Outback survival test
New series is lots of fluff and trouble, writes Darren Cartwright
IMAGINE being dropped into the West Australian Outback with all the food and survival gear possible but you can only take what you can carry on a five-day survival adventure. What would you choose? That’s the conundrum facing half a dozen cocktail bar workers in the first of the four-episode survival adventure reality series Do or Die. Possibly best described as a mix of
Survivor, Big Brother and The Amazing Race, Do or Die tests the communication and survival skills of co-workers under extreme and harsh conditions in Outback Western Australia.
The six liquor industry workers from a trendy Sydney cocktail bar are the first to be put through the harrowing survival test by corporate workplace psychologist and outdoor adventurer Dr Travis Kemp.
‘‘We wanted to showcase WA and we wanted to pick some of the most inhospitable physical environments you could ever find on the planet – and we were lucky to find three or four of those in WA,’’ Dr Kemp says. ‘‘The contestants are all confronted with different environments, each isolated and challenging in their own way.’’
The staff of the bar, which is called Goldfish, are dumped in mining salt lakes and given 15 minutes to decide what they will take with them on the five-day hike.
A male team member ponders if they need to take the folding-chair toilet seat so the females will be comfortable on the Outback quest.
As time ticks by, Dr Kemp’s frustration increases as he watches no decisions being made and a lack of leadership.
He says the four different teams that take on the challenges are briefed on the safety aspect of their journey but little else is revealed.
The exercise is as much about communication and leadership as is it as about general knowledge and lateral thinking, he says.
‘‘The nature of the adventure is there is an uncertainty about what is going to happen,’’ Dr Kemp says.
‘‘When you throw people into situations where they are fundamentally out of their depth, they go through a similar process of trying to make sense of what they need to do and fluffing around trying to make some initial decisions.
‘‘We saw that consistently across all four episodes.’’
‘‘We didn’t provide a huge amount of educational component up front," Dr Kemp says.
Besides cocktail bar workers, the other teams are made up of six real estate agents, five female recruitment agency workers and half a dozen male creative ‘‘geeks’’.
The second episode is set in WA’s Broke Inlet followed by the Kimberley’s and a major national park.
Adding to the difficulties facing the participants, the series was filmed during summer when weather conditions are at their most extreme.
Do Or Die: Wednesdays, 8.30pm, ABC2.
Do or Die host Dr Travis Kemp (left).