Saturday, December 19, 2015

Survival "experts" in television

The point with this blog entry is not to trash these guys, but to remind people of that THIS IS TELEVISION, NOT REALITY. You don't see the hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades of preparing, training and practice. You don't see most of the mistakes. You don't even see most of the footage. You see an edited version of a filmed script in a set. 

What's wrong with survival tv

Special Report: The Dangerous Side of Survival TV

 And 10 survival myths that could get you killed

Now, watch your favorite survival shows, on television and on YouTube again with this in mind!
But - to share with you some information I dugg up after the "Dual Survival" soup.

Extreme Survival
Ray Mears... not much is told about how he learned the craft, but it seems he has learned from others. He's been taught by "primitive" people, natives living the lifestyle of their ancestors, I appreciate that highly. I also like his style.


Les Stroud, as far as I know, is mostly self-taught. "Stroud has extensive experience with survival and primitive living skills, initially training with expert David Arama. He went on to study with many others including John "Prairie Wolf" McPherson."
David Arama... Doesn't say much of HOW he learned the stuff. "Environmental studies", "Outdoor Recreation" and "Wilderness Emergency Care" doesn't say that much... so I assume he's also "self-taught"

John "Prairie Wolf" McPherson seems to be much self-taught as well. "John's first "real" hands on practicing of primitive skills began in 1973 - motivated after reading OUTDOOR SURVIVAL SKILLS by Larry Dean Olson."

Larry Dean Olson is also self-taught. "Larry’s training came as he experienced survival at its most primitive level. He emulated the Anasazi or “Ancient Ones” and carefully replicated the lifestyle of the Primitive Paiutes of the Great Basin Plateau areas of the western United States. Using tools and weapons of stone and bone, digging roots and trapping game, suffering cold nights without bedding, and hot days without water or even shoes, Larry gained a unique understanding of man in harmony with nature."
In my opinion Les does a lot of stupid things, like drinking water straight in the nature, or intentionally risking hypothermia to get something that isn't very edible, but at least he's sincere.

Man vs. Wild

Bear Grylls is a scout with survival related hobbies, and he's being into this all his life. His show is much just that - a show. There are staged events and some special effects put in place to make it more entertaining. There isn't anything wrong with his skills, though. Nevertheless, he's a boy scout at core, and some of the things one learns from Man vs Wild are not applicable or sensible things to do or think about when it comes to survival

Dual Survival

Cody Lundin is also self-taught, by experience, about the same way as Larry Dean Olson. I like his style as well.

Dave Canterbury... I don't like him at all. The first time I saw him he was mostly whining about Cody's style and he seems to be superfocused on hunting. He whines about needing to eat anything but cooked meat.

I haven't seen Joseph Teti, but by the critique of the people who have seen him, he sounds like a Dave, except that Dave is probably better in actual survival techniques.
In early October, Teti's membership in the Special Forces Association was revoked following questions about whether he, like Canterbury, exaggerated his military experience. Only 10 people in the last 50 years have been similarly dismissed from the group

"Mykel Hawke, who served 24 years in the Army, agrees. "There's a myth that military people know a damn thing about survival," he says."

I haven't seen Hawke in action either, so I say nothing about him, except that "top 10 fake tv survivalist" opinions are mostly about Joseph Teti. Internet quarrels say nothing about the skills of a person, and in my opinion, pretending to have credentials you don't have, is worse than having a bad temper and bad manners.

Now, why are there so few female survivalists?
There are female survivalists and not just a few of them. People just aren't interested in watching female survivalists.
The archetype is a "lone ranger surviving by HIS wits and skills alone in a hostile world". Females are expected to be the nurturing mothers and passionate lovers, and that's it. The only way for you to get females in survival TV is either by them tagging along with their man (like Ruth Hawke) or getting naked in the process.

A woman survivalist in a man's world

"Girls inherently have a motherly instinct, especially after puberty." What utter bullshit! There's no "motherly" instinct that's in some mysterious ways different from the "parental" instinct that's inherent in all mammals, males and females alike. The "motherly instinct" spoken about in this article is 100% taught behavior.

Also, all those photos look staged. Why is she having long, loose hair and smiling in every f-ing photo? (Except the first one that looks like a Katniss photoshoot.)

Not saying Kellie Nightlinger isn't a survivalist expert, but saying that article is a little stupid.

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