The 10 Craziest Reality Shows About Off-Network Life

Fans are eagerly awaiting the seventh season of Run wild with Bear Grylls. British survivalist Grylls made headlines last week when the new season of his National Geographic show announced a celebrity guest list including Natalie Portman, Ashton Kutcher, and more.

Shows about off-grid and survivalism, like Grylls’ series, have become increasingly popular over the past decade. The dream of leaving the chaotic city life behind and living sustainably on an isolated farmhouse may seem peaceful, but the realities of an off-grid lifestyle prove too harsh for many. From freezing temperatures to the challenges of being in neighborhoods uncomfortably close to family, off-the-grid life reality shows highlight just how wild it can be to survive in the unpredictable elements, without the help from the outside world.


ten love off the grid

love off the grid discovery+

love off the grid is a new reality dating series that premiered on Discovery+ earlier this year. The show features people who have built comfortable lives off the grid, but whose partners are used to life in the big cities. The series tests the limits of love for four couples who struggle to merge their very different lifestyles.

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love off the grid is different from most other off-network shows because it focuses heavily on the inner workings of the couples relationship rather than specific survival skills. The show shines a light on the emotional toll, and sometimes drama, that accompanies love in a nurturing new environment.

9 farm rescue

Raney family of Homestead Rescue

farm rescue accompanies the Raney family in their quest to help hopeful farmers live off the land. Each episode features a new family in different locations across the United States struggling to turn their off-the-grid dreams into realities. The series has been running strong for 9 seasons and will probably be renewed for a 10th.

It is shocking to see the effort to create a sustainable property. The Raneys help solve an array of difficult scenarios such as access to water supply, gardening issues, farming techniques, predator precautions, and more. Families in the series often purchase property in remote areas unaware of the time and energy they will need to operate their lifestyle.

8 Alaskan bush people

Alaskan bush people

Alaskan bush people has been on the air for 13 seasons. The series follows the eccentric but industrious Brown family who have spent over a decade trying to build Browntown, a community for themselves and their growing, off-the-grid families.

Although there are many reality shows like Alaskan bush people, the series stands out by focusing on the complicated family dynamics of the Browns. Viewers can’t help but become invested in the Browns’ journey. The series evolved over the years as the Brown siblings grew up, got married, and continued to live off the grid. Family patriarch Billy Brown passed away suddenly last year, and now the next generation must take over as they mourn the loss of their father.

seven Pioneer Quest: A Year in the True West

Two couples smiling for a photo in Pioneer Quest A Year In The Real West.

Pioneer Quest was part of a Canadian documentary series, which offered viewers a historically accurate account of the harsh realities faced by settlers in the 1800s. Two couples were paired up and tasked with building shelters, successfully cultivating the unforgiving landscape of the Manitoba, to hunt and survive for a full year, using only the resources that would have been available centuries ago.

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Pioneer Quest, which was a season-long experiment, was particularly intriguing as the two couples didn’t see eye to eye and were often forced to navigate difficult conversations while continuing to rely on each other. The series looked at the loneliness couples endured as they lacked an outside community to help them thrive.

6 mountain men

Morgan Beasley Mountain Men

mountain men follows the lives of several outdoor enthusiasts who have chosen to live in nature. One lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains, another along the Yaak River, and another in the freezing climate of Alaska. The History Channel show offers a unique look at their life in the wild.

The documentary-style series finds its strength in the fact that instead of struggling to learn the necessary skills they need to survive, the featured outdoor enthusiasts are all familiar with life off the grid, with some of them having mostly lived in the desert. of their life. Survivalists are often put in situations that could easily win mountain men a place among the most dangerous reality shows. Watching them succeed in adverse environments is both surprising and rewarding.

5 The Boonies

The Boonies Doc and Jeanny Leverett

The Boonies gives viewers a candid look at the lives of people who have chosen to move off-grid to some of the most remote environments in the United States. While a few of the people featured on the show live off the grid because they enjoy being immersed in nature, others seem a bit reclusive and skeptical of society.

Whatever their reasons for being off the grid, the people on the show are all likable and compelling in their own way. They have fascinating stories and learned unique survival methods in their unexpected homes, which include a cave in Arkansas and a treehouse in the Northwest.

4 Life Below Zero: The First Alaskans

Life Below Zero First Alaskans

Nat Geo’s Life Below Zero: The First Alaskans is a spin-off of the famous life below zero series. A Press release for the new show explains, “Alaska Natives walk through two worlds: one of traditional ways and the other of 21st century challenges.” Early Alaskans follows several Alaskan Native families as they fend off modern interruptions and focus on passing on their rich heritage to the next generation.

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The show highlights the courage of Alaskan Native communities who have survived for centuries in the harshest climates through a deep connection to their cultures. Early Alaskans premiered in April this year and has already been renewed for a second season.

3 Alaska: The Last Frontier

A promotional image for the Discovery Channel reality series Alaska the Last Frontier.

Alaska: The Last Frontier documents the daily life of the Kilcher family on their 600-acre farm in a remote part of southern Alaska. The family has been farming their farm for almost a century and their way of life shows just how difficult surviving in the area can be.

As Alaskan bush people, the show illustrates the importance of family and community in the absence of modern society. Even though it’s been on the air for 10 seasons, Alaska: The Last Frontier hides many secrets that viewers are slowly learning, such as the fact that family patriarch Atz Kilcher is the father of iconic singer Jewel.

2 Build Off Grid

Build Off Grid features a more luxurious take on the off-grid than many series of its genre. The show centers on people building their dream homes, disconnected from the outside world, but not lacking in amenities.

The end results aren’t the treehouses or rugged cabins featured in some off-network shows; these homes are fully equipped with intentionally placed floor-to-ceiling windows, skylights, and, sometimes, even hot tubs. Build Off Grid is closer in kind to Flip or flop, or one of the best reality shows about home design, than a survival show. Builders are eager to show off their work and often have the big budgets and even bigger imaginations of their customers at their disposal.

1 Unplugged Nation

Jay Gruen of Unplugged Nation

Unplugged Nation is similar to house hunters as it features couples/families exploring three houses and deciding which one to buy. The catch is that the properties on Unplugged Nation are all off-grid and come with a four-day trial period, as well as their own unique challenges.

After the four-day period has passed, urban families must decide whether to continue living off-grid or return to their modern lives. So many off-network shows inauthentically throw people into situations they’re ill-equipped for. This series is more realistic in that it allows interested families to test out the lifestyle, with guidance from host Jay Gruen, who is a skilled survivalist.

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