Archive for the ‘Survival’ Category

Now 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 Douglas 😦 ), I’ve been looking out for new stuff and found a great show. There are three seasons and two concepts behind this show.

In the first season, The Alaska Experiment, four groups were dropped off in the Alaskan wilderness with directions to their individual shelters, each a day trip away. Their goal is to survive 90 days totally on their own with little supplies found in the shelters and winter about to set in. The supplies are some basic tools, a wood stove, canning utilities to preserve food and some food rations (which won’t provide any fat or protein). So they have to improve their shelters, cut firewood and most importantly hunt & gather food (Since they all are mostly city slickers they do get a basic training in how to fire a rifle and gut an anima)l. Of course this ain’t easy and there are many obstacles: rough terrain, bears, wolfs, storms, illnesses, end of the salmon run etc.

The second season is called Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment in which 9 people have to find their way “out of the wild”. It is a month long journey through rough landscape, again with winter setting in, from shelter to shelter. The shelters vary from full blown hunting huts equipped with some food and firewood to a pile of rocks or an airplane wreck offering minimum protection. During those stays again they have to hunt for food, fish or gather berries. While the groups in the first season had a fixed location and the opportunitiy to settle in, this team is always on the move, but with the same tasks. Soon the exhaustion is taking it’s toll and more volunteers bail out, pushing the button on their emergency gps beacon which summons a rescue helicopter to evacuate them.
The journey by the way begins with a drop off at a pile of stuff, some things more useful than others and it is key to pick the right amount of items, because everthing has to be carried.

Those are the two different concepts and both are very interesting to watch! I’ve only seen bits and pieces of the third season, but those were already very promising. This time it’s Out of the Wild: Venezuela, again nine volunteers who’ll have to work as a team to get out of the jungle.

Checkout a little sneak peak on youtube

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Survival eBook Library

Posted: May 6, 2012 in Books, Prepping, Survival

Sorry, the link has been closed and I can’t provide a new one or upload the content (as I am not the owner) somwhere else.

A few weeks ago I blogged about Doomsday Preppers and now I stumbled upon a massive archive of free to download eBooks about the whole survival topic. So from “building your own fallout shelter” to desert survival, from “which wild plants are edible” to military manuals….it is huge! Go check it out here

Disclaimer: I don't take any responsibility for the content provided.

Some folks out there aren’t just interested in post-apocalyptic events for the joy e.g. a great zombie movie brings. There is a growing community of those who prepare (thus named “Preppers” ) for unforseeable events of a devastating scale that might change everything from society to government, from consumerism to self-reliance, from order to anarchy. National Geographic is as always providing us with an interesting show called “Doomsday Preppers”. In each show they present three to four different preppers (or prepping families), their propable doomsday event and their strategy against it. At the end of each chapter “the experts” evaluate their preparations and suggest improvements.

In lots of cases it is quite impressive how creative they tackled the idea of prepping, whether it is concerning storage, producing food, fortification or training. In many cases though I thought (and the doomsday experts too) their chosen doomsday event is unlikely to happen…like ashes of a super vulcano suffocating New York etc. I don’t know for sure, but I always had the impression National Geographic “forced” them to commit to a certain event. I think most of them were prepping for several events and if it’s just the next snow storming threatening to take out the power for 5 days. Well, this is the feeling I get reading survivalist blogs.
I also found some background info which states Nat Geo cut the sequences in a way to make the Preppers look extremly nutty. Well this is television and they want their audience & viewing rate. Everybody knows what they get into messing with commercial tv.

So if you wonder now “Should I prep???” here is my opinion on the whole topic (and here the CDC’s opinion). I personally think being prepared is a good thing in general, but you always have to decide to which extend you feel happy with it. I don’t prep, but after digging into this topic and thinking back to events that happend in the past (my area had a snowstorm and power failiure for 5 days a few years ago), I do take care that I have supplies for two weeks in my flat (food, meds, tools, water, candles) and I am happy with it. Once you have this stockpile it is easy to maintain and if something happens you are prepared (am I a Prepper or what? 😉 ), but I think letting my whole life rotate around a scenario that is not too likely to happen would be too much. I enjoy seeing friends, going out and being self-employed takes a lot of my creativity & energy and I enjoy that 🙂 Now enough with this philosophical talk…enjoy the trailer!

Wow, what a busy week. Finally I find some time to write & share about what I stumbled upon last week.

The Colony is a Discovery Channel reality tv show.  The scenario is a virus has whiped out most of Los Angeles’ population leaving 10 volunteers in a post-pandemic  industrial part of the city, close to the L.A. River. They reach an abandoned warehouse (full of useful stuff) where they have to survive for 10 weeks, providing for their own food, water, electricity, security and well-being. During those 10 weeks several events occur such as a marauder attack, trading nomads or help seeking wanderers. So far, so good.

A few aspects I found a little disturbing. It says the people chosen are a spectrum of society, but most of them are highly educated engineers or experienced handymen, a doctor and a nurse are there aswell. The ideas the group comes up with are great and very smart e.g. to sanitize water with ozon produced by a tesla coil or running a generator with a wood gasifier…..”WHAT THE…?” is probably your first thought here and I agree. As smart as the ideas are, as unrealistic are they in most survival situations. So sometimes it drifts off into a mythbuster sort of feel where they just have to build fancy stuff.

Also the attacks by hostile groups seem a little staged. The voice from the off says “The actors are instructed not to harm the survivors, but the survivors don’t know that”…I mean how can you forget your in an experiment when several camera crews are around you 24/7. On the other hand, who knows, people who are living for 10 weeks in these extreme conditions might find it hard to distinguish between a simulation and reality. In many situations the volunteers just lose it and freak out over little things cabin fever style and these seemed quite real.

So all in all, if you can see over the fact that it’s a commercial program which needs a little drama & action, The Colony is good fun to watch. I watched the 10 Episodes of the first season in one week and just ordered the second season. The third one is in the making.

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 🙂