How real is ‘Naked and Afraid’?

Prescott woman says her experience was pretty real

Giovanna Horning, Prescott, on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’

Courtesy photo

Giovanna Horning, Prescott, on Discovery’s ‘Naked and Afraid’

A question that often comes up regarding survival television is ‘How real is it?’

Leading up to her participation in “Naked and Afraid,” Prescott resident Giovanna Horning was under the impression that most everything she was getting into was going to be staged.

“When I went out there, my husband and a lot of my friends told me ‘be prepared for them to give you Clif Bars; it’s not going to be real; blah, blah, blah,’” Horning said.

In her experience, that wasn’t the case.

“[The production crew] never told us what to do,” Horning said. “They never helped us with anything. It really was my own experience. I could make each day whatever I wanted it to be.”

There was, however, the peace of mind that if something went wrong there were medics on standby with all of the necessary tools to handle an emergency health situation.

“I would not attempt this if I did not have that support crew around me,” Horning said.

Even at night, when she and her survival partner would be left alone until the next morning, there was a walkie-talkie on hand to contact the production crew with if need be.

“It kind of gave me some comfort,” she said.

This realistic depiction is not necessarily the case with all survival television shows, warns Cody Lundin, a survival expert who lives in Prescott.

After spending a couple years as one of the original hosts of the Discovery Channel’s survival show “Dual Survival,” Lundin developed a disdain for the way many survival shows depict the realities of survival.

“The keys to surviving an emergency revolve around proper context of the content,” Lundin said. “The only way to develop proper context in anything is through years of training and field experience. So-called TV survival shows and their phony ‘experts’ have zero understanding of proper content, let alone the all-important context of how survival skills should be prioritized in the field.”

In other words, while survival shows may be entertaining and provide some insight into tips on survival, it is not recommended that people take the shows too seriously, Lundin said.

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