Sunday, July 4, 2010

Dual Survival vs. Man vs. Wild

[Note, I've revised the knife portions of this post to reflect the ongoing influx of information on Cody and Dave's knives as the tools used change from show to show.]

I've been meaning to post something here about that new survival show Dual Survival staring Dave Canterbury; Army-trained scout, sniper, hunter who often carries a parkerized multi tool or sheath knife and barefoot minimalist, primitive skills expert Cody Lundin who carries a "Swiss Army Rock" (a knapped handheld hunk of flint or obsidian) and (probably) a Mora knife on a loop around his neck.

Their show is similar to Bear Grylls' Man vs. Wild which was also on the Discovery Channel.

Bear's modus operandi is to tell you how dangerous doing something is and that you should never do it; and then show you how to do it.

Dave & Cody just do it and after it's all over explain that they never should have done it because it's so dangerous.

Both shows are geared for ratings with survival tips thrown into the adventures.

The bits of survival technique are worthy of watching, just be sure to pay attention to the caveats.

None of these guys wears a boonie hat which would be the best way to shade the head, face and neck from sun, rain and falling debris. I guess the hat's wide brim makes it hard to light the faces for the cameras.

Bear's claim to fame is doing stupid dangerous things and eating rotting animals.

Cody's claim to fame is that he hasn't worn shoes in 20 years (although he did fudge a bit by wearing wool socks on a glacier and capitulated into sandals made from car tires when two inch cactus spines punctured his need to "be in touch with nature" in the desert.)

Dave's claim to fame is to eschew Cody's veggies & bugs in favor of "four legged furry food" which he is proficient at catching and adroitly killing.

None of the survival stars has plugged any particular knife on the shows although Bear has used a sheath knife we don't get enough of a look at it to tell what brand it is. Bear has since come out with his own custom made survival sheath knife.

Both Bear and Dave have used multi-tools on their shows to good effect (although not showing the full potential of these multiple tool tools). Cody's Mora knife is the essence of his minimalist survival technique but lacks the (so far undisclosed) versatility of Bear & Dave's multiple bladed knives.

Given my druthers I'd much prefer a genuine Swiss Army Knife or Leatherman brand multi-tool over the single blade of a Mora knife.

In a message dated 7/28/2010 2:07:04 A.M. Mountain Daylight Time, serge writes:
"What did you think about Les Stroud when he was still active in the survival business?

I do recall that Les always relyed on a multitool and always carried some sort of fire starting device, like a magnesium fire starter or a fire piston.

About Dave Canterburys knife, he seems to carry the pathfinder made by Blind Horse Knives. As soon as the word got out, the pathfinder went up in price by $200.00!!


I haven't thought about Les Stroud much since his show went off the air here in the states. I just Googled him and see that he currently has a show on OLN a Canadian cable network.

Although Les is less exciting then Bear, I always thought of Les Stroud as more of a survival teacher than Bear Grylls was on Man vs. Wild. Bear was more showman than instructor. Someone alone in the wilderness following Grylls' flamboyant examples would likely end up at the bottom of a cliff; a broken boned skeleton.

I believe the knife makers (Swiss Army, Leatherman and the custom knife makers) missed out when they failed (were they ever asked?) to sponsor or advertise on the "survivor" shows.

Google agrees with you about Dave Canterbury's sheath knife as seen on Dual Survival.

Custom knives, like luxury cars, are expensive and their finer points will likely be appreciated mostly by aficionados. Any quality knife (A.G. Russell, Buck, Case, CRKT, Camillus, Leatherman, SOG, and Swiss Army etc.) will do a journeyman job skinning game; shaving tinder, whittling kindling or carving notches in trap triggers etc.



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