> TEOTWAWKI Blog: New season of SurvivorMan rocks!



New season of SurvivorMan rocks!

Caught three back-to-back episodes of SurvivorMan last night: Cook Islands, Amazon Jungle, and African Savanah. All good stuff!

The Amazon Jungle episode was the best I've seen in a long time--the Amazon is a pretty horrible environment to survive. Les is swarmed by bugs the entire time...a seriously disgusting amount of flies. He can only find a few bits and pieces of fruit and a couple freshwater shrimps to live off of. Gets a nasty foot infection, stung by some sort of nasty creepy crawly, and has a crappy time in general. Ends up heading back early after a frickin' jaguar starts hunting him. Bad time in general, horrible place to survive, especially if you don't know what you're doing. Maybe if Les had some more in-depth knowledge of the Amazon he would have fared better....he seemed a little at a loss when it came to the native environment.

Meanwhile, he fared very well on the Cook Island episode. Deserted islands/beach fronts seem to be amongst the most bountiful and easiest places to survive. The food is bountiful, there are relatively few dangers when compared with, say the Amazon. A source of fresh water (as always) is essential--Les used a water catch to get his drinking water. He ended his time on the island with a veritable survival feast.

What stood out to me--aside from how I never want to survive in the depths of the Amazon jungle--was how little food Les gets to eat throughout his usual week of survival. Each show seems to feature a segment on Les hunting/trapping and Les fishing. Usually, he's unsuccessful. In the Cook Island episode, he finds a bird lying on the beach, but in all his other attempts to hunt or fish, he failed.

He can, however, almost always find some kind of creepy crawlies or shellfish to eat as well as some wild edibles--fruits, roots, and so on. These form the bulk of his meager diet. I know a lot of people plan on hunting or trapping in a survival situation, but knowledge of more easily obtained wild edibles may be more likely to feed you in an emergency.

A few things come to mind:

1) You don't need food in the short term. Food seems to be one of the first things people think about when putting together a BOB/72hr kit. It can also be big, bulky, and heavy. You might want to evaluate what you carry, especially if you're high on weight or low on space. Don't plan to starve, by any means, but take a look at what you're carrying!

2) Knowledge of your environment is essential to survival/"living off the land". You're often more likely to survive off of wild edibles than what you can find through hunting/fishing...if you can't identify those wild edibles, then you're out a huge portion of your potential "survival diet." If you have that knowledge, then you have the ability to supplement any supplies you have with. Something I'm sure we all need to work on!

3) Bring supplies! You can see fairly remarkable differences in Les' quality-of-life based on the gear he has. A tarp for shelter, a pot to boil water, a reliable way to start a fire, flashlight, and a small amount of food would remarkably improve his "quality of life." A well outfitted survival kit would work wonders.

I quite like SurvivorMan--this new season seems to put him in some more exotic locales but also sees Les a little better equipped. Good so far! I either learn something each episode or notice something to think about and evaluate, which is always good. Better than most of the crap on TV, that's for sure!