Seriously—I don’t watch this show on a regular basis, but sometimes my husband does. Last night’s episode (or maybe it was recorded), featured a couple dropped into Madagascar and having to survive—naked, naturally—for 21 days.
Typically, on each show, there’s a man and a woman, strangers, and they must survive with one tool each and make their way to the pick-up point. Tools of choice usually include a firestarter and a knife, and both have at least a 7.0 on a 10-point scale of skill level.
So, last night, we have a devoutly religious man and a woman who’s an environmentalist. Problems One and Two.
This is one deserted place—no wildlife spotted, apparently, except snakes and lizards. Ick. And I mean “ick” as far as dinner in concerned. But before that . . .
Now, in a situation such as this, your first priority is a water source; second is fire, then shelter. Now, I’m not saying I would or could ever do this, and being an armchair survivalist is all well and good, but . . .
First, Dude wanted to grab an empty bird’s nest for tinder, for later when they were planning to build a fire; Chick said no way, you’re harming the bird population. Duke acquiesced, and they moved on.
Guess who had a hard time finding tinder later on?
The temp’s about 100 degrees, and they keep walking. They come upon a cave, nice shelter, but there are a dozen or so sacs of black widow eggs. Dude says they should knock them down and squish them, Chick says no way, you’re harming the environment.
A few days later, a scorpion crawls under her during the night—she smashed the hell out of that thing, and then decided the spiders were next.
There’s a tiny pool of water near the cave, and a trickle over the rocks, and naturally it took forever to find tinder/build a fire. Then they stay put, mostly, to wait out their 21 days.
Sadly, fires have a way of going out when no one tends them; and Dude had promised his new wife that there would be “no cuddling.” Temps at night were in the 40s. Yep.
And EIGHT DAYS LATER, they’ve had no food. None. A tiny lizard succumbs to a day’s hunt; a snake is killed, and Chick is now all about KILLING. Ha. Long story short, they overcooked the snake.
Next hunting trip, they find and kill another snake; for some reason, they decided to smoke it, but hallelujah—the fire’s going great now and THIS one gets burned up. Completely. So they scope out the guts and find—eggs. Ick.
I swear, if I ever had to do this, my “tool” of choice would be a case of granola bars.
Back to being an armchair survivalist:
Find water. A lot of it, if you’re in a desert situation. Gather fire material, to purify said water—doesn’t do any good if you have a ton of undrinkable water OR, as in Dude and Chick’s case, you find no way to store and carry it as needed. Most importantly, if it’s you against the flora and fauna, YOU win, not the birds, not the spiders, etc.
Keep warm at night, so you can rest. Keep in shape. Find or make shelter. Tend the damn fire.
And don’t be so cocky that you think it’s a game. It’s not. At least, not in real life.