True North Blog

Are You Ready for a Challenge?

Anyone who regularly reads my blogs knows already that I am not a fan of “reality” television, particularly those focusing on wilderness survival.  After all, reality television is not reality.  At best, it’s entertainment, plain and simple.  At worst, it can get someone, who attempts to replicate what they have “learned” while watching it, hurt, even killed.  Sadly, this has already occurred in at least a few instances over the years because viewers sometimes don’t appreciate how reckless the so-called expert is being, or that the scenario presented has in fact been manipulated for effect.  Happily, though, there are exceptions.

When created and presented in the proper spirit, television programs can be a wonderful supplement to actual hands-on learning, particularly from a qualified instructor.  For example, I must admit that I respect Les Stroud of Survivorman, and I especially like watching Animal Planet’s I Shouldn’t be Alive series, which provides a pretty fair account and analysis of actual survival stories.  After all, a great way to learn is to learn from others … especially from their mistakes.

So, while I typically turn down requests from casting companies who are looking for prospects for upcoming reality survival shows, every so often one catches my eye.

In particular, I received an email earlier this week from a Pittsburgh-based company, Michael Patrella Casting, who is looking for candidates for an upcoming show.  The fact that it’s a local company, but most especially that it involves land navigation, intrigues me.  This could possibly be a great way for us to learn or to teach others.

So, are you up for the challenge?

I may be biased, but I am going to bet that a graduate of one of True North’s navigation courses is going to be well suited.

Here is the company’s announcement:

A major cable network is seeking participants for a new and exciting opportunity to tackle a grueling course while battling against some of Mother Nature’s toughest weather. Active hikers, survivalists, adventure lovers, and thrill-seekers are encouraged to get in touch.

Participants will be challenged to make it from Point A to Point B during inclement weather. We’re seeking people willing to take on the challenge — and confident that they can navigate through tough terrain and tricky weather. In some instances, they may be driven by their past experiences living through a hurricane, blizzard, or mudslide. In other instances, they’re hoping to prepare themselves for a worse-case survival scenario.

If you’re interested, or know someone who may be, you are encouraged to submit the following information to

For what it’s worth, I just threw my hat into the ring.  I am not sure what to expect, but I’ll keep you posted.

Better yet, if you threw your hat into the ring, perhaps you can keep us posted!

Erik Kulick leaning aginst wall with True North badge on blue shirt

About the Author

Erik is the founder of True North Wilderness Survival School. He is a police officer, EMS provider, a Wilderness EMT, and a Fellow of the Academy of Wilderness Medicine. He has been featured in national and international media, including CNN, the Associated Press, and Backpacker. To learn more about Erik, visit him on LinkedIn and be sure to follow him on Facebook and YouTube.

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