Guides, Survival, TV Shows

Top 10 Reality Survival Shows to Prepare You for the Apocalypse

Nicole from Alone

The reality TV show fad has enjoyed some highs and lows, but the fact remains: they’re entertaining as heck. But I also feel like, hidden within the obvious scripts and cunning editing, there are some actual valuable lessons that we can all learn. And I’m not talking about which person to make out with in the Big Brother mansion’s hot tub, but real-life education that could help us when the world decides it’s tired of our stupidity.


So let’s take a look at my favorites. This is a collection of my own top 10 reality survival shows that I’ve watched to death. This list is based less on the personalities of the stars or contestants and more on what you can learn from them.

10. The Island with Bear Grylls

The Island with Bear Grylls  | TV Series (2014– ) 47min | Reality-TV | TV Series (2014– ) Summary: A group of British men or women are taken to a remote, uninhabited Pacific island by Bear Grylls, and left completely alone for six weeks, with nothing but cameras, the clothes they're ... See full summary »
Countries: UKLanguages: English

9. Out of the Wild: Alaska Experiment

Out of the Wild: The Alaska Experiment  | TV Series (2009– ) Reality-TV | TV Series (2009– ) Summary: Left with only the barest of essentials, nine ordinary Americans will travel sixty of the harshest miles on the planet while battling hunger, fatigue, and an unforgiving winter
Countries: USA

8. Dual Survival

Dual Survival  | TV Series (2010– ) 1h | Adventure, Reality-TV | TV Series (2010– ) Summary: Experts agree there are some very basic - and universal - rules for surviving in the wild. Find shelter, find water, find food, find help. Beyond that, there's not much they agree on. Meet ... See full summary »
Countries: USALanguages: English

7. Survive This

Survive This  | TV Series (2009–2010) 22min | Action, Adventure, Reality-TV | TV Series (2009–2010) Summary: 8 teens from the Toronto area head into the wilderness to survive.
Countries: CanadaLanguages: English

6. Primal Survivor

Primal Survivor  | TV Series (2016– ) Documentary | TV Series (2016– ) Summary: Primal Survivor tracks wilderness guide and survival instructor Hazen Audel as he tackles some of mankind's most rigorous journeys, relying on skills learned from native inhabitants.After ... See full summary »
Countries: USALanguages: English

5. Man Vs. Wild

Man vs. Wild  | TV Series (2006–2020) 1h | Adventure, Reality-TV | TV Series (2006–2020) Summary: Bear Grylls travels the world in search of challenges to his survival skills.
Countries: UKLanguages: English

4. Alone

Alone  | TV Series (2015– ) 44min | Documentary, Reality-TV | TV Series (2015– ) Summary: Ten survival "experts" attempt to survive alone. The winner receives $500,000.
Countries: USALanguages: English

3. Survivorman

Survivorman  | TV Series (2004– ) 44min | Documentary, Adventure | TV Series (2004– ) Summary: No food, no shelter, no fresh water - one man alone in the wild for seven days with only his wits and stamina to sustain him.
Countries: CanadaLanguages: English

2. Frontier House

Frontier House  | TV Mini-Series (2002– ) History, Reality-TV | TV Mini-Series (2002– ) Summary: The Year: 1883. The Place: The Montana Territory. The Challenge: Blizzards, hunger, scorching sun, forest fires, the neighbors, and more ... Three modern families experienced life on the ... See full summary »
Countries: UK, USALanguages: English

1. The Colony

The Colony  | TV Series (2009– ) Reality-TV | TV Series (2009– ) Summary: A group of strangers gathered for three months to test out the concept of rebuilding civilization.
Countries: USALanguages: English


So which one is your favorite? Would you change this list at all?

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Shawn has been infatuated with the post-apocalyptic genre since he wore out his horribly American-dubbed VHS of the original Mad Max as a child. Shawn is the former Editor-in-Chief at Joystiq's Massively.com, creator of the Aftermath post-apocalyptic immersion event, and host of the Through the Aftermath podcast for over 11 years. He currently resides on top of a mountain in the middle of nowhere with his wife and four children.

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