in the wilderness. Zach and his family started a self-sufficient lifestyle, living in a hand-built home that included a yurt to pursue their dream of living off-grid.
After successfully applying to History Channel's hit survival show Alone and beating out 5,000 other applicants, Fowler and 9 other contestants were each sent into the the wild Andes Mountains of Patagonia with 10 carefully selected survival items and camera equipment to document their solo adventures, separated from the modern world and human contact, to survive as long as possible. The last person standing would walk away with the half-million dollar prize. After 87 days surviving alone eating only 63 fish and 2 birds, the producer and Zach's wife showed up to tell him that he was the winner.
The prize money changed everything for the Fowler family. Upon returning home, and after the show aired, the family chose to move out of the woods and buy a home. Fowler has also left the boat building industry and is a full time YouTuber, producing a series called "87 Days", reviewing all the Survival and Bushcraft tricks that kept him alive for so long. He also produces videos about slingshot shooting and Vlogging about what it is like to win $500,000.