Survive This: Wear, Tear, & Repairs

This week on Live Free or Die,our favorite primitives face some serious repairs and readjustments. Whether it’s getting the most out of your tools or techniques, there comes a time where they reach the end of their life cycle and if left unfixed, could threaten your livelihood.

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 Georgia swamps, Colbert has relied on his canoe for transportation over the past 20 years. However, the boat must finally retire for good and it’s time for Colbert to find himself a new ship to sail— without a working canoe, he is left stranded.

The key to Colbert’s survival is precision.

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Living away from civilization means relying on natural resources. Colbert uses a nearby tree to construct his first-ever dug out canoe. Lacking loads of experience, he knows his success depends on patience and precision. Colbert meticulously carves into the log and happily makes a boat that can float.

What about this?

Meanwhile, primitive woodsman Thorn is faced with his own fixer-upper, a cabin whose leaky roof is in need of repairs. He decides to get the bark off of some nearby trees to create a new layer of shingles on his house. But building a blacksmith’s forge out of natural materials is a true test of his mountain ingenuity.

The key to Thorn’s survival is going step-by-step.

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To ensure the job is done right, Thorn takes this task one step at a time. First, creating a primitive forge to make tools, which will help him slip the bark off the trees. Then cutting down a giant poplar tree nearby. Once felled, he uses his newly made tools to slip the bark, being careful to keep the bark in tact. And voila! A few repairs later and Thorns got himself a roof as good as new.

and this?

In the Blue Ridge Mountains, Tony and Amelia work hard to maintain their homestead but it’s about time they make it a little easier on themselves, by revamping their support systems. The duo decides a car could help with the scrapping but such a large purchase places a huge burden on their livelihood.

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

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They pay a visit to their neighbor James with a specific car in mind— a diesel truck that they can convert to run on vegetable oil and in turn, save them a ton of money. They make a deal, exchanging their most valuable possessions and get straight to work. With some innovation and off-the-grid expertise, they are able to convert a propane tank to take the oil and get the engine running.

…or this?

For desert nomad Tobias, victory is only as good as his last meal. The constant struggle of securing an abundant food source is taking its toll and he must mend the way he hunts, an endless cycle he can’t seem to escape.

The key to Tobias’ survival is adjusting.

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Even with the anxiety and frustrations that come with an unreliable source of sustenance, Tobias makes adjustments to his techniques and gives fishing a try. He makes a spear out of willow and successfully lands himself enough crawdads to keep him going for at least a little while longer.

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: Hell or High Water, Tuesday 9/8c on National Geographic Channel.