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This is a guest post by Mariana Ashley.

Netflix has been pushing gritty reality shows lately, most of them from the Discovery Channel. Shows like Coal, Deadliest Catch, and Swamp Loggers showcase American manual workers doing some of the most dangerous jobs in the country.

For even more thrills, you can watch one-man survivor reality shows like Survivorman or Man vs. Wild that chronicles the adventures of professional survival experts as they brave various harsh landscapes around the world. The shows offer entertainment like on no other show; where else can you watch a man wrestle a deadly snake while telling you how to purify river water? But out of all the gritty survival shows you can watch on Netflix, there is one that stands head and shoulders above the rest. I’m talking about Dual Survival.

The premise

Dual Survival takes the basic premise of a reality survival show and expands on it by featuring the efforts of two survival experts as they work together to make it through the wilderness. The two survival experts featured in every episode are Cody Lundin and Dave Canterbury. Cody is a seasoned survival expert who offers his skills to people in the deserts of Arizona where he lives of the fat of the land. Cody is typecast as a sort of hippy-naturalist character, who has a more mellow and methodical style to survival tactics. To give you an idea of Cody’s devotion to the natural lifestyle, the man hasn’t worn a pair of shoes in over twenty years. He also tends to hunt for small foods like berries, nuts, and bugs when surviving in the wild.

Dave is on the other side of the spectrum of survivalists. Train in the U.S. army as a sniper and well versed in surviving across a multitude of landscapes, Dave is the veritable “tough guy” of the group. His survival techniques are grounded in principles he learned while in the service, and he has strong opinions about how a person can best survive in the wild. In stark contrast to Cody, Dave tends to hunt for big game when searching for food, and he relies heavily on man-made gear and items for his methods.

Why it’s better than the others

The dynamic between Cody and Dave make the entire show. They’re complete opposites in many ways: Dave is the no nonsense straight shooter who always thinks he’s right, while Cody likes to take things slow and think them out before acting. Watching Dual Survival is almost like watching a sitcom between a bickering married couple, except that the couple is trying to survive for their lives on an icy plain or a scorching desert. Though Cody and Dave don’t always see eye to eye on survival tactics, they ultimately understand the need for fundamental cooperation in order to persevere. What they can accomplish together makes for some of the best TV I’ve ever seen. The duo can start a fire from virtually nothing, traverse swamps with only the clothes on their back, hunt for fish with merely a stick, and so much more. If you want to chill out in front of the TV, I can think of few better reality TV experiences than Dual Survival.

Standout episodes

“Shipwrecked” – The first episode in the series marks the highest tensions between Cody and Dave as they try to weather the harsh freezing climate of Nova Scotia. Definitely worth watching for how both characters prove themselves to the other with crazy displays of survival know-how.

“Bogged down” – This episode features the duo traveling through the jungles of Brazil. They encounter piranha and try to make a river worthy canoe from an entire tree. It’s survival TV at its finest.


Mariana Ashley is a freelance writer who particularly enjoys writing about online colleges. She loves receiving reader feedback, which can be directed to mariana.ashley031 @gmail.com.