Sunday, July 3, 2011

Dual Survival 2011 -Three Episode Reviews

I watched three back to back of Cody and Dave's the Art of Self Reliance.

The first one was based in winter in the Rocky Mountains, specifically, Wyoming. In two feet of snow, we saw them use a fire starter to light a nice mound of branches. It was going pretty good so the snow that fell from an overhead branch didn't put it out.
They used dead snags and wood to build a lean-to and showed how to break off spruce and pine boughs to shingle the shelter, as well as provide a natural mattress and insulation. I was surprised they didn't use any snow to build walls around the lean to, if nothing more than just scraping it over and mounding it up.
On one of his recons, Cody came across the partially eaten carcass of an elk. After examination, they determined it was left by a human hunter, not a bear or wolves. I think the lack of tracks and amount of animal buried in the snow would have shown this as well.
Eventually they hiked down to a frozen lake where snowmobilers found them.

The second episode dealt with a couple kayackers dumping in the cold river in Kentucky. At first they are separated, but eventually rejoin. Fire is made with a Metal match stick by  Dave. Cody is unable to make a bow and drill fire, in spite of much smoke being produced. We're told it takes 800 degrees to ignite this wood.
A shelter is had in one of the many overhangs. It looked amazingly like one of my favorite haunts here in north east Georgia. They hike on and find the stuff from moon shiners, a good tarp and metal fixings.
Eventually they build a water craft with the tarp and duct tape, float it for awhile then get dumped back in the freezing cold water. They climb out, and walk to a black top road, where they hitch hike and are saved.
This episode is interesting in the amount of adventure that looks like my home. Dave snares a pole cat (skunk) but they let it go because of rabies danger. He does get some spray on his hat. Dave also finds some large shelf mushrooms, which get broken into pieces to join the worms Cody has found an is cooking in a kayaker's helmet.
Interesting stuff.

The third episode involves stranded men in northern Maine. We're told 90% of main is  heavily forested, with random logging roads. They find an old truck, use it's battery to make fire, and take the bench seat to sit on . The hood of the truck forms a reflector. A stray can of extra chunky dog food is opened for nourishment the second night. In the morning they walk three miles to the ocean, and are rescued on the beach.

There always is a lot of information on Dual Survival. Good stuff that is both practical and entertaining. We get to watch our man Cody, expert desert survivalist, deal with things outside his home town environment. He'll remind us of this fact, and then proceed to work on solutions. I love how he sucked water from his socks in Wyoming, while Dave laughed because they were surrounded by clean snow, some of which they were already melting in a plastic bag.
We love watching Dave create snares, teach us about electricity and hunting. He doesn't like eating crap. Neither man really needs to eat, neither one is dying of hunger. Just the mental and emotional aspects that come with obtaining food show us how important it is to feel control and care in our survival quest.

Watch any and all of this series if you get a chance. I even watch them more than once and feel challenged to try their techniques.


  1. I enjoy the series. I liked "Survivor Man" better, but not that Les Stroud has left the genre for his music, "Dual Survival" is probably the best show going. Bear Gyrlis (or however you spell the name) is an appalling fake and showboater. If he was with you and you were lost in the woods, the best way to get some good out of him would be to kill and eat him.

  2. I like Les the best too, Arsenius cause he did his own camera work and you really felt his seclusion was real, so the survival was real. The other shows just seem more instructional and scripted. I agree with you on Bear, he always had to go into a cave, climb up or down a waterfall, mess with bees. In true survival situations a person would not risk so much on such little potential payback.