I’m not sure how many wilderness survival shows there are on television right now, but it appears there is some kind of obsession going on with this type of programming. And they are running the gamut from being naked in the wild to being fat in the wild. That’s right, there’s a show now titled “Fat Guys in The Woods.” Fortunately, they keep their britches on.
And there’s one now about a crazy man “Mick Dodge” who runs around the northern woods eating fungus off trees and grilling road kill.
I have pointed out several times in my scribblings that I have always been fascinated by primitive survival. I find it very intriguing to study the methods used by our forefathers back when “tweeting’ was trying to emulate a bobwhite so that it could be roasted for supper.
I grew up on James Fenimore Cooper’s “Leather Stocking Tales” and Daniel Defoe’s “Robinson Crusoe” with a little “Swiss Family Robinson” thrown in for good measure.
According to one critic on the internet, there are 11 survivor-type shows “worth watching.” This type of programming is now coming from worldwide. Of course, in the Mideast, the concept of survival takes on a whole new meaning, and it is not covered in the context of what I write about today. There you don’t have to rub two sticks together to make fire. Something is always burning.
The latest show I watched in this venue is the one titled “Fat Guys in The Woods.”
Three obese guys go out for a week in the woods with a wilderness expert who is not fat. The whole idea is for these three fat guys to regain some confidence and self-esteem. There’s no Krispy Kreme anywhere near them, and they learn that even though there may be deer and antelope all around them, they don’t just drop dead from heart attacks.
The other night, the four of them shared a single larvae. It was a big grub but when it was cut into four pieces, the portions were smaller than a fingernail.
Then their expert taught them how to build a fish trap. They caught a bluegill and a trout. The portions got a little bigger. They ate fins, bones and eyeballs and then licked their fingers.
My guess is that few people who make it to one of these many shows believes that he or she will ever have to use such skills in practical application ... far from a camera crew and medical aid. Doing something with the assurance that you can always give up and catch a ride home and doing something knowing that you “do or die” comprise two very different motivational levels.
In several of these shows, medical help had to be rushed in. Some people quit less than half-way through the challenge.
But of those who do meet the challenges, they learn that you will do some things that you thought you would never do. Reduced to near starvation, you will take in any kind of protein that is not awash in pathogens.
Now Mick Dodge apparently is adept at knowing how old road kill can be before it can’t be considered supper. And this is without hot sauce. Not only will he eat from the carcass but from the creatures living inside it. But I doubt he will ever have a cooking show in this regard. Let’s say the ambiance is very lacking.
Now I do see some irony in watching these shows. You see I changed the channel and there’s a show about how much of our wilderness is being cleared — so much so that the creatures are now coming to town. So at a time when there is a plethora of survival shows, there is less and less wilderness for these skills to be practically applied. Go figure.
Dwain Walden is editor/publisher of The Moultrie Observer, 985-4545. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Walden is publisher and editor of the Moultrie Observer. Email: email@example.com.