This story is kind of interesting. If you have ever wondered about “surviving in the wild” and how it might work out, you might want to read this and check out the links.
My own research into “bugging out” and in conversation with professional survival instructors, reveals that abandoning civilization in favor of “survival” is a damned bad idea. Most people would die, quickly. Few would last longer then a couple of weeks. It is very unlikely that anyone alone would last a year or even six months totally cut-off from civilization.
I do know of one person who tried – and he disappeared, never to be found. Long ago, I had even posted a “Survival Acres Challenge” which nobody ever attempted.
But this television show, is different. 23 people were asked to go into the woods on a private estate and “build a new society”. They were given a lot of resources to do so, including farm animals, equipment, tools, weapons and even skilled people were included in the group. They actually had everything that they needed – but what they didn’t have was the right attitudes. Coming from a modern, pampered civilization, they were poorly prepared for living off the land.
Problems began immediately. Out of the 23 that started, 13 quit within four months due to boredom, hunger, deprivation, infighting, sexual tensions and backstabbing / bickering incompatibility issues.
The rest managed to survive the year (with help) only to then learn that their television show only aired 4 episodes.
Alone in the Wild for a Year, TV Contestants Learn Their Show Was Canceled
Eden volunteers refuse to let quitters back in, after eight exit Channel 4 reality show
Hounded out by the beasts of Eden: Contestant tells of bullying, sexual tension and bitter rivalries in Channel 4’s TV experiment to create Nirvana
It looks to me like “fame” also factors into the reasons some participated – and quit, to return to their normal lives. It’s also evident that this was not “in the wild” at all – just a tract of ground that didn’t have any other humans on it. There were people around which some participants somehow managed to engage in trade with (junk food and alcohol). The lack of seriousness in the participants is appalling.
What I think is interesting is how the survival meme in the past dozen years has been so heavily promoted by the media with different reality shows. I’ve lost track of how many different versions there have been, but it’s been dozens and dozens.
Most are entirely fake. Scripted events and “crisis” acting, staged conditions and dialogue. The Scottish show doesn’t sound much different (although I’ve never seen it myself). Beyond the efforts to promote anything to make a buck – is there something more to the survival reality show meme? Like trying to find out if humans are going to be able to survive the future?
Could be, but they’re going about it all wrong if that was the secret goal. Modern humans lack almost everything for adaption to survival existence and as every show has shown, immediately return to the comforts of “better living”. Food, alcohol, sex, cell phones, television and the near-impossible-to-break desire to return to the modern world.
The psychological mindsets of the participants dooms the experiments. Every participant knows “this is just an endurance contest” and they’ll get to return to the real world. So they last as long as they deem necessary – returning to fame, fortune and comfort. Monetary rewards await them all – no matter what the show’s original agenda was, even the “unpaid” and “unrewarded” will get their monetary rewards afterwards – even if they do not last long. Television and radio appearances, book deals, speaking engagements, endorsements, it’s all waiting for them – so this awareness will have a HUGE impact on their willingness to participate, and their “showing” (efforts, actions, activities, willingess and so forth) during the show.
In other words, just from a psychological standpoint – none of these shows are real. Not even close. There’s just too much incentive above and beyond “survival” at play here.
IF there was no civilization to go back to; IF cooperation, participation were required (or you die); IF there was never going to be any reward, fame, fortune, notoriety – then the results would be different (all else being equal, including the support they receive). But if there was no support, no chickens, pigs, goats, tools, weapons, skilled people – then the results would be very, very different. Nobody would have survived from the modern world. They’d have all died from hunger, exposure, injury, sickness or stupid mistakes.
I’ve long said that survival is really about finding your way back to civilization where you can survive. Nobody can do this alone and expect to live long. Everybody is mooching off the system is some way – whether it be recycled plastic water bottles for carrying water, steel to make knives and cut nets or gut fish, or the clothes your wearing – we’re all very depending upon the products and production of civilization to keep us going, even in “survival conditions”.
The closes I’ve seen to reality with any of these shows is the naked survivalists. But even they are play-acting, following a helpful script and even helpful show events like making sure a tame goat passes by where the actors can kill it for food. None of these shows are as real or honest as they should be.
I’d have loved to try this, even at my age and condition. I rather like the woods and prefer the rural mountains to a city any day (that’s why I live here). But I well recognize that “survival” here or anywhere else without the support of civilization and all the stuff it produces would be impossible. I would die. So would you. It’s something to think about as our collapse deepens.