Wecome To RVs and OHVs

This blog is all about RVs (recreational vehicles) and OHVs (Off Highway Vehicles), camping, sailing, and survival
and how they work together to provide wholesome family fun and great learning opportunities.
Many posts are intended to familiarize novice campers and RVers with RV systems and basic camping and survival
skills. But even experienced RVers and campers will enjoy the anecdotes and may even benefit from a new
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Monday, October 9, 2017

Survivorman -- a Great Resource for Campers and Survivalists

OK, so what does Surviorman have to do with RVs and OHVs?  Well, nothing directly, but you could find yourself in a survival situation if your RV or OHV conks out on you or you get lost during an outing.  That is one of the reasons this blog also covers camping, wilderness survival, and emergency preparation and why I have referred to Survivorman in several previous posts.  One of Surviorman's eposides is even based on getting stranded in the desert when his off road motorcycle fails.

Survivorman is one of my favorite TV shows.  Les Stroud is genuine, in both his survival activities and his mistakes.  He isn't afraid to let you see when he screws up.  He doesn't do it very often.  Survivorman is an excellent source of wilderness survival tips and techniques. Since he takes his adventures all over the planet you can very likely find one that matches conditions where you like to go.

Les Stroud's techniques are usually things just about anyone can do without any special tools or special training.  But be aware he does seek expert advice from competent sources who are knowledgable in each area he goes into.  Knowing what edible and medicinal plants and what animals live in the area you are in can be live saving.  Some of his tips are generic and can be applied in many different environments.  See 24 of the Best Survival Tips from Surviorman.  Look over the list and see what you are likely to use in the situations you may encounter.  Every one is a golden tidbit that will make survival easier.  Then take a little time to practice each one.  You don't want to find out you missed or forgot something just when you need it most!

Even though Surviroman is no longer on regular TV, you can stream every episode of “Survivorman” on his site.  I have viewed every episode multiple times.   I learned (or re-learned) something new each time.  Whether time has simply erased some tidbits of information or my experience has matured during the intervals between watching doesn't really matter.  Learning something new or reinforcing important previously learned lessons is always good use of time.  And, if you're like me, it is fun!  I am somewhat disappointed that there are no new episodes of Surviorman, but the wide variety of environments he has endured (from ice and snow to steamy tropical jungles, from dry deserts to rain forests and deserted islands) is a veritable encyclopedia of survival techniques, many of which can be useful when camping.  You should be able to find an episode that applies to just about anyplace YOU might be going.

As I said in the opening paragraph, one of the things I most like about Survivorman is that Les Stroud is genuine.  Some other "survivor" shows are scripted and staged and are filmed by a separate film crew that accompanies the adventurer.  That might make for more professional cinematography and exciting television, but isn't particularly realistic or educational.  In at least one instance I've seen documented, the "hero" was within sight of a busy highway while pretending to stranded far from civilization and instead of sleeping in his survival shelter was actually spending nights in a comforable hotel room several miles away!  Les simply chooses a situation/location, gets dropped off with minimal tools and supplies (usually just his trusty multi-tool) and cameras.  Then he has to play it by ear.  Not only does he have to take care of his own survival, he has to do all the filming and lug all the camera equipment through his ordeal.  In many cases that means he has to backtrack to retrieve camera equipment making almost every leg of his trip twice as long as it seems on camera.  Since things are not scripted or staged, his camera records his mistakes right along with his successes and the mistakes aren't edited out of the final print.  I find that refreshing and informative.  Sometimes it is good to know what DOESN'T work and why so we can avoid making the same mistakes.  Having a film crew might give more polished cinematography, but Les' real world view is honest and educational and I find  his filming quite good.  From my perspective there are plenty of beautifully filmed dramas and documentaries I can watch if I'm just looking for technical film perfection.  I rather enjoy the unpretentious, sometimes even raw, presentations on Survivorman.  He even recorded and broadcast accidentally setting his driftwood survival shelter on fire!

You never know when what you learned on Survivorman may come in handy.  A while back I read of a young couple traveling in a pickup truck in snowy country who mistakenly tried to take "short cut" and ended up stranded miles from nowhere and had to walk out.  One of their survival techniques, which they credited to an episode of Surviorman, was to make mukluks out of the the upholstery and padding from the seat cushions to protect their feet from freezing while walking out to safety.  As a dirt biker I particularly appreciated an episode he did simulating getting stranded on a dirt bike somewhere out of Moab, Utah and can attest that the situation and his choices and techniques were valid.

Safety is always a primary concern in a survival situation, whether it is planned (as in the case of Survivorman) or accidental (as it would be for most of us!).  While Les does not have anyone looking out for him directly or following him during his escapades, he does prepare carefully for each one and has a rescue team standing by if he doesn't show up that the designated rendezvous point at the designated time.  We can all take a lesson from that and always leave word with family, friends, or appropriate local officials to let them know where we are going, when, and when we should return so they can take appropriate steps to find us if something unexpected happens and we don't show up at the end of our outing.

Thank you, Survivorman!