Prepper TV: What Survival-Themed Series Should You Binge-Watch?

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By the author of Be Ready for Anything and the online course Bloom Where You’re Planted

With the advent of Netflix, Hulu, YouTube, and Amazon Prime, watching a series has never been easier. No longer do you have to wait a week for the next episode – it’s right there, ready when you are. (If you’re more of a movie buff, check out this list of prepper movies.)

Preppers tend to watch programs a little differently than the rest of the world. Most of us really enjoy survival-themed TV shows because we can really get into the whole analysis of it. It’s like the prepper version of a sporting event, where we can cheer on the smart moves, analyze the situation, and yell at the screen when the characters do something that is bound to get them killed. (And often, we can pick up a few tips or think of things we hadn’t previously considered.)

If you’re going to watch TV, it might as well be thought-provoking, right? We all need some downtime now and then, and watching these shows is a way to relax and be entertained, but still let your mind shift into survival mode. I haven’t had cable for years and personally prefer streaming so I can avoid the annoying commercials.

I asked folks in the Facebook group to give me their favorite shows and got so many I had to break it into two articles. (Be on the lookout for Reality TV: Prepper Style, coming soon.)

15 Survival TV Shows for Preppers

Here are the shows to put in your queue, in no particular order.

The 100

Ninety-seven years ago, Earth was devastated by a nuclear apocalypse, with the only survivors being the inhabitants of orbiting space stations at the time. Three generations later, resources are running out. Taking ruthless steps to ensure their future, a group of 100 juvenile prisoners are exiled to the Earth’s surface to test whether it’s habitable. No one has set foot on the planet until now. (Available on Netflix at the time of publication.)

Black Mirror

This is a British sci-fi anthology television that centers on dark and satirical themes that examine modern society, particularly with regard to the unanticipated consequences of new technologies. (I keep warning you about the robot apocalypse!) (This show is available on Netflix at the time of publication.)

The Walking Dead

When the world is ravaged by a zombie apocalypse, police officer Rick Grimes and a small group of others must face a terrifying new reality. Can they survive ‘the dead’ and each other? (This is available on Amazon and Netflix.) It isn’t all useful information, but there are things like Dakota firepits, making ammo, and strategies that give you something to think about.

Fear the Walking Dead

Same theme as above, but it takes place on the West Coast. Season 3 features a compound of preppers. (available on Amazon)


Based on a successful European comic book, the series is set in a future post-apocalyptic-like world. Jeremiah is one of the oldest survivors of a deadly virus that wiped out the adult population, sparing only those at puberty or younger. (Available on Amazon)


In this epic adventure thriller, a family struggles to reunite in a post-apocalyptic America. Most readers agree that after the first season, it got too dramatic and there was less emphasis on survival. (Available on Amazon)


Set in the very near future, “Colony” centers on one family’s struggle to survive and bring liberty back to the people of an occupied Los Angeles. (The first season is available on Netflix and the second is on Amazon.)

The Last Ship

Navy Captain Tom Chandler (Eric Dane) and his crew must find a cure after a pandemic wipes out billions of people worldwide. Scientist Rachel Scott is assigned to the U.S.S. Nathan James to investigate the cause of the rapidly spreading virus. Chandler and his crew may be humanity’s last hope in the wake of a worldwide catastrophe. (Available on Amazon)

Daily Bread

Seven millennial women with cookbooks, guns, and the desire to rebuild civilization, fight to survive without losing their humanity in a world gone dark. (Available on Amazon)


This is the classic prepper show. After mushroom clouds appear on the horizon, fear of the unknown propels Jericho into social, psychological and physical mayhem when all communication and power is shut down. (Available on Netflix)


When a deadly epidemic breaks out in Atlanta, a vast urban quarantine is quickly enforced, leaving those stuck on the inside to fight for their lives while local and federal officials race to find a cure. Torn apart from their loved ones, the survivors trapped within the cordon begin to gain each other’s trust, and on either side of the cordon, hope remains and unlikely heroes will rise. (Available on Netflix)


Imagine being the only survivor of a disease that kills every member of your family; that kills friends, lovers, nearly everyone you have ever met… You are among the lonely few to live and now you must survive in a strange new world where things that were once safe are made disturbing and unsafe – it’s our own world but recycled, reimagined and reused. (Available on Amazon)


This series is set in a Wild West fantasy park, where a group of android ‘hosts’ begin to deviate from their scripts. (Available on Amazon, included with an HBO subscription)


He’s everyone’s favorite action hero but he’s a hero with a difference. Angus MacGyver is a secret agent whose wits are his deadliest weapon. This guy can fix anything with bubble gum and a paperclip, and his ability to creatively use the things around him are pure survivalist inspiration. (Available on Amazon)

Burn Notice

Michael Westen is a trained spy who receives a “burn notice” for an unstated reason & effectively is fired. Penniless, he returns to his hometown in Miami and freelances while trying to find who burned him. This is almost like a more modern version of MacGuyver. Pay close attention to the narrator because the little lessons he gives are gems. Warning – some adult themes.  (Available on Netflix)

What’s your favorite series?

Do you have a series you enjoy that has a survival twist? Share your favorites in the comments section below. Be sure to share where people may be able to find it.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • No favorite series. The plots are too contrived and nothing to be learned from Hollywood props. I am more of a news person who looks at real life scenarios and performs a lessons learned analysis. For example, looking back through 2017 disasters, the common theme was loss of primary shelter (and supplies in that shelter). So emphasis in early 2018 is to harden primary shelter.

  • EL BARCO, Spanish with English sub-titles, is a great post apocalyptic themed series with all survivors on a ship.

  • Tried to leave this at your “Survival Movies” recent blog, but couldn’t get “LEAVE A COMMENT” to let me…SOOOoooo I’ll just leave it here:
    The Ultimate Warrior (film) – Wikipedia
    The Ultimate Warrior is a 1975 science fiction action-adventure film directed by Robert Clouse. One of a series of post-apocalyptic films from the 1960s and 1970s, it is set in post-civilization New York City in 2012 and depicts the struggles of a small enclave of inhabitants attempting to survive in a compound beset with packs …:
    I saw it in the Theater, (first showing), and, have NEVER forgotten it…From the opening “STANDING SILENT” scene, to the roof top Scientific Garden lessons, to the “bartering determinations”, to the FINAL OUT COME, it’s a PREPPER’S paradise! It’s packed with solid, real life like wisdom, AND folly…and GOOD & BAD events…WORTH the time! Of COURSE YUL is his impeccable GREAT!

  • Doesn’t really apply here but….there is a video game called This War of Mine. It doesn’t require video game shoot-em-up skills or race car type eye/hand coordination but it does require great planning and making hard choices. You can’t choose a difficulty, it’s just dang hard. It really paints a bleak picture of living in a war torn area. I haven’t made it past Day 14….does not bode well for me.

    • Some other video games:
      Minecraft – a great way to get kids thinking about survival skills and fun for adults too. Is it incredibly simplified? Yes. Does it still teach some important lessons? Absolutely. Plant, farm, cook, make your own tools, build your own house, mine, defend yourself, etc. Heavy emphasis on creating.

      Don’t Starve – Minecraft on super harsh survival mode. Cutesy graphics that literally warp under stress into insanity. Less defending, more fleeing in terror.

      Paper’s Please – an extremely dark, depressing look into communism. It is fantastically well done but very dark.

      Dwarf Fortress – one of my absolute favorites but off the charts on difficulty. Seven dwarves set off to build a fortress. It is rendered in ASCII but you can apply a graphic tileset to make it a little more visual. Even if you never play it is worth reading some of the Let’s Plays or Community Fortresses. The game does everything. Like, everything. Extreme random generation, everything is logged, can run pretty dark. A dwarf gets his teeth knocked out and stabbed in the shoulder and you don’t have thread for stitching him up or soap for cleaning the wounds? Not looking good…

      X-COM and Silent Storm – some of THE best games for teaching small unit tactics.

  • Watch a lot of You Tube of real events that occurred such as the various hurricanes. Reminds me of how quickly things can go bad and to keep on my toes. Was pathetic to see the gun confiscation in Katrina, among other atrocities. Also watch episodes of Forensic Files and other true crime shows to more fully understand the criminal element. Despite having been in LE for almost thirty years, I still want to keep learning!

  • MacGuyver? I recall watching him make grenades out of pine cones and while unarmed he leave the bad guys he’d just knocked out AKs on the ground as he ran on to his next improbable and likely impossible task.

  • FWIW the original Red Dawn movie from 1984, is a must have primer for new preppers.
    Must have books include: “Survival Guns” by Mel Tappan, and “Unintended Consequencesa” by John Ross. ansd Atlas Shrugged, by Ayn Rand.(so new preppers will then be able to read the “plan” formulated by the insiders …60 yrs ago. Then the two books by Anthony Sutton are great:” Wall St and the Bolshevik Revolution” and “Wall St and the Rise of Hitler”..both are great for historical reference so new preppers can understand the politics behing the rulERS of the world. Then twofinal book.s.The Creature from Jekyll Island” and the King James Bible…

  • Have you investigated Wiggy’s web site for warm survival clothing. This is the real stuff, not some hyped slick sales junk by some of the sporting sites. I have bought several items and the only complaint I have is that they are too warm to wear or use until it gets below freezing.

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