Image via IMDb
Despite having advanced drastically from primitive times, society is still obsessed with the act of survival. This might be due to our fascination with the individuals who can survive in harsh locations, or maybe our morbid curiosity is causing us to watch people brave the wild. Whatever the reason, survival reality television has become a staple in today’s culture. And in addition to being entertained, you also learn how to endure if caught in a life-or-death situation. So, here are the top 10 survival reality television shows that may save your life one day.
10. Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment
Following volunteers from urbanized backgrounds, Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment is a test of endurance and tenacity, as nine ordinary Americans travel 60 miles in the harshest conditions while battling fatigue, hunger, and the unforgiving Alaskan winter. Together, they must use their skills to survive and make it out alive. The show divides contestants between those who can cut it and those who can’t and are forced to discover their limits and phone home.
It accurately depicts what it would be like to be stranded with others in a hostile situation.
9. Surviving Disaster
Surviving Disaster is a simulation of real-life disaster situations and demonstrates how to survive a disaster such as bioterrorism, a plane hijacking, or even a nuclear attack. In it, Cade Courtley, a former Navy SEAL and ex-television host of the television show Combat Missions, does an excellent job at narrating the various scenarios. Each episode features him with a group of individuals who set off into a disaster situation. Courtley then advises these individuals as they experience some worst-case scenarios.
It’s a surprisingly well-informed show and accurately depicts the topic of survival. It illustrates that with a bit of preparation and the ability to stay calm, an ordinary crisis is survivable. So, make sure you check out this show because it could save your life someday.
8. The Colony
The premise of The Colony follows a group of 10 volunteers who, for three months, must engage in a controlled experiment to test out the concept of rebuilding civilization after a catastrophic disaster. They must tend to many aspects of sustainable living, including water, electricity, security, and food, while also being presented with events such as actors playing the role of a group of brutal raiders. Each volunteer is from a different background and expertise and represents a cross-section of modern society. The show also has input from experts on psychology, security, and technology.
Since the volunteers are so immersed in the situation, the emotions are real for them, or as real as they can be within a totally artificial situation. This show loves to remind you that at any moment, the world as we know it can end.
7. Dual Survival
Meet military-trained Dave Canterbury and naturalist Cody Lundin. These two are trained survival experts with very different methods of surviving in the wild. Together, they are dropped into scenarios that could happen to anyone: marooned at sea, lost while hiking, or stranded while scaling a mountain. Equipped with minimal gear, they must draw on their survival experience to devise ways to survive and demonstrate how to stay alive in a life-or-death situation.
The show is quite enjoyable, with Canterbury and Lundin butting heads along the way due to their differing survival tactics. Watching it is fun and entertaining, and best of all, you learn how to survive.
In this series, 10 survival experts attempt to survive alone in the wilderness, and the winner receives $500,000. They can only bring what fits in a backpack, and alone in the harsh, unforgiving terrain, they must hunt, build shelters, and deter predators while documenting the experience. They are isolated from each other and all other humans and may tap out at any time. The seasons have been filmed across various remote locations, including Vancouver Island, British Columbia, and Mongolia. It’s a test of will and determination.
This can be considered one of the most real survival reality shows, and the contestants must deal with the consequences of their actions. You’ll learn a thing or two while enjoying this riveting series.
5. Man, Woman, Wild
Husband and wife duo Myke, a former US Army Special Forces survival expert, and Ruth, a television journalist, travel to different places on Earth to demonstrate how to survive in harsh conditions. The series focuses on Myke teaching Ruth various survival skills such as starting a fire, locating water sources, and eating non-traditional foods such as insects and wild plants.
It’s a great show, with just the right amount of enthusiasm and energy and none of the absurdity that characterizes other survival shows. It’s upbeat and features many fantastic tips not featured in other shows. Plus, the dynamic between Myke and Ruth is hilarious, as they often butt heads in the field.
4. Running Wild with Bear Grylls
British adventurer, Bear Grylls, pushes A-list celebrities to their limits on outdoor adventures. In each episode, Bear brings a different star along for something new, including skydiving into the Catskill Mountains and climbing the cliffs in Utah. Notable celebrities include Zac Efron, Channing Tatum, Ben Stiller, and Kate Hudson. It’s based on the same survivalist concept as the rest of Bear’s shows, such as Man vs. Wild.
This is a fan favorite, as there’s an abundance of funny moments, as well as exciting ones. With the esteemed Bear Grylls and his guests (or victims, depending on how you view it), there are hilarious reactions to the survival scenarios faced.
3. Naked and Afraid XL
12 amateur survivalists are tested when they must survive in the wild for 40 days with nothing but primitive tools. They are given no food, water, or clothing, and each contestant is only allowed to bring two items of their choosing. They must hunt and gather what they need to survive until extraction day. Any member of the cast may choose to withdraw at any time.
Considering it holds one of the most exciting formulas for survival shows, it’s one of the best-known and well-loved there is. You’ll be unable to look away from this guilty pleasure series.
2. survivor man
With no food, shelter, or water, survivalist Les Stroud must survive alone in the wild for seven days. He places himself in unique situations and, in each challenge, demonstrates how one might survive until being rescued. Not only must he stay for a week, but he must do so while filming everything himself and dragging around 50 pounds of camera gear.
With helpful tips and wry humor, Stroud documents his struggles to overcome obstacles in climates such as the Coast Rican rainforest, Georgia swampland, and Arctic ice floes.
1. male vs. Wild
Probably the best-known survival reality television series, male vs. Wild follows Bear Grylls as he travels around the world in search of challenges to his survival skills. He goes to the most dangerous tourist locations and environments to demonstrate how to survive in them.
He has great tips on coping with the wild, and his gung-ho nature makes the show a pleasure to watch. If you need evidence of this, he is known for eating bear poop to survive. Now that’s dedication!