TV Show: Remote Survival

I just saw an episode of this show.  The premise is, they take two people and dump them separately in some remote area.  Each has a pack with a few items in it and a bunch of cameras on them, along with radio gear.  Each has a survival “expert” watching them through the cameras on them and guiding them via radio.  There are also external views of the people, allegedly from remote controlled cameras around the area, some of which we see.  In this desert one, each person had to follow a path, find food and water, make a shelter and then walk to a point to get picked up.

One guy seemed to have (or at least used) a large Mag-Light flashlight, a folding knife and a climbing rope.  The other only used a folding knife, so it is not clear what else he had.  The first guy even impressed the expert, by biting the head off the snake he caught.  The other guy was pretty lame, not even being able to close a liner lock folding knife, refusing to drink the water he found or eat the lizard he killed, and ended up pushing the “give up” button the first day.

It is an interesting concept, but I question how “expert” the experts are.  They seemed more focused on food than water, even though you really can’t digest food well without water.  Although they pointed out to the people potential water, neither person was able to take advantage of it.  In particular, the expert guiding the guy who gave up seemed to be unaware of a simple solution to the guy not being willing drink the water he found because it was “too gritty”.  The guy had cloth on him (pants with removable lower legs), right?  He couldn’t filter the water through some cloth?  If the expert had suggested it and the fellow still refused, that would have not have reflected badly on the expert, but as it was shown, it made me wonder.

The show was fairly interesting, although the equipment provided was somewhat odd in what was provided.  And what was not, particularly water or even a container for water.  The one guy used the reflector from the flashlight to start his fire, and showed how to rappel with only a rope.  It looks like some useful techniques could be gleaned from the shows, although I would not consider it a “complete survival course”.

The show is put on by National Geographic; the web site for it is:






Filed under Emergency preparedness, Uncategorized

2 responses to “TV Show: Remote Survival

  1. I may be looking too much into it, but if you’re thrust into the world of survival, your starting position can be anything from great to terrible. Giving a person a few tools and a few problems to solve them with is not exactly survival, but simple puzzle solving.

    Come to think of it, survival now looks like a puzzle – but as I said, it’s far too random. With so many cameras and experts around, I don’t think they can capture this randomness.

  2. It does give the impression of being highly “unreal”. In the environments shown so far, the primary needs have been water and fire, and the participants seem to not be adequately prepared for either. The wise person “always” has the basics on them; they are mostly small, light and cheap, and if they are likely to be “in the wild”, at the very least additionally have a container of water and a way to get more.

    Based on a sample size of 2 shows, there “always” seems to be one guy who does everything they say and gets through it, and one guy who won’t do what they say and has to give up part way through.

    They wouldn’t let me on that show; I’d insist on having some of my own stuff with me, because what they provide is laughable.

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