People who are well-versed in prepping don’t watch much television. When we do something, we want it to be significant. Even though television has the potential to turn you into a couch potato by draining your mental resources, if you are selective about what you watch, it can actually teach you quite a bit. So, this list of prepper-themed TV shows comes in handy.
You can unwind in front of the TV after a long day of work or completing projects while still learning. Netflix, Amazon, and YouTube make it simple to access a wide variety of entertaining and educational survival shows. Family time can be made even better by relaxing and listening to survival stories or learning about bunker strategies from those who have been through it.
Make your way through our comprehensive list and let us know which songs stand out to you.
1. Doomsday Preppers
Doomsday Preppers, which aired on National Geographic for three seasons from 2012 to 2014, introduced the majority of Americans to the prepping movement. It was fascinating to see how prepared the featured preppers were for such a wide range of SHTF scenarios. The ‘doomsday preppers,’ who are well-prepared for everything from natural disasters to nuclear winters, are woefully underprepared when it comes to risk analysis.
In addition, a group of real-life prepper experts joins the show to give the preppers arbitrary “scores” in order to compare their level of preparedness. Just because the show has changed how people perceive prepper culture alone makes it worth checking out if you haven’t already.
Though he is Canadian, Les Stroud is a hard-charging rogue who will not be intimidated by anyone. When other shows used film crews, costumes, and gimmicks to film segments, Les took a camera and spent a week in remote locations by himself. OLN, Discovery, and the Science Channel all carried the show from 2004 to 2015.
Les was aware of the mental fortitude a film crew would offer in a life-or-death situation. Removing this ‘crutch’ made for compelling television and paved the way for numerous other shows to follow suit over a decade later.
3. Dual Survival
The pairing of Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin is odd. On Dual Survival, they join forces to show that there are numerous methods for surviving. On the Discovery Channel, the show aired from 2010 to 2016.
Today’s polarization in the United States makes me nostalgic for this show. An isolated pair of men must frequently work out their differences if they want $&% # done. The showrunners, on the other hand, had to deal with some confusion over Dave Canterbury’s past. After season 3, hosts were frequently swapped out, and the show suffered as a result.
4. Naked and Afraid
As of 2013, Naked and Afraid has become a worldwide phenomenon. The show pits a man and woman against each other in an isolated location with limited access to basic necessities. And, of course, he was naked. In the absence of a survival scenario, how is it possible for someone to lose their clothes? It doesn’t matter—just it’s a skill test with lots of post-production blurring effects.
The Discover Channel is still airing episodes of the show, which is quite entertaining. The survivalists’ tools and strategies can be suspect at times, as can their selections. Some contestants have a problem with the fact that they have to stay in one place for 21 days before they can leave. Some of the most boring episodes are when someone spends 21 days lying in bed to save calories.
Similar to Survivorman, another reality show called Alone has contestants filming themselves without the assistance of a production crew. There is a half-million dollar prize on the History Channel, which has attracted some highly skilled survivalists. The survivor contest pits the contestants against one another in an attempt to win a huge check.
Since the competitions last far longer than 27 days, those who attempt to reduce their caloric intake often have a difficult time (unlike Naked and Afraid). Only ten of a predetermined list of survival tools can be brought by the Alone contestants, allowing for a variety of approaches.
6. Man vs. Wild
As a result of this show, Bear Grylls became a household name in the survival world. Survival was presented as an adventure in the series Man vs. Wild, which aired on Discovery Channel from 2006 to 2011.
Man vs. Wild was one of Bear Grylls’ earliest and most successful programs. The survivalist community has mixed feelings about this episode, as they have about most of Bear’s work. However, no one can deny that Man vs. Wild has provided survivalism with exposure.
In recognition of Ed Stafford’s accomplishment of walking the Amazon River from source to mouth, the BBC aired an entire series based on his exploits. To demonstrate his survival skills on the show Marooned, Ed often goes without clothes. His decision to wear clothes while filming has helped turn the show into more of an educational show since it debuted on Discovery Channel in 2013.
Ed makes a valiant effort to make it through 60 days in the wilderness on the meager supplies he has with him. This exemplifies his ingenuity quite nicely.
8. Man, Woman, Wild
Although the name Mykel Hawke Pierce may not be familiar to the general public, he is well-known in the wilderness survival world. He has a good chemistry with his wife Ruth England and they make for good entertainment without the usual amount of drama. There was an entire season of the show on Discovery Channel from 2010 to 2012.
Because he’s an ex-Special Operations soldier with the United States Army, Mykel approaches survival differently than the average civilian. To them, the show had become too difficult for them and their family to continue.
9. Ray Mears’ Bushcraft
Ray Mears is a well-known bushcraft expert and member of the survivalist community. The aptly named BBC and Discovery Channel show, which ran from 2004 to 2005, gave Ray a chance to demonstrate many of his talents.
Ray has put on numerous performances over the years, Bushcraft being just one of them. Since 1997, he has appeared in 32 movies and television shows, according to IMDb.
10. Dude, You’re Screwed
Then, have them play a game in which one of them is kidnapped by the others and dumped in a strange remote location. During this time, the’screwed dude’ has 100 hours to get out or they will lose the game. You’ve got a good show if you call it “Dude, You’re Screwed.”
11. Primal Survivor
In this episode, Hazen Audel is put to the test against some treacherous odds. In order to cross the Artic Circle, jungle treks, and crocodile-infested water, he uses a unique combination of his survival skills and the local’s knowledge. National Geographic film crews have been following him around the world since 2016. As an example, some of the countries where he has gained knowledge from natives include: Indonesia; Panama; Nepal; and Tanzania.
12. Lost Survivors
After the success of Man, Woman, Wild, Mykel and Ruth reunite under the same format. They’re a little more experienced and comfortable with cameras after watching this show for a while. However, the biggest twist is that they have no idea where they are being dropped off at all. Since 2013, it’s been airing on the Travel Channel.
13. Survival with Ray Mears
The series only has three episodes, so this installment is one of the tiniest on our list. Leopards, Bears, and Wolves are just a few of the creatures that Ray Mears spends the show scouting out in the wild. Meanwhile, he’s demonstrating his vast wilderness survival and bushcraft expertise by tracking them down. For those who don’t want to get bogged down in a lengthy series, this one from 2010 is a great choice.
14. Fat Guys in the Woods
In my own backyard, the Appalachian Mountains, Creek Stewart shows off his wilderness survival skills. From 2014 to 2015, the show was on the air. For a week, Creek brings in selected groups to learn primitive survival skills. This show’s teacher-student dynamic makes it an excellent resource for learning new skills or improving existing ones.
15. The Island with Bear Grylls
Bear Grylls makes a final appearance on the list after making it to the top twice. The show features him as a host and follows a group of British survivalists who are sent to remote locations with only the bare necessities. The series debuted in 2014 on Channel 4 and is still running today.
16. Extreme Survival
Ray Mears returns to the list with a performance from way back when. Ray takes his survival skills on the road to places like Costa Rica, Morocco, Belarus, and New Zealand. The series aired on BBC and Discovery Channel from 1999 to 2002.
17. The Colony
It was an experimental show where “colonist” contestants were dropped off in deserted areas to re-establish a spherical civilisation. In terms of group dynamics after the SHTF, the show excels, but the production values are questionable.
Through the course of the series, the creators introduce traders, marauders, and other post-apocalyptic interventions that lessen the show’s credibility. This is still an interesting show because it shows how teamwork, great survival skills, and resourcefulness can easily be compromised in a group setting.
18. Out of the Wild
As part of an experiment for its 2008 series, Discovery Channel threw a group of everyday Alaskans into the wild and tracked their survival for three months. The volunteers are uncomfortable because they are unfamiliar with the situation, but they appear eager to pick up new skills.
19. Doomsday Castle
A medieval castle is the best place to hide out if the world ends tomorrow. This North Carolina family, who allowed National Geographic to photograph their EMP preparations, says they have very little.
The castle was a lifelong dream of the family patriarch, who worked tirelessly on it for nearly two decades. He enlists the assistance of his five adult children, but their progress is hampered by family feuds and power struggles.
20. Doomsday: 10 Ways the World Will End
An in-depth look at how the world might end abruptly is provided in this 10-part series. It includes the following topics:
It’s like looking into a black hole.
Aliens From Another Galaxy
Storms caused by the Sun
An all-out nuclear conflict is possible.
Massive Volcanic Activity
Earth is no longer in orbit around the sun.
Threat of Extraterrestrial Invasion
Disastrous Event at Sea
Despite the fact that these episodes appear to be a mashup of sci-fi themes thrown together for effect, they take an analytical approach. They talk about how mitigation and preparation can help, as well as the likelihood of various scenarios.
21. Naked and Afraid XL
The’survivalists’ on the original Naked and Afraid were obnoxious to watch as they merely restricted their caloric intake in order to make it through the 21-day period without becoming ill. The day goal in Naked and Afraid XL has been increased from 21 to 40. This eliminates all of the “calorie coasters” and forces you to rely on your wits and survival skills more.
In order to fit 40 days of footage into one episode, the format was changed, but the show has been a big hit on Discovery since it premiered in 2015.
Survival Shows on Netflix
Until recently, Netflix offered a wide range of survival shows. However, Netflix no longer owns the rights to many of the above-mentioned shows. As a result, there isn’t much of a selection of popular survival and prepping shows to choose from.
As a substitute, Netflix is putting its efforts into creating original material. Netflix has a slew of survival films available. Unfortunately, the majority of these stories are made up. There are a few amusing possibilities, but there isn’t as much to be learned from these fictitious examples.
The Final Word
Even if you watch a lot of television, it doesn’t have to sap your mental resources. Prepping and survival-related shows abound, so there’s no shortage of educational content. In fact, we’ve listed a slew of other things you can learn while lounging on the couch as well. Take a look at 9 Couch-Survival Skills You Can Learn Right Now.
The prepping TV shows may tempt you to stay home, but don’t let them. Don’t be afraid to put what you’ve learned to the test. Unless you put your preparedness and survival gear through the ringer, it’s pointless.