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Bear Grylls – Rocky Mountains June 29, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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This time he parachuted near the Canadian border into a remote area of the Rocky Mountains. He had a timeframe of 5 days to find civilization. These days he was on his own with no spare clothes, map or even a knife.

This was the second time where he had problems with the landing. He got stuck in a tree top, about 60 feet above the ground. His only chance was to use his emergency parachute which brought him closer to the ground. After he took some of the parachute lines for later use he jumped… 

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On the Lot May 28, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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A new tv series started last week called “On the Lot”. So far I like the show, it’s a kind of apprentice-style show with challenges and eliminations each week. The producers are Mark Burnett (who also produces The Apprentice with Donald Trump) and Steven Spielberg. The winner of the show earns a $1-million development deal at Dreamworks.

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Bear Grylls – Desert Island May 22, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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Desert IslandFinally I had time to watch a new episode of Man vs. Wild. This time Bear Grylls jumps out of a helicopter 2 miles from a desert island away. Except his knife and the clothes on his body he has nothing with him.

Swimming the 2 miles is very exhausting and the best way to save the energy is by swimming sideways. The waves are getting very strong closer to the shore and then you definitely need the energy….

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Bear Grylls – Alaskan Mountain Range January 19, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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This time Bear puts himself into position of a lost skier in the Alaskan Mountain Range. A helicopter brought him on top of a mountain with skis, a knife,  a water bottle and a flint. He has to find his way back to civilization.

First he had to get down the mountain and with the skis this was quite an easy part. He only had to “read the snow” to decide which way to go and which parts would be too risky due to avalanches. He used his skis  to descend almost 5000 ft. He tried to reach a small stream at the end of the glacier to get off the dangerous ice. But first he had to cross large ice fields and walking in ski boots was very exhausting. It was exciting when Bear decided to go through a ice tunnel to get down to the stream. The water had formed such large cavities that he could use them but they are extremely unstable. After that he was off the glacier.

He was heading down to the forest without the ski boots, he used just the inners alone. It wasn’t perfect but better than nothing. In the area he was hiking live lot of bears and the safest way to travel alone is to make noises so that the bears are warned and know that someone is coming.

Another huge obstacle was a 200ft waterfall he had to overcome. Because Bear is a experienced climber he started climbing down the cliff. The water was freezing cold and the pressure of the falling water made the descent even harder. It was important to use the legs and not the arms while climbing and you should never be in a rush. The stones were very slippery but the time he saved by climbing down instead of bypassing the waterfall was worth the risk. 

Now it was time to build the shelter and make a fire. The first day was over.

On the second day he followed the river several miles until he reached a lake. In the river mouth he spotted lots of salmon. This would be the ideal food after these hard days ! He made a spear and tried to round them up in the shallow water. There were hundreds of them and he managed to catch one with his spear. He grabbed the fish with his hands and bite right into the raw body!

Never saw that before but Bear said that it tastes delicious 🙂

The third day he found a abandoned lodge at the coast line of the lake and for his surprise a small but old boat. You have to be open for every opportunity in these situations. The idea was to take this boat and paddle to the other side of the lake because there was another glacier and a beautiful landscape. He thought that there could be touring boats with tourists or fisherboats which would spot him on the sea.

When he reached the beginning of the glacier the icebergs were large and sharp. They damaged the boat so heavily that in almost a minute he had to swim to a near small boulder island. It was essential that he put off his jacket during the time the boat was sinking because otherwise the heavy clothes would have drawn him down. 

The water was extremely cold and most people get heart attacks because of the temperature shock. The island he stranded was in a good position for being rescued. He had an overview of the whole coastline and sea and so a few hours later he was spotted by a boat and was rescued. 

Bear Grylls – African Savannah January 7, 2007

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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Wikimedia This was one of my favorite episodes because I love Africa and the animals which live there. Grylls stranded in Kenya by jumping off a balloon with a parachute. He had a knife, a flint and a waterbottle with him.

There are 3000 species of wild animals in the savannah and the climate is very very hot and dry. The biggest dangers are a attack by a wild animal or dehydration. His first aim was to find a landmark to define the direction where he should go. On the horizon he saw a mountain with a glacier. He thought that this melting ice will cause a river and mostly villages are build near a river. So that would be his direction for the next days. It was about 30 miles away.

The heat was unbearable during the day so he decided to rest through out the day and to walk at night. He looked for a cool place to stay and found a cave. He blocked the entrance with wood because of the buffalos and rhinos…

After his rest he was very thirsty and because he hadn’t found yet some fresh water he had to take his last chance to get some fluid. He took some big moistly elephant dung and squeezed it out above his mouth to get the fluid. That was not really clear water and it tasted disgusting but to survive you have to do some unpleasant things. At least it saves some time before dehydration gets worse.

Hours later he found a pond where he could refill his waterbottle. Staying at the pond for long is extremely dangerous because lions and other wild animals are waiting for their easy prey.

Finding good food with proteins was not so easy this time. The first days he only found some plants and berries but then he had luck and saw a dead zebra. It was a prey of the lions but they left some meat. There are a few indications that the meat is fresh. First if the vultures are still there the meat should be good because they only eat fresh meat. And second if there are no maggots the meat is only a few hours old so it should be ok. Bear used his knife to cut some flesh out from the zebra and ate a few chunks. Another amazing scene to watch !

In the end he reached a small water stream and followed it streamupwards. It took him a few hours before he spotted some ropes which dangled into the gorge he was hiking. He climbed up the rope and saw some little houses which meant he had reached civilization again.

Bear Grylls – Sierra Nevada December 31, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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This time Bears parachuted down the Sierra Nevada. The Sierra is a mountain range that is almost entirely in the eastern portion of the U.S. state of California.

He choosed to land in a small lake because it would be too dangerous to land in the trees or on the rocks. This time he had a empty water bottle, a cup and a flint with him.

For orientation he used a stick and the shadow. Put a stick into the ground and mark the end of the shadow with a stone. After 15 minutes mark the end of the new shadow. The line between these two stones is the east-west line.

First he descended the mountain to reach the woods and because he tried to find a river. Following a river downstream is done most effectively by building a raft.  Before night he built a pretty nice shelter with wood. It looked like a wigwam and after he made the fire it was one of the best shelters he made sofar. With pine-needles and boiled water he made tea. Didn’t know that these pine-needles have 8 times more vitamin C than an orange.

The next day he saw some beautiful wild horses and he thought it would be great if he could ride with a horse back to civilization. But that was easier said than done. He tried hard to rope a horse with his selfmade lasso out of plants but that didn’t work out.

For a snack he found a small water snake. To eat it you have to bite off the head first and than you can eat the whole body. Watching this scene was exciting 🙂

The next day he got really hungry he decided to catch some animals to get the important proteins. He built a stick out of cedar wood which is a very very hard wood and he practiced to throw and aim for the prey. After he made his practice he went hunting. And I couldn’t believe it, he was successful and managed to hit a bunny. He broiled it and ate it in the evening.

After walking another day he spotted a lake and on the other side of the lake a road. He had to cross that lake but it was quite a long distance. To make it easier for him he used his trousers and made two knots, one at each end of his trouser-legs. After that he submerged it into the water so that the trousers were filled with air. This worked like a life-belt. Great idea !  

Bear Grylls – Mount Kīlauea December 24, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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Bear Grylls strands himself on the mount Kīlauea, presently one of the most active volcano’s on the planet. He’s got a water bottle, a knife and a flint with him. He used the sun as a compass to head in the direction of the sea because at the shore there are most likely people or civilization. He had to cross hot lava fields, sometimes his boots started to melt because the stones were too hot to walk on them. The smoke was unbearable so he had to use his t-shirt as a mask. 

After crossing the lava fields he reached the woods where he hoped to find some fresh water and food. He found a large lava tube and decided to go into it with a torch. Going into lava tubes is very risky because large parts of the land are still moving and you never know when the tubes collapse. After a hundred meters he found roots of plants at the roof of the tube and there was the rain water dropping from them. This water was perfect because it was filtered all the way through the bottom. For food he found some avocados and a day later wild bees. Bear produced with special leaves heavy smoke to calm them down, so he could get some honey from them. The sugar from the honey gave him new strength and after crossing another lava landstrip with very sharp stones he reached civilization. To protect his hands he used his socks as gloves which worked pretty well.

Les Stroud in the Georgian Swamps December 12, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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This time, in episode 4 of survivorman, Les Stroud was brought blindfolded to place deep in the swamplands of Geogias Altamah River Basin. He got the following items with him: tin can, rope, comb, bubble gum, creditcard, tissuepaper, swiss army knife and a empty lighter.

With these items he had to survive for at least 7 days until his friends come back to look after him. The second day he started to build a shelter like in every episode 🙂 There is a funny thread I found in the survivorman fan-forum which discusses  the effectiveness of the different shelters in the episodes. Spanish Moss

First he only built a basic version but the nights were so cold that he had to improve the isolation. He did that by using spanish moss which did a good job.

The food issue was quite good this time. First he tried to catch some catfish with a selfmade fishing rod. After that he catched a frog and roasted it on his fire. He used the guts of the frog to build a trap with sticks in the water. He had luck and the next day he found a turtle in it. He ate the turtle but it was important for him to tell us that he only kills other animals if he sees no way out and if it is for pure survival. He also cached a rattle snack which gave him plenty of proteins.

After 6 days he decided to build a small raft to find a way out to the river, where his friend could find him more easily. Stroud said after the rescue that it was a tough place to survive but an awesome place to experience.

Costa Rica – Osa Peninsula November 30, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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This time Les Stroud stranded at a beach with just his clothes,  3 pens and his multitool. Building a shelter wasn’t important this time because also at night the temperatures were very high. He found lots of coconuts for food and he could use the coconut milk to satisfy his thirst although he had to find fresh water very soon. The humidity was extreme and the danger of dehydration was big.

He found a small water stream out of the jungle but he decided to boil the water before drinking because most of the time these streams are full of parasites. He made fire with a spindle like he practiced it in the Sonoran Desert before and he used a big shell to boil the water. Good idea.

On day 3 he decided to find a way out through the jungle. He tried to find a path or road The nights in the dense jungle were very hard. Everything comes alive at night and everything moves! In an area of 65×65 meters live on average 3.6 millions ants…

On day 6 he found a river and after following it a day he was back at the coastline. On day 7 he walked the coastline along until he reached some boats and civilization.

Bear Grylls from Man vs. Wild was also in Costa Rica in episode 2.

Survivorman episodes November 26, 2006

Posted by theoxymoron in TV Series.
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Survivorman is an interesting reality docu where a man films himself while he tries to survive in different very demanding situations. In the first episode he was set out in the Boreal Forest in Canada and tries to find back to civilization. If no one hears from him after 7 days the crew will start a rescue mission.

He has no special tools with him except one match, two cameras for documentation, some dry-food and a swiss army knife. Making fire and heating up some stones so that they reflect the heat during the cold nights was very important to get some rest and to overcome the rain and light snow falls at night.

During these 7 days he didn’t find much food. He tried to hunt a squirrel but without success. He found some water plants which he cooked and two small snails, that was all. Unfortunatly it wasn’t the season for berries.

In the end he went east and after a few days hiking he reached a highway.

The second episode played in Arizona in the Sonoran Desert.  He got 1 snack bar and a few liters to drink. He eat most of the time some plants and berries but also a scorpion and lots of grasshoppers. He roasted them on the fire and they were very tasty, at least when you are that hungry.

In both episodes he made the fire by spinning a wood to produce sparks and it worked quite well after practicing a few times.

There is another series called Man vs. Wild on the Discovery Channel with a similar topic. But in Survivorman he films all on his own and there is no camera crew around which makes it more realistic I think.