Monday, August 30, 2010

Discussion: Wilderness Survival, For Dummies?

Campfire, Horseshoe Meadows I particularly enjoyed last weeks discussion about the effect the journey has on the destination. This week though, I'd like to ponder staged "wilderness survival" in the vein of Man vs. Wild and Suriviorman. Long before the popularity of these shows when I worked in a bookstore, I noted impractical survival books always sold better than practical backpacking books. There seems to be something romantic to those of us of the north american persuasion about going out and being self sufficient in the woods. Unlike hiking and backpacking though it seems to have less to do with a reverence for nature and more to do with the joy of self-reliance.

This past March a man died attempting to follow what he had seen on TV which raises many serious ethical questions on the subject of putting yourself in survival situations intentionally. Do people craving adventure in their lives put themselves in "survival situations" just to fill that void? What interest does "surviving" in the wilderness have to you?

This Week in the Backcountry

  • Tuesday: Hikers Guide to Weather and Clouds
  • Wednesday: How-To: Summer Backpacking Checklist
  • Thursday: Redwood National Park: Trillium Falls Trail
  • 1 comment:

    1. I understand your point about practicality vs. sensationalism, if that’s the right word. But I like some of these shows. I have noticed this year these types of shows include new disclaimers about having support, and that sometimes they are presented with situations in order to demonstrate techniques. But that’s just being honest. I always consider them to be interesting, but primarily entertainment. I think its fine to learn a few things, even though I would never tempt fate by intentionally placing myself in danger. Bottom line, “don’t try this at home”. But people do all kinds of crazy things after seeing movies, or TV, or listening to music, or other media. I don’t think the show, or an artist, can be responsible for that. I will be watching my favorites.