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10 survival tips from Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’ that actually work

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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Elizabeth Baker/Released)

“Naked and Afraid” is a Discovery reality show that places two strangers – a man and a woman – in a remote and intense location to survive for 21 days. In their survival, the participants are to employ their experience, skills and wits.

During the period, the participants are naked, and each is equipped with a survival item. They also face cold, predators, sunburn, hunger and parasites. The contenders are required to cooperate and develop a plan of action to fend for themselves in the wild. During the reality show’s seasons, the participants have come up with these 10 practical survival tips (and many more) that work.

Valuable Tips for Survival

1. Mental toughness

A participant needs to develop mental toughness. During the show, participants will have to endure brutal conditions, mentally and emotionally, primarily due to the weather conditions. Former contestant Honora Bowen says that a lack of emotional and mental strengths tend to make contenders tap out and quit.

survival tips
(U.S. Marine Corps Photo by Lance Cpl. Sarah Hediger)

2. Physical fitness

As the participants will be in the wild for a long time, they will need to maintain fitness for survival. The contenders will face emergencies and a difficult time finding food for themselves in the wilderness. Building a solid body and muscle mass will come in handy after the depletion of the character’s body fat reserves. If you’ve seen the movie “Zombieland,” cardio is very important.

3. Shelter

Honora suggests participants need to build themselves a shelter as they will be in a location where there is a constant danger of predators that could do great harm. A shelter will assist the participants in keeping out predators. According to “Naked and Afraid” contestant Jake in a GQ interview, there is a need for a solid perimeter which should be eight to 10 feet high and approximately six to eight feet wide; he also insisted that the shelter needs to be constricted securely.

4. Feet prep

During the course of the three weeks, “Naked and Afraid” contenders are going to walk around barefoot. To endure the rough terrain, the contenders need to prepare their feet. One of the former contenders, Justin, said they had to walk and hike barefoot to get their feet prepared. According to the “Naked and Afraid” survival plan, contenders are encouraged to put gravel or dried rice in their boots or shoes to condition their feet properly.

naked and afraid surival
(U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Sarah Sangster)

5. Research

Before going into the show, contenders need to do their research extensively. At the same time, they are encouraged to watch prior episodes to conduct their research for their preparation. In the show, there are some survivalists from prior episodes who have been included. The survivalists showed fantastic survival skills where two of them built a raft that was helpful for a trip down the river and to the extraction point.

6. Temperature acclimation

If you cannot handle heat or cold temperatures, it would be wise to get acclimated. Repeated exposure to a cold environment will enable contenders to generate cold tolerance. On the other hand, repeated exposure to a hot environment will allow them to have heat tolerance and mitigate the risk of heat-related injuries.

7. Water

When the participants get to their location, they need to find a water source. Former participant Steve suggests it is possible to find water by locating an old riverbed. After finding the water, it is necessary to build a fire to boil the water to make it safe for drinking.

8. Fire

Fire is essential for survival; therefore, contenders need to know how to build it. According to Hakim Isler, a survivalist, there are a few things one would need to start a fire. These are a dry and small tinder, kindling and a bow drill from wood and cordage to create a spark to start a fire.

9. Cool down

Steve advised participants also need to stay cool by hydrating and keeping to the shade. If the location is safe, they can also take a dip to cool down and invigorate the body.

10. Prepare, prepare, prepare

When in the show, participants need to stick to the one survival item per contestant rule. Therefore, this necessitates picking their prepping items wisely. Surviving in the wilderness for three weeks is extremely hard. Nevertheless, the survival tips used in the “Naked and Afraid” show will be appropriate for survival in harsh conditions — especially if you find yourself naked in combat.