Alaska Experiment Review
Last night J. and I flipped through the channels and happened upon The Alaska Experiment on the Discovery Channel. I hadn’t heard anything about the show before now but the basic premise is that they took four groups of people and gave them survival training and then took them to Alaska with a backpack of gear and a map to get to their pre-established base camps. Each group had a different base camp location and type of shelter. Personally I would like to be on the group that got a full on log cabin (granted it was small) versus the plastic wood frame shelter with a resident bear. You can find more information about the participants and their base camps here. The groups have 2-3 people and they got a shelter, a wood burning stove, and some staples including canning jars so that they can preserve food when they reached their base camp. What they don’t get is electricty or running water which they make note of with much complaining in the first episode. I wonder what they thought they were going to get considering this is a show about wilderness survival.
So how was the show? Well I like the premise of seeing how people can survive in the wilderness for three months but I’m afraid this will end up like most other reality shows and focus more on the petty arguments the participants will have them how well they adapted to their environment and learn to survive. I say this because in the first episode I saw a girl crying about walking through a marsh and two girls screaming at each other and their father over how the shoes should be organized (I kid you not). This is all on day three of the experiment… Over the course of the three months they will forage for food, chop down wood for fires, catch fish and other small game (although I don’t think they get firearms to do serious hunting), preserve and can food, and adapt their shelter to accomodate their lives and changing weather. Now all that sounds like a cool thing to watch.
Fear not that they are going to die in the middle of the wilderness from starvation, they are being monitored on a daily basis by a team of health professionals and my guess is that should they get themselves into a serious nutritional deficit the health team will give them food.
I would say it’s definitely worth watching one more time and seeing how much drama the producers portray. If they at least give equal focus to how the participants adaptation as they do to the petty fights and dramas it will probably be worth it.