Survival TV seems to be on a pretty positive uptick recently; the purist in me, and amongst many others desires to call out these shows as shams. However, secretly I enjoy indulging in them, even occasionally into the more absurd ones. There do seem to be some positive benefits coming from these shows, however.
Personally, I despise Tard Vs Wild, aka the Bear Grylls action hour. It’s contrived, ridiculous, and at times flatly dangerous. (Purely humble opinion, of course.)
Yet as I perused my site for deals of the week (posted on twitter every saturday), I found a number of new products from gerber licensed under the Bear Grylls name. Now I’ve had my ups and downs with Gerber products but overall they still remain a decent name in my household. Looking at their kits, they are definitely banking on using the Bear Grylls name to leverage solid sales. What’s surprising is that the kits they’ve been producing seem pretty well organized and thought out.
The basic kit featured above shows really the best you could expect for 15 dollars. It covers the need of a knife, good firestarting (which covers so much more – I’m a huge advocate of having 3-5 methods of starting a fire in your camping/emergency gear), and includes a decent whistle.
The second kit basically expands on the first, adding no real new function but adding more, and more useful tools.
There are several others but the other stand out is:
Gerber has primarily, in my eyes, been a knife/Tool maker. Initially thought it was just a rebranded prodigy knife, but looking at it; I was apparently wrong.
It’s a full tang, fixed blade knife with partial serrations. It’s got a survival whistle, fire starter, and steel pommel for hammering. For the price point, it’s a pretty decent piece of steel. There’s even a slick little striker notch on the blade for the fire-starting rod. Personally I prefer carbon spring steel but at this price point, it’s definitely an attractive offering.
To me they saw an opportunity, made a deal, then promptly said “all in”. Overall for the prices, they’re hard to beat, above average quality kits with good purpose built design.
Other shows such as Dual Survival bring excellent attention to Cody Lundin’s fantastic books, such as:
That, frankly, is a must own book. If you don’t have it – beg, borrow, or steal it. Well, not steal, but you get the idea. It’s not your traditional survival text, so don’t expect lessons on starting fires in the brush. Rather it’s more of a psychology/method of survival which has shown time an again equally if not more important than as one reviewer put “wilderness living” skills.
Les Stroud of Survivorman fame is not going full tilt as Bear Grylls; but I’ve always respected his frank nature on his show – not to mention his lack of a camera crew. He’s put together a few of his own books which I’ve heard good things about though currently do not have the pleasure of owning. I’d love to hear what you guys think about it!