A quick review of 5 Survival Shows

Posted: January 14, 2012 in Real Event, Survival, TV Show

Survival shows have become very popular in the past few years and although some are quite dramatized you can actually get some valuable information out of them.

Survivorman is one of my favourites because I regard it as a very authentic survival show. While other shows have a camera crew, Les Stroud puts himself into survival situations without one, all the filming is done by himself. The scenarios he tackles are very realistic such as a winter plane crash, a broken down motorcycle in the desert or a day hike gone wrong. He has to survive 7 days before being rescued. With each scenario he’s provided with little supplies you would find in this situation e.g. a motorcycle to salvage.  A must see survival show!

In The Bush with Malcom Douglas is definately one of my favourite and the first survival show I have been watching. Malcolm Douglas (R.I.P.) used to be an Aussie by heart and wildlife documentary film maker, producing films for over 30 years. In his show he didn’t only show Australia’s magnificent flora & fauna, but also would teach you a whole bunch of survival techniques e.g. how to gain water from plants in arid areas, free your bogged down car or prepare “bush tucker” (food) the aboriginal way. Sometimes he goes fishing a lot 🙂 but the information is very valuable and Malcolm Douglas is a must see!

Man VS Wild (Born Survivor in the UK) is definately not one of my favourites and many will say “Whaaaat, Bear Grylls’ awesome?”. Here’s why: Bear Grylls has a lot of knowledge about survival and probably is quite a tough guy being ex-SAS, but apparently rather sleeps in luxury hotels with Wi-Fi and Blueberry Pancakes for breakfast than in his makeshift accommodations (read the full story here). So while the tips and techniques can be adopted in real survival situations it’s lack of authenticity leaves a very bitter taste.

Dual Survival is about two survival experts Dave & Cody. They give a strange survival couple as Dave is the military-expert kinda guy and Cody the minimalist/primitive skills expert. This provides on one hand side two perspectives on one survival situation, on the other side their different opinions and their nagging about can be annoying sometimes. Still nice to watch.

Man Woman Wild is about a real couple in survival situations and I am not quite sure what to think of it. Myke Hawke is former Special Forces and a tough guy while his wife Ruth is a TV journalist and…well not as tough. I have only seen three episodes on Discovery Channel so far and actually enjoyed watching it. Having someone in a survival show who’s not used to eating worms or embryo birds brings a new touch, but sometimes is a bit too much female attitude (don’t get me wrong, women can be tougher than men).

If you have a show you can recommend or a different opinion just drop me a comment. There are more shows out there and I want to know about them and share that info 🙂

  1. lauraiss says:

    Thank You for this post! I like survival shows and found this post by searching for similar to those i know. Will try those others, especially with Malcolm Douglas – have not heard of such.

    For all i can say, sure, Grylls is rubbish and Survivorman is the best, still even Les still has his flaws – for example, very little knowledge of fishing, and also avoidance of bigger pray (wild hogs and such). Also, sometimes he shows how he suffer hunger and cold until rescue team arrives after seven days – that is not survival show, that is not a lesson how to survive, that is just a story about one mans tolerance and “how to starve for seven days”.
    Anyway, he’s an amazing man and inspiration to me.
    Cody from Dual Survival is great guy too, i love his lifestyle and attitude, don’t care about the show tho.

    • Hey Lauraiss,

      thank’s a lot for your feedback….Malcom Douglas is hard to get though as I figured by now…


      • lauraiss says:

        Yep, no M. Douglas on PB. Will keep on searching.
        By the way, “Human Planet” is a series i would suggest to watch. It’s very interesting, less about nature, more about peoples in exotic places. Very good one.

        P.S. Sorry about grammar, i did learn english from movies an videogames.

      • thanks for the hint…the trailer looks awesome:

        No worries, your english is great 🙂

  2. […] that I watched most of all the episodes of the survival shows I wrote about a few months ago (A quick review of 5 survival shows), except Bear Grylls and Malcom Douglas (can’t stand Bear Grylls and can’t find Malcom […]

  3. Stafford says:

    I think Man Vs Wild is more about teaching the viewer. I’ve learned a lot from MvW and I’ve applied it in the real world. With Les Stroud, it’s more about “Hey, look, I can survive!” He does survival stuff, but just does it quickly without explanation and doesn’t really teach you how to do it.
    It depends on if you’re watching for a viewing experience (Stroud) or for survival education (Grylls)

    • Hmmm…of course in most survival shows a lot of it is fake…like when the dual survival guys point straight at the camera from the distance and say “look, there’s a backpack” (and a whole camera crew)….but I’ve had enough of that Bear Grylls guy 🙂

  4. Catherine Gilmour says:

    I recently became a big fan of Ray Mears. It’s a simple, knowledgeable and friendly show that has no thrills or excitement to take away from his survival techniques. I’ve been watching his show almost constantly for a few days now. A really wonderful man and wonderful show. Not to mention I love his accent 🙂

    I really enjoyed your list and agree 100% about Bear. I used to like his show but found Les Stroud as my favorite at first and now Ray. Both men are really enjoyable to watch.

  5. I find Bear Grylls to be quite entertaining, and extremely pleasing to look at and listen to. I’m glad I was warned about the tom trickery before I started watching, so it wasn’t misleading. He doesn’t actually say he’s stuck in the wilderness, he says he’s going to show YOU what to do if you get stuck in the wilderness. It’s about him showing everyday people the skills that can get you out of those situations that lots of people happen to find themselves in. The anecdotal stories remind you that this can happen to anyone.

    I don’t look at it as a reality show so much as a how-to video, with a hot half-naked Brit keepin’ the ladies entertained.

  6. ickysticky says:

    A good show to watch is naked castaway, bout a guy who has to survive on an island for 60 days while going there with nothing

  7. Kevin says:

    I like your insight on these survival shows. My favorite survival show is “Dual Survival” due to the two perspectives the show gives. One being from a military background – Dave Teti – and one from a true survivalist background – Cody Lundin (he was broke and had to live as a survivalist before achieving his fame). I also like “Man Woman Wild” due also to the two different perspectives. Myke Hawke who has the knowledge and Ruth who has no knowledge but is learning.

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