I watched an episode of Naked and Afraid XL today, a group of people have been sent out into the bush in Africa with no clothing but some tools such as knives, several re-curve bows and arrows, a folding shovel, cooking pot’s, ferocious rods and probably more. It is all filmed and people are selectively paired off with the people that they are least likely to get along with so that they will argue and have a generally unpleasant time of it which the producers hope will create some drama to hook in the viewers. This instantly made me think of the stupid internet bushcraft stuff series on my blog and how real survival training and expeditions compare with TV shows.
The episode that I watched had them struggling for food and some of them going down with severe sunburn and probably heat exhaustion too. What baffles me is that none of them, not a single one of them has fashioned any sort of protective clothing. They are all literally naked and most of them use the Discovery provided haversack to shield their private parts but nothing else.
It would take them about 1 hour to make a grass skirt which would keep the blistering ray’s of the hot sun from burning their most sensitive areas but also give them psychological comfort and make them feel less exposed.
I expect that Discovery have told them not to do it for the sake of the show’s title but personally, I would make one and just take it off when the cameras came out.
If you want to get a sample for how exposed you can be then try cooking at home while naked with no clothing to shield you from spills and spitting oil.
Every hunter gatherer group on earth has developed some sort of covering for their genitals, nobody just walks around naked all the time and the show making these people do it is just ridiculous.
A more realistic version of this show, Ed Stafford’s Marooned is worth a watch for an honest and interesting view of a very stubborn man being sent to the wilderness with no clothing or tools whatsoever. In every episode that I can remember, the first thing that he did, before finding water even, was to make a grass skirt.
Ed Stafford is one of the only genuine and authentic adventurers on TV at the moment and even he is forced to produce drama for the big screen. He is a voice worth listening to though and I recommend him, his books are particularly revealing and worthwhile if you are interested in the emotional psychology of isolation and living in adverse circumstances. There are many lessons to be learned from his experiences walking the length of the Amazon and living on a desert island for 60 days with no clothing and no tools.
Don’t follow the example that Naked and Afraid XL is setting, it is a stupid waste of time and in fact, trying to learn to survive from watching TV shows is also a waste of time, these shows are not designed to teach you anything useful, they are designed to hook viewers to make money from advertising, nothing more.
The contestants are set up to fail, they never really stood a chance of having a positive experience, everything that can be, has been done to ensure that things do not go smoothly for them. This is not reflective if any kind of real world survival.
If you want to learn, take a course to learn some new skills and then go out and practise those new skills.
You can do so with me here
If you don´t see something that you like then contact me here and we will see what we can do for you.
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