Having served as a consultant on numerous TV shows I can tell you that, due to the liability issues involved, networks require individuals to be close to a backup crew and while it may seem like the host is deep in the wilds, there is actually a support group of 8-10 personnel nearby. Most of the "reality" shows out today are largely about theatrics under tightly controlled and heavily scripted conditions and are no substitute for hands-on training at a reputable survival school.
Don't forget that the bottom line for these shows is to provide a soap-opera via wilderness stuntwork. I have seen many staged events take place for the sake of providing entertainment value to viewers. I recall a show I worked on that made it look like myself and the host were miles from civilization living off the land when, in reality, we were a hundred yards from the vehicles and had two cameramen, two sound techs, a makeup assistant, and two gophers whose sole responsibility was lugging coolers jammed with chilled espressos!
Reality in the wilds is happening out your back door right now. Go for a walk in the outdoors and learn from the natural world. It’s a classroom which is unparalleled with real lessons waiting to be learned.
Support Outside Online
Our mission to inspire readers to get outside has never been more critical. In recent years, Outside Online has reported on groundbreaking research linking time in nature to improved mental and physical health, and we’ve kept you informed about the unprecedented threats to America’s public lands. Our rigorous coverage helps spark important debates about wellness and travel and adventure, and it provides readers an accessible gateway to new outdoor passions. Time outside is essential—and we can help you make the most of it. Making a financial contribution to Outside Online only takes a few minutes and will ensure we can continue supplying the trailblazing, informative journalism that readers like you depend on. We hope you’ll support us. Thank you.