Prepping and survival have always found a place in popular culture, and as a result, there are more than a few prepping-related TV shows with a reasonable degree of realism.
I have always been a fan of these shows, and I have compiled a list of five shows I have personally watched and enjoyed.
Alone is my all-time favorite survival TV show, and I have been a huge fan of it since the first episode.
The premise is that ten participants are dropped off in a remote area with ten survival items. Their task is to survive as long as possible utterly alone while doing all the filming themselves. The last person left wins a half million dollars.
Alone shows a lot of good techniques for shelter building, trapping, fishing, bushcraft, and other survival-related tasks, but where it really shines is the physical and psychological effects of isolation on the body.
It does not take long before the participants lose a lot of weight which seriously impacts their ability to continue with the day-to-day grind of survival.
As a result, there are times when the show becomes a race to see who will starve themselves into submission first.
The impacts of isolation are a cornerstone of the show, and each participant experiences significant issues coping with the separation from their families and being cut off from the rest of the world.
I believe that Alone is a fantastic look into the gritty realities of survival and the impacts of being forced to gather your own resources.
It is also a wake-up call for the ‘lone wolf’ survivalists who believe they can run off into the woods with a bug-out bag and live happily ever after.
Survivorman follows Les Stroud as he attempts to survive seven days with minimal resources while self-filming the entire adventure.
Like Alone, Survivorman is a gritty no holds barred look into the reality of survival.
Les often spends his whole week consuming little to no food while being on the move, carrying the camera equipment, and filming the entire journey.
I have been an avid watcher of Survivorman since day one, and through the years, I’ve noticed that there has been a definite evolution in his survival skills over time.
However, throughout the show’s many seasons, Les has demonstrated the harsh reality of surviving solo in the wilderness.
Unfortunately, Discovery Channel’s series The Colony, only ran for two seasons.
The show put ten participants in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment where they have to survive by gathering resources, dealing with other survivors, and managing the interpersonal relationships in the group.
Discovery used hundreds of paid actors to act as other survivors or hostile forces.
The area where the show is filmed was a section of Los Angeles cordoned off to provide a realistic representation of a city post-collapse.
Like all reality shows, this was a little bit hokey and was clearly designed for entertainment rather than being a manual for post-apocalyptic survival.
That being said, it was obvious that the showrunners did everything they could to make all the challenges as realistic as possible, and the participants struggled through many of them.
One of the big takeaways is how difficult it would be to survive in a post-apocalyptic urban environment with a group of strangers. Even with a group of like-minded people, dealing with clashing personalities while surviving is going to present a massive challenge.
So many movies and TV shows have been made that depict a world after a nuclear attack. Jericho is one of my favorites.
Jericho follows a small town of the same name in the days and months after multiple major cities were destroyed in a nuclear attack.
Jericho is a pretty standard primetime tv drama with the usual cast of characters and interpersonal dramas that you would expect.
However, I found the plot engaging enough that I genuinely was looking forward to each week’s installment. Later in the show’s run, the plotlines got a bit far-fetched and ridiculous, but overall the show was very entertaining.
From a prepping standpoint, I felt there was a good effort to bring a reasonable degree of realism to the plot.
In the first few days, the residents of Jericho found themselves totally cut off from the rest of the country and the world because of the breakdown of power and communication.
As the show progresses, the citizens of Jericho have to cope with a dwindling food supply, EMP, refugees, crime, and an all-out war with a nearby town.
While the show is definitely made for an audience that is not preparedness minded, the trials and tribulations that the citizens of Jericho face can represent some interesting thought experiments for those of us who are preppers and survivalists.
Doomsday Preppers is a reality show introducing the audience to people and their families preparing for a disaster or the apocalypse. At the end of each episode, a team of survival experts assesses the participant’s preparations.
Shows like Doomsday Preppers are a bit of a guilty pleasure for me.
The fact that these people are willing to showcase their preps on national television automatically has me wondering why anyone would want all of their neighbors to know the extent of their stockpiles.
However, seeing how other people prepare can give us some ideas for what we could do and, in some cases, what we should not be doing when we assess our preparedness.
I also like to see how people prepare for their unique situations and environments because it gives an insight into how different areas require different priorities in terms of preparedness.
In a lot of ways, Doomsday Preppers is just another reality show in a long linage of reality shows. However, it is worthwhile to watch to get a few ideas or see how other preppers are solving issues that preppers often face.
There are many other prepping-related TV shows that we could spend time with, but these five are the ones I have enjoyed and found to have good prepping content.
If you’re going to spend time in front of the TV, these are great options to entertain and hopefully educate.
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