The Wild Awaits: Do You Have What It Takes?

In the season premiere of “Live Free or Die,” living wild comes down to resourcefulness and adaptability for the survival of the fittest. Even living freely comes at a price – a price that’s paid off in hard work and perseverance.

But every day presents a new challenge and new danger that tests the abilities of our favorite primitives. Check out some highlights from this week in the wild. How do you think you’d deal with a day in the life?

Can you survive this?

In the swamps of Georgia, frontiersman Colbert makes his money being a trapper but rising waters threaten his livelihood. In order to protect his home and well being, Colbert must think on his feet.

The key to Colbert’s survival is working well under pressure.

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He takes action by scanning the environment for immediate threats and finding where opportunities lie. He saws down a nearby tree that could potentially crash into his boat deck and uses the water levels to his advantage, floating his heavy cabin materials through the swamps by guiding logs tied behind his canoe.

What about this?

In the Blue Ridge Mountains, woodsman Thorn faces dangers of his own. A black bear has found its way into his camp two nights in a row, threatening the safety of his daughter and himself. Living in wild means living alongside nature’s wildlife, and with all his food supplies being stored inside the kitchen, Thorn must come up with an alternative way to store his food without tempting the bear to pay an unwanted visit.

The key to Thorn’s survival is innovative problem solving.

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He puts together a sturdy root cellar underground and at a safe distance from his cabin. For extra precaution, Thorn uses his creativity to construct a special bear-proof door and finishes the job by marking his territory the natural way, quite literally pissing off the pest.

And this?

Meanwhile, homesteaders Tony and Amelia discover one of their baby rabbits has died due to the chilling night temperatures. In order to protect the rest of their bunch, they rush to finish their indoor rocket mass heater for the baby animals to rest on the warm bricks. But the weight of the heater threatens to cave in their floor, which would cause their hillside home to collapse.

The key to Tony and Amelia’s survival is awareness.

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They manage to level their home with the support of an old telephone pole Tony has noticed nearby. While at first the fallen pole may seem to be of no use, living in the wild means thinking outside the box and finding a purpose for all things.

…or this?

In the Rocky Mountains, Blacksmith Derik relies on his mules for some of the heavy lifting that comes with collecting metal scraps for a living. However, the rough winter’s snow destroyed much of his corral, making him leave his mules with a friend while he fixes it up. Now with the repairs finished, Derik gets ready to bring the mules home. However, the journey back is harder than anticipated, as the high snow levels spook the mules, throwing Derik to the ground.

The key to Derik’s survival is rolling with the punches.


Living in the wild means some days don’t always go as according to plan. Derik knows he must reevaluate the trip home and find a way to get the mules through the snow safely, which means more work and more of a wait. Bumps in the road can throw you off your path but having a little faith, patience, and optimism can keep you moving forward.

Do you think you have what it takes to live free? How would you survive in the wild? What is your key to life? Comment below! We’d love to hear from you!

Be sure to catch the next episode of Live Free or Die: Force of Nature, Tuesday 9/8c on National Geographic Channel.


  1. Sandi
    September 29, 2015, 7:15 pm

    What happened to Thorn’s goat?