Les Stroud

March 18, 2013

I am Les Stroud AKA Survivorman, a Filmmaker, Outdoor Adventurer, Singer-Songwriter, Performer. AMA!

Well folks - that was awesome - i am sure to do this again.....thank you all so very much for participating.....you can please follow me on twitter @reallesstroud and facebook: reallesstroud for constant updates........i DO have more Survivorman shows coming so long as i can finalize the deals with the networks within the next few weeks - I also have another new album coming out in the spring along with a new book with Harper Collins.....its' going to be a very busy summer indeed With lots of appearances too - I am playing in NY at the Ocean Ball April 8th and i have a few shows around Ontario this weekend.... you know i dont get too political but lets stop the captivity of all cetaceans (dolphins and whales) - lets abolish shark finning and preserve our ocean creatures. Again: this was great - thank you all very much - i suspect i will be back. Les

First of all, thanks for doing this AMA! My kids and I are huge fans of your show.

  1. Do you have some sort of "panic button" for when something really bad happens that you can't get out of?
  2. How much pre-work do you and/or your support crew do scoping locations? For instance, in the 10 Days Norway you happened upon a hunting lodge right when you needed it most. It still makes for great television, don't get me wrong. Do you have awareness of a general direction to head for safety?
  3. Any plans for more "Survivorman 10 days"?
  4. You're going into the woods for an afternoon hike alone with plans to return in a few hours. You only have your clothes on your back and maybe a bottle of water... What's in your pockets?
  1. sometimes yes sometimes no - on some of the journeys i have carried with me a two way radio - so that i can contact my safety crew who are usually situated from 5 to 50 miles away - the problem is - the radio doesn't always work - as in places like the jungle or the canyon lands - at those times I am completely without any outside help and have to think very much in terms of survival only. One of the last shows i did - NOrway - i got myself in quite a dangerous situation stuck on the mountainside with a safety crew only miles away - i couldn't get back up the hill - couldn't go forward and i had no radio
  2. thats sort of two questions - so i will go to what i think you are really getting at - its a mixed bag - on some locations - i really havent a clue - i go out - and see what i get - on others i do some scouting work to check ahead of time - where it makes most sense for me to go and where my greatest struggles will be - this helps me to really set up a strong survival scenario to deal with and film and tell you the story about - in the case of Norway i knew there would be cabins up on the mountain and homes down below in the fjord - still my job is to survive - so i just go out and do what i do - i don't really plan which day per say i will find something or even IF i will - but yes - sometimes i have an idea - and sometimes - not a clue 3.you should follow me on twitter and FB dude 4.a way to start a fire, a knife, a cell phone, and if i am being survival minded - a orange garbage bag - a signal mirror - some parachute cord - a whistle - my harmonica

What is your professional opinion on Bear Grylls?

I can only assume you mean in terms of Survival - and not film making or music? That being the case - lets establish one thing first - he acts - (they act) - I survive. As far as the survival instruction and gimmicks shown, i will speak only as a survival instructor and not the guy who first put survival on TV: many of the actual survival skills taught are bogus - It is NOT possible to squeeze drinkable water out of elephant dung - well it is when your cameraman has soaked it with bottled water. Others are pure tv stunt entertainment and do not relate to the real world of survival - so my 'professional' opinion of BG as you have directly asked is that he is a TV host - acting out scenarios based on what he and his producers dream up and glean from books and from the on-location consultants advice, they hired for an individual show. I would even go as far as to say that some of the skills if followed and attempted in a real survival situation could result in worsening the situation. (then again maybe the same could be said about whatever choices i make when i am out there) - but then that is the difference - i need to make choices on the spot to secure my survival - he (they) need to do the next scene for the location director and then spend all day filming a dangerous scene of clambering down a 15 foot waterfall when they could've walked around it in 10 minutes. I am glad he has at least brought attention to adventuring in nature to the young fans - and i am sure he is a great outdoor adventurer and he seems to be quite the athlete - but my professional opinion on the subject of survival is that he is not an instructor i would ever suggest to be followed when survival skills are the ones you want to learn.

Do you feel the same way about other Survival shows currently on air. I'm thinking of people like Cody Lundin and the like

about the shows - yes - about the guys - no - in real life Cody knows what he's doing - but he is not in control of how the show plays out - although he can say yes or no

So should you drink your own piss or not?


So, I should stop?

you can wash your body with it - supposed to be good

now i kinda want to know les's opinion of bear's music ...


If you had to live the rest of your life with one indigenous people, which group would you choose?

tough one - the waoroni

Is there anything you have ever done that your producers wouldn't or couldn't put on the air?

I'm the producer - and nope. although sometimes i do a crappy job at filming something and that is the reason it doesnt make it on - or its just plainly a boring scene - but those are the only reasons

What are the top 5 things people should always carry?

a way to start a fire, a good solid knife, a way to signal for help, a form of quick water proof roofing, a way to purify water (unless your in a place filled with great drinking water)

Actually, let's break this down into just one thing. Les, if you could only carry one thing with you into a potential survival situation, what would it be?

To all those multi-tool fans out there that are commenting against this saying "Duh, a multi-tool", read Les' comment to this. Owned. Les Stroud himself commented on something I wrote...hhhhnnnnnnnnnnggggghhh

a way to get a fire going

What is one experience that did not make the final cut of survivor man that you wish you could of shared with everyone.

nothing really - but in beyond survival i really wish i couldve spent way more air time on all the ancient ceremonies

I really enjoyed your "Off The Grid" series. Do you still live at that location? Do you still strive to live off the grid?

sadly it is up for sale

He's divorced since 2008. Awkward..


Have you ever thought "I'm going to die in here" during any of your adventures?

it was touch and go in the kalahari with heat stroke and as well in norway on the mountainside - i did say things i didnt let my editor put in the final cut


its such a long story - too much to type here - the joe rogan one is good and also i talked about it on Opie and Anthony

Hi Les! My Husband and I are huge fans!

When it comes to survival, if you had the option between iodine tablets or the life straw, which would you prefer to have on you?

idk - i am just now trying out the life straw to find out

What is the biggest survival myth?

that it is fun

After having spent time with cultures all across the world (I'm thinking of Beyond Survival here, but the training you must do with local survival experts works too), is there anything that you find to be common anywhere you go?

senses of humour......palm leaf weaving for roofs (throughout the tropics) ....moving calmly and steadily - never jumping and running around

What is your favorite brand of hot sauce?

i'm a pussy when it comes to hot sauce - but my drummer is nearly suicidal and he likes some stuff from Canada - byt our bass playing friend - Rich Levesque - called Hats sauce i think

Hey Les, huge fan of your work. You are a true badass. I have two questions:

1) During the run of Survivorman, did you have a plan in place in the unfortunate event that you did not survive? Would you have wanted that episode to air?

2) Whatever happened to your other show, Surviving Urban Disasters? I thought that show had the potential to be even more helpful than Survivorman since it dealt with much more common situations.

1) - yes - i wouldve - i told my crew - edit it - air it and make sure my kids benefit from it 2)i wouldve love to do urban disasters - and i may revamp it - but it got caught up in the first years they started copying my show with other shows - and so i didnt produce it - which is unusual for me - i am not proud of that show - i think the edit sucks and i would love to re-do it

Are you a fan of any other survival shows on television?

true life re-inactments like i shouldnt be alive -and although not on TV i will bet that Ray Mears stuff is good

Mr. Stroud - Big fan of both your shows and your music.

My question is:

If you could return to any Survivorman location to just backpack/hike (in the proper season, of course), which locale would you choose and why?

Also, when are you coming to Colorado to put on a show? I think you'd get great attendance here!

amazon jungle and the Utah canyonlands

tell me where to play in Colorado!

How long do you wait in search of clean water or a means of sterilizing it before you decide it is better to drink contaminated drinking water than no water at all?

ohhhhhh - very tough one to answer in my office with a coffee beside me - but as long as my faculties allow me - but not too long - I'm thinking at a guess - 24 to 48 hours

Are there any locations you'd like to do for Survivorman, but are just not feasible to survive in with an additional pack of camera gear that triples your journey?

can you restate this one - i dont quite get what youre asking

Hi Les,

This AMA is a great real cake(birth)day gift for me so thanks for being here.

Thanks again.

food better comon' anytime

Les, you are the man!

Which area/region did you dread the most?

Also, in your lost in the ocean episode, did the production team think it would be hilarious to give you a faulty inflatable boat tent thingy?

wherever it is cold - and no - the raft just sucked

Hi Les, has there ever been a time while filming Survivorman where you were genuinely scared for your life? Edit: Other than the obvious Jaguar stalking you.

mostly norway and the kalahari

Thanks for this - my kid and I both love your shows! Do you have an update on the idea of potentially doing a show where you hunt for sasquatch/bigfoot? Thanks!!!

yep - stay tuned to my twitter and facebook

Have you ever been in a situation where luck played a bigger part in survival than skill?

every situation - they are at least close to equal

Do the cameras help you stay sane when you're alone in the wild, and how much harder do they make it to travel/stay alive?

yes they do actually - they give me something to do - something to concentrate on - but they also take away by being heavy and stealing alot of my time which could be better spent actually building a shelter rather than filming it

When urinating/deficaiting do you use it to startigically "mark your territory" for protection around your camp/setup for the night/rest out in the wild?


What park is your favourite place to camp in Ontario?


Are you ever actually terrified of the outcome of possible situations you come accross? Do you have any advice for people looking to hike the Pacific Crest Trail? Thanks for doing this, your show is my favorite. :) Edit: Also, do you have a favorite place to travel? Why that place?

never terrified......prepare really well and dont think that it cant happen to you (a survival situation)......I also love to travel in the high andes of Peru - they are stunning

What animal do you have the most respect for? What I mean is if you came across any animal which one would you see and just back away from?

polar bear - african lion

Are you still going to do the Bigfoot show you talked about with Joe Rogan?

talking with him now about it

Thank you very much for doing this Les! I wish your survivor man show was on more in the US...

I have a few questions if you'd be so kind to answer!!


the science channel runs marathons all the time.....see above for answer to your first question......and yes - i often feel lonely - sometimes great loneliness - but that is always followed by scerenity.......Guiness and Stella

Why and how did you get into the survival world?

Where did you start researching your skills?

You've mentioned survival competitions before. How do these work, and how does someone "win?"

What was the most challenging part of your living "off the grid," experience with your family?

Thanks for doing this. You are my favorite Canadian - followed by Rush.

Edited: content and clarity.

i just loved the outdoor adventure of it all - i wanted to be Jacques Cousteau or Tarzan - i became the hybrid: Survivorman.......i first took many course including college courses in survival - and also john and geri mcpherson in kansas......there was no tough part of living off the grid - it was all enjoyable

How long being alone in the wilderness before the psychology of your aloneness becomes a factor? What exactly are the signs of psychological distress in the wilderness and now do you overcome them?

Thanks for doing this!

usually on the third day.........i find apathy and slight overall feeling of melencholy are the toughest signs to deal with

I've been a sheltered city dweller for my whole life. I'm interested in getting in touch with nature and maybe doing some backpacking and see where things go.

Any recommendations for a beginner?

join a group - they are the best place to start - so many interested and interesting and helpful people - go to your local REI or MEC and look on their bulletin board - I am so glad to hear you want to do this!

Are you keenly aware of survival and safety even in the comfort of your own home? Do you keep a "go bag" for emergencies?

honestly - i'm half and half

Do you know of a good (prefer natural, non-toxic) mosquito repellent? Yeah!! I could wrap myself head to toe; in fine netting… but ends up more a nuisance and difficult at the best of times when hiking around CANADA and taking photographs with my camera.

hmmmmm - not really - i use the netting jackets - like the Original Bug Shirt


bigeest one is they start to move much faster - in a panicky way and get themselves in more trouble......before hand - they just get too casual and dont pay attention and are confident without any pre risk management - a mistake......yes - i did this for years as i learned and trained in survival - i just love the bush and being out in it - survival made that possible with confidence......see my answer above for the third question.....(and i am glad you pointed out 'belatedly" - that only happened cuz they got caught - but i digress.......what book? - tough one - uhmmmmmm maybe something like The Prophet

[No question]

hey everyone - i am answering ALL the questions as i go down the page - so if they are not all showing up - not sure what to say - just know i am sending them out - but i am not always seeing my answers pop up......just sayin.....L

Hi Les, thanks so much for doing the AMA, and thanks for putting so much personal effort into making your show. I've just started working my way through the 3 seasons and am loving it.

  1. I've noticed that you stay overwhelmingly positive throughout the ordeal. Is this something that you consciously strive for (to avoid wasting energy on futile emotions or thought trains), or are you a naturally calm dude? or a bit of both...? What strategies do you employ to maintain your cool when you are out there and things are bleak, uncomfortable, etc?

  2. What's your mantra/adage/thing that sums up life or your purpose for being out there? I always liked "Pain is inevitable; suffering is optional"

  3. Honestly, how do you possibly get any sleep in a shelter that could be surrounded by scorpions, cobras, king brown snakes, etc? I would be making a round of the shelter every 5 minutes.

  4. What's the most stunning hike that you could recommend to do before we die?

  5. I'm doing a 100km charity walk with 3 friends in June. Any advice?

Keep up the great work Les.

1.not so naturally a calm dude = but maybe yes i am in the wilderness.....i just try to stay really calm and think things through and always formulate a plan - so that i feel proactive - that keeps away the panic 2.i simply fear mediocrity 3.i dont 4.through the mountains of Peru 5.water water water - maybe a little practice first might help toom :-)

Wow, Les! Thanks for doing this. Love the show!

  1. How many expeditions do you do in a year?

  2. Are there any that don't make it on air?

  3. Do you have pre-expedition rituals? Like meals or anything?

  4. Which was your favorite?

  5. Finally...and most importantly...you say everything you eat in the wild is "mmm...oh man...that's good.' Really, Les? Is it really?

Also, my favorite part of the AMA's are the picture. Can you provide us a picture?

Thanks! <3

  1. - changes every year - but probably 8 this year 2.no
  2. no
  3. probably the jungle
  4. yep - almost everything the pic is on my twitter page @reallesstroud

Big fan of all your shows. Thanks for doing this.

1) Are there more shows in the works? Season 4 seems to have abruptly ended after two locations.

2) You’ve done shows in (by my count) 24 different locations for Survivorman and 10 more locations for Beyond Survival (an excellent series, by the way, that didn’t reach us in the US as far as I know). Are there any regions of the world that you haven’t survived in that you’d like to visit? Any locations you’d like to do but couldn’t for political reasons?

3) What is your favorite type of climate to survive in (desert/forest/jungle/arctic)?

4) Any interesting examples of situations you filmed but couldn’t include in the shows?


1) yep 2) tibet and for political reasons - the congo 3)forest - warm weather 4) nope - put it all in

Hi Les,

In all of your moments surviving in the wild, have you ever thought to yourself 'I could stay out here and be perfectly happy'?

every single time

I love everything you do, Les!

  1. How long did it take you to master the harmonica?
  2. Where was your favorite/least favorite place to survive?

i havent mastered the harmonica......fav - the jungle - least fav - in the life raft

How many times have you gotten any sort of bacterial infection, that causes big problems for you outside of filming?

many - and it always sucks - usually - digestive system problems - if you know what i mean

Thank you, Les, for the AMA!

  1. Have you ever seriously hurt yourself on an outing and had to stop filming and get back to a hospital?
  2. Do you have any way of getting in touch with your crew on a day-to-day basis?

1.no - just getting very sick often.......2.see anserw above

Thank you, Les, for the AMA!

  1. Have you ever seriously hurt yourself on an outing and had to stop filming and get back to a hospital?
  2. Do you have any way of getting in touch with your crew on a day-to-day basis?

see above

What is your favorite biome to survive in?


I love watching survivor man. Just the experience of going out into the wild, surviving and having the expertise and artistic knowledge to make a great show, that's just awesome.

I'm hiking a section of the Appalachian trail by myself soon over my spring break from college. I plan on taking my Sony NEX-5N, GoPro HD 1, tripod and a few spare batteries to make a small movie about it. Do you have any advice on getting the right shot?

And what would be the few essentials for any extended outdoors trip that you think everybody should have on them?

try to get the new Go Pro if you can afford it - much better...... remember - that jerky shots will always look jerky and dont really work in the edit suite - remember to hold on a good shot for at least 30 seconds.......for second question see answers above

Thank you so much for doing this AMA! To quote Hank Hill from King of the Hill, you are the greatest American Hero ever born, in Canada.

For the questions,

How different would your expeditions go if you didn't actually have to film yourself?

It always seems as though you have to do a lot more sitting and camping because of how difficult it is for you to actually move around.

Would you, under more "normal" circumstances still be spending as much time in one location or would you cover more ground in an effort to get...un-lost?

Also, how do you feel about the Maple Leafs performance this year? Think they're going to make it into the playoffs?

my shelters would not suck and i could gather way more food......i would cover more ground......and god i hope so!!!! go leafs!!!

Love your music and your realistic approach to survival in the wild. Has any progress been made with Discovery network on getting your Survivorman Bigfoot show greenlit?

follow my twitter and facebook - and hang tight over the next two to three weeks for the answer

I'm sure, like everyone else, you enjoy taking some time off once and a while. When you do, do you prefer to just stay home and relax or go somewhere? If you prefer to go on vacation, where is your favorite vacation spot?

both really - but i love to go on dive trips and canoeing and to my cottage in Temagami to chill

In one episode of Survivorman you find a state highway and you hitchhike your way to safety. Was it with a random person or a crew member?

hahahaha - that was the first one ever - and yep - i had my ex wife out looking for me expecting me on the road at some point

Is there a place that you would not even attempt to survive in,due to its potential danger? If not,what's the most dangerous place that you have encountered?

death valley

How did you find groups that would let you be apart of their group in the show beyond survival?


Carbon steel or stainless steel? What do you think is better in a survival knife?

carbon for those who are experienced in knife care and sharpening - stainless for those who are not

Alright survivor man, be real.. How often do you masturbate in the woods?

hey - is that Howard Stern whos asking???

What's your favorite hunting/survival knife?

my own brand now - but i always loved my Buck

What's your opinion of Dual Survival? Have you ever meet Cody Lundin?

see above

What's the most difficult place you've had to survive in, and I was curious to know if there's any psychological stress for you, being in a remote area by yourself for that long.

And I just wanted to say I watched your show much more than Man vs. Wild.

see above

Les, I've been a fan for years and first want to say thank you for your wonderful contribution to TV. Sometimes there was nothing better than coming home from high school and messing around until the new Survivorman episode came on.

But I always wondered, what would Les be doing if he was never given this opportunity by the Discovery Channel? (please say touring with a band please say touring with a band)

touring with a band

Huuuuuuge fan. ♥ When the world goes to shit and you have a choice of where to go while everyone else kills each other for twinkies, where would you choose to rough it? With or without family. Double answer if each would be different.
Edit: And your reasoning behind your choices. Thanks!

somewhere in the boreal forest cuz i am so at home there - but a tropical island would be easier - i would bring my kids for sure

What's the worst parasite you've ever picked up?

the third world disease specialist had never seen it before - it defied description

If you could choose anyone, who would you pick as your personal mentor?

p.s. You're an inspiration.

hmmmmmm - richard branson.....frank zappa

Les, I'm a big fan. You're the original and give the most real world, functional advice about survival compared to every other, sensationalist, "survival" shock value TV host.

While in the wild, how do you keep your camera equipment charged, especially in the cold? Do you have film stock and battery drops? I wouldn't think any less of your survival in these situations if you did..I'm just curious. The fact that you film, star, score and edit is amazing to me. Keep doing what you're doing brother. Thanks

multiple batteries - they are small enough now to carry 8 or 9......i use small data cards now

Hey Les!! You're my favorite fellow Canadian! :-) . Simple question from me, I'm just curious what your day to day diet looks like? And do you do most of the meal creating when you're at home? I've seen you nonchalantly eat all sorts of things and it got me thinking.

i wish i had time to do more creating - i suffer a lack of self discipline when it comes to cooking and eating well for myself - but sometimes i get in a good mode of creating great salads and meals...

Hey Les! You're a huge idol of mine and I was wondering, How has meeting and working with various cultures all over the world effected you as a person? Is there any interesting stories about these people?

they caused me to take a much closer and stronger look at my own connection to the earth and my own relationship with it - they convicted me to consider doing much more to connect people to Mother Earth and to protect her in any way i can - they helped to vindicate my belief that there is a great soul as well as many souls that run through and live within everything from the rocks and trees to the whales and birds

Have you ever seriously feared for your life during an episode of Survivorman, if so which episode was it ?

see above

First off, Mr. Stroud, I want to say that I absolutely loved you on Joe Rogan's podcast. One of my favorite episodes ever.

  1. You always make everything you eat taste good. I chalk it up to being because you're hungry so anything is "good." However, what is the must surprisingly good tasting food that you've come across in your years in the wild?

  2. That is all. Thank you for your time.

see above

What are your thoughts on hammock camping?

love it/hate it

Have you ever been in a submarine?


What scavenged food have you been most pleasantly surprised by?

Conversely, what scavenged food was just atrociously bad, and not worth the calories?

the scorpions tasted surprisingly great......snails - they suck

Have you ever ran into any kids in the woods smoking pot?


Do you think you could beat Mantracker? That would be an awesome crossover special!

they asked me - they wont do it for real - so i said no

Hi Les. The only thing I want to say is "Thank you." Thank you for everything you have done to make my nights a tiny bit better. In 2008, I was in a car wreck that paralyzed me. When I got out of the hospital, every night trying to go to sleep was the worst time I have ever, and will ever have in my life. It was complete hell, and I never want to experience it again. Filled with tears every night, contemplating suicide, and just wishing it would go away, and maybe the next morning, I might be able to wiggle a toe, twist my ankle, anything to keep my hopes up. But it never came. I was browsing the internet one night when I came upon your episodes of Survivorman. I will never forget watching that first episode. It felt like you were suffering with me. You were in hell while I was in hell. I could relate to you. I felt like I was out there with you, struggling though this condition as you was struggling with surviving. I would even not eat dinner, and bring myself a small snack or two, and try to ration the snack down throughout a couple of episodes like you were rationing your food. I wanted to be like you. The willpower you had was everything I wanted to get me through this.

I just want to say thank you. You kept me sane through months and months of nights filled with tears and terrible thoughts. When I walk again one day, I'm going to pay that favor you did for me back. I'm going to travel to see you just to say thank you for what you did for me...

and i will greet you with open arms and go for a walk with you....make it so my friend

How many times have you sacrificed your harmonica to survive? And, do you buy them in bulk?

just once - and no - but maybe i should - i kill them on stage more often

Do you do speaking engagements at universities?


  1. what was the most difficult episode of survivor man you have ever recorded?
  2. which episode was the most fun making?
  3. musically, who are your biggest influences?

1.probably the lift raft episode 2,the one in colorado on horseback 3.neil young, dave mathews, peter gabriel, bob dylan, tool, pearl jam, led zep, all classic rock, ray lamontagne

Those shots of you walking away from the camera, do you actually backtrack to go and pick those back up? That seems like a lot of work for one fleeting shot.

What location was your least favorite to work in? Your most favorite?

What was your "closest call", so to speak, while you were doing Survivorman?

Thanks for doing the AMA, I've always loved your show. You're awesome!

yep - gotta get the shot.......see above for fav locations......norway was closest call

If you had to pick a partner to go out with you to do the same type of show as Survivorman, who would it be and why?

if a man - my old survival partner and mentor - Doug Getgood - if a woman Rachel McAdams

Are there any courses or instructors (possibly yourself included?) that you would recommend for bushcraft, wilderness survival, general outdoors knowledge in Canada, specifically central Ontario?

I'm keen on honing my outdoors skill set and of course, value your opinion on the matter greatly. Having recently picked up your Survive! book (as well as some other publications, American Frontiersman magazine specifically) really rekindled my passion for the outdoors!

dave arama, doug adams

What's the easiest method to start a fire without dedicated fire starting tools or practice?

What's the easiest method with a little bit of practice and no tools?

i need more variables but: firebow........firebow

Hi Les! Love all of your shows. In fact, watching Survivorman has inspired a bet. My boyfriend thinks that I would never be able to start a fire without matches and the standard fire starting products. I (like always) want to prove him wrong. What's the easiest method for starting a fire that even a beginner could do?

flint striker and tinder

Where did you learn your survival skills? What inspired you to test your limits in this way?

various courses - college - john and geri mcpherson in kansas......i just love all outdoor adventure and feeling alive

What is your favorite pair of shoes?

What is your favorite gun?

my Radcliff......310

What do you eat when you get back from filming an episode? I'd imagine it'd be a tricky process fasting like that then easing yourself back into a regular diet that often.

pizza and beer


Thanks for doing the AMA. What is your favorite trail or backpacker meal? It doesn't have to be just stuff you foraged for on the trail but just something you could easily pack and prepare on a normal weekend or overnight backpacking trip?

home made and home dehydrated - the only way i go - chili - stew - or home made pizza with a bannock recipie

This'll probably get buried, but oh well...

What would you say is the one most important survival skill EVERYONE should know, no matter what type of environment/situation you find yourself surviving in?

Thank you for being such an awesome person and inspiration to so many people.

how to get a fire going under any circumstance

Are you concerned that the stress on your body will cause you long term damage?

oh yes

When you were on the Joe Rogan podcast you mentioned two experiences you have had in the wilderness on the North American West Coast where you had either seen or heard some sort of unknown bi-pedal ape-like hominid, and that there may be more to the Bigfoot, Sasquatch myths than most people think. Correct me if I am wrong, but I seem to remember that you also mentioned on the podcast that you were interested in exploring this further and that doing a survivor man/ Bigfoot show would be something you would be interested in. Is that still the case?

yep - follow me on twitter to find out when and how

If you could make one survival thing in the world lighter, smaller, cheaper, what would it be?

If you could make any one thing lighter, smaller, cheaper, what would that be?

edit: How can we find out more about your other projects?

portable shelter.......hmmmm cant think of an answer to number two - uhmmmm laptops maybe......follow me on twitter and facebook

Hi Les, thanks for doing an AMA!

I got a chance to hear your interview on Joe Rogans podcast. You mentioned your multiple "bigfoot" encounters and the potential for a show to be made on Discovery where you go out in these areas where there have been "encounters" and just seeing what the fuck happens.

Any word on the future of this show? As a bigfoot skeptic I was quite compelled by your accounts and honestly I trust you more than these fuckin people on that horrible finding bigfoot show (or whatever it's called.)

Thanks again!

follow me on twitter and facebook for the updates

You're show is one of my favorites. I will watch it any time I catch it on. I absolutely love it even though I've only gone camping a few times. It's one thing I wish I could start doing more often.

Is there any good way to ease into camping without all the luxuries everyone tries to bring with them?

I've always wanted to try to go camping with the bare essentials. I really think it would be an eye opener to how unimportant many things we worry about in our lives are.

try taking a survival course - there are many available

Hi Les, big fan here. Thank you so much for never 'selling out' and putting on a fake show like Bear or the numerous other copycats. I have a few questions..

  1. What do you think about the 'average' person who would be incredibly helpless in survival situations. Do you think humanity in general would be in big trouble if power grids went down or nuclear war occured? And if the shit really did hit the fan, where would you go?

  2. What is your opinion on global warming and/or the destruction of the natural environment by man?

  3. Would you consider doing a series or episode about surviving being hunted by men or being put in a situation where you would encounter hostile humans?

Thanks Les.

1.yes - i think many if not most people would at least at first be in huge trouble - i will go to the forest or a tropical island somewhere 2.there is not question - we are having a devastating effect yet we CAN reverse and change that approach 3.yes - i would

Did you always play music as a kid? What would you rather do, make music or be Survivorman?

yep - ....thats a tough one - but now adays - make music (but i will make more survivorman too!!)

Leatherman or Gerber? (or other?) Which model?

leatherman - or my own camillus brand......leatherman wave......never gerber

Where was your favorite location that you filmed for an episode of Survivorman?

see above

just wanted to say i saw you play the harmonica with blues traveler a few years ago at floydfest. fun festival, but highlight of my weekend for sure.

thanks!!!!! - John Popper - great guy - awesome player

Have you ever considered bringing a fan along for one of your episodes?


Will you please bring a concert to East Tennessee or southern Appalachia? I was fortunate enough to meet you at smoky mountain knife works

tell us on facebook or twitter where to play?

If you only could share one thing with us regarding survival, what would be the number one thing you always need to know?

stay calm and make plans

Hey Les I am a huge fan! I only have a couple questions. I was on a survival trip this past weekend, 25 miles 2 days total in a heavily wooded area. I noticed after around 18 miles that I had no strength or energy left and was really questioning my ability to finish the trek and get back to civilization and if not for sheer will alone I may not have. What exercises do you do to stop yourself from getting into these kind of situations? Also that night it was around 28 degrees outside. I had built a shelter and pretty much buried it in leafs but notices it was not holding any heat and even the wind was getting through a bit. In a dead wooded area such as that what tricks do you have for reflecting the heat into the shelter and getting the shelter to actually hold some of that heat in?

if you mean physical i try to keep my cardio and legs strong.......as for the shelter - not meaning to side step - but the best info on shelters in is my book - you dont have to buy it - you can find it at the library.....but utilize more rocks for heat retention and reflection - and unfortunately trying to get a shelter to stay warm and be insulated is a very tough job - it takes a lot of effort and sweat and calories to make that happen


the apelike encounter in alaska

Les, are there any places you simply will not go for a survival show? Realistic places I mean...clearly, the moon would be right out. But is there any places that people have suggested that you've said "ahhhhhhhhhh.........no" to?

edge of a volcano

1) How many cameras do you normally shoot with?

2) How big of a pain is it to set up the shots showing yourself approaching/departing an area (since you have to make the trip twice)?

3) Do you edit everything together according to a rough script outlining your ideas or do you just kind of wait to see what footage you come back with and improvise the cuts?

4) What's something you really wanted to get on camera but missed it for whatever reason?

5) What program do you use for editing?

1) up to 5 2) huge 3) both 4) bigfoot 5) Final Cut Pro

  1. What kind of music do you listen to lately?
  2. Biggest scare while out filming survivor man?

dave mathews, ray lamontagne, griffin house, crazyass lounge music, pearl jam, classic rock, johnny cash

What is the animal that you hate encountering the most?


1) Can you recommend a good survival training camp in the Kawartha's (or within 100K)?

2) If you were lost in northern Ontario and had nothing with you at all, and you had to choose one of these: Harmonica or Knife. Which would you choose?

3) If you had to be lost with one other person. Who would that be?

4) Name a book we should all read.

1) dave aramas - WSC 2) knife 3) see above 4) the Alchemist

In a survival situation..would you rather fight 100 duck sized horses or 1 horse sized duck?

5 survival TV hosts

What was the most dangerous part of earth you trekked on?

the amazon

Hey there Les!

Just wondering if you will be doing more Survivorman episodes in the future. I understand if you're not as excited about it as you were when it all started but it would be greatly appreciated! By the way, if you sweat, you die. :)

follow me on twitter and facebook and you will be updated

Hi Les Stroud! Thanks for the AMA, I am a huge fan of your show and I love what you represent and stand for. I wanted to ask you about your new show you have coming up that has to do with the Bigfoot hunting.

I listened to what you said about your experiences with Bigfoot encounters on the Joe Rogan Podcast and I honestly believe you're opinion of the Bigfoot theory (especially the Alaska primate story) considering your word as a survivalist in the wild has so much weight. Plus I agree that Bigfoot shows today are pretty lame and chase after anything that moves in the dark.

My question is, Why do you think you will be much more successful in finding evidence of Bigfoot or a small primate like group in the vast wild? Considering that you are only ONE person and you are looking for something we know little about.

because i will let them find me

What is the best way that a person can become knowledgeable enough in survival skills to go into the wilderness alone for a few days and feel moderately prepared?

take courses with other students

Les, how was the experience being on Rogan's podcast? MORE SURVIVORMAN PLEASE!!! (are you listening networks???)

awesome - he is a great man

Thank you for doing this. I just wanted to say thanks for making such a great show and inspiring me to go outside more. I love watching your shows and then trying some of the tips/tricks used in an episode. My girlfriend and I love spending an evening together watching your shows, thank you.

What would you recommend to anyone wanting to get into bushcraft?

Mors Kochansky's book

Hey Les, thanks for doing an AMA! My family and I love your show and music, and generally just think you are awesome.

For a question - what do you feel about the emerging combination of man and technology? Do you see the world running itself into the ground with it, or is it something that you feel will eventually help us in the end?

i think it will be a little bit of both - we will lose and we will gain - i just fear for what we will lose

What would be your ideal setting/concept for a new survivorman / beyond survival be?



Ok, now that I have freaked out sufficiently I do have a real question:

How far do you really travel during surviorman? I would imagine it's probably 1/4 of the distance you could actually travel because of all the set up and take down of camera equipment.

Also, you are great at harmonica and thank you for that.

and you would be right

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Les Stroud conducted on Reddit on 2013-03-18. The Reddit AMA can be found here.