TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

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TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by texhepcat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 9:58 pm

I just got done watching a couple of episodes of "Dual Survival" on Discovery, and was just wondering what the general consensus on these shows is. It seemed to me that some of the info might be worth while, but television being what it is I find myself a bit skeptical. As a relative noob i'd like some input into which, if any, of the survival shows is worth spending time on.

As a self employed artist who is responsible for design / production / scheduling / book keeping / sales / ect, I have a very limited amount of free time to donate to the idiot box. I'd just like that time to not be a total waste. Any and all opinions will be greatly appreciated.

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Chris@MTCT » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:07 pm

Dual survival is pretty good, they stage some things but for the most part its pretty good. Survivor man with Les Stroud is good IMHO. As they say in the wild stay away from and dont feed Bear!!
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Fletch » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:11 pm

Anything by Ray Mears comes highly recommended by me, also 'Alone in the Wilderness' is awesomesauce


Quotations by Ray Mears include:

"Bushcraft is what you carry in your mind and your muscles."
"You cannot underestimate the importance of preparation."
"As far as I'm concerned, these people are just showmen." On Bear Grylls

IMHO if the show has 'DRAMA!' then it's not worth my time
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by MaxRite » Fri Apr 22, 2011 10:30 pm

I dont know about general consensus, but personally I think the time spent watching survival TV shows is best spent hiking, camping, shooting, exercising or at least reading about hiking, camping, shooting or exercising. ZS forum is fine too. :)
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by velojym » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:12 pm

I don't watch much TV, but I would imagine that there are, at the very least, some grains of wisdom, or ideas that may be worth developing.
Just make sure you have a grain of salt handy while you're watching.
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Frank » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:21 pm

MaxRite wrote:I dont know about general consensus, but personally I think the time spent watching survival TV shows is best spent hiking, camping, shooting, exercising or at least reading about hiking, camping, shooting or exercising. ZS forum is fine too. :)
shit. let me go camping for thirty minutes when i get home from work. i'll be right back. :wink:
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by MaxRite » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:44 pm

Frank wrote:
MaxRite wrote:I dont know about general consensus, but personally I think the time spent watching survival TV shows is best spent hiking, camping, shooting, exercising or at least reading about hiking, camping, shooting or exercising. ZS forum is fine too. :)
shit. let me go camping for thirty minutes when i get home from work. i'll be right back. :wink:
:) Go for a walk around the block.
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by texhepcat » Fri Apr 22, 2011 11:56 pm

I travel and live out of a fifth wheel 8 months a year so camping is not real high on my "to do" list (try living in your hall for a few weeks). I know that's prolly counter productive as far as preparedness goes, but.... I've got a 4-6 week backlog of custom work and still have to keep up w/ stock production. This equates to a 65+ hr work week every week (been in the shop for 12 hrs and a few more to go). I'm lucky to get in an hr of range time every other week and a hr walk w/ the family a couple of times a week. :-/

Basically it boils down to the fact that I've got a weird lifestyle and it adds a ton of unusual variables to getting prepped for anything. Hiking gets done catch as catch can. Training gets done when there happens to be a class during the week AND it's happening in the same place I am AND I don't have a huge backlog. My trailer packed down weighs in @ 16,000 lbs so the wieght of "what if" gear takes second place to business and living gear for a family of 4.

I can get the wife and kids to watch an hour of "survival" TV. I just don't want to have to try and get them or me to unlearn anything on the fly.

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by dukman » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:27 am

Even the crappiest ones may give you a morsel of information that could lead to rescue if you are ever stranded in the wild. Are they worth it from a survival knowledge standpoint? You will probably learn more by reading one of the many survival books than by watching the shows.

But if you are entertained by them, then yes they are worth it. Except for Bear. If he ever died doing one of his stupid stunts than it might be worth watching one of his shows :shock:
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Fletch » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:29 am

/OLD MAN RAMBLE BEGINS

If you want good information presented in a professional, calm and easy to understand way, then I can't recommend Mears enough. His series are all about bushcraft and/or survival in varying conditions, and there are several series' each with their own particular focus.

I just don't understand why some shows feel the need to present themselves as if they have just escaped from a super-max prison and desperately need to get out of the area before the sniffer dogs catch up to them.

Yes, if you're in a bad situation you need to get out of it, but rushing about only leads to accidents, so a more considered approach is needed.

My favourite examples are obviously Ray Mears Vs. Bear Gryhlls

For instance Ray is wandering about the woods, gathering wild edibles, showing and explaining how/when and why these things can be used, whilst simultaneously gathering stuff for his shelter/fire/cooking needs, keeping an eye out animal paths etc etc etc ad nauseum, where Mr. Gryhlls recommends catching a fish and just chomping away at it as is, or shows how to squeeze dung/eyeballs etc for water - not to mention the piss drinking.

I know that both shows cater to different kinds of desires within the same genre, however I dislike that people get entertainment confused with information.

Alone in the Wilderness is a perfect example of how the bushcraft genre (IMHO) should be presented, old timey? a little, but nonetheless enchanting and inspiring in so many different ways.

/END OF RAMBLE
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Chris@MTCT » Sat Apr 23, 2011 1:41 am

Im going to see if I can find some of his shows on the web or on dish.. Thanks for the info!
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by robado » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:24 am

As others have said, Ray Mears is worth watching, but he's not on TV where I live at the moment. He makes the best educational videos about bushcraft out there, at least out of what I've found. Les Stroud is good (I've only seen Survivorman and whatever his new show is, but not Off the Grid), but it's more about mindset and solitude than techniques. On Survivorman, he tends to bring adequate gear with him and generally just shows the basics of how to set camp and procure food, and then he copes with being stuck somewhere. Some find him a little whiny. Bear Grylls (from Man v. Wild) is like if WWF and Fear Factor were blended into a survival show. Over the top and largely for shock value. He does demonstrate valuable techniques, but he also demonstrates about 20 ways to kill yourself in each episode.

Myke and Ruth Hawke (from Man, Woman, Wild) are fun to watch. Myke knows his stuff but he is a complete douche. Example: he changed his name from Mike to Myke. To me, the redeeming element of the show is Ruth, because she's a complete novice and she ain't bad to look at. She creates some funny moments when learning to do particularly gristly tasks. I think Dual Survival is a great concept being held back a bit by the producers. I say that because both Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin produce good-to-great material for bushcraft/survival, but I felt the first season tried to manufacture too much conflict and artificial drama. Basically, Dave is presenting military techniques from the survival manual and Cody is presenting aboriginal techniques. Like episodes of Adam West's Batman, if they pull something from the pack in the beginning, it will be used to demonstrate a technique during the show. Probably my favorite outside of Mears. In most episodes, Cody makes a great primitive shelter and/or fire, and Dave kills something.

Worth watching over a sitcom or something? Yeah. But not over going outside, taking a class, etc.

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by connecticut_yankee » Sat Apr 23, 2011 2:36 am

Fletch wrote:"You cannot underestimate the importance of preparation."
Really?

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Ad'lan » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:20 am

[quote="robado" I say that because both Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin produce good-to-great material for bushcraft/survival, but I felt the first season tried to manufacture too much conflict and artificial drama. [/quote]

Dave let slip that it was manufactured, and they get on pretty well via his various social media (I've been a fan of his since I came across his youtube channel, wildernessoutfitters). Dave is good people and knows his stuff, and uses a lot of aboriginal techniques on his youtube channel... though most of them are various trap designs to kill something.

Ray Mears as others have said, seems to click the best with the survival attitude we have on ZombieSquad, to get stuff from Bear Grylls you have to already have bushcraft knowledge and know what to pick out. There are quite a few threads discussing the various merits, cheats, frauds and stage tricks in his shows that have been spotted by the people on ZS, while Ray Mears will tell you straight up 'I've got a back up vehicle and a spare set of stuff just around the corner in case I need it'. Irony of Ironies would be to die in a survival situation while filming for a survival show.

If you want to chill out and unwind to some TV, survival shows can be very entertaining. But most you are better off leaving as just entertainment.

There are a few that are worthwhile Edutainment (Ray Mears being the prime example, like the David Attenborough of survival shows).
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Fletch » Sat Apr 23, 2011 8:30 am

connecticut_yankee wrote:
Fletch wrote:"You cannot underestimate the importance of preparation."
Really?
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by xpertboy » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:11 am

I actually like the Bear Grylls survival show. Yes there's a ton of showmanship but it's tv and competiton for ratings is hot. But with that aside the sirvival tips he off are phenomenal. If I was lost or trapped somewhere, his suggestions would come in handy for me. I've checked on many official expert sites from companies, organizations, and medical sites and pretty much everythig he say is true. A Survival show doesn't have to be boring. Another show like "I shouldn't be Alive" is way more on the frightening tip.
Fletch wrote:Anything by Ray Mears comes highly recommended by me, also 'Alone in the Wilderness' is awesomesauce


Quotations by Ray Mears include:

"Bushcraft is what you carry in your mind and your muscles."
"You cannot underestimate the importance of preparation."
"As far as I'm concerned, these people are just showmen." On Bear Grylls

IMHO if the show has 'DRAMA!' then it's not worth my time

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by ais4122 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 9:53 am

I don't watch Bear because he does some really stupid stuff which will only get you or I killed. I watch Surviorman with Les Stroud whenever its on. I think its great and I have learned some interesting survival tips from his show. I also have bought his survival book which I keep with my SAS survival book in my BOB.
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by mough » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:19 pm

I agree with bear giving some really bad info. He does (supposedly) too many things that carry too much risk with too little reward. Les and dual survival have some really good info, and It is entertaining. Man woman wild is okay, but the wife is kinda hot so its worth watching.

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Frank » Sat Apr 23, 2011 10:35 pm

everytime its brought up it turns into Bear VS LesVS Ray...
kinda like the firearms version of AR VS AK VS M14
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Jeriah » Sat Apr 23, 2011 11:45 pm

TV survival shows are better (from a prep standpoint) than anything else on TV, and worse than anything you can do in meatspace. If your question is, "Should I watch this, or Real World Las Vegas?" I would say watch the survival show. If your question is, "Should I watch Dual Survivor or go for a hike in the woods?" I would take the hike in the woods.

Since I don't have TV at home, I go on vacation to hike, camp, and spend the last night or two in a motel watching survival shows on TV. Best of both worlds. :lol:
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by connecticut_yankee » Sun Apr 24, 2011 12:51 am

Fletch wrote:
connecticut_yankee wrote:
Fletch wrote:"You cannot underestimate the importance of preparation."
Really?
Zhende.
Are you speaking Mandarin to me? :wink:

But really, I hope that's a misquote or he was being funny.

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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Fletch » Sun Apr 24, 2011 6:52 am

Typing not speaking...Since I was unsure of the thrust of your question :lol:

Yeah, I lifted the quote from his wiki page along with the others :roll:
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by the_alias » Sun Apr 24, 2011 7:17 am

Stop watching shows and get out in the woods.
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Re: TV survival shows, are they worth watching or not?

Post by Frank » Mon Apr 25, 2011 1:10 am

the_alias wrote:Stop watching shows and get out in the woods.
umm.
I have a very limited amount of free time to donate to the idiot box. I'd just like that time to not be a total waste
hes not trying to say that he's going to sit in front of the television and learn all of his skills that way. He just has a few minutes to spend in between his daily routine..so i'll refer to my previous post.
Frank wrote: shit. let me go camping for thirty minutes when i get home from work. i'll be right back. :wink:
MaxRite wrote: :) Go for a walk around the block.
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KentsOkay wrote:Love how a thread on hiking somehow ends up with twisted balls and lubricating your body in animal grease.
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