We all use tech to get through the day. Whether its replying to messages on Slack or email for work, or using map apps to get us from place to place, our gadgets are often our lifeline to the world.
But imagine having to use your gadgets to survive, literally.
That’s exactly what adventurer Andy Quitmeyer does in his new series Hacking the Wild. In the show, Quitmeyer, whose day job is as a assistant professor at the National University of in Singapore, goes into some of the world’s most remote regions armed with nothing but pieces of everyday technology.
Forget food rations, water purifiers, or even mosquito repellent — Quitmeyer, who calls himself a “digital survivalist” — is equipped with laptops and digital cameras to survive.
In the very first episode of the series, Quitmeyer is dropped into the jungle for four days, during which he creates his own mosquito trap using metal coil and a digital camera — the first of many devices he creates over the series.
In the same episode, he also makes his own hydroelectric generator, using a nearby river to power a lightbulb and he constructs his own compass using parts from a laptop.
Quitmeyer’s journeys see him going everywhere from a desert island to an Alaskan ice forest. During his time in the wild, Quitmeyer isn’t given any food, water, or help in any form. Rather, he feeds himself on anything he gets his hands on, from plants to exotic fruit. And sometimes he even uses his food to generate electricity.
According to Quitmeyer, he first got into exploring when he starting fixing equipment for field biologists.
Before the show, Quitmeyer also had his own YouTube channel, where he records his tech repairs and creations in the wild. It was this channel that led to Quitmeyer being spotted and approached to create his own TV show.
“One of the key challenges is deciding what equipment to bring with me … that takes me so much time,” Quitmeyer explains.
“[Once] I was carrying 90 pounds on my backpack of just electronics … [so now I try not to] overburden myself. Because that’s going to be more dangerous than even a lot of natural encounters.”
But his previous adventures definitely prepared him for life on the show.
“All my previous hiking trips in Panama or Madagascar and the Philippines, they really trained me in figuring out ways to actually do the electronics in the wild,” Quitmeyer said.
“Like in Panama, I had to repair a laptop … and then a bunch of army ants started going to our electronics and chewing stuff up. So it taught me to be really prepared — even the craziest things will happen.”
But despite the extreme scenarios Quitmeyer finds himself in, he says the goal for the show is not to intimidate viewers — his real motivation for the show is for people to get to know nature better.
“[The idea for the show is like] how can we use something to show that with a couple of quick, easy tips, you can actually survive in the wilderness … you can play with electronics, you can build cool stuff,” said Quitmeyer.
“So that’s my real secret motivation … to get people to love nature more.”
All images and videos were provided by Discovery.