There’s something about survival programs that refer to our primitive past. Those who are released into the wilderness and forced to survive solely on their wits make it fascinating to watch. It is reminiscent of the hunter-gatherer era of humans. When men and women rely on their survival skills to survive.
These types of survival TV shows have become increasingly popular over the past two decades. Much of the success of these TV series is due to Bear Grylls. British explorer famous for his show Man vs Wild. Each episode features a scene where Grylls is left to fend for himself in a desolate wilderness with only one crew to accompany him. As a resounding success, it helped create a new genre of exploration shows that encompass all aspects of survival. Some of these shows are filmed as documentaries, while others are reality or game-based shows. What they have in common is the theme of survival.
So what are the best survival shows of all time? We’ve put together a list of 10 favorites that are worth your time. You might even learn a thing or two that can be helpful if you find yourself lost in the wilderness.
1. Human vs Wild
Although not the first survival program, Man vs wild is the easiest to recognize. Airing seven seasons from 2006 to 2011, the widely popular Discovery Channel show pitted Bear Grylls against the wild. Grylls were left in the wild, rugged terrain and tasked with finding their way back to civilization. Most episodes require Grylls to spend the night, so you’ll see him build a shelter and find food to eat before going down to the cellar.
The purpose of the show is to teach viewers how to survive in any situation. Grylls is very personable and his survival knowledge is top notch. One of the most memorable episodes involved Grylls drinking his own urine. No, thank you. As the series becomes more popular, special episodes will be aired in which Grylls is accompanied by a celebrity. The likes of Will Ferrell and Jake Gyllenhaal will join the Grylls on adventures for a few episodes.
This American series is part survival show, part reality show. It is about 10 individuals who are released into the wilderness and have to fend for themselves. But they don’t come up empty-handed, with each contestant able to carry ten pieces of survival gear chosen from a list of 40. The aim is to survive the longest, with the sole remaining contestant winning $500,000.
Contestants are not allowed to come into contact with any other people and can quit at any time if things get too tense. They may also be medically evacuated, which is often the case. Before logging in, they were warned that they could be lost in the wilderness for up to a year, which was shocking.
Each series takes place in a different location, most taking place on Indigenous-controlled lands, such as Nahuel Huapi National Park in Patagonia, Argentina, and Chilko Lake in British Columbia. There have been eight seasons so far, with a ninth season due to air later this year. Roland Welker was the longest-surviving participant, lasting 100 days to claim the prize in season seven.
Survivor was the forerunner of Bear Grylls’ Man vs wild. Hosted by survival expert Les Stroud, the show focuses on Stroud surviving in remote areas for up to ten days. Unlike Grylls, who was followed by a camera crew, Stroud shot all of his action footage himself. Armed with almost no equipment, other than a satellite phone in case of trouble, Stroud relied entirely on his survival skills.
As Stroud explains how to survive, he also documents the physical and psychological toll of being alone in the wilderness. This gives insight into how these survival situations can impact mental health levels. Stroud even had to take a four-year break from filming the series due to the show’s effect on his body and mind. The most terrible thing he had to endure during filming: parasitic worm infection in his mouth. It’s disgusting.
4. Survival World by Ray Mears
Before Bear Grylls became a household name, Ray Mears explored some of the most inhospitable terrain in the world. The British lumberjack and TV presenter has developed a cult following with the series Survival World by Ray Mears. Filmed for the BBC, this series shows Mears living with tribesmen in some of the most remote parts of the world. He traveled to the Arctic to learn how the Inuit people of Baffin Island survived and visited the Jo’hansi bushmen of Namibia to learn more about their way of life.
The series lasted only two seasons (1997-1998) but was considered a cult hit. The show’s success in the UK helped raise Mears’ reputation, with the bushranger going on to create numerous survival TV shows and documentary series, along with writing several books over 20 years. via.
Alright, Survivor It’s more like a game show than a survival show, but when it’s first started, there’s definitely more emphasis on survival. Currently in its 42nd season, the show has attracted viewers around the world thanks to the combination of survival skills/game show/reality TV elements. The basic premise is that several tribes of commoners must compete in various challenges as they attempt to advance to the last three tribes in hopes of being crowned as the sole survivor. True to the tagline, you have to be wiser, outlast and outperform to get to the end.
While the show was all about the drama and intrigue between the people on the show, in its early seasons it was as much about gaming skills as it was about how people survived in the wild. Entrants are provided with very few supplies and need to build a shelter and light a fire. Although they had two bags of rice, this rice was not enough to live on. Some seasons even have contestants killing wild animals for food.
Survivor is still the best survival game show in the world and continues to impress viewers. This is reality TV at its best.
6. Dual survival
Double survival is a reality TV show featuring two people trapped in the wild trying to survive. Although it sounds like Alone, with just the two of them, there were some big differences. For a, Double survival It’s not a competition Instead, it’s a show where two wildlife experts pair up and must use their knowledge to survive. Each season features a different mix of survivors in a remote location, such as a mountain peak in New Zealand and a deserted island in the South Pacific. The show made survival coach Cody Lundin and survival expert Dave Canterbury a TV star.
What makes this show so interesting is the conflicts that often arise within the couples. The two often have different philosophies about how to survive and want to do things their way, causing conflict. This makes for great television and some very exciting and intense moments. Double survival lasted seven seasons and still airs on Discovery to this day.
7. Naked and scared
Surviving in the wilderness is difficult enough, but doing it naked and with a complete stranger will be the hardest. That’s what happens in this ridiculous reality survival show on the Discovery Channel. A man and a woman, both naked, are paired together and tasked with surviving for 21 days in a remote area. The success of the show resulted Naked and scared XLbrings back the previous contestants and has large groups that must work together and survive for 40 days.
It’s not surprising that it became popular, mainly because the people involved were naked. That said, it’s much more of a bare-bones survival show. With almost nothing but a useful item, the contestants must use their survival skills to build shelter and find food. It’s well worth checking out this fun one Saturday night live skits about the celebrity version of the show.
8. Primordial Survivor
Hazen Audel is a biologist who hosts a famous program National Geographic series Primordial Survivor. Adopting a David Attenborough-style approach, Audel immerses herself in foreign lands and embarks on epic journeys through uncharted territories. He joins indigenous tribes and learns about their way of life before embarking on a solo journey.
Unlike other survival shows that highlight how to build a shelter or capture an animal, this Nat Geo series is more about survival adventure. It captures the beauty and danger of being in the lush jungles of Papua New Guinea to the icy plains of Norway. Audel is also extremely adorable, which makes watching his experiences that much more interesting.
9. Out of the Wild
If you think Survivor It’s too difficult, so wait until you see Get out of the wild. This is one of the craziest survival TV shows on this list. The first two seasons follow a group of volunteers who escape a massive plume of smoke forced to survive in the Alaskan wilderness. They must pass several checkpoints as they journey to their destination and build shelters to survive. Things often did not go smoothly, with many contestants giving up before reaching the designated area to build their new home. The third season changes things up and is set in Venezuela. This time, a group of nine people are left behind in a remote area and must use their survival skills to get back to civilization.
Though short-lived, Get out of the wild makes for a great survival TV show. It’s easy to see that working in an office or in a management position doesn’t really make much sense when you’re stuck somewhere.
10. I should not have lived
This documentary series is a little different in that it details the real-life stories of people who used their survival skills to survive life-threatening situations. The show features interviews with people interspersed with graphic re-enactments of what happened.
Over six seasons, many survivors tell their stories. Some of the horror stories include a man who was attacked by a shark and survived, a group of men lost in the Amazon jungle, and a man pinned under his quad bike who had to fight Braving cold weather and coyotes for four days before help arrived. .
The stories are often quite heartbreaking and demonstrate how strong the human will to live truly is.