[Netflix has several great TV shows to choose from] The holidays are here and unless you’re travelling, you may have some free time on your hands.
Why not spend it watching prepper and survivalist shows? Netflix has several great TV shows to choose from.
There many great movies and documentaries I could have included as well, but the list would have been too long.
Keep in mind that most of this is “edutainment.” While you can learn a lot, you should always double check what you learn from these shows because some of them-cough! man-vs-wild! cough!-have been known to give very bad advice.
Others are pure fiction (such as The Walking Dead), but are still the kind of shows preppers might enjoy.
Unfortunately, most of these shows are only available on DVD so assume that is the case unless otherwise noted.
Also, I was going to link directly to the Netflix pages, but then I realized that if you don’t have Netflix the links just take you to a page asking you to sign up. So instead I linked to the Wikipedia entries. Now on to the list.
Update – As of 9/19/15, Alaska: The Last Frontier and Dual Survival are no longer on Netflix.
1.Alaska: The Last Frontier
[Alaska The Last Frontier] This reality show stars the Kilchers, a large family of homesteaders who live off the grid without any modern conveniences.
As you can imagine, they face all sorts of challenges.
They hunt, fish, raise livestock, deal with predators, can food, gather supplies, build the things they need, and do pretty much everything else a homesteader does. Update: No longer available on Netflix.
A documentary series about the many operations and missions the U.S. military has fought around the world.
Each episode is about a different battle, invasion, ambush, gunfight, rescue operation, you name it.
This show is a good wake-up call for people who imagine themselves capable of serious combat after the SHTF.
[Doomsday Preppers] I almost didn’t include this show because sometimes they find the most extreme preppers-many of whom don’t even know what they’re doing-and portray them in a negative way, making all preppers look crazy by extension.
Still, you could learn a thing or two, or you could just have fun looking for the things these preppers get wrong. Available to stream.
The first two seasons star survival experts Dave Canterbury and Cody Lundin (they are replaced in seasons 3 and 4, respectively) in various predetermined situations such as marooned on an island, stranded on a mountain, or lost in the woods.
They explain and demonstrate many important skills such as fire making, water purification, shelter construction, and much more.
This show will teach you the importance of wearing shoes. Update: No longer available on Netflix.
[Falling Skies] This sci-fi series is set in a post-apocalyptic world where extraterrestrials have invaded Earth and killed most of the population.
A group of survivors, led by a retired U.S. Army Captain, mount an insurgency against the aliens.
This is a very well-done show that gets better as it goes.
6.I Shouldn’t Be Alive
This series tells true stories of people who survived life-threatening situations against all odds. Through interviews and dramatic reenactments, we learn about the endurance and decisions of survivors who got through scenarios like being shipwrecked, lost at sea, trapped under a boulder, and more.
[“The Big Death,” a young man named Jeremiah and his friend Kurdy] In a post-apocalyptic future, nearly everyone over 13 has been killed by a deadly virus. 15 years after “The Big Death,” a young man named Jeremiah and his friend Kurdy travel the country is search of the “Valhalla Sector” where his father-a viral researcher-may still be alive.
This series follows the residents of a small town in Kansas after the largest cities in the United States have been destroyed by nuclear missiles.
Since they have no power or communication with the outside world, they have to manage with limited resources while trying to figure out what has happened. Available to stream.
9.Life After People
This show asks the question, “What would happen to the world if humanity suddenly disappeared?” Scientists and engineers speculate about the fate of skyscrapers, bridges, certain plants and animals, and pretty much anything else built or impacted by humans.
It extends from one year to several million years into the future. Very interesting show.
10.Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey
[Lock N’ Load with R. Lee Ermey] If you like weapons, you’ll love this one. Retired U.S. Marine R. Lee Ermey hosts this show about military weaponry throughout history.
Each episode covers a different type of weapon such machine guns, blades, rockets, and more.
11.Man vs. Wild
In this show, survival expert Bear Grylls is dropped into a different scenario in each episode-lost in the desert, jungle, mountains, forest, etc.
He teaches you how to construct a shelter, forage for food, build a fire, and generally survive until you can reach civilization.
Unfortunately, he makes a lot of foolhardy decisions in order to increase the entertainment value.
12.Man, Woman, Wild
[Man, Woman, Wild] A husband-and-wife team attempt to survive inhospitable environments around the world with only a few supplies.
Most of it features Mykel Hawke teaching his wife, Ruth England, various survival skills.
It’s a pretty good show, although sometimes Ruth gets on my nerves.
13.Out of the Wild
The Alaska Experiment – This series follows nine volunteers who make their way through the Alaskan wilderness with only a few supplies.
They have to forage for food, build shelters, and stay warm amid freezing temperatures.
Each volunteer has the option to summon a rescue team if they want to quit the experiment, and most of them do.
Meteorologists visit Tornado Alley in order to study twisters and capture them on video.
This show doesn’t teach any survival skills, but it’s very well done.
At times it is very suspenseful and instills a sense of awe at the power of these deadly phenomena.
[Survivorman] Probably one of the best survival shows ever.
Filmmaker and survival expert Les Stroud ventures into the wilderness completely alone with just a few supplies and his camera.
Although there is a support team monitoring him from a distance, he manages to survive on his own for at least a week and teaches viewers exactly how he does it.
After a pandemic wipes out over 90% of the world’s population, the people remaining have to survive in a world without power, running water, and many other things we all tend to take for granted.
The show follows a specific group of people who encounter many obstacles, the worst of which are other people.
Available to stream.
This reality show follows 10 volunteers with various skills and backgrounds who are placed in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment and asked to rebuild civilization.
Although it’s pretty entertaining, unless you’re a complete newbie prepper you may find yourself yelling at the TV.
18.The Walking Dead
[The Walking Dead] I love this show! Lots of great action and intense drama.
Don’t expect to learn anything useful, though.
In fact, there are several things that get on my nerves: They seem to have a never-ending supply of canned food, vehicles that have been abandoned for over a year run just fine, and even though zombies stagger along slowly no one can outrun them. But it’s still great if you enjoy post-apocalyptic shows. Available to stream.
A reality show with 16 contestants who compete in various shooting challenges using everything from bows to rifles.
The winner gets $100,000. Available to stream.
A documentary series about the annual International Sniper Competition in Fort Benning, Georgia.
This more than just a shooting competition.
They have to compete in simulated war conditions and display multiple skills including camouflage, stalking, and urban combat.