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Thread: Survival TV Shows Tend To Hide Their Knives: WHY?

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    Question Survival TV Shows Tend To Hide Their Knives: WHY?

    Over the past 5 years I've watched many of the survival-prepper type TV Shows that have become popular lately with a lot of interest. Some of my favorites have been "Survivorman" with Les Stroud, "Dual Survival" on the Discovery Channel and many of the survival-prepper shows on the National Geographic Channel.

    One aspect of all of those shows that I find rather strange is that they seem to restrict information or eduction on "KNIVES" in particular. Most survivalists will tell you that a good quality knife is one of the most utmost important survival tools of all tools you can use during a survival type ordeal. There are 2 things that actually bother me about these TV Shows>> First of all they really seem to try to hide or just not show you what types of knives these guys and gals are using for some strange reason. Second they don't let any of the hosts of the show go into detail about their knife hardware or the proper uses of them which I find extremely strange.

    For instance there was one survival show that the Discovery Channel aired for a short period of time hosted by survival guru Mykel Hawke in which they told behind the scenes that he revealed in a magazine interview that he couldn't use his own knives on the show unless he wanted to pay a 45% royalty/fee for everyone that he sold for the next 5 years. Now many of you know that Mykel Hawke is a known knifemaker and he makes and sells knives used primarily for outdoor or survival type uses. But I seriously doubt if Mykel Hawke selling a few of his outdoor blades would cause any harm to Discovery Channel's broadcasting empire any setbacks. You would think they would want the viewers to know what he prefers to use in a given situation to add interest to the show.

    With all kinds of knives being recognized as a very vital tool of survival I just can't for the life of me understand why they purposefully want to withhold information.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User The Deacon's Avatar
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    Perhaps they've checked the demographics and don't want to offend their predominantly female, predominantly liberal, audience by putting too much emphasis on the use of "weapons" as survival tools. Do any of these TV survivalists carry a firearm? If not, why not? Of course, it could also just be that, like Mr. Hawke, no knife company is willing to pay them to promote their product.
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    Hi

    I know that on Dual Survival Cody always carries a Mora and Dave usually has a Blind Horse Knife. They never express that in an episode, I just know. In one of the episodes they use an ESEE machete to carve out a canoe. Again, that was not expressed in the episode. When they are in Tierra del Fuego, Dave shows how to use oil from a beaver carcass to protect your metal implements. Cody on several occasions shows how to make a small knife do a big job by using physics or applying mass to the back of the blade(batoning).

    Dave carries a flint lock musket in the Tierra del Fuego episode. Survivor man carries a rifle on several different episodes.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Enkidude View Post
    I know that on Dual Survival Cody always carries a Mora and Dave usually has a Blind Horse Knife. They never express that in an episode, I just know. In one of the episodes they use an ESEE machete to carve out a canoe. Again, that was not expressed in the episode. When they are in Tierra del Fuego, Dave shows how to use oil from a beaver carcass to protect your metal implements. Cody on several occasions shows how to make a small knife do a big job by using physics or applying mass to the back of the blade(batoning).

    Dave carries a flint lock musket in the Tierra del Fuego episode. Survivor man carries a rifle on several different episodes.
    I used to really like the original Dual Survival when Cody Lundin and Dave Peterson were doing the show. Especially when they were going up that river in Africa with all those Hippos and Crocs in the water with them. It did seem like they did more "hands on" type stuff than when Joe Teti came on the show.

    And I think Deacon has hit the nail on the head with politically correct and liability issues dealing with guns and knives. And we can't lose sight of the entertainment aspect that Discovery Channel is obviously more focused on rather than practical survival issues.

    Which is probably why I tend to like Les Stroud's Survivorman show better.
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    Howdy

    His name is actually Dave Canterbury. I found out about Dual Survival through Dave's Youtube channel (haven't had cable in over 10 years). I agree about the political and entertainment aspects of the show. Cody Lundin has a page on his website where he discusses survival and T.V. in which he really puts things into perspective. I feel while Les Stroud presents a lot of good info, the premise of his show is kind of unrealistic. He should be trying to self-rescue instead of camping/surviving. To each their own, I enjoy all the shows, and in the end they are for entertainment with a hope to convey a few good tidbits of info along the way.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User xceptnl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JD Spydo View Post
    Which is probably why I tend to like Les Stroud's Survivorman show better.
    I only watch Les now. All of the other shows really are a stretch of the word reality.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Johnnie1801's Avatar
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    You forgot about Bear Grylls, the walking advertisement for Gerber, lol
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    Anyone remember Ray Mears? Loved his show! He always had a real case study for each episode telling how one lived through something in full detail. He uses a custom bushcraft made by a custom knife maker. He dedicated an episode on it too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9phlDH4h-eU

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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Johnnie1801's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by c.joe View Post
    Anyone remember Ray Mears? Loved his show! He always had a real case study for each episode telling how one lived through something in full detail. He uses a custom bushcraft made by a custom knife maker. He dedicated an episode on it too.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9phlDH4h-eU
    Ray is still around, I just watched his latest series about the Pioneers (How the west was won with Ray Mears). His knife is similar to the Spyderco Bushcraft and I believe they even have the same blade material. It doesn't come cheap though, I think about $630 on his website. I think Ray has also used Mora's, Fallkniven's and Gransfors Bruks hatchets in the past.
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    Smile Bear Spent The Night At Holiday Inn Express>> REALLY!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Johnnie1801 View Post
    You forgot about Bear Grylls, the walking advertisement for Gerber, lol
    Oh no!! I haven't forgotten about Mr. Holiday INN Or was that Mr. Marriot-Hilton

    His show mirrored the old WWF from what I could tell

    I'm sure there is some tom foolery in all of them to a degree however. The funny thing about Grylls was that I never seen him with a Gerber or any other item he advertises in the few shows of his I watched. I heard that him and Discovery had some serious issues at one point.

    The other Brother is absolutely right about Dave's last name being Canterbury>> I don't know what I got that confused with.

    The one interview of Mykel Hawke in one of last year's issues of Backwoodsman magazine he told some stuff about Discovery Channel and their heavy handedness that really made me think twice about all of the shows on Discovery. And don't even get me started about Mythbusters .

    But I have never seen them ever go into detail about any of their edged tools irrespective of which show it was. I think maybe Deacon's observation about the politically correct aspects probably do indeed play a big role.

    Survival to me would have more mental challenges than physical or skill oriented challenges. Really when you get right down to the nitty gritty it boils down to 2 skills that can get you by 95% of the time>> and that is the ability to make fire and the ability to make water drinkable/potable. I believe if you master those 2 skills you can probably get by most of the time.

    I do find most of the answers on this thread interesting needless to say.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Blerv's Avatar
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    Maybe they are just waiting for an endorsement deal. The only people who believe in "free advertising" are bicycle people who think they are part of the Tour de France and anyone with a car they have modified and stickered to death.
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User yablanowitz's Avatar
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    Two words: Product placement. Corporations like Coca Cola and Pepsi pay big bucks to have their products placed in movies and t.v. shows. If the knife makers aren't willing and able to shell out the big bucks for national advertising, their products are not going to get shown, much less featured. That's the only reality in "Reality T.V."
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User paladin's Avatar
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    I like Dual Survival and have watched most episodes. I haven't found that they "hide" or try to sterilize knife use much...just watched a repeat of Joe killing a tigerfish with his fixed blade the other day, pretty visceral stuff. Now, by all means, Dual Survival doesn't always "showcase" knife use like some of us would if we produced a reality show. But it has, IMHO, displayed reasonable use of edged tools. As for the other shows, I can't comment.
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    hello again

    If any survival host did talk about what knife brand they liked in an episode, I would be turned off by it. Seeing that its a television show I would have to assume they were being paid to say it.

    Dual Survival is/was my favorite survival show. They messed up when they fired Dave and have now royally screwed up by firing Cody.

    The guys on Dual Survival have showcased more knife techniques and maintenance than any other hosts from other shows. Dave shows how to "pop a chunk" when using a machete and Cody requests Dave's knife on one occasion because his(Cody's) was too rounded on the spine to get good sparks off a fire steel. As well as other things I've noted in previous posts. Am I a fan boy? Idk...
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    Spyderco Forum Registered User Monocrom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by yablanowitz View Post
    Two words: Product placement. Corporations like Coca Cola and Pepsi pay big bucks to have their products placed in movies and t.v. shows. If the knife makers aren't willing and able to shell out the big bucks for national advertising, their products are not going to get shown, much less featured. That's the only reality in "Reality T.V."
    Sadly, spot-on.
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    You guys make a lot of good points>> In a way I guess I'm sort of naive to even think for a second that not every aspect of the TV media is solely and only driven by money. To think otherwise a guy is truly a fool in a lot of ways.

    But on the other hand if the tool that most survivalists deem to be one of the most important tools in their entire arsenal then to me it would only make good sense to educate the viewing audience about the uses of all types of different blades and their intended purposes. Especially in a potential life saving situation like survival skills.

    Other than people learning the culinary trades I don't hear much about knife education or education in the use of edged tools period. It is truly one of those subjects you have to educate yourself on for the most part.
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    When I co-hosted "The Best Defense: Survival" on Outdoor Channel, I appeared courtesy of Spyderco, but showed/used/recommended the stuff I actually keep in my personal kit. That included Spyderco knives like the Rock Salt and Military, but also a multitool from Gerber, and a Swiss Army Knife. All the stuff I used on the show was gear I bought or traded for.

    The show ran three seasons and was canceled just before the debut of shows like Doomsday Preppers. Although the first season was weak because it focused too much on big-box disasters, the second and third seasons included a lot of simple, practical how-to information.

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