08th Jul2020

‘Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear. Tested.’ Review (Netflix)

by Rhys Payne

The is one, super-easy, way to grab my attention for any new Netflix original series and that is to include as many fire/explosions as possible and Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear. Tested. does exactly that! This show tests and demonstrates products that could potentially be used to save your life if you are even in an emergency situation. As someone whose only outdoor experience stopped at doing my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award, I know the importance of having some items but never realised the true plethora of items that could be used to literally save your life.

The first thing anyone notices about this show is that the hosts themselves are clearly very knowledgable about the survival product industry but also are just the typical guys who just want to have fun. A key catchphrase for this show is “What’s the point of survival if you can’t have fun doing it?” which is the perfect catchphrase for the showm as it summarises the jovial aspect of the show but the focus on nature and the outdoors. It also catchers the essences of the two main hosts, Brandon Currin and Daniel Dabbs, perfectly. Southern Survival utilises comedic sketches as transitions between tests, with one particular scene of the two hosts riding a quad bike with an explosion happening in the background which was so wonderfully over-the-top and comical that it was brilliant! It is painfully clear that these two people are very good friends in real life and obviously enjoyed making the show itself.

Each episode of Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear. Tested. starts with Brandon and Daniel delivering a safety message which is obviously very important to encourage viewers to not try what they see at home. These warnings are obviously very serious due to the nature of the message but are also delivered with an air of comedy, which really fits in with the image that these two people portrayed throughout the show.

Southern Survival is your typical manly survival programme. In the opening episode there was no introduction to the test or products, instead you are transported directly into the middle of the test. There is a massive explosion within the first two minutes of the opening which, for me, is fantastic. Then there are crazy stunts and massive explosions throughout every episodes and scenes depicting violence, mild gore and also scenes of a distressing nature. There is a whole episode that revolves around the idea of fears, where they test products that could deal with drowning, claustrophobia and snakes. These scenes would be very triggering for people who share these fears, especially the one revolving around snakes as even I found this scene difficult to watch and I don’t consider myself to have a fear of snakes!

The hosts of Southern Survival have started their own company called Battlbox where they distribute survival products to people who subscribe to their service. This means that when they are testing products it is because they want to ensure they are the highest quality before they send them out to their customers. Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear Tested, given the title, features both products being both successful and unsuccessful which is fantastic to watch and allows for the show to be educational as well as entertaining. From the educational perspective, the show teachs viewers about how to act in distressing situations, as well as educating them about products that could prove vital. For example, I personally learnt that if you are in an emergency in a car that the side windows are easier to break than the front and also there are demonstrations on how to escape being handcuffed with tape or cable ties which is obviously beneficial for any people who find themselves in these distressing situations. Southern Survival also showcases unique products that can be used in an emergency – such as a pull-string fire starter or a throwable fire extinguisher which would serve to reduce the chances of someone being injured in a fire. What I found particularly interesting to see was one of the host documented the developmental cycle for a new survival knife he was developing and it was very exciting to see the knife go from simply a drawing, to a prototype to a fully-fledged product.

Southern Surviva also possessed one of the best ideas for an episode I have ever seen… The guys – for one particular episode – decide to stage a rescue mission where they had to rescue a mannequin that had been thrown from a helicopter. Through the course of the episode, they showcase products that can be used to help them in their situation. They demonstrated how items such as water purifiers, handheld chainsaw and inflatable rafts work and how important they are for survival in dangerous situations. Seeing a show testing products actually in the field is fantastic for a show of this nature and I have no doubt people who are interested in these types of products would be very intrigued to see how these products work in real-life situations. This was an incredible inclusion that fitted with the nature of the show perfectly so much so that they tried to repeat it later in the series on a company trip to the beach but I thought this second trip wasn’t as impactful as the first!

Overall, Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear. Tested. is a very informative show that teaches people how to survival in serious situations. It also showcases the hosts own business, as well as other products which can only benefit the people behind them. This isn’t a show that will win any television awards for fantastic moving/emotional scenes but rather a fun show crammed full of explosions and stunts! I would definitely encourage any fans of the outdoors to watch this show!

**** 4/5

Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear. Tested. is available on Netflix now.

2 Responses to “‘Southern Survival: Outdoor Gear. Tested.’ Review (Netflix)”

  • Cheryl Riles

    Where, or can you buy some of the supplies demonstrated? I love this show!! Will there be more shows in the future?