About Me

I ramble about a number of things - but travel experiences, movies and music feature prominently. See my label cloud for a better idea. All comnments and opinions on this blog are my own, and do not in any way reflect the opinions/position of my employer (past/current/future).

26 September 2013

Naked and Afraid

Survivor made reality tv big, and Fear Factor exploited the viewer's fears (often of creepy crawlies and other gross things) and others have taken the viewers to exotic locations around the world. And in all examples of reality tv, it is a bunch of people competing for a prize. There are a lot of safety nets (in shows such as Fear Factor), and most reality tv shows are driven by the competition between the participants.

National Geographic's Naked and Afraid series (not sure if it is screening in SA yet) somewhat turns most of this up side down. There is no prize money. There is no competition between participants. For 6 episodes, 1 man and 1 woman, both supposed expert survivalists, are placed naked (as in absolutely no clothes) in some inhospitable location, with 2 survival tools (usually from the group of cutting implement, fire starting implement and pot) and live for 21 days. Yes there is a camera crew - but only during the day. The participants have to do everything for survival - get water, get food, make shelter and survive the local inhabitants, ranging from snakes, to bugs to hyenas. 

What is most interesting, is what it really takes to survive in remote locations with no real help. All participants loose weight - some with drastic weight loss. Many almost give up - and 2 actually do. Making fire, with 2 sticks can take hours. Making fire, even with a lighter, can fail when there is nothing to burn. Despite being experienced hunters, all participants go for days without food. Almost every participant falls sick or gets injured in some manner. And the nudity - you don't see much, this being an American production - makes it difficult when temperature drops, or sun leads to bad sunburn.
Should a post-apocalyptic scenario painted by novels or movies ever take place - humanity won't be only wiped out by the event - but by the thirst for water, lack of food, lack of good tools and microbes. It also means that while we were once equipped to survive on primitive conditions, we have also lost those natural defences long ago. Progress has its downsides ...

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