It’s not even in Kentucky.
Every episode of Dual Survivor starts with a disclaimer:
This program depicts a survival scenario. Due to the extreme danger, Dave and Cody receive support when they are in potentially threatening situations, as required by health and safety regulations. On some occasions, situations are presented to Dave and Cody so they can demonstrate survival techniques.
Emphasis added. The more I watch, the more I am convinced that it is more than just “on some occasions” and “situations”. I’m beginning to think the whole thing is more or less scripted in advance.
They are quite upfront about how each show starts. Dave and Cody are put into a situation in which they kind of take over from the original “victims”. They find the location of the incident, and find equipment that those “victims” might have had on them. That is all above board, and does a nice job of setting up each episode.
But the map, I think, shows just how scripted the show is.
This particular show was shot near Hilltop and Yamacraw, KY along the Cumberland River. Here’s a topo map of the area:
Yet, here’s the map they showed us of the supposed route the kayakers they were substituting for were using:
You can see the put-in and take-out points, and get a good look at the curves of the stream. Their whole supposed strategy was based on this map, but it does not match at all.
Here’s the real topo map that matches their map:
I’ve added the put-in and take-out points onto the official topo map.
That is White Oak Creek. It is near the town of Rugby, in Tennessee, about 25 miles as the crow flies from Yamacraw. White Oak Creek empties into Clear Fork, which later empties into the Cumberland.
Oh, and it also flows from south to north, so if somebody had put in at the put-in point and took out at the take-out point, they would have had to magically float “up the river”. So I guess the show name was a hint. :-)
It is also interesting that the map was folded right where it was at the top. Because if it showed more, we would see where White Oak Creek empties into Clear Fork:
I should add that I still like the show. I think both Cody and Dave do a good job of presenting survival skills, and do so quite accurately. But they are being forced to do so in a set-up that is a lot more scripted than we are led to believe. There is not the “occasional” situation that is presented. The whole show seems to be a pre-scripted situation, with occasional smaller internal situations.
I mentioned the perfect boat cover in my earlier blog entry. I’m also now suspicious of Cody’s failure to make a fire with the bow drill. We all know Cody is a Fire God — how could he have failed? My guess is that that was a “situation” so that Cody could demonstrate filling a plastic bag with leaves as insulation so that he could survive the night.
So, my bottom line? Great show; great survival information. Just realize that it really isn’t a “reality show” and that the scripting is probably more than you think.
For real “reality” survival, I still think Survivorman is the epitome. No camera crew; no “situations” presented. Just real survival.