Naked? AND afraid?
Yes, that’s the title and theme of the latest ‘survival show’ on TV here in the States. ‘Naked and afraid’.
The idea is you take a man and woman, who don’t even know each other for the most part, strip ’em butt naked and drop them into a jungle or deserted island and come back in 3 weeks to see if they survived. It’s a TV ratings / one-upmanship thing over the other survival guy shows that seem more popular than ever.
So, caught an episode by accident the other Sunday. With one episode, I’ve gained a lifelong supply of buttocks viewed, naked humanity, like a very tiny nudist resort. All the frontal shots are blurred out in the ‘key’ areas. But anyway, on to the point here.
The man of the show, on the ‘Island Nuditiy’ episode, was a tall, burly, heavily tattooed “ex Marine” type. The woman was just a regular gal, except that she has traveled the world to primitive areas and knew much of survival type crafting.
First day, first thing, as they wander about the beach on this deserted island, the dude gets MAJOR sunburn, and is for the next 3 days a helpless whiner as the lady keeps them both alive, making a lean-to shelter and multiple items from palm fronds, using the hatchet, like sun hats and shoulder covers.
The best thing to do before one gets this fried, is to look for ‘something’ to block as much sun from your skin as possible. Since they were on a sandy beach, how about just jump into the ocean, then roll around in the sand to stick it to your skin, find or make mud and spread that around. Just something, right? There’s plenty of coconuts on this island, so the lady is harvesting loads of them, pounding the coconut meat for food and water and to get some oils for his sunburn. Knowing the trick to opening coconuts is handy. You’ll need that hatchet.
Finally he gets up and decides to help out a little. He starts whining about having nothing but coconut water and coconut meat. So, taking the hatchet, he spends 2 or 3 days on a quest, digging a ‘well’, finally hitting a bit of water. Beach combing has supplied them with loads of plastic water bottles, so he grabs one, fills it up. To put it bluntly, the water looked like crap. I would have known already not to, but he ignores the survival lady’s warning and actually drinks this crud. So, now he’s out of action with diarrhea for 3 days. D’oh! Dumped his load way too close to the shelter and didn’t cover it. Surprise, survival lady steps in it. EEwww.
Mentioning the beach combing, they had found loads of plastic water bottles, some odd mismatched filp-flop shoes, some bits of clothing which they comically adapted as needed, regardless of the intended gender of the original clothing manufacturer. SO, they could have improvised a water filtration setup, since they had all the necessary components: grass, sand, charcoal and a few bits of cloth. Additionally, with all those handy clear bottles and tropical sunshine, just leaving the filled bottles (after filtration) out in the sunlight would have done away with all the living parasites and nasty critters in his well water.
The show never really had a good shot of the brand of hatchet they had, but the Blastmatch was recognizable when they used it to start a fire. (He wasn’t much use here either, at first.)
After the dude finally realized what an ass he’d been for the first 2 weeks, he finally starts listening to the survival lady, who was basically keeping both of them alive. They were desperate for some protein, so they improvise spears and go for an eel they find in shallow water. They both cut their feet on the sharp coral, but got the eel. Which the lady cried over, before they ate it, having apparently never before killed a critter to eat it. They also tried trapping rats in a pit.
So, in the end, it appears that if you have someone on the crew who is familiar with jungle / primitive survival craft, and someone who’s finally willing to admit to superior knowledge, you can ‘survive’ in very primitive situations. The end of the show presented ‘before and after’ pictures of the couple, and it was very evident of some serious weight loss on both of them. He lost about 20 pounds, she lost about 18. So, there’s a handy excuse to stuff yourself with cheeseburgers, just in case you get stranded, naked, on an island somewhere…..you’ll be ahead with all that stored fat!