Facing the wild
A husband-and-wife team plays the game of survival in Man,Woman,Wild.
FOR most couples, being together in the wilderness does wonders to rekindle a romance or mend a broken relationship. But for American Mykel Hawke and British Ruth England, being in the wilderness is a game of survival.
The husband and wife’s heroic adventures across the globe are featured on Discovery Channel’s new show Man, Woman, Wild.
In this reality documentary series, the couple travels to remote and forbidding locations in the name of survival, giving viewers a realistic look at what really takes place when you are put in the wildest of places on Earth.
The survival journey begins when the Hawkes are dropped off at a specific location and it can be anywhere – from Mexico and Botswana, to The Dominican Republic and Alaska – they must survive for four days and nights, with only a knife and the clothes on their backs.
Testing their marriage and will power, they fight to survive as a couple against nature’s fury.
Although survival comes naturally for Mykel, 45, who has years of military training as a Green Beret, the wild is a new and dangerous place for Ruth, 40.
From building shelters to hunting for food to finding a suitable rescue route, Mykel teaches his wife the necessary skills needed to survive in different terrains. So, how did they end up doing a show like this? In a phone interview from the United States recently, Mykel says: “I’ve been in the military for over 25 years and just recently retired. I’ve been to about eight war zones and my main interest has always been survival and learning from different cultures”.
Soon, Mykel found himself teaching his passion – survival skills – to couples and families.
Ruth, on the other hand, is a TV journalist who is eager to learn about survival skills. Needless to say, the couple made an ideal team for the show.
The first thing that strikes you about Mykel and Ruth is their great great chemistry and playful sense of humour.
Although both have different versions of how they actually fell in love and got married, they agree that they first met in Jamaica before settling down and embarking on their treacherous trail into the wilderness.
Most viewers will be able to relate to Ruth as she has to deal with the hardships of surviving in the wild. She shows courage during difficult times and this gives viewers a much more realistic idea of what it would be like to be in the same situation as her.
Unlike other survival shows that focus on relevant survival skills, this one gives viewers an idea of what it
Mykel Hawke and his wife Ruth take on some of the most forbidding and remote locations in Discovery Channel’s might be like having to get through a situation not only by yourself, but with your wife in tow.
According to Ruth, the show appeals to the masses because there is a need to learn survival skills these days.
Ruth thinks that the Internet and the proliferation of media have affected our sense of insecurity.
“Now we know about every flood and every earthquake. I think people are learning that they might have to one day look after themselves and their family.” So, has the show made them closer as a couple? “Definitely,” says Mykel. “The hardest thing in the world to do is survival and it’s really difficult to do it with someone you care about. Not only because they see your weaknesses. You see each other suffer and it goes both ways for Ruth and I”.
Ruth adds that there were times she would worry about Mykel when he goes hunting in the jungle.
“I would be very scared and wonder if would ever come back,” she says.
And like any couple, Mykel and Ruth fight and argue almost every day. But Mykel puts it in a positive way: “I believe a strong man needs a strong woman and Ruth is an amazingly strong woman with her own opinions.” n airs every Tuesday on Discovery Channel (Astro Channel 551) at 10pm. Repeats are on Wednesdays (10am) and Saturdays (3pm and 8pm).
Fight to survive: