Friday, November 13, 2015
Dual Survival Marathon
There's a Dual Survival Marathon going on today. I am taping most of it but have watched a few episodes.
The first two seasons were pretty good. The show paired up Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. Lundin is a well known survival instructor who runs his own school in Arizona, and has published several excellent books. He has some quirks, such as never wearing shoes, but he knows his business and in this day of cookie cutter tv stars, it was nice to have someone with a personality. His partner, Dave Canterbury, was a vet who left the service (Army) some years back and started a primitive living school and magazine.
They made a pretty good match. Cody Lundin is known for being aggressive and quick to anger. Canterbury was calmer but bull headed. There was a lot of bickering on the show, which could be aggravating, but overall it was worth watching. Since it largely dealt with survival techniques in the field, I watched it more for entertainment than as a serious learning exercise. Bugging Out is no part of my planning. But for those who did a lot of camping or did plan to bug out, it was well worthwhile.
Then after a couple of seasons, there was a big scandal when some tabloid press started putting out a story that Canterbury had exaggerated his military record. In fact, while he did say he worked with special forces, which he certainly did, he hadn't gone through the school or received the MOS (military occupational specialty.) It was a tempest in a teapot, but Canterbury either resigned or was given the boot, depending on who you believe.
Then Discovery Channel brought in Joe Teti, a guy with a long special ops history and an attitude.
Teti and Lundin were earth and water right from the start. Teti has a good special operations record, but that doesn't make him an automatic survivalist. There are some parallels in skills, but it's not the same. The show had always been Lundins, from the get go, and Teti set himself to upstage Cody Lundin. During the third season, their relationship worsened, and Lundin began to clash with the producers and with Teti. Finally there was the famous incident where Cody Lundin threw all of their survival gear in a pond and told the producers to "f *** off." Shortly thereafter, the producers decided to replace Lundin. By then he had experienced just about enough of "tv" and was apparently genuinely glad to go.
To replace Cody Lundin, the producers brought in Matt Graham. This guy is a primitive living instructor, i.e. if you want to be a cave man he can tell you all about it. I saw one episode and quit watching the program.
I watched a couple today though, and I think I made a mistake. For one thing, Graham actually does know his stuff and I was impressed with some of his techniques. Also, he has a positive attitude and never whines or complains. He gets along well with Teti because he takes a back seat and lets Joe Teti pretty much run the show. I enjoyed the two I saw. I think I will watch the rest of them, and if they are as good as these were today, I'll start watching again. I'll also pick up the rest of the series on DVD, as I quit buying them for my survival library once Lundin left.
The new American Survival Guide is out. If you are willing to spend the money for "speciality knives" and I'm not, you will want to pick this one up. There was a really nice bug out vehicle highlighted in this one, purpose built out of an old Land Rover. It's a beautiful vehicle. I don't have the money to build one, and I don't need one, but it's like looking at a vintage aircraft, it's still fun.
Group Survival is a big topic in all the magazines now, and American Survival Guide is no exception. They have an article on that in this months issue. Lots of these articles in the different magazines rely heavily on military publications focusing on leadership, but I guess that's ok. There are enough similarities between the military and survival life to lend credence to the use of military manuals as a resource. I suppose that's why you can get just about all of the unclassified ones on CD.
Warm and windy here today. Just before 1 a.m. it's still 53 degrees outside. This is mid November, and I think we have only had about three frosts so far. Not normal at all.