Survival shows

28 Ultimate Survival shows to Help you Prep for the Worst

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So you want to get prepared for anything that comes your way? Well, you’ve come to the right place! Here we offer up 28 of the best and most thrilling survival shows on TV to give you a little bit of knowledge and maybe some inspiration as well. After all, being prepared never hurts anyone! Let’s go ahead and jump into it.


Man VS Wild

Man VS. Wild is an extreme survival television series hosted by adventurer Bear Grylls. The show follows Grylls as he takes viewers on thrilling excursions around the world and demonstrates essential survival techniques needed to survive any situation. In each episode, Grylls faces off against some of the world’s toughest environments to demonstrate how to find food and shelter, protect himself from dangerous animals, evade enemies, and survive natural disasters. Drawing on his background in military training and mountaineering, he uses innovative tactics such as rappelling down huge cliffs, swimming through icy waters, and building rafts out of limited materials to make it out alive. The show has been extremely popular with a wide range of viewers due to its entertaining mix of humor and adventure. As extreme as his mission can get at times, Grylls also includes fun anecdotes about his upbringing that provide plenty of comic relief throughout the episode. Overall, Man vs. Wild has enough suspenseful moments for thrill-seekers and helpful advice for those who want preppers tips for when times get tough.

World of Survival

Everyone loves a good survival show — and there are plenty to choose from. From complex competitions, like Survivor and Expedition Impossible, to programs focused on dedicated individuals prepared for the worst or surviving a harsh landscape, such as Man vs. Wild, Dual Survival, and Survivorman. If you’re looking for something new to watch, check out World of Survival. This series dives into some of the most challenging and dangerous areas across the planet where exploration means putting yourself in harm’s way to get an authentic experience expertise. The team behind World of Survival follows unique stories as they take on thrilling journeys that come with lessons about survival and self-sufficiency. These stories cover every corner of the globe — from deserts in Morocco to remote sections of Mexico or New Zealand’s South Island. Everywhere they go offers a masterclass in resilience and creative problem-solving. From trekking in Siberia to climbing creaky ladders over deep ravines in India, each expedition is sure to put your heart racing while teaching you how to face tough challenges with courage—and sometimes with a little bit of luck! Whether it’s learning shooting techniques on the ranges of Alaska or being deployed into unknown terrain on horseback – this show proves that preparedness is key when facing unexpected obstacles head-on. The idea is that after watching World of Survival, you will have gained valuable insight into what it takes not just to survive but also to thrive during extreme situations – not least because you can pick up some great tips from experienced hosts on how best to stay safe when venturing into the wilderness!

Dual Survival

Among the survival shows available, Dual Survival stands apart as a unique concept that can help you anticipate and prepare for various challenging situations. Hosted by ex-US military members Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin, each episode is filled with useful information and tips on tackling extreme environments using improvised solutions. As they embark on a journey to test their skills in some of the harshest climates in the world, viewers are given an important insight into wilderness survival and adaptability.  In addition to basic mapping and navigation skills, each episode deals with topics such as hunting, trapping, and construction. While viewers get a better understanding of how two experienced outdoorsmen fare in diverse kinds of terrains, they are also taught valuable first-aid tips that could come in handy during trying times. As a viewer of this show, you will find yourself equipped with essential knowledge which you can use to survive an unpredictable environment.

Running Wild with Bear Grylls

One of the most popular shows in the survival genre, ‘Running Wild with Bear Grylls’ has seen numerous famous celebrities join Grylls on his outdoor adventures over the years. The show has taken its stars to various remote locations, showing them how to survive with just what they can find in nature and their own wits. From rainforests and mountains to deserts and rivers, this show covers a wide range of extreme climate conditions and different types of terrain. Best known for his catchphrase “Sexy beast! ” at the end of episodes, Bear comes across as a knowledgeable survival expert who will do whatever it takes to arrive safely at his destination. He consistently demonstrates creative ways to find shelter, food, and water in any outdoor environment.

Doomsday Preppers

Doomsday Preppers is an American reality television series that airs on the National Geographic Channel. The show documents the lives of those who are preparing for a “doomsday” scenario that could be caused by a variety of social, financial, and environmental events. The series follows individuals and families who are taking extreme measures to ensure they can survive any type of disaster. This includes constructing hand-built weapons and larger survival shelters in order to protect themselves from various different scenarios such as chemical warfare, foreign invasions, natural disasters, terrorism, or nuclear attacks. They also focus on ways to live autonomously, such as growing their own food and stocking up on medical supplies and other supplies to provide for themselves in case their current way of life is no longer available. Doomsday Preppers aims to showcase those who are preparing for worst-case scenarios so that others may learn skills and practices that will help them better prepare for a potential disaster in the future. Through the series, viewers can learn tips on food storage, water purifying techniques, and how to guard their homes against intruders through fortification buildings.

Survival with Ray Mears

Ray Mears is an established survival expert, instructor, and author who has gained worldwide fame as the face of survival television. He has presented various shows over the years, from Wild Food and Wee to Bushcraft Survival and Extreme Survival. This article will look at 26 of his best episodes, demonstrating essential knowledge for anyone looking to become more self-reliant. Starting with Ray Mears’ Wild Food episode from 1994, he explores Britain’s countryside in search of edible food sources. In later episodes, he exposes viewers to the secrets of bushcraft skills, such as building fires and setting up safe shelters. Ranging from how to find water in the wilderness to how to fish like a Cree hunter, Mears provides timeless advice that is rooted in ancient wisdom, allowing you to tap into resources that have been used by our ancestors for thousands of years. In some later series, such as Ray Mears’ Bush Craft Survival, we get an even more intense version of his teachings, including insight into tracking animals and handling extreme weather conditions to remain safe in the wildest environments. Ray Mears’ Ultimate Survival episode from 1997 takes a more practical hands-on approach, with viewers learning practical skills such as sewing animal skins for clothing and making primitive tools with natural materials like bone and stone. So whether you are looking for new ways to stretch your limits or just getting ready for any real-life disaster situation, these shows will undoubtedly provide you with interesting ideas for preparing yourself for anything thrown at you.

Extreme Survival

Regarding survival shows, there’s a lot of hype around their heroes and their extreme outdoor skills. From mountain men to wilderness guides, these programs run on the promise that they’re showing viewers how to survive in truly dire circumstances. Extreme Survival showcases a variety of intriguing characters immersed in fiercely challenging terrains like the Arctic tundra, open oceans, freezing snowy climates, humid jungles, and more. These shows feature backwoods experts who must face natural disasters and other life-threatening perils with only the clothing on their backs and whatever supplies they’ve thought to bring along with them.

Ray Mears Northern Wilderness

Ray Mears Northern Wilderness is a British television series that showcased the great outdoors with expert host Ray Mears. Featuring a variety of outdoor activities and tackling outdoor challenges, this show gave viewers an in-depth look at the art of wilderness survival. During each episode, Mears utilizes multiple skills, such as foraging for food, tracking, making fire, building shelters, and cooking with basic tools to survive the world’s wilds. He demonstrates traditional practices such as aboriginal gardening methods and trapping and uses various tools from his environment. From 2004 to 2007, six series aired on BBC2 featuring different regions of the world, from Sweden to Alberta’s Rocky Mountains and even Alaska’s boreal forests. This television series was designed to entertain viewers and educate people on how to increase their knowledge of playing safe and preparing for any type of emergency or disaster. Ray Mears Northern Wilderness can confidently equip viewers with survival skills that can be applied in severe weather conditions like snow storms, floods, or bushfires if ever faced – which could be very beneficial for those looking for ultimate survival shows to watch.


Alone is a Canadian adventure reality series that premiered on Heinen & Morgan TV in June 2015. The show focuses on the concept of survival — specifically, dropping ten people off in remote locations for up to a year with only limited items and tools. One at a time, each participant must survive in these locations until the last man (or woman) is standing. The sole survivor wins $500,000 as a reward for their efforts and resilience. The series consists of three seasons set in Canada’s Great Bear Wilderness of British Columbia, Vancouver Island, and Patagonia in Chile. Each season consists of five people beginning their challenge at a specific spot, and the goal is to endure alone until they are picked up at the end of that season’s pre-determined length — whether it’s six weeks or longer. To ensure fairness, each contestant has access to the same ten items – a fishing net, bow drill, and ax among them – but no modern conveniences like matches or lighters can be used.

Dirty Rotten Survival

Dirty Rotten Survival, hosted by Reid and Mary Martin, is a thrilling reality television show that challenges two teams to survive in the wilderness using their wits, skills, and ingenuity. Each episode places the teams in rural locations with limited supplies. Neither team knows what conditions they’ll face until they arrive on location, so they must quickly assess their environment to figure out how to survive with the resources they have. The Martins provide commentary on each team’s performance and explain how their choices can either mean success or failure in tough survival situations. From building shelters and finding food to navigating challenging rivers or steep mountainsides – Dirty Rotten Survival follows two teams of wild adventurers as they attempt to perform complex survival tasks against all odds. More than a competition between teams, Dirty Rotten Survival is an incredible journey into some of the world’s most remote and hostile outdoor environments. Through each adventure-filled episode, viewers will learn practical tips for surviving the unexpected while being entertained by thrilling, action-packed scenes from some of the world’s most dangerous terrains.


The Canadian documentary television series Survivorman, hosted by Les Stroud, is considered a classic in the genre of survival reality shows. The show’s premise centers on the idea of being dropped into a remote location with only minimal gear for up to seven days at a time and then filming his efforts in surviving the harsh conditions. Throughout this time, Les often sleeps outdoors under primitive shelters he has built himself, relying only on his resourcefulness and skills to provide himself with food and water. Les himself alone puts himself in extremely hostile environments such as tundra, severe deserts, and completely alien jungles while struggling to make it through unscathed. In each episode of Survivorman, Les provides viewers with an educational experience of ‘self-rescue’ techniques in an entertaining way that encourages people to adventure outdoors responsibly, knowing they can survive on their own should extreme circumstances arise. An impressive aspect of the show is that, unlike other survival reality shows, Survivorman was filmed without a crew; all scenes were shot solely by host Les Stroud which further minimized the impact made upon remote environments while bringing viewers as close as possible to his experiences.

Surviving Disaster

Surviving Disaster is a television genre that focuses on everyday people’s struggles as they face dangerous or catastrophic situations. From people caught in natural disasters to adventurers who take on daring expeditions, this type of programming seeks to entertain and inform its viewing audience. The stories can range from the highly dramatic to the lighthearted, but all have one thing in common: survival. From extreme endurance challenges to coping with disasters brought about by nature or man-made events, Surviving Disaster series provides insight into the human condition and our capacity for resilience. While some focus purely on entertainment value, others offer valuable lessons and practical advice on preparing for and surviving crises of all kinds.

Ray Mears Goes Walkabout

Ray Mears Goes Walkabout is a British-based outdoor survival television show which follows Ray Mears as he travels around the world, learning and experiencing traditional means of survival. In each episode, Mears visits a new area and embarks on a journey of discovery, exploring the region’s culture, environment, and potential sources of food. Along the way, he meets local people who share their wisdom with him while testing his own knowledge of survival techniques – from hunting to finding safe water. From tropical rainforests to deserts in Australia and fascinating woodlands in Scotland, Ray Mears Goes Walkabout is an exciting journey for viewers worldwide. Each harrowing episode sees him battle with some of the most extreme conditions nature offers, making this series one of the best survival shows ever created!

Life Below Zero

Life Below Zero is an award-winning documentary television series that follows the daily and seasonal activities of subsistence hunters in remote areas of Alaska in the United States. Unscripted and filmed on location, each episode offers a unique look into how these individuals make the most of the unforgiving Alaskan wilderness. The show focuses on a cast of characters who live and work in rural regions far from towns. With no road systems or roads, these dedicated experts instead rely on boats, snowmobiles, and planes to travel and hunt wildlife for survival. Life Below Zero features dramatic cinematography that highlights the extreme beauty and struggle that marks life in these harsh conditions.  In addition to offering a unique look at life off the grid, viewers get valuable lessons in skills like hunting, building shelters, and trapping fur-bearing animals. These experts take viewers through some exhilarating experiences, taking risks as they cross deep crevasses to reach their destination or set foot across dangerous terrain while scouting for game animals or dealing with sudden environmental changes like storms or avalanches. The show is known for its extreme lengths of filming—sometimes spanning up to 18 hours per day—covering months of seasonal changes complete with prey migration patterns, freeze-up events, thawing weather effects, etc., resulting in real-life footage with secure audio recordings from all over Alaska including arctic regions.

Dude, You’re Screwed

Pushing the boundaries of outdoor adventure, Dude, You’re Screwed follows a team of four experts, each with their own set of survival skills and tools, as they spend 14 days alone in some of the harshest environments imaginable. The show starts with one expert being parachuted and given the task of traversing through the brutal land to reunite with their three other “dudes.” Along the way, they come face-to-face with wild animals and natural disasters while also having to source their own food and water and build shelters. Using each expert’s different expertise in such areas as military tactics, primitive technology, medical evacuation response, and shelter building, these dudes have to find ways to survive on their journey whilst navigating treacherous terrains like rain forests or deserted islands. It’s quite different from similar shows because it offers an exciting insight into life-or-death scenarios requiring quick but smart decision-making. Dude, You’re Screwed offers a unique perspective – what would you do if you had limited resources in a dangerous situation? It pushes every one of its participants out of their comfort zone and tests them both physically and mentally.

Man, Woman, Wild

Man, Woman, Wild was an hour-long cable TV show on the Discovery Channel. It featured a husband and wife team, former US Army Special Forces survival expert Myke Hawke and rock climber Ruth England. The show began airing in July 2010 and lasted two seasons until August 2011. The couple was dropped into remote locations worldwide with limited supplies to fend for themselves for a minimum of five days with only basic gear and filmed as they survived in the wild and documented their experiences. Throughout each episode, Hawke shared his knowledge of surviving in extreme areas and provided different tips on finding food, building shelters, signaling for help, navigating without a compass, and other matters of survival. From deserts in Mexico to jungles in India to river basins in China, Man, Woman Wild showed viewers just how much resourcefulness it takes when you’re literally fighting for your life. By combining self-reliance with practical engineering skills alongside tips on wilderness survival basics like navigation essentials and shelter-building strategies, this show has become a go-to guide to surviving life-threatening situations such as natural disasters or even zombie invasions!

Naked and Afraid

Naked and Afraid is one of the most popular survival shows of all time. Premiering in 2013, the show’s premise puts survival experts in extremely harsh environments with little resources and no safety net. Each episode follows two strangers – a man and a woman – as they are dropped into a remote location with nothing but their clothing to survive for 21 days. Their ingenuity and determination are tested as they attempt to build shelters, forage for food, acquire fresh water, avoid dangerous wildlife & overcome the ever-present risk of dehydration, starvation & hypothermia. With breathtaking visuals, Naked and Afraid highlights these brave individuals’ remarkable courage, strength, and ability to endure extreme mental and physical conditions.

Ultimate Survival Alaska

Ultimate Survival Alaska is an American television series that follows six teams of survivalists as they race across Alaska’s backcountry in a grueling 40-day test of will and endurance. Each team comprises three members: two wildland firefighters and one wilderness expert. The goal is to finish the race while navigating unknown terrain, facing extreme weather conditions, and completing various challenges along the way. This show provides an extraordinary opportunity for viewers to learn not only about the harsh environment and extreme challenges encountered in Alaska but also about valuable wilderness survival and first aid techniques to use if ever faced with such a situation. It demonstrates useful methods for building shelter, fishing, hunting, setting traps, and mapping navigation routes. Viewers are also exposed to the breadth of gear needed for such a long-term adventure, including clothes, boots, first aid supplies, tents, or dry bags. In each episode, viewers watch as each team competes against each other in challenges like river rafting or glacier climbing before eventually crossing over 500 miles of unforgiving terrain. By wisely combining education with entertainment, Ultimate Survival Alaska creates an exciting experience while offering invaluable life-saving skills that could one day be essential for anyone facing outdoor adventures in any environment!


Survivor is an American version of the Swedish television series Expedition Robinson. It is one of the longest-running reality show franchises and was originally produced by Mark Burnett and hosted by Jeff Probst. The show features a group of contestants who are left stranded in an isolated location, where they must compete for food, shelter, and other necessities to survive until the end of the game. Players compete against each other on physical and mental tasks to outwit their opponents and be the last remaining survivor. The show’s first season premiered in May 2000, and since then, Survivor has been nominated for 62 Primetime Emmy Awards, winning 14 times. Survivor is undoubtedly one of the best survival shows on television today and is still a fan favorite today, with 30 seasons to date.


Jeremiah is a post-apocalyptic drama television series starring Luke Perry as Jeremiah, a young man living in a future where life as he knew it was destroyed. Every adult over the age of 13 fell victim to the ‘Big Death’, and cities have been turned into lawless, feral landscapes filled with survivors trying desperately to carve out an existence for themselves. The show follows Jeremiah and his best friend Kurdy Malloy, played by Malcolm-Jamal Warner, as they set out to search for other survivors to build a new society from the ruins of their old world. Along their journey, they meet challenges from raiders and mutants, seek assistance from a secret organization known as ‘The Valhalla Movement’ to protect those in need, and ultimately struggle to discover what happened to the adults who never returned.  Strategically blending drama and science fiction elements, Jeremiah sets itself apart from other survival shows by approaching bondage-and-liberty questions from unique angles that have made it an instant classic among fans.


I Shouldn’t Be Alive

“I Shouldn’t Be Alive” is a critically acclaimed series from the Discovery Channel that follows the stories of people who have survived against all odds. The show explores their harrowing experiences, examining how they fought fear and used ingenuity to remain alive in the face of danger. Each gripping episode looks at survivors whose will to live pushes them beyond their physical endurance into a world of unimaginable self-discovery and strength. Detailed reconstructions, gripping interviews, and dramatic camera footage depict high-risk activities, intense situations, and survival techniques that would test even the bravest among us. What emerges is a reflection of each survivor’s tenacity to fight against all odds, an inspiring spirit that drives each person to persevere in extremity.

Alaska: The Last Frontier

Alaska: The Last Frontier is a reality television series on the Discovery Channel that follows the Kilcher family, who lives off the grid outside Homer, Alaska. This family has been homesteading in Alaska for four generations and is not shy about sharing their life’s work with viewers across the country. The show focuses on the patriarch, Atz Kilcher, and his extended family as they work together to build roads, hunt animals, gather food, grow crops and survive in one of the toughest places on earth. The show follows the family’s story as they strive to stay true to their remote lifestyle while modernizing to remain self-sufficient.  In addition to seeing members of this famous family work hard to survive in harsh Arctic conditions, viewers also learn about tools used by these pioneering people, such as defensive firearms, bows and arrows, and bush-crafting methods used before automobiles were invented. Members of this resilient family take on a variety of challenges, such as fishing for salmon with ancient spears or spearing halibut from kayaks in treacherous waters. Alaska: The Last Frontier showcases both old-world skills combined with modern ingenuity, allowing these adventurers to make a living off the land in one of America’s last great wilderness frontiers — Alaska.

The Strain

The Strain is a UK reality show airing on the BBC in which 12 everyday people from all walks of life attempt to survive in the wilderness of North Wales over the course of several days. The contestants are thrown into survival situations where they have to use their initiative, brains, and knowledge to survive and take part in challenges that test their physical limits and determination. The show itself is presented by former SAS soldier Terry Schappert and wildlife expert Steve Backshall. As well as tackling various challenges, such as foraging for food or building shelter, the contestants also need to attempt tasks that force them to think on their feet and work together as a team. The Strain provides a unique insight into the grit and determination needed to survive in extreme conditions. With constant speculation among viewers about who will triumph and make it until the end of the series, this strangely compelling show offers up an exciting trip into wilderness survival that won’t be forgotten soon.

Dead Set

Dead Set is a British horror comedy produced by channel 4 in 2008. It is written by Charlie Brooker and stars Jaime Winstone as the protagonist, Kelly. The show’s plot focuses on a group of contestants in a fictionalized version of Big Brother UK, while the hosts and housemates are trapped within the Big Brother House, surviving a zombie apocalypse that has taken over England. The show also follows Jamie’s character outside the house as she attempts to survive with her family and friends in their shared flat. Dead Set was well-received, being nominated for an International Emmy Award in 2009 for Best TV Mini-Series. The show’s style is often compared to Shaun Of The Dead in terms of genre blend – horror comedy with elements such as dark humor, gore, and zombie mayhem throughout its runtime. Dead Set ran for five episodes and remains popular amongst fans to this day due to its unique blend of realistic depiction of survival amidst chaos and terror against comical characters and situations framed within interesting social commentary about relatable concepts such as narcissism and reality television.

Alice in Borderland

Alice in Borderland is a Japanese manga series written and illustrated by Haro Aso. It follows the story of Ryōhei Arisu, an unemployed and ne’er-do-well young man who discovers a parallel world where every citizen must complete dangerous tasks—or die. Ryōhei teams up with his friends Karube and Chota to survive these ordeals and stay alive long enough to find a way out. The series has received positive reviews from critics for its compelling plot, suspenseful suspense-building elements, tight artwork, inventive situations, and high stakes. It was adapted into both a live-action drama series and an anime series which was released in December 2020 by Netflix. Both versions feature amazing survival elements and strong character development that makes audiences want more. Alice in borderland proves that survival shows can deliver plot twists and intense scenes that ensure viewers are glued to their screens until the very end!

The 100

Based on the novel of the same name by Kass Morgan, The 100 is a post-apocalyptic science fiction show set 97 years after a nuclear apocalypse has destroyed civilization. It follows a group of 100 delinquents who are sent back to Earth from an orbiting space station to determine if they can resettle on the planet. These young people must constantly battle for food and resources while navigating life-altering moral forks to stay alive and eventually return home. The show is known for its intense action sequences, character development, and highly engaging storylines that leave viewers with many questions at the end of each episode. From learning how to survive on their own in an unfamiliar environment to banding together with other survivors as allies or enemies, The 100 teaches viewers about resilience and strength in times of crisis. At the same time, this series explores themes such as power dynamics between leaders and followers; loyalty versus self-preservation; emotional baggage affecting present decisions; and human morality versus natural laws – all through complex characters that grapple with difficult choices along their journey.

The Island with Bear Grylls

In the Island with Bear Grylls, Bear Grylls takes twelve British men to a deserted island in the Pacific in an attempt to survive with very limited supplies. The show follows the men discussing their strategies and struggles while overcoming the harsh environment. While on the island, they battle extreme weather, build shelters, hunt for food, and fight off dangerous predators. The show spreads across 16 episodes that contain 1-hour long episodes detailing different groups of contestants each season. This show is an excellent illustration of what it takes to be resilient and is an entertaining must-watch!

The Colony

The Colony is an American post-apocalyptic reality television series that takes a unique approach by leaving the safety of the studio behind. The show follows ten survivalists attempting to survive in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment for 40 days. Each episode follows the participants as they battle natural disasters, disease, and lack of resources while attempting to rebuild their lives. The show also places emphasis on research and experimentation to learn essential skills such as shelter building, hunting and gathering, nutrition, water conservation, and medicine production. As the participants become accustomed to their surroundings and discover new levels of knowledge and endurance, they rely on each other for strength in building up their colony. Through challenging situations and unpredictable weather conditions, viewers have the unique opportunity to follow these brave individuals as they learn how to survive outside the comforts of modern society.


CEO at Atlantic Survival Gear | Website | + posts

A true wanderer whose heart beats in sync with nature's rhythm. Since his youth, he has sought solace and purpose in the vast wilderness, embarking on countless adventures.

Now, as the founder of, Samar shares his profound insights on outdoor skills, survival techniques, and the art of embracing nature's majesty.

Beyond words, he ventures into uncharted territory, embracing the tranquillity of the wild. Embark on an odyssey of discovery with Samar through Embrace the untamed allure of the wild, guided by the whispers of the wind. Join him in wandering into the great unknown, where every step unveils a new adventure.

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