Winter is coming.
Finally, History® Channel‘s season one of Mountain Men made it to DVD. All the way from the rugged Blue Ride Mountains of North Carolina proves History® continues to produce high quality reality television programs. Three men identify as self-proclaimed “mountain men”, individuals who take up refuge in remote spaces of nature away from modern civilization to live as our ancestors have done for hundreds of years. Although this type of living gives them great pleasure being near the land, isolation comes with its own set of troubles; hunting for food, keeping predators away, and surviving in harsh weather conditions without the help of nearby stores or neighbors. While many domesticated viewers wouldn’t imagine trading in their lives to become mountain people, the History Channel provides good insight into what it takes to live the life of a mountain man.
Eustace Conway, Tom Oar, and Marty Meierotto have been living off the rugged terrain in North Carolina, Alaska and Montana respectively for decades. Chopping wood, fetching fresh water, growing crops, and hunting animals are some of the many tasks they must get done to survive the harsh winters. No mistakes are allowed in the wild, and the worst-case scenario must always be taken into consideration while completing daily chores. Income is made by selling firewood and skinning animals and selling their hides, fur and antlers as show pieces or as specialty clothing items. A series of challenges aside from a harsh winter threaten the lifestyle of the three men; Conway is in danger of losing his land, and the cold weather limits the amount of animals Oar and Meierotto can gather to eat and utilize for their livelihoods. Mountain Men shows what it takes to survive in the wild, and these men, with their decades of experience, put all of their skills and knowledge to the test.
Unexpectedly, I intensely enjoyed my review copy. The show is very easy to get into and hooks you in minutes with the start of the first episode. Mountain Men works because of the challenging yet rewarding lives of the three individuals. Viewers can learn a thing or two about what it takes to thrive in the wild and take a mini-trip back into history when those before us lived in an era where there was no electricity. Though the mountain men do have assistance with tools such as chainsaws, snowmobiles, mini-airplanes for long distance trips and residences that do have electric power. But to be fair, those conveniences only lighten their workload slightly and credit must be given where it is due.
MOUNTAIN MEN: Season One DVD Special features include:
• 25 minutes of bonus footage
• The extra bonus footage reveals more details about the lives of the mountain men, including the personal and family lives of Tom Oar and Marty Meierotto. Oar’s wife, Nancy, is seen cleaning the skull of a deer to be used as a mount piece while Marty reveals he only indulges in his mountain man lifestyle for a few months a year because of his wife Dominque and daughter Noah. However he is seen passing his knowledge along to Noah in order for her to grow into an independent woman. Eustace shows how to preserve deer meat via the traditional process of canning (he also shows how to use deer tendon to sew a button back onto his shirt) and to make a fire using simple tools.
Artwork and supplementary materials courtesy of Mountain Men © 2012, Cover Art and Design © 2013 A&E Television Networks, LLC. All Rights Reserved.