Lonely Planet Writer

Do you have what it takes for a new TV reality show: survive nine months in remote Siberia

A new TV reality show called Game2: Winter, will test survival skills of those brave enough to face living in remote Siberian taiga inhabited by bears and wolves for nine months.

Contestants will live for nine months in the Siberian wilderness.
Contestants will live for nine months in the Siberian wilderness. Image by Eric CHRETIEN/Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images

The prize for a single winner is 100 million roubles (approximately US$1.65 million), but it will be shared if there are more ‘survivors’. As The Siberian Times reports, the contest is the creation of a Russian entrepreneur from Novosibirsk, Yevgeny Pyatkovsky. It will last from from 1 July 2017 to 1 April 2018 and will be broadcast online 24/7 with simultaneous translation into several languages.

Contestants can come from anywhere in the world, as long as they are at least 18 years old, and can either take part by paying ten million roubles (approximately US$165,000) or if they are selected by viewers voting online. The organisers are planning to have 15 male and 15 female participants. The producers will set up 2000 cameras around the 900-hectare area, and in addition each contestant will be given a portable camera with a rechargeable battery.

All contestants will receive training in survival skills from Russia’s former GRU Spetznaz operatives, and once the contest starts, they will be able to form teams if they wish. The temperatures in the region range from 35 degrees Celsius in summer to -40 in winter, and the contestants will need to forage and store food before winter, during which they would have to catch fish through ice holes for food. Every week they will be allowed to request something they need, and once the viewers donate money for the items, these will be delivered to the contestants.

The participants in this ultimate survival test will be permitted to carry knives as weapons, but no guns, and according to Pyatkovsky they will also have to sign release of liability for injury and death waivers. There will be no doctors on the ground; instead, those who need help will be able to use a ‘panic button’ with a satellite connection – they will be rescued by helicopter and leave the show.