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Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor")
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Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/08/2012 19:52:40 MDT Print View

Who watches "Dual Survivor", or Les or Bear for survival tips? Jus' wonderin'.

I find Les the most useful, especially when he talks about the emotional ups and downs of survival. It is instructive because if should we ever be in a survival situation we may remember to expect those emotions and just keep working on through them, as Les does.

"Bear" G. seems the most entertaining with his theatrical antics but remember, he always has a film crew with him. Les is always alone.

chris Nelson

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/08/2012 20:15:06 MDT Print View

I like to watch Survivor Man. I find it impressive that he does it by himself and hauls all the gear around. Even doing hikes twice to get the shot leaving.

Yes, emotions are key to surviving. He does a good job explaining what he is going though.

Bear is a looser and I don't give him much street cred.

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
I liked this show on 10/08/2012 20:21:39 MDT Print View

I watched Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment and the Venezuela series which was really moving. I learned something from both, but they were very food focused because they were long term survival situations. The terrain in Venezuela was fascinating.

Here's the Wiki about it:

Edited by flutingaround on 10/08/2012 20:24:46 MDT.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Re Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/08/2012 20:43:35 MDT Print View

Guilty. I enjoy "Man, Woman, Wild", "Dual Survivor", "Survivorman" and "Out of the Wild" (Both Alaska and Venezuela). I would rather be out there doing it, but for when I can't I enjoy the vicarious experience I get from those shows. Hey, it beats Glee and Jersey Shore, right?

However, I do not watch Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. I believe Mr. Grylls must be an amazing outdoorsman based on his real life resume, but the show is unrealistic and is essentially a "How-To" on how you can quickly kill yourself in just about any situation. I think that's irresponsible and am frankly surprised no one has yet maimed or killed themselves emulating the things they saw on that show. A couple episodes of that show was enough to cure me for good. If I ever forget why I don't watch it, 5 minutes will cure me all over again.

Paul Wagner
(balzaccom) - F

Locale: Wine Country
half witted on 10/08/2012 20:46:53 MDT Print View

"However, I do not watch Man Vs. Wild with Bear Grylls. I believe Mr. Grylls must be an amazing outdoorsman based on his real life resume, but the show is unrealistic and is essentially a "How-To" on how you can quickly kill yourself in just about any situation. I think that's irresponsible and am frankly surprised no one has yet maimed or killed themselves emulating the things they saw on that show. A couple episodes of that show was enough to cure me for good. If I ever forget why I don't watch it, 5 minutes will cure me all over again."

Absolutely right. First rule of survival is "Don't do anything stupid."

he breaks that rule every five minutes.

Andrew Weldon
Re: Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/09/2012 19:00:52 MDT Print View

Yup, I'm agreeing with everyone so far.

I loved everything Les did (he did some short shows about his family and living off the land as well. Not nearly as relevant to backpacking, but still a good watch), watched Dual Survival and liked it, despite the slightly phoned-in quality about it.
Out of the Wild was great.

I've always loved the Ray Mears shows, though they're a little hard to find in the US.

I'm forgetting the name of it now, but there was a movie posted onto youtube that I believe aired as a miniseries on the BBC with one man surviving in Canada alone, attempting some number of days unsupported. He failed, but it was still a good watch.

Les remains my favorite. He and Ray Mears get across the most useful information, and Les is leaps and bounds ahead of everyone else in entertainment and sincerity/likable/etc. I've never once been skeptical watching Survivor Man. I wish he could have kept it going and done a few more seasons, but alas.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - M

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/09/2012 19:06:00 MDT Print View

I watch them for the entertainment and sense of adventure. I love seeing all the cool places and what kind of resources each environment can provide.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Mark and Olly anyone? on 10/09/2012 19:38:11 MDT Print View

Oliver Steeds (explorer and journalist) and Mark (Somebody?), a british ex-commando / explorer, did a great series titled "Living with the [insert tribe] the adventures of Mark and Ollie". They would approach very primitive cultures, live off the land for up to three months until they were asked to stay or visit, and then live and learn from primitive indigenous cultures. Fascinating, but controversial as to their portrayal of the cultures they visited. I think there were two or three seasons total, but a lot of fantastic survival skill displayed and explained. To me, better than these survival-focused shows on now, especially that Bear guy and that Barefoot guy. Ridiculous. Recommended if you can find it.

EDIT: to add wikipedia link for show:

Edited by bcutlerj on 10/09/2012 19:42:02 MDT.

Susan Papuga
(veganaloha) - M

Locale: USA
Re: Re Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/14/2012 02:39:24 MDT Print View

I'm always surprised at the negativity to Bear Gryllis on this site. He is prior Brit Special Forces, so I wouldn't classify what he does as "stupid" as much as I would say that some of the more physical things are beyond the ordinary human's capabilities. Nonetheless, I find his show to be entertaining and informative. Not to mention, that other shows like Man, Women Wild or Dual Survivor copy set-ups and tactics from BG.

No, I probably wouldn't try some of it myself, but good to know what's possible in different scenarios.

Yes, he has a film crew, so what? He's doing more extreme activities that couldn't be easily repeated.

Guilty, to watching just about any outdoors show or movie featuring survivalist tactics at least one.

As a side note, in re MWW, I have a hard time listening to the chick constantly whining or complaining in that annoying little voice and some trivia, how many folks are aware that Mike Hawke got his television debut on Paris Hilton's reality show The Simple Life, Season 4?

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Re: Re Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/14/2012 04:43:18 MDT Print View

The negativity to Grylls is not just this site. I find it all over the web.

Ken T.
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: All up in there
Re Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/14/2012 08:16:05 MDT Print View

Eddie Grylls is where is is because of his father.

I did enjoy the Ray Mears series. And everyone seems to like Les. My wife will watch both, but says Eddie is gross.

Brian Johns

Locale: NorCal
Man against nature ? on 10/14/2012 19:22:40 MDT Print View

Is that the name of it? Aussie guy maybe. Anyway, I saw him make a circle of urine and climb inside a dead camel to survive a cold night. I know some say he cheats behind the scenes, but I have been impressed with the strartegies/tactics used. The barefoot guy, not so much.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/15/2012 16:23:27 MDT Print View

I have learned from Bear's facial expressions that his experience matches mine - small, highly productive insects often taste okay, but can be a little gritty. Termites, ants, gnats, moths are fine. Mosquitos are especially tasty due to the karmic turnaround.

Large bugs are bad tasting and can also be amazingly crunchy (not in a good way). Termite queens are an exception, though.

HElinTexas C
(Helintexas) - MLife
Survival shows on 10/15/2012 17:26:15 MDT Print View

I like most all of them except for Bear's. I know he is a phenom specialist of survival but it just comes across crazy. The constant running and jumping off high spots just seems really u safe. He might be able to do it....but the majority of people should not.

Les' is by far the best. I think his is so the most complete picture. Btw...did you know he does have a new program? I think it has aired maybe 3 episodes? He is out for longer times and the episodes are longer too.

I do enjoy watching Dual Survivor. I love the personalities of the guys and lists ing to the different approaches but also to their commonalities.

Dena Kelley

Locale: Eagle River, Alaska
Susan on 10/15/2012 17:45:57 MDT Print View

"I'm always surprised at the negativity to Bear Gryllis on this site. "
I'm careful to criticize the show, not the man. I blame Discovery for the travesty that was Man vs. Wild. Bear is the real deal, based on is actual real-life resumé. But Man v. Wild was a bad show that detailed him doing stunts that the average person should never do and even deliberately getting him into bad scenarios that were avoidable. I watched an episode of him in Alaska that went from bad scenario to bad scenario. He started on a glacier, where he descended into a crevasse that he could not have climbed back out of (without his support team)- but luckily found a tunnel that led him all the way out of the glacier (not common). Then descended through a forest all the while crossing a fast flowing deep creek on narrow slick logs to "break his scent" for bears (that probably weren't following him). Then he (supposedly) spent the night in a net up in a tree (while in actuality probably in a nice hotel). The next day he got down to the coast line, where he managed to get himself stranded by a couple feet of tide and the only way out (short of wading) was to free climb a 100' cliff. Then he found an old cannery where he got enough items together to make himself a leaky barrel raft that he paddled out into deep water and then jumped from the barrel raft to a floating iceberg (because those are safer and never flip over) abandoning his cameraman in the slowly sinking boat. Then he flagged down a nearby fishing vessel, which proceeded to move quickly past his berg (rather than launching a raft or pulling up slowly) and Bear had to jump from the iceberg to the ladder hanging down the side of the swiftly moving vessel. I have tons of respect for Bear for being able to pull all that off- but no respect for Discovery for creating those scenarios. Yes, they make for good TV for some, but it's irresponsible to do a survival show that shows people the most dangerous options as though those are the only options.

Chad Anderson

Locale: N. California
Bear on 10/15/2012 23:00:05 MDT Print View

Man Vs. Wild features some 'creative' geography as well. Watch the Big Sky episode. Anyone who has spent any time around Bozeman will recognize Bear on top of Sacajawea peak. He then hang glides off it into Fairy Lake, which is reachable by anyone with a car and is quite popular. After ditching his chute, (IIRC) Bear demonstrates some scree running because, you know, sometimes you just got to get down really fast. The funny thing is, he's actually back up a mile or so in the saddle on the way up to Sacajawea peak (and of course there's actually a very easy hiking trail that leads there). So there's no reason at all for him to get down quickly, because he just climbed back up. He could have just got in the car and drove away. I believe the next scene finds him somewhere near the Hyalite reservoir, which is nowhere near Fairy Lake.

So basically, the show features a lot of stunts that actually don't replicate the experience of the actual geography. Having said that, they can be fun to watch.

Bear is a great climber, but I'm not sure how much he really knows about wildlife and survival. I believe it was in the pilot episode (also in Montana) where Bear says some really naive stuff about bears and then decides one is after him at night. He proceeds to basically run in the middle of the night from the bear. The show's fun for what it is.

I enjoy Les's adventures. They're also scenario driven, but obviously much more grounded.

Webster Jorgensen
(WebsterJ) - F

Locale: Kansas City
Survival Shows on 10/17/2012 09:56:04 MDT Print View

Survivorman is great, and is the only survival show I watch regularly. Mears is good too. The other shows, meh.

Man vs Wild is actually a show that has potential, but they should drop the survival context altogether. In some of their episodes, I've noticed that they've adopted more of an adventurer context. He even brings a backpack full of gear. This is the way to go for Bear. If they stuck with this, the show would be much better. Bear would just bring some minimal gear and go backpacking or adventuring or whatever they want to call it. He shouldn't mention the word "survive" at all. Then his pine tree pole vaulting, and climbing wouldn't seem so idiotic. He could sustain the same level of action, even maintain a perception of danger, and gain authenticity. They should drop Man vs Wild, and re-brand the entire effort. My 2¢.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Survival Shows on 10/17/2012 10:31:42 MDT Print View

Watch Surviorman and Duel Survival.. they have real-life information that could help you. they also preach good techniques to being found.. not just "run for 97 miles to town just over these 3 mountain ranges"

Man vs wild and Man,woman wild are just stupid. Especially the 2nd one. the guy is an ass with his wife and is all "uhh me tarzan, you jane.. i'll save the day" it's stupid.

Bear does things that most can't. He is a 5.13 rock climber, Everest summiter, special forces trained.

Alex Eriksson
(aeriksson) - M

Locale: Austin, TX
Re: Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/29/2012 20:09:37 MDT Print View

Hello my name is Alec and I like Bear Grylls. It's been a few weeks since I was last sober.......

Seriously though, I do actually enjoy Man vs. Wild but mostly for all of the trainwreck stupidity and pandering for the camera. The dude is a highly accomplished beast to be sure, but yes the show is ridiculous and contrived, dangerous, poorly written, often nonsensical, and yet I can't help myself. It's like a cross between Jackass and Fear Factor. It should be said, any MvW marathon is expected to be accompanied by Mystery Science Theater 3000 levels of heckling from the couch by all viewers.

My favorite moments from the last marathon of braindead Man vs Wild viewing include:

- Bear peeing in the ocean to attract a shark in the shallows apparently with the intent of mounting the shark and wrestling him

- Bear giving himself a sea-water enema to stay hydrated on a raft that was, in actuality, probably about 20' off the shore

- Bear totally failing to start a fire while a wind machine and firehoses pelted him for an hour in an "experiment"

- Bear looking genuinely surprised whenever he actually manages to kill/catch something bigger than a squirrel

Whatever the show is with the solo guy who films himself is absurdly boring to me, albeit clearly the most educational of the bunch that I've seen so far. Maybe I'll revisit it now that I'm into backpacking.

Disclaimer: my girlfriend has a big bouncy one for Bear so given half a chance she's usually the one finding Man vs. Wild on Netflix. *rolleyes*

A long time ago I really liked the mini-series that followed Ewan McGregor on a motorcycle tour across Russia. Not backpacking, sure, but it was really interesting.

Edited by aeriksson on 10/29/2012 20:12:38 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Who watches survival shows? (NOT "Suvivor") on 10/29/2012 21:11:39 MDT Print View

That would be Survivor Man - Les Stroud - the solo guy that films himself

I've watched all his shows which I think are pretty entertaining

He hasn't done a lot of shows because it's so difficult