Experts agree there are some very basic - and universal - rules for surviving in the wild. Find shelter, find water, find food, find help. Beyond that, there's not much they agree on. Meet ...
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Dave and Cody take on a lost hiker scenario in the sweltering jungles of Laos. The items given to them for their journey include typical (or not so typical!) items a backpacker might carry: a 35 mm ...
A group of amateur survivalists are put to the ultimate test in the wild for 40 days with nothing but a few primitive tools. No food. No clothing. No water. They must hunt and gather whatever they need until extraction day.
Each week, a new pair of total strangers are faced with the ultimate survival challenge: survive for 21 days together with no clothes or supplies in some of the most dangerous environments ... See full summary »
Experts agree there are some very basic - and universal - rules for surviving in the wild. Find shelter, find water, find food, find help. Beyond that, there's not much they agree on. Meet military trained Dave Canterbury and naturalist Cody Lundin - trained survival experts who have very different methods of meeting survival challenges. Together, with their drastically different backgrounds, the pair are dropped into scenarios that could happen to anyone: marooned sailors, lost hikers, trapped divers and stranded mountain climbers. Equipped with minimal gear that would have been carried in the real-life situations, Cody and Dave must draw upon their arsenal of skills to devise extraordinary ways to use what they can find in their surroundings to demonstrate what it takes to stay alive.Written by
I haven't given a ranking, because I have no way of judging how accurate the survival information presented is. Which is what the program is supposed to be about. But it's actually about personal conflict. (More about that later.)
As human beings have become increasingly effete (the word means weak, not effeminate), programs about "survival in the wild" have become increasingly popular. Discovery has three or four shows about "making it" in Alaska alone.
I find it "quaint" that viewers actually believe the participants are in real danger. Only in "Naked and Afraid" do they seem to run any real risk, mostly because they're dumped in areas where there's little or no fresh water or food. Accidents can occur and mistakes made, but the producers aren't stupid enough to take chances. Serious injury or death could result in embarrassing lawsuits, regardless of how cleverly written the contracts are.
The underlying purpose of these shows is to create conflict -- people arguing with each other. The survivalists aren't chosen solely for their varying perspectives on survival skills, but (as when making a fire) how much "heat" can be generated by friction between them.
This was obvious from the start. Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury made an irritating odd couple. This viewer found Lundin especially annoying. Though obviously heterosexual, there was something unmanly -- castrato-like -- about the guy. If I were a woman, I wouldn't let him within 10m (33') of me. Canterbury probably felt the same way.
Joe Teti and Matt Graham were the opposite. It's hard to believe Graham isn't homosexual (his offer to make Teti a suede loin cloth was charmingly hilarious). Though they argued (especially about Graham's proclivity to hang out and soak up the environment), Graham was often amiable about accepting Teti's way of doing things. It was this general lack of friction (it's surprising they haven't announced their engagement!) that likely explains the short run of their partnership.
The current pair comprises Bill McConnell and Grady Powell. They're probably the closest to what the producers had in mind from the start. Powell thinks McConnell is a braggart, but forgives him when he can't start a fire in an impossibly damp environment. (How much of this is real and how much dictated by the producers isn't clear.)
Which brings me to what provoked this series review (and the Summary line). McConnell and Powell are forced to spend the night without fire in a cold, damp cave. And get this -- they sleep apart.
Who's kidding whom? Are these guys so homophobic they won't lie together to keep warm? Or are the producers afraid of offending viewers?
Cowboys spread their bed rolls right next to each other. (Wanna see a photo?) It was mostly to conserve heat, as cloudless nights on the plain got very cold.
If you're trying to show people how to avoid freezing to death, you don't reject the simplest and most-obvious solution.
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