Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Watching: Dual Survival on Discovery

(photo from Discovery Channel)

This series has been really interesting, offering two different perspectives on survival skills in different situations. In each episode, the hosts of the show - Cody Lundin and David Canterbury - find themselves in the midst of a survival scenario, in a different climate, different terrain, and different resources available. They each have different skill sets that compliment one another: Lundin's expertise is in primitive skills, Canterbury is an army trained scout and hunter.

I've read Lundin's best selling books on survival: 98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive and When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes. Both were very down-to-earth, no-nonsense guides to surviving situations that anyone could very well find themselves in (i.e. hurrican Katrina).

Canterbury has also published a book that I will have to check out: The Pathfinder System: A Common Man's Survival Guide - another no-nonsense guide to survival skills.

One thing that I particularly like about Dual Survival is how in each episode, they demonstrate a different technique for starting a fire (some methods look a lot easier than others). In the last episode (Out of Africa), they actually made fire with a hand drill - probably the hardest way, but the only tool they had for that scenario was a machete, so that's what they had to work with. You can't know too many ways to start a fire...and you also can't know too many ways to sanitize water.

The dynamic between Lundin and Canterbury is also interesting. They often work as a team to figure out how to deal with each situation, but they sometimes disagree, which makes the show more realistic, especially since we are talking about life or death situations.

I recommend checking out the tv series or picking up any of these books as an introduction to basic survival.
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