You can't call yourself an expert by reading a few books.
For example, I never realized how difficult it was to start a fire with something other than matches or a lighter. Last time I went camping I thought I would try some of the methods I read about. I wanted to see if I could start a fire using the friction method. I had the theory down in my head, and I collected the supplies. Thirty minutes and lots of sweat later, all I could get was a little smoke. So I switched to my magnesium shavings and striker. I got the fire going with that, but it still took ten minutes.
To truly learn, you have to apply what you read about and see on those shows. See if they are going to work for you. Even better, get out there and find an expert or an instructor and take a few courses. It's amazing how far a little hands on training and application takes your skills. I was lucky enough to have the Air Force teach me survival basics. Look to future blog posts for tips and techniques that you can practice.
When you find yourself in the shit, that's a bad time to try and figure things out. So I reiterate. Get out there, practice, and learn from others. Training goes a long, long way. If you can find someone who really knows there stuff, the knowledge you'll gain will be priceless.