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: http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/remote-survival/