10 Things I Learned from Naked and Afraid (and a Perfect Connecticut Afternoon)

10 things I learned from the survivalist reality show Naked and Afraid:

1. After a few awkward minutes, no one will care if you’re naked in the wilderness.

2. There’s good naked and bad naked. (OK, I learned that one from Seinfeld, but I relearned it from Naked and Afraid.)

3. Fire good. (OK, this one’s from Young Frankenstein.)

4. When you’re starved for protein, a raw slimy tree grub will taste amazing.

5. Laying around slowly starving counts as surviving for 21 days.

6. Gotta stay hydrated.

7. You can’t tell how tough someone really is until about the sixth day of misery. In fact, the tougher they say they are, the more likely the meltdown will come.

8. Surviving is a lot different from thriving. Surthriving is badass, but then, so is surviving.

9. Lazy jerks are among the worst people to be around.

10. Reality TV is not real.

After binge-watching Naked and Afraid, I knew enough to get a good meal in me before heading out into the wilderness.

Lobster roll from Lobster Shack Branford CT

On a beautiful summer’s day, my husband and I fortified ourselves with lobster rolls and gelato, then searched and searched for the trailhead to the Branford Trolley Trail.

Foot bridge Branford Trolley Trail

A quick path to a foot bridge took us deep into an idyllic marsh, complete with a gentle tide rushing in over clumps of seagrass and the encompassing sounds of birds and insects.

Branford Trolley Trail

We spotted several large white birds, but we know we never could have caught one if placed in a survivalist situation.

Bird Branford Trolley Trail

A crab would have been a goner, though, when it sidled right across our path. As the survivalists say, “Protein!”

Crab Branford Trolley Trail

We did partake of some wild raspberries. Sugar!

Raspberries, Branford Trolley Trail

We passed on these possibly poisonous berries. We passed on some wild rhubarb too.

Branford Trolley Trail

Branford Trolley Trail

We definitely would have survived from this bounty, at least for a while, when we’d be ready for some more New England seafood. We did both get bit by horseflies, and I don’t even want to imagine how bad the mosquitos would be here at night.

Branford Trolley Trail

Have you seen Naked and Afraid? Does it make you imagine you’re foraging for food when you’re in the wilderness?

P.S. When Naked and Afraid XL began, I was fascinated by the premise. Various survivalists were dropped in the wilderness in Colombia. They joined up into small groups, and then some of them started to meet up with the others. There are little glimmers of truly intriguing situations. Changing group dynamics. Division of labor. Territorialism. Ostracism. The beginnings of a modern hunter-gatherer society. What could have been an amazing documentary about all of these issues and more is instead aiming for the staged drama of a lowbrow reality show. It seems obvious that they are manipulating the dynamics rather than letting them unfold. It is a TV show, after all, but I had hoped for more and would like to see an actual documentary of this type of situation.

P.P.S. No crabs were injured in the making of this blog post.

workshop-button-1 Linking up with Mama Kat’s Writer’s Workshop: 10 things you have learned from reality TV.

Things to do in Connecticut Hike along the Branford Trolley Trail

About Marcy

I blog about trying to get out of my comfort zone, completing 101 things in 1001 days (and beyond), and writing my memoirs. My book: Timid No More.
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13 Responses to 10 Things I Learned from Naked and Afraid (and a Perfect Connecticut Afternoon)

  1. May says:

    Here is my reality….I really, really want one of those lobster rolls! Not something you find here smack-dab in the center of the country.
    May recently posted..White SpaceMy Profile

  2. Ashlyn says:

    I’ve yet to see the show, and your points about the awkwardness being gone after 6 minutes caught my attention LOL. And for some reason, that crab cracked me up!
    Ashlyn recently posted..Baby Essentials: Favorite ToysMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      They show people’s bare behinds and blur out the other private parts. The people in the show don’t seem to care much about the nudity, although they sometimes manage to cover themselves up using leaves or other materials. They seem to care about protection from the sun and insects more than about modesty, but most people who would care would never seek being on a show like that in the first place. Thanks for visiting, Ashlyn.

  3. Brooke says:

    I have never seen the show but I do watch Survivor every once in a while. I did enjoy the lobster roll post and all the photos bring you right in. Thanks for sharing.
    Brooke recently posted..A Seafood RoundupMy Profile

  4. Beth Anne says:

    I think to go on that kind of show it def. takes a certain kind of person with not a lot of morals. I just can’t imagine being naked in front of strangers + being on TV…but I can see how being out in the wilderness with not much can help you learn about survival.
    Beth Anne recently posted..Five Minute Friday: LEARNMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      I wouldn’t say they don’t have a lot of morals. The nudity probably causes more attention for the show from the general public, but it really doesn’t get played up in a sleazy way. It does affect the difficulty in surviving in those locations. (The bare feet are usually more of a factor than the nudity though.) I totally agree that it’s not something I could do! Thanks for your comment, Beth Anne.

  5. Kat says:

    I LOVE THAT SHOW! I could never survive it, but I love it.
    Kat recently posted..“Don’t Call Me Basic” Sandwich ContestMy Profile

    • Marcy says:

      Ha! Me neither. I sometimes wonder how many days I could last. Sometimes they just lie around starving and don’t seem to find any food. Three days? I think I would drink the possibly contaminated water pretty quickly if I couldn’t succeed in finding a way to purify it, so I’d probably get sick right away.

  6. Haha. I agree, the awkwardness of almost anything disappears after a while.
    Jasbir [A cuppa for my thoughts] @jasbeeray recently posted..My blood type is coffeeMy Profile

  7. Pingback: Year in Review 2015: Just When I Thought I Was Out | (Don't Be) Too Timid and Squeamish

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