Best Survival TV Shows To Watch

Let’s face it, we consume a lot of media, including TV and streaming shows. We’re not always practicing our survival skills or (hopefully) in a real world survival situation. However, it can be fun to watch others in simulated (or scripted) survival situations. Here are the best survival TV shows that you can watch. Please note that we make no claim to how legitimate or scripted these shows and situations are. This is a list of shows for entertainment purposes only.

Best Survival TV Shows

1. Survivorman

Les Stroud’s Survivorman was perhaps the first series to truly reach American audiences with a mainstream wilderness survival message. Survivorman premiered in 2005 on the Discovery Channel and ran for three seasons. Stroud has done some other projects for Discovery, but none that were as physically demanding as Survivorman. You can stream Survivorman episodes on the streaming service, Pluto.

2. Alone

Alone is a fantastic show. Survivalists are boated or flown into remote locations and have to survive with the equipment options that they have chosen. First premiering in 2015 on the History Channel, Alone is currently running and has released ten seasons thus far. Some of Alone’s contestants have survived as part of the competition for more than ninety days! This show can be described as a truly epic survival competition.

3. Naked & Afraid

Naked & Afraid has grown to be a major franchise, with several different series spin-offs and formats within the Naked & Afraid universe. The original premise was that two survivalists-a man and a woman-would try to survive twenty-one days in remote locations with no clothes and only a couple of pieces of gear (typically a knife, fire starter, and pot for water). Even with a camera crew, you can imagine how difficult this challenge is. Spin-offs include longer time periods, fan challenges, larger groups and different scenarios. Many of the contestants (similar to Alone) are absolutely survivalist legends. You can watch Naked & Afraid on Discovery Channel.

Honorable Mention: Bear Grylls’ You Vs. Wild

While Bear Grylls was definitely instrumental in building an audience that was interested in survival TV shows, many of his series seem staged (he does quite a few tricks that you wouldn’t normally do if you didn’t have a potentially quick medical response). However, one of the most influential series is Bear Grylls’ You Vs. Wild because it allows kids to make decisions based upon data presented in the show. It also draws in younger viewers with a story-based approach which is why this makes an appearance as an honorable mention. You can watch the You Vs. Wild series on Netflix.

So What Are The Best Survival TV Shows?

Again, while these shows are still for entertainment purposes, they can definitely inspire and illustrate important survival skills. Like, gathering food, for instance.

Reading More

Planning on hiking in the Grand Rapids, Michigan area? Check out Rogue River Park in Belmont for a beautiful and natural setting just north of the city. Check out this blog post from Pack & Paddle Expedition Co about Outdoor Survival Skills! While the above shows don’t usually include communications, having an amateur radio license can be a great survival tool. Learn how to get an amateur (or ham) radio license here.

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