The scene revolves around their stay in the Chihuahuan dessert in Northern Mexico. In this season finale of Man Woman Wild, Ruth needs to learn how to handle snakes. They have no canteen, no food, and no water. First they assess the situation by getting to higher ground to view their surroundings. Ruth tells Mike to throw rocks to make the snakes scatter after they feel the vibrations. Mexico has a dozen species of rattle snakes. Ruth says that 600 people are bitten in Mexico every year. The Chihuahuan dessert is also called the “Rain shadow” dessert which is located between two mountains.
Mike says that you need six cacti a day to keep minimal water in your bloodstream, but, not to eat it, instead, just chew it to get the water out, and spit the rest out. In a survival situation, when there is very little water, it is best not to eat food because in order to digest that food, you loose vital water. Dry riverbeds can be a great place to look for water. However it is too late and the well is dry. It is a long days walk when they finally get to an Oasis. Their first Oasis was a dry well. All they find are big flakes of dried out rocks. However, digging a hole in the mud to look for water is too much of a risk for them at this time, because, they would be expending too much energy to get to water.
Mike pees in a dug out cacti, but, Ruth can’t stand the idea drinking it. A healthy person’s urine is mostly water and sterile. She calls him a freak for drinking his own urine and for saying that it is not that bad tasting. In her British like accent, Ruth says, “This is my husbands pee with bits floating in it!” She’s questions him as to whether it is the proper thing to do. She takes a sip and has a problem holding it in.
Ruth says, “I’ve got your wee all over my chin!” “It smells just exactly like when I follow you into my bathroom!” “Your early morning pee!” Mike says, “That’s a little bit too much information, Missy!”
Their next project is to make a shelter with a mattress made out of leaves. Ruth has an issue as to whether Mike cleans the bottom of their shelter well enough. They won’t have time to make a fire because they need the time to finish their shelter. In the desert the temperature drops 80 degrees during the night. They were very cold that first night, and, Ruth says her toes are freezing.
When breakfast time arrives Mike wears a helmet with a camera mounted on it so that he can hunt without the camera crew scaring off the prey. While Mike is hunting, Ruth says that her toes are still numb. Mike’s morning walk produced nothing, but, he says to never give up. Ruth spots a mouse in their camp area, and, Mike kills it. After Mike killed the mouse, he was careful not to touch it during the gutting and puts it in a flower bundle to carry. However, it ended up in Ruth’s camera bag.
Ruth exclaims that her husband’s once very plump, luscious lips are all dry due to dehydration. They look for more water and end up eating Dessert cucumber flesh which is juicier than the barrel cactus. They are looking for a game trail which may lead to either game or water. They found a big spot of green and are thinking of digging, but, the ground is too hard.
Ruth complains of a really bad headache as severe as a migraine. It is only 10:30AM, but, feels like noon. Ruth is in dire straights already and Mike is more worried then he lets on! He doesn’t want Ruth to know how worried he is or she might panic. Ruth’s throbbing headache is due to the late stage of dehydration. So far they have had only a minimal amount of fluid from a small amount of urine and cactus, but, no food.
They decide to rest after which they slowly pick around for all the cacti.
In this type of desert situation, a person needs at least 5 leaders of water per day. Ruth is sick! She is on the verge of heat stroke and could suffer brain damage or die. This mission turned ugly and they are facing a real life emergency! Ruth feels very cold, which is a sign of heat stroke.
As a result of severe dehydration Ruth was suffering from heat stroke and they had to bring in the crew Medic. They give her water with electrolytes to rehydrate her. When her vital signs return to normal, the Medic gives her permission to continue their mission if she wants to. Since Ruth is feeling better she wants to continue. The Medic tells Mike that he has to keep her warm tonight and he returned to crew base camp. Ruth tells Mike that she really failed him, but, Mike encourages her and says her health is the most important thing ever. Mike is very proud of his wife for wanting to continue.
Mike needs to make a fire to keep Ruth warm. He found a bird’s nest to make a tinder bundle. Next, he finds a stick and then looks for a piece of wood to make a groove into so that he can slide the stick repeatedly along the groove to make friction. It looks easy, but, takes a lot of energy. Mike is running out of strength. He finally gets it going enough to ignite the tinder bundle. It took Mike over an hour and a half to make a fire, and, he is hoping that with this fire and sleeping bag, he can keep Ruth warm tonight.
The evening of day two, they cook the little mouse from the morning, but, Ruth just wants to rest and not eat anything. The morning of day three, Mike hunts for more food. Ruth is starting to worry why Mike is not back yet. On his way back to camp, he finds a little baby rattler sitting in the sun to warm itself! He manages to hold its head down so that he can cut if off, and, they both drink the snakes blood. Mike says that the safest thing is to bury the head of the snake because it can still bite and kill for a day after it is has been cut off.
All poisonous snakes are good to eat once you cut off the head, but, you still needto skin, gut and cook it. As the skin is pulled off, the guts automatically come out. Even after it is skinned, and, mounted on the twig over the fire, it is still moving. Rattlesnake meat is about ¾ protein and ¼ fat. They are looking forward to their helicopter ride home the next day.
Ruth felt better the next morning though she was slightly dehydrated
Next, they need to get to the highest point to see their helicopter. Even though Ruth got taken down from dehydration, Mike is proud that she made it until the end.