Either way, 2010?s Life 2 The Limit challenge, which sees five men and five women left to fend for themselves for a month on a deserted island in the South Pacific, promises to be a fascinating study in just how well modern man is able to deal with life totally stripped of modern comforts.
Created by Huenu Solsona, the Argentina-born founder of the hugely successful Adventure Boot Camp for Women, which now boasts 22 franchises across South Africa, Life 2 The Limit loosely follows the concept of hit television show Survivor, but without the Hollywood touches that eased the challenge of the small screen contestants. Instead, the chosen 10 will arrive on a deserted island armed with no more than the contents of a five-litre dry bag, and have to make do with what little the island has to offer in order to make it through the requisite month.
?It is a daunting challenge,? laughs Solsona, ?and a lot of my friends think I?m mad. But I?ve also had overwhelming support for and interest in a concept that appeals to many people. The lives we lead today are so cluttered, and so much of what we do seems to lack true meaning. This is an opportunity to really test yourself and your limits, in an environment dramatically different to the one you?re familiar with.?
Having travelled to the Asia-Pacific region last year, Solsona has settled on the island, an idyllic picture of which fronts the Life 2 The Limit website ? a picture which is very deceiving.
?It?s beautiful, certainly, but it?s a tough environment. There?s fresh water, but the island is also home to insects, snakes, bugs, and thick tropical vegetation. We?re going to have to set up shelters, and fend for ourselves, particularly with sourcing food ? we?re going to have to become expert fishermen pretty quickly!?
So far, five people are confirmed for the challenge, which will take place in April next year: Solsona herself, Maya Blix, a Norwegian aid worker based in Oslo, Joe Starke, an emergency doctor working for ?Doctors without borders? currently stationed in Pakistan?s warzone and Matt Atkinson, an environmental engineer with a vast experience in the outdoors from Calgary. The most recent addition is Saul Kornik, a South African entrepreneur in the health industry
That leaves five places, and while the nature of what lies ahead promises to be a brutal examination of all ten participants, queries and applications are flooding in. But as the selection process unfolds, it?s the full extent of what lies ahead that Solsona realises will ask the most searching questions of her adventurers.
?Finding food, dealing with insects, building shelters, those are all obvious challenges,? she explains. ?But what will probably prove even more difficult is managing the relationships amongst us, coping with being confined in a small space with the same group for 30 unrelenting days, and simply dealing with such an alien life.
"There?ll be no Facebook to update, no quick text messages to friends, no comfortable home to take the sting out of a long day. We?ve become so reliant on the luxuries of modern life; I?m not sure we?ll realise just how much a part of our lives they?ve become, until we?re missing them.?
Follow the challenge
But while the Life 2 The Limit adventurers won?t have access to the outside world, the outside world will have access to them. Every three days, photographs and diary entries will be left at a designated point on the island, where it will be collected and uploaded to the Life 2 The Limit website, enabling people to keep up with the unfolding trials of the month away. And that won?t simply be out of general interest; it will also allow sponsors and donors to see just how much money they?ll be putting towards charity.
?Each participant will have a chosen charity, and seek pledges towards that charity in return for lasting the duration of the month,? Solsona says. ?The longer you stay, the more money you make. There?ll also be a group charity fund in support of Habitat For Humanity, but if anyone pulls out during the challenge, that sum will drop, so the onus will be on us as a group to support each other, and ensure that there are 10 adventurers still standing after 30 days!?
Participants will have the option of pulling out at any stage, and medical assistance will be available on a nearby island if needed, but if all goes according to plan, the entire group will emerge unscathed but stronger after the month in island isolation.
?I really believe that this will be a life changing experience, and that this will be an incredible journey of self-discovery,? Solsona concludes. ?We?ll be living life to the limit, as the name suggests ? but we?re going to have to spend that month away, and in those conditions, to find out exactly what our limits are, and hopefully extend them day by day.?
Visit http://life2thelimit.co.za/ to find out more about the challenge.