The Prepper, Survival, Homesteading, Bushcraft, Whatever You Want to Call Us Community, does not need another reality show to make us look like kooks. And although a mature person can look at a TV show and get “something out of it,” many in the community feel it does more harm than good in spreading the need to be prepared. We’ll keep to Youtube and websites thank you very much!
But what if one of our own pulled it off? What if one of our own starred in a TV show and shared survival techniques with others in a way that wasn’t sensational? Would you watch it? I did! And I hope many others do too!
The Weather Channel will start airing the TV show, Fat Guys in the Woods, starring well known survivalist, Creek Stewart. The idea behind this show is that Creek takes guys who are not your typical survivalist into the woods for a week. He teaches them the basics of survival and after a few days, lets them go out on their own to survive for a night. The guys are doing it to get motivated and improve their health, all in the context of learning survival skills.
This first episode takes place in the Smokey Mountains during Winter. During the video, it snows and the temps fall to 15 degrees Fahrenheit. We are introduced to 3 overweight friends who are going out to meet Creek in the woods. After introductions, Creek gives them a pack with a Mora Knife and a metal canteen (something like this). As they trek into the woods, you can tell that the guys are breathing hard as they try to walk and talk.
On the way to find an appropriate place to setup camp, one of the guys makes a comment about eating. Creek shares the Rule of 3 and asks him what he thinks their priority might be. Creek finally settles on a campsite and explains the reasons why: a lot of natural resources, open space and close enough to the water. Creek explains that they are going to build a traditional wikiup that will allow them to all sleep inside with a fire. He states that they should first build their bed so that the cold ground doesn’t “suck the heat out of your body.” To help with the shelter, Creek provides each of the guys with a saw blade and shows them how to make a bow saw.
The second priority that Creek works with the guys on is how to build a fire. Creek shows the guys how to use a flint and steel with char-cloth. After he explains how to use it, he throws the flint into the woods. Yes, this move is unnecessary, but the purpose is to take the guys down to the creek bed and help them to find their own flint. After a little searching, they do. They go back to the campsite and with Creek’s advice of staying patient and “not to rush it,” they are successful in building a fire together.
The next day, Creek shows the guys how to make a snare. On the third day, they catch a rabbit and Creek shows them how to field dress it, along with cooking the meaty parts and making a stew out of the edible organs and skull. At one point, one of the friends remarks how the last time they were out they had a whole table full of food and shoved it in their mouth without even thinking about it. They all eat and drink the stew, remarking how good it tastes. On day five, each friend takes off on their own tasked with building a shelter and fire completely on their own. Creek makes visits to each and encourages them as they go through their day.
A one hour show is not going to be perfect! Of course, there were things that I would have liked to be explained in greater detail for anyone seeing these skills for the first time. For instance, I would have liked to see step by step details on how to make the bow saw. I would have liked more of a step by step on the wikiup. I would have liked to see more specifics on making the snares, char-cloth and finding flint. To do all of this would take a 5 hour show. And in reality, all of the specifics can be found in great detail online. (follow the links)
I really like how positive this show is. Creek is always encouraging and affirming. The premise is one that many in the preparedness community talk about, getting healthy before the SHTF. It also shows how easy some of these skills are with practice, but you have to do it. You need to get out there before you actually need it! One of the guys mentions that they would have never been able to do this if it wasn’t for Creek showing them. We all need someone helping us out along the way. The show ends with the guys around the fire and Creek sharing some final words of encouragement and affirmation. I love that! And from what I know about Creek, this falls right in line with his character! This show is so different than the others on TV!
Lastly, I want to point out that there is a difference in the reactions of the friends in the show. The show didn’t try to catch them making weird faces, you know the ones I mean, with big bug eyes before they cut to a commercial. You can SEE the excitement in their face when they accomplish a task. When one of the friends mentions that he has never had to kill something for sustenance, you can tell that he is not just saying it for dramatic effect. You can SEE the pride they feel when they have realized that they were very capable of surviving for a week in the woods.
Fat Guys in the Woods airs on August 10, 2014 @ 10:00 p.m. E.T. on the Weather Channel. Make sure you watch it and show your support for one of the “good survival shows.”
Creek Stewart is owner of Willow Haven Outdoors Survival School. He is the author of the very popular books, Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag, The Unofficial Hunger Games Survival Manual and Build the Perfect Bug Out Vehicle (which is shown at the beginning of the show). He also blogs at WillowHavenOutdoor.com.
If you enjoyed the article, please vote for the site at Top Prepper Websites.
Copyright – Content on Ed That Matters (unless the work of a Third-Party) may be reproduced in part or whole with attribution through a link to www.edthatmatters.com. If you are interested in a Third Party article, please contact the author for permission.