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There is a hell of a lot of stuff about the importance of bushcraft and survival skills in relation to prepping and survivalism.

Something TH said made me think a little more about my experiences and the things my friends from uni told me about TV.

First off, we'll be looking at the 'reality TV' style bushcraft programs, like Ray Mears and Bear Grylls and having a little look at some of the stuff we're made to believe, and what we're actually seeing.

Okay, I'm sure we can all remember when Bear Grylls was caught in a 4* hotel while filming one of his series. I can't knock the guy, he's done a lot of good with getting kids interested in outdoors living and the alike. Granted copying what you see on TV will likely get you killed, but he's making an alternative to sitting on an XBox or PS4 for kids.

Next up, our lovely Ray 'only bushcrafter to get fatter while surviving' Mears. Whose expertise is high, but clearly has a lifestyle with a little bit of extra chocolate and a dessert, or 2.

Reality programs are edited. This is obvious, because otherwise there would be a lot of time spent standing around waiting for the sound guy to get his atmospheric readings, lense changes, battery changes, possible film changes, incut moments, different angles of the same thing, camera set-ups, and the alike. This would clearly mean a major break in the sequence of events...and that's BEFORE the editing team go to work.

So already we're not seeing the 'whole truth' of the situation.

What about the safety gear, harnesses, ropes, and all of that? Would the BBC or any other British filming institution allow an 'actor' or host to perform many of the 'stunts' in an unsafe way? HELL NO!!! Granted BG did haul himself along a metal cable across a massive ravine. Great work. But if you look carefully, you'll see the harness and safety ropes.

Now, when it comes to plant recognition, foraging, trapping and things like that...well, at least BG is honest. I can't think of a single time when any of his traps have worked. However, Ray Mears, has had working traps. I'm not knocking him. He probably did catch the rabbits with traps he set. The thing is, what we don't see is the number of traps that failed, the number of hours he's spent looking for a mushroom or fern to snack on. Truth is, the programs could well have been recorded over the course of a week, and in that whole week they used just enough footage to make a 1 hour program.

Okay everyone. What have we learned so far? For one, the use of the word 'reality' is not taken on it's literal meaning of something that is real.

The rant continues.

When the hosts of the programs go out into the wilderness, it always seems to be much better weather than when I go out there! There are very few episodes where a fire isn't working and where a lovely shelter cannot be made.

A few of the survival-teachers have started to say that they've had to call in the team, due to fading light, and things like that. Fair play guys, at least you're being honest.

The problem is, many people will watch those programs and believe that they now know the survival skills that were highlighted on the program.

WOOOOOOH!!!!! Hold up a minute. Just because you've watched an MMA fight, does it mean you have the same skill level? Because you've watched football, does it mean you can play that technically? Obviously not. So, even though what is being 'taught' is done in a clearly misleading way, for some reason, we do tend to believe that we've seen it and so can do it.

The reality is....we can't.
If the tv makers showed you how hard it is to make ends meet it'd be very long drawn out and boring....for every success there are many failures, I suspect there's probably hundreds if not thousands of hours filming to make a series and you are getting the highlights...nobody would watch it if they did survival in real time.
the shows are just for fun,to sell adverts, if tshtf and half the uk turned up to the local woods to survive ... what woods the uk is one big farm from one end to the other with small wooded areas protected buy charitys enough to make the general public feel good.
take a drive in the contryside it looks good from a car high hedges and trees , but only a few feet thick hideing the fact that the uk is one big field.
bushcraft is handy to know but its dream world for real survival .
Bit like those old cooking shows ...heres one I made earlier! lol
you have to remember for most TV viewers this has nothing to do with reality what so ever, its just entertainment and nothing more.
Remember the TV episode when Ray Mears was in Canada and he said something like " Right we now have a 6 hour hike cross country through this woodland to meet up with some people who used traditional Canadian canoes"

Then off he strolled off camera.

Next you see him arriving at the new location and his boots and pants are as spotless as they were when he set off to walk for six hours.
I have the greatest respect for Ray Mears, but hey, get real, we all know he didn't hike for 6 hours, the TV company hired a Helicopter...right??Big Grin
I like Les Stroud on Survivorman. Canadian man,he goes out by himself, does all the filming etc.. IMO, his show is the most realistic as in showing swarming insects when he wants to sleep, he rarely catches anything in his traps and usually ends up eating bugs again. I like it cause it shows things dont always work as planned.

While Bear Grylls show was entertaining, anyone trying to survive like that will probably end up severly injured or worse. Cant see myself taking a running jump off a cliff and grabbing a tree to climb down. Can see myself missing the tree and ending up paralyzed. I'll take the long way around, thanks.
(10 April 2014, 21:42)Rush2112 Wrote: [ -> ]While Bear Grylls show was entertaining, anyone trying to survive like that will probably end up severly injured or worse. Cant see myself taking a running jump off a cliff and grabbing a tree to climb down. Can see myself missing the tree and ending up paralyzed. I'll take the long way around, thanks.

exactly, BG is an accident waiting to happen. I like the "Bush Tucker Man"...remember him?
Yup, of course the reality is different to what you see on TV. 4 hours of someone trying to get a fire started, or going round finding loads of empty traps isn't going to be very exciting.

People seem to be very anti BG. Just because he's a bit reckless in the TV show, does not mean that's how he's going to be in real life...

"An accident waiting to happen" - Hahahaha, someone believe too much of what they see on TV... Rolleyes
The bloke's very highly skilled, and definitely knows his stuff.
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