The premise of History’s Alone is that ten men are left on Vancouver Island in one of the most inhospitable places in North America. The terrain is almost constantly wet, and the men only have ten items (excluding their clothing) to help them survive. The last man standing is the winner of half a million dollars.
Not too hard, right?
Well when you factor in the copious amount of bears, cougars and wolves that also inhabit the area the survivalists were dropped in it gets a bit more difficult. And then there’s the fact than Vancouver Island is always wet. Not that it always rains, it doesn’t, but the near constant state of damp and wetness on the island makes getting a fire going very difficult.
And yet some of the men manage it.
The show is currently on it’s fifth episode, and with the survivalists also filming their struggles, it’s providing a unique look at how a person can survive in such an area. There is an evacuation team on stand by (contacted by satellite phone) in case there’s a reason somebody wants (or needs) to quit, and some have.
I came to realize when watching the show that although it sounds easy, and while some of the men on the show didn’t last a week, I don’t think I’d have lasted longer than any of them. We all talk a tough game behind our keyboards while drinking our coffee, tea, or other drink of choice, probably within fifty feet of some easily accessible food, but when you’re left totally alone in the middle of absolute nowhere with no food or water and only your own thoughts for company when your surrounded by predators?
There are some great guys still on the show, and some of them are really funny (one of them imitating Julia Child as he cooks a slug is fantastic). There have been some pretty tense moments as well, involving a couple of bears and a cougar or two. Unlike some other wild life survival shows, you really get a sense of abandonment with Alone, which I guess is exactly the point, and the fears these guys are experiencing may seem trivial on television, but we’re not out there. Out there, I’d have probably pooped myself several times.
Alone is a fantastic show that reminds me quite a bit of Survivor Man, but unlike Les Stroud, the men in Vancouver have no purpose other than simple indefinite survival, with the last man standing the winner of a half a million dollars. But I do have to wonder; how well would Les Stroud do if he was on Vancouver Island?
Alone is on Thursday nights on History at 10pm Eastern. Check it out if you can.