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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this reality series -- which pits two survival experts against some of the toughest environments on Earth and shows the kinds of skills and knowledge it takes to survive in these places -- sends solid messages about using common sense and being prepared, but could frighten younger, more sensitive kids who might imagine themselves getting into life-threatening situations. There is some swearing ("ass" is the strongest audible, plus some bleeped words), but otherwise the series is appropriate for almost the whole family. Just make sure kids don't think that watching a TV show is all the preparation they need to survive in the outdoors.
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What's the story?
DUAL SURVIVAL pits two veteran outdoorsmen against some of the most hostile climates on the planet. In this engaging reality series Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin find themselves stranded -- in a snowy forest, a scorching desert, an enormous mountain -- and must fend for themselves. The men explain the basics of survival as they go about creating a shelter, building fire, foraging for food, and trying to signal for rescue. While it’s obviously a manufactured scenario, they don’t seem to get any help and their common-sense approach to making it through a life-or-death situation is educational.
Is it any good?
The congenial hosts have very different approaches to wilderness living, and sometimes butt heads. Canterbury is a former Army sniper, with a straightforward, old-school style. Lundin is something of a free-spirited hippie who hasn’t worn shoes in two decades (but he does deign to put on wool socks when he ventures out into the snow). Canterbury sometimes has little patience for Lundin’s ideas -- use a plastic sheet to screen the entrance to their shelter and block the heat from the fire? Outlandish!
But Lundin’s skills are based on hard science; he explains why the sheet will create a greenhouse effect and trap the heat, and Canterbury is quick to admit that the shelter is the warmest he’s ever had. Despite, or perhaps because of, their differences, the men work well together. Their confidence and common-sense decisions make survival seem easy. It’s fun to watch, and these basic tips might someday save a viewer’s life.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the reality of this show. Since the duo is obviously travelling with a camera crew, how real do you think their experience is? Do you think they would act differently in these situations if they weren't on camera? How effective is the show even though viewers understand that their lives are never truly in danger?
Dave and Cody have very different approaches to living in the wild. Do you think one of them makes more sense than the other, or do you think they both have something to teach us? What do you think about their relationship? How do they handle conflict when they disagree about what to do?
Did you learn anything from this show about how to survive in the wild? Do you think you could make it through a life-or-death situation? Does this show make surviving look easier than it actually is under these circumstances?
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