SurvivorMan – This Guy’s Got Some Serious Thrill Issues

A couple of weeks ago I was relaxing at the cabin, watching some TV (roughing it, I know) when my dad put it on a show called Survivorman.  The premise of this show puts the host, Les Stroud, in a remote area with only a few tools and some camera equipment, to survive for seven days before making the trek to the pickup point where his crew meets him.  He brings no water, no food and no matches.  He makes his own shelter out of whatever nature provides.  He builds fires in order to keep warm, ward off animals and cook his food.  He hunts and collects whatever food he can find.  Most times he goes days without eating.

Les, 47, was an instructor for 20 years in wilderness survivor skills, white water paddling, sea kayaking, hiking and dog sledding.  He’s carried out some 25 of these Survivorman missions from such remote places as Labrador, Africa, South America, Asia, and many others.  Les has not had to be rescued yet in the three seasons the show has aired, but they did have to pull the plug on the Labrador excursion due to bad weather that put both the crew and Les in danger.  He’s been chased out of the jungle by a jaguar once, and almost pulled the plug in the Kalahari desert due to heat stroke (it was 61 degrees Celsius), but he said the most scared he’s ever been was in lion territory in Africa.

Les is alone on his missions but his he and his crew spend a great deal of time scouting out the perfect area that is remote but still close enough so his crew, who camp 5 to 50 kms away, can still get to him in case he calls for help (yes, he does carry a radio and/or a satellite phone just in case).  They spend time with local wilderness experts to learn survival skills specific to the region currently being planned.  Hunting techniques, what types of edible plants exist and potential dangers are all transferred from the local wilderness experts to Les prior to the one week survival challenge.

Unfortunately Les has announced that this season (starting Sunday, September 5, 2010) will be the last.  He said 25 1-week excursions of not eating much if anything at all and sleeping on rocks has taken a toll on his body.  He’s proud of what he’s accomplished but said he’s going to move on.  He expects to continue his association with the Science Channel, perhaps with a series on famous explorers.

You can catch Survivorman on the Outdoor Life Network (OLN) on Sundays @ 7:00pm CT.  It also airs on the Discovery Channel and the Science Channel (check your local listings).

In fact, this Sunday (September 5, 2010), there is a Survivorman marathon on OLN from 9:00am to 7:00pm CT.  Set your PVRs!

Visit the show’s website for more information about the show:

Enjoy the program, I know I will.


About brianwawryk
PMP and Prince2 certified project manager.

2 Responses to SurvivorMan – This Guy’s Got Some Serious Thrill Issues

  1. Paper Tiger Press says:

    Just finished reading and posting a review of Les’s book Survive! Though his show was well devised and continued to have a great instructive atmosphere his book seems to be hit or miss. His message remains the same however-keep a clear head and make right decisions and you will survive to be rescued.

  2. Pingback: Dual Survival « Today's Tangent

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