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The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch 

Ranker TV
Originally by
Updated May 7, 2020 26k votes 7.3k voters 545.6k views 50 items

List Rules TV shows about survival skills and living in the wilderness only.

These are the best survival TV shows voted on by fans like you. If you're ever stuck in a desert or jungle, these shows may just help you survive for a little bit longer. It is a hot genre now, with many new survival shows airing each year. Naturally, there is much debate on which one is best. Are you a fan of Bear Grylls, or do you think he is nothing compared to Les Stroud?

This list has a variety of survival TV shows, like Dual Survival, Naked and Afraid, and Survivorman. Maybe there are even some survival shows on Netflix for you to watch 90 episodes of in a row! From survival reality shows to new survival shows that are soon to be your favorites, there are plenty of TV series to watch if you're into the excitement of wilderness survival shows and outdoor survival in general. 

What is the best survival skills show of all time? What are the greatest survival skills shows starring survivalists out in the world, taking on Mother Nature? Cast your votes for the best survivalist and surviving shows today!

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list ordered by
1
Survivorman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
alfeyerabend added Les Stroud

Premiered: 2004

Survivorman is a Canadian-produced television program, broadcast in Canada on the Outdoor Life Network, and internationally on Discovery Channel and Science Channel. The show aired 5 seasons and ...more
2
Ranker Video
johnmiller980 added E.J. Snyder, Jeff Zausch

Premiered: 08/24/2016

Dual Survival is an American reality cable television series which airs on the Discovery Channel. The show features a pair of survival experts in predetermined scenarios while in challenging ...more
3
Man, Woman, Wild is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Mykel Hawke Pierce, Ruth England

Premiered: 2010

Man, Woman, Wild was a cable television reality series which originally aired on the Discovery Channel from July 2010 to January 2012. The show features former US Army Special Forces survival ...more
4
Ranker Video
austin97 added Marooned With Ed Stafford Ed Stafford

Premiered: 2014

Marooned with Ed Stafford is a documentary television series commissioned by Discovery Channel and produced by Tigress Productions, part of the Endemol Shine Group. Ed Stafford films the series, ...more
5
Ray Mears' Bushcraft is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Ray Mears

Premiered: 2004

Bushcraft is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, Italy, ...more
6
Naked and Afraid is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
radams430 added Michael Brown, Amanda Kaye, E.J. Snyder

Premiered: 2013

Naked and Afraid is an American docudrama series that airs on the Discovery Channel and premiered on June 23, 2013. Each episode chronicles the lives of two survivalists who meet for the first ...more
7
Lost Survivors is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
monique-marie added Lost Survivors Ruth England, Mykel Hawke Pierce

Premiered: 2013

8
Dude, You're Screwed is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
stiaan-van-huyssteen added Dude, You're Screwed Tom Tomahawk Moore, Terry Schappert

Premiered: 2013

Whose turn is it to play the game? In DUDE, YOU'RE SCREWED, five of the world's most elite, thrill-seeking survivalists will find out! The seven-part series is the newest twist in the survival ...more
9
Man vs. Wild is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Chris Abraham added Bear Grylls, Will Ferrell, Jake Gyllenhaal

Premiered: 2006

Man vs. Wild, also called Born Survivor: Bear Grylls, Ultimate Survival, Survival Game, or colloquially as simply Bear Grylls in the United Kingdom, is a survival television series hosted by ...more
10
Survival with Ray Mears ... is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Survival with Ray Mears Ray Mears

Premiered: 2010

Survival with Ray Mears is a 3 part television series hosted by Ray Mears, as he tracks predators in their natural habitats. The series was broadcast by ITV, and was billed as the return of the ...more
11
Fat Guys in the Woods is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
jon-smiley added Fat Guys in the Woods Creek Stewart

Premiered: 2014

12
Alone is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
-1452337153690 added Russ McCarroll, Zachary Behr

Premiered: 2015

Alone (History, 2015) is an American reality television series. Ten survival "experts" attempt to survive alone, and the winner receives $500,000.
13
Extreme Survival is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Extreme Survival Ray Mears

Premiered: 1999

Extreme Survival is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, India, ...more
14
Ray Mears' World of Surv... is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Ray Mears' World of Survival Ray Mears

Premiered: 1997

Ray Mears' World of Survival is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, ...more
15
Ray Mears' Northern Wild... is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Ray Mears' Northern Wilderness Ray Mears
Ray Mears' Northern Wilderness is a television series hosted by Ray Mears, showing Mears in Canada. The series is broadcast by the BBC. Mears also released a book of the same title.
16
Survive This is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Les Stroud

Premiered: 2009

Survive This is a Canadian reality television show in which eight teenagers with limited survival skills training are taken into a forest and confronted with a number of survival challenges to ...more
17
Ray Mears Goes Walkabout... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Ray Mears

Premiered: 2008

Ray Mears Goes Walkabout is a survival television series hosted by Ray Mears, showing Mears in Australia. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in ...more
18
Primal Survivor is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
mikkeldolbak added Hazen Audel

Premiered: 2017

Primal Survivor (National Geographic, 2016) is an American documentary reality television series. The show follows wilderness guide and survival instructor Hazen Audel as he tackles some of ...more
19
Wild Britain with Ray Me... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Wild Britain with Ray Mears Ray Mears

Premiered: 2010

Survival with Ray Mears is a television series hosted by Ray Mears. He explores some of Britain's more inaccessible countryside to discover wildlife.
20
The Colony is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
AlexMcArthur added The Colony Thom Beers

Premiered: 2009

The Colony (Discovery, 2009) is an American reality television series. The program follows a group of people who must survive in a simulated post-apocalyptic environment.
21
The Island with Bear Gry... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
derek-leggatt added The Island with Bear Grylls Bear Grylls

Premiered: 2014

Generations have wondered if they could survive being stranded on a desert island. But how would people cope if they had to do it, for real, and with only themselves to rely on? Adventurer Bear ...more
22
Out of the Wild is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
vxenon67 added Out of the Wild: Alaska Experiment

Premiered: 2008

Out of the Wild is a Discovery Channel reality television series. The first and second seasons followed volunteers from urbanized backgrounds as they use survival skills in the back-country of ...more
23
Dirty Rotten Survival is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Ken Scott added Dirty Rotten Survival Dave Canterbury, Johnny Liittlefield, Dick Strawbridge

Premiered: 2015

24
Wild Food is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch

Premiered: 2007

Wild Food Documentary is a documentary television series hosted by Ray Mears. The series airs on the BBC in United Kingdom, it is also shown on Discovery Channel in the United States, Canada, ...more
25
Swamp People is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Survival TV Shows You Need to Watch
Troy Landry, Jacob Landry, Bruce Mitchell

Premiered: 2010

Swamp People (History, 2010) is an American reality series that follows the day-to-day activities of Louisiana natives living in the swamps of the Atchafalaya River Basin who hunt American ...more