Les Stroud

February 6, 2014

I am Les Stroud (Survivorman), a filmmaker, outdoor adventurer, singer-songwriter and performer. Ask Me Anything!

Hey reddit, I’m back! Let’s make this AMA even crazier than the last one.

Proof: https://twitter.com/reallesstroud/status/431493900117622785

I’m Les Stroud (you may know me as Survivorman) -- a filmmaker, outdoor adventurer, singer-songwriter and performer.

Since I was last here, I’ve created and released 16 new Survivorman shows (the highest rated show in the history of OLN Canada, Science Channel US and Discovery Channel US) which are airing now on Discovery and Science in the US and Travel + Escape in Canada.

My new book, Beyond Survivorman, was just recently published and is getting rave reviews.

Iʼm also always songwriting and I have an albumʼs worth of new material ready to rock. My love for the planet and my concern for its well-being is at the forefront of my life now and that's what this new album is all about. You can access behind-the-scenes video content and check out rough mixes at my PledgeMusic site at www.pledgemusic.com/projects/lesstroud

You can find out more at LesStroud.ca, Twitter.com/reallesstroud, www.facebook.com/thereallesstroud
goodbye all - i gotta go run and pick up my daughter from school!!!! thanks again for a fun AMA!!!!

Greetings from Temagami, Les!

I've been camping and watching Survivorman for my entire childhood, and you have been one of my biggest heroes growing up.

Just one question: what is one piece of equipment that you always have on you when you're "out there" in northern Ontario?

a foolproof way to light a fire

What is the most difficult episode you've done? Was there ever a time while filming you thought you might quit?

ha! every third or fourth day of being out there i quit!! but then something cool happens and i stay sigh...

Les! Tell us about your time in Nashville. From your tweets we know you enjoyed some Frothy Monkey for coffee - I'm curious to know where else you made it to while you were in town? We're getting quite the reputation for food here - so please let us know. Also, I'm a huge fan and loved your Survival book. It was a great read.

the catbird seat kayne prime

1) What happened to "Surviving Urban Disasters"?

2) Are you ever going to consider doing the show again?

When i saw the first Episode i absolutely loved it and was disappointed to see that was the only one.

BTW congratulations on the new show, loving it so far.

i would love to do more - i was always very disappointed in that show as it was not my production company that produced it - and i knew i could do much better and would still like to

1.) How long do you believe you will continue making new episodes of Survivorman?

2.) I know there is going to be an upcoming Bigfoot edition of Survivorman. Did the filming of the episode increase or decrease your belief in the legend?

hmmmmmm - you will have to watch to find out!!! heh heh

lets just say - i remain the same

I love you and your show. If I needed a survival buddy I'd pick you over Bear Grylls any day!

Has there ever been time while shooting for the show that you've felt truly afraid for your life?

And is it as much of a pain in the ass to backtrack for cameras as it looks?

during the shooting of the norway episode - that was a rough walk down the mountain

When you go camping, do you do the whole survival thing like on the show? Or do you camp like most people do with a tent at a public campground and so on?

ha! i pamper the hell out of myself - canoe seats - wine and fondues by the waterfall

Being a father, how would you suggest to motivate a 15 year old to do schoolwork that only gets thrills through wilderness activities and gaming?

get out there with him - he wants that

Thanks, I'll make sure to store this for when my son grows up.

let him know that winning at school makes it so he can do what he WANTS later in life - his way

First of all, I want to say that I've been a big fan of yours for years. I've seen everything that's been broadcast on Discovery, as well as Snowshoes and Solitude, Off the Grid, and some others. While I'm a big fan of Survivorman, the show that really blew me away was Beyond Survival. Please tell me, will you ever do something like that again? Thanks for everything you do, Les!

i am pushing for that right now

What was it like getting high in Papa New Guine?


What is one situation you got yourself into that you were genuinely scared for your life?

norway mountain side - getting chased by a moose in northern ontario - heat stroke int he kalahari

From what I understand you spent a year living a paleolithic lifestyle in the Canadian wilderness. What was the most difficult part of living like that and what would you do differently if you were to try again?

not having a comunity of people to work along side of

What was your biggest "Oh, Shit." moment?

norway mountainside

Hi Les, I'm a big fan of your work throughout the years. The most recent episode of survivorman in the Temagami was the most visually stunning episodes I've ever seen. You used to lug around these huge cameras with bad quality compared to now. I'm wondering how the change in technology has affected you since you started?

it has just gotten better and better - lighter and higher quality - it really is much better now and i love the remote hell shots we can do now

Love your show. I think you'd agree that survival is largely mental. Some people can survive horrible ordeals with very few resources while others die in situations that seem much more survivable. Do you have some suggestions on how to best practice and/or train yourself and your family to have the necessary mental attitude, should the worst occur?

just always remember they the worst CAN occur and though dont dwell on it =- be prepared for it

What's your favorite book and why?

way too many - The Road Less Traveled helped me a lot when i was younger - 19


favourtie - cook islands - least favourite - wherever it is COLD

Are you planning on a Canada/USA tour in support of the new album when its finished?


If the zombie apocalypse happened where would you go and what would you take with you? BTW I love your show

the wilderness - everything that didn't weigh me down terribly

discovery wanted to do a Les vs Man tracker episode, but Les said no when he demanded it be real and not staged.

thats right

Hey Les, the boyfriend and I are big fans and just wanted to say thanks for coming back for another round of questions.

I know you've survived some pretty hairy places, and I was wondering if you ever had any hostile encounters with natives or local authorities?

nope - only friendly encounters - one time the town of inuit people kept coming by and asking em to autograph their snowmobile windshields - they were very sweet and offered me scotch and trout - which of course i had to say no to

I have often wondered about the parasites myself. The treatment for some of them can be brutal itself. Woud love to see this answered.

i dont worry about them in canada - it would likely be giardia and that is treated easily

Hi Les,

My buddy and I have been huge fans for a quite some time now! I was wondering what kind of physical toll has being out in the bush put on you over the years?

Also, where can we find acurrate scheduling for the new episodes here stateside? It was broadcasting every week and seems to have dropped down to a new episode every other week. We just need more Survivorman please!

P.S. Your show inspired me to get out more and I can't thank you enough.

i actually find that i feel better after doing a survival trek - almost cleansed

Les, what happened to the canoe you found in the Temagami Forest? Do you just leave that for the next person to find? Is there someone wandering around trying to find their canoe? Your last AMA here was one of the best ever done.

i put it back!!

Les - Big Fan. Thank you for Survivor man, it's one of my favorites. A few questions:

  1. Will you ever do a Survivor man in the Everglades?
  2. What are your thoughts on Big Foot/Skunk Ape, real or fake?
  3. Have you ever met someone who made it through a survival situation because of your show(s)?


yes i would love to do an everglades show - someday!!!

Joe Rogan always mentions your experience with a bipedal creature in your campsite. Is this true? Do you think it was a squatch? No proof or evidence of this creature from that night? How come there wasn't an investigation in that location for this creature that you saw/heard? I feel it would have answered a lot of questions if scientists or researchers were sent there to search the area.

working on it!

He said on a podcast (probably Rogans) that he was trying to get funding to film in the same location again for the pure purpose of trying to see if he can capture what he heard. I just hope discovery channel doesn't turn it into another bullshit "finding Bigfoot" bullshit

i would never let that happen

Hey Les! Great to have you here!

First off I just wanted to say that you're a great inspiration to me to become motivated and challenge myself so thank you for that.

I do have two questions.

  1. Was there ever a time where you got a shot but didn't (or almost didn't) go back to get the camera due to the difficulty?

  2. When are we gonna get a competition between you and Bear?!

Haha. Either way, you're a great guy so thanks!

well i have lost a few cameras over the years - that is destroyed them


no competition

When will the Survivorman & Son episodes air? I can't wait to see those, thanks!

i think i n a couple weeks

Nothing but respect for you Les!! My whole family loves you Show.

Have you ever considered opening a bushcraft school or having classes to pass on some of the skills you've learned over the years?

yes - as soon as i can manage the time i will be doing that again like i used to

Hello Les, I always wanted to know why you don't take sponsorship money from the clothing companies and gear companies?

they haven't offered heh heh

Hi Les! What survival books would you recommend for a good reading?

well - uhmmmm - mine?

What got you interested in survival and the outdoors?

jacques cousteau - tarzan - my cottage - the love and passion for nature and adventure

Why/how did you get into this line of work? What does one do to begin learning all of the information you portray on your show?

just take every course you can and learn from every instructor you can


yes i would lead that expedition - there is an awful lot of thick inaccessible forest out there

Hi Les, thanks for doing this!

Ever spend time in the BWCA (Boundary Waters)? I'm headed up there this Friday for some XC skiing and ice fishing (3 days/2 nights). My question is this: When you are prepared, what's your favorite thing to do while winter camping?

Also, when's that Bigfoot show coming out that you talked about with Joe Rogan? Hope it happens...

a big outside campfire

Hi Les, thanks for doing this!

Ever spend time in the BWCA (Boundary Waters)? I'm headed up there this Friday for some XC skiing and ice fishing (3 days/2 nights). My question is this: When you are prepared, what's your favorite thing to do while winter camping?

Also, when's that Bigfoot show coming out that you talked about with Joe Rogan? Hope it happens...

but also - just that beautiful moment in the middle of the frigid night when everything is silent and you can her the trees cracking from the cold

If you had 1 night, your guitar, your harp, and 1 campfire left, where in the wide world of your exploration would you hold your final concert?

wabakimi provincial park

Hey Les, If you were dropped into jurassic park which dinosaur would you fear encountering the most? Also, which would you be most excited to encounter?

Thanks for making such an entertaining show!

all of them - except for the brontosaurus (is that a real dinosour?)

Les! I loved Survivorman & Beyond Survivorman for so many reasons but it always put a particularly huge smile on my face when you broke out your harmonica.

What advice would you give to an aspiring harmonica player on learning to play? Thanks!

start listening to sonny boy williamson and sonny terry and james cotton

Les, my man, now that you've survived pretty much every place on Earth will you begin an interplanetary or even intergalactic survival series?

Oh, an no more of those live tweet episodes. Really.

nah - space doesnt do it for me really

Hi Les, A somewhat deeper question here: As a 25 year old in Canada, I've noticed that a lot of my peers who want to see the beauty of the world skip Canada and head to Europe, Australia, etc. These people have typically never seen the country beyond their hometown. I'd say that we have everywhere else beat in terms of our natural landscapes. As someone who has experienced the outdoors all over the world, how does Canada really stack up? Do we, as a country, need to do a better job of promoting the spectacular areas within our own land so people can realize how lucky we really are and spend their time/money here before going elsewhere?

canada and the states - north america is by far the most beautiful place in the world - much of the other places do NOT stack up to what we have here in our own back yards

Hey Les big fan. And I was wondering in all of your years of loving the outdoors, have you ever been out hiking or anything like that and found someone lost and helped them to safety?

yes a few times actually


I can list you as one of my inspirations for choosing to major in the field of environmental science. My love for the wilderness comes from watching your show (plus it doesn't hurt to have lived in the middle of the woods for most of your life). I have only two questions for you: where was the first place you ever tried survival camping, with or without a camera? And do you even plan on doing a scenario in a post-apoctalyptic setting, just for kicks and giggles? I'd highly enjoy that.

Thanks again for everything you do!

the moon river in ontario and no camera and yes to the post apoco thing

Hi Les,

Thanks for the AMA, I'm a huge fan!

Just out of sheer curiosity...what kind of meal do you eat when you finish filming after a week or more in the wilderness? I have to imagine it involves a lot of food!

pizza and beer

Who were your most influential bushcraft/survival teachers?

fred rowe - doug getgood - dave arama - john and geri mcpherson - mors kochanski (just through his book) larry dean olson (book) dave westcott (book)

You kick ass. If you where stranded on an island and could choose three things what would they be?

a years supply of fresh water - a tarp a good belt knife

hey Les, big fan of the show, what key of harmonica do you bring with you on your travels?


If you could travel anywhere in Canada, where would you go to unwind? How about anywhere in the world?

yukon nepal

Outside of the TV show, has there ever been a time when you were unintentionally in a survival situation where you felt your life was in danger?

in john ducks tavern - 1978

When did you start writing songs? Who are some of your favorite songwriters?

since i was 14 - all of them really - these days dave mathews - ray lamontagne - eddie vedder

I've always been curious, what is your daily routine when you are not "surviving?"

chauffeur my kids around

Les, Recently a Mexican man washed ashore after being lost at sea for 13 months. He mostly thought of tortillas, chicken and suicide. Did any of these thoughts cross your mind while you were adrift at sea? I saw how tough of a time you had surviving a only a week. Can you Imagine what it must be like to survive 13 months?

pizza beer and killing the person who suggested i do it

I hear that. The few times I've voluntarily gone without food in the bush for a few days, it's always come down to beer and pizza. I don't really know why. There are plenty of other foods I like more than pizza. Something about pizza though. Maybe because even when it's not the best, it's still pizza.

its because its melted chess = fat = what your body is needing

How many networks did you pitch the show to before your series was picked up?

first call was a sale

Hi Les!

Who was the most unexpected person or group you have been asked for survival tips from?

canadian military elite

Hey Les, two harmonica related questions here:

  1. What kind of harmonica do you usually bring out with you?

  2. Aside from a moral boost, in what kinds of situations could you see yourself utilizing your harmonicas in a survival situation?

Love, Tom

hohner special 20

to play while walking helps to scare away predators you might otherwise surprise

What does a survivorman fear?





collecting the evaporation

they are the MOST rocky - and they are sooooo cool


I might be asking a little early, but I was thinking of going on ten mile winter survival expedition, what do you think?


Hey Les, just saw the episode where you are in Grenada and you use the life straw. How did you like the straw and what did water with turtle poop and dead birds taste like?

it was great but the water tasted like it sounds - turtle poop and dead birds

Hey Les! I'm a huge fan. You are a true expert. My question: Would it ever be possible to have an episode or two where you take a novice 'survivor' with you during one of your trips? So, you would be faced with the challenge of keeping yourself alive and helping this other person stay alive while teaching viewers some two man survival techniques. I would love to join you on one of your expeditions. I'll carry all the cameras!

i take my son out on the next two shows in fact

You've been stranded in the Pacific Northwest for 2 months, when you finally encounter Bigfoot. He offers you the chance to ask him one question but first you must make a choice, choose correctly and you get to ask him but if you choose wrong he kills you. The question is, pancakes or waffles?

easy - pancakes

Hello LES! I teach an outdoor education class for 7th & 8th graders and my kids love your show.

What are some activities that young outdoor enthusiasts can do to practice their survival skills without trekking out alone into the wild? I'd love to give your ideas to my students for practice. Thanks man and keep rocking that harmonica.

have them build shelters together - snow forts are awesome for this too

Les, I absolutely love your shows and really respect what you do.

When you are shooting your show, and deciding how to handle situations, do you feel any burden of responsibility to your viewers?

Does the idea that others will follow your advice affect your choices?

Have you ever done something in a show that, in hindsight, you would consider bad advice?

With all of that in mind, what are your thoughts on the other "survival" shows that seem to lean more towards excitement and entertainment than solid survival advice?

yes i do feel that responsibility

yes- it makes me make sure i am doing the right thing

possibly - but not really - there are always so many variables its impossible to be black and white about it

i dont like what they do to the name of real survival

On the show you always seem to know what is poisonous and what isn't. Have you ever come across a situation, where hunger is top priority, and you end up taking a gamble on food, hoping it is okay to eat?

If so what was the food?

actually no - simply because that is too big a gamble to take - i generally make sure i know - but i suppose i have cut it close a few times

Hi, huge fan of the show. How did you cope with loneliness when you were in the wilderness? How much did you hate doing those shots where you walk away from the camera? What's your inspiration for songwriting? Thanks for your time!

the loneliness is the toughest part

i dont hate it at all - its actually a part of the passion i have for making a great film and telling a great story well

connecting to the earth is a big inspiration for me now for songwriting

Hey Les, when you were traveling with the horses in Argentina did you actually know where that shelter was or was that just a lucky find? And was it really that windy?

i knew it was there and that i would eventually find it - and yes that wind was INSANE

Les, big fan of the show. Feel you are a true artist. What plant in North America that grows in the wild do you think is most important for people to know about? And what are its uses, food, medicine, building?

For food - cattail - for fire starting - birch and cedar - for building - spruce trees

From my husband:

I've seen you use your branded Camillus knives on your show before, but not always. Do you switch up brands to see what works best?

Thanks for all your shows (from both of us). They've made me (bugdog, not Mr. Bugdog) quite popular at work because I can bust out with a number of ways to make fire or acquire drinking water - very important IT skills!

yep - its a great way to try them all out

How much do you play harmonica while you are on a survival mission? I would probably play myself to sleep every night...

yes i often play myself to sleep

Hey Les! The students in MIA are known for epic parties today. Any similar experiences when you were at Fanshawe?

OMG - you have NO idea!

Do you carry an emergency GPS transmitter when you are in the wild?

on some occasions

Hi Les, big fan, been watching you for years. My question is what is the worst illness you ever contracted while on your survivor man "sets"?

parasites that ate the lining of my mouth for a year

What are the chances of there being a contest to spend a week or days surviving with you in the bush?

id like to set that up actually

Thanks Les! You've said that over the years you've become more or less 'immune' to mosquito bites. What other uncommon traits have you developed throughout your endeavors?

withstanding the cold - but not my fingers - they suffer horribly

Hey Les,

First, you're the a fucking man. I am enamored with the shots that you take on your adventures that show you walking into the horizon, knowing that you have to trek all the way back for the equipment once you make it that far.


• I know in your last AMA you noted your distaste for Bear Grylls as anything beyond a show host but this picture made its rounds last year and I've always been interested in whether you'd ever consider doing a 'survival using XXX year technology' or something similar?

• What's your favorite knot (like, rope knot), or one that /r/EveryManShouldKnow (and woman)?


Hey Les, has there been any times when filming a show that you've had to be pulled out early by the crew?

Also, I noticed with the latest series you've been shooting quite a few aerial shots. Do you carry some kind of drone with you to achieve those?

for my rescue - never - in labrador the crew who were 50 miles away had to be pulled out

i have a team that is using them many miles away to get the beauty shots as we call them

Hey Les, I can't get over the idea of pooping in the middle of nowhere. Does it get easier the more you do it, or is it still weird as heck?

gets easier

Hey Les, love your work, seen a lot of it. I was wondering, on the Joe Rogan Experience you said you were going to be doing a 'bigfoot' search / show did you ever get around to it? I couldn't find it anywhere.

coming up in a month or so

Has anyone ever returned one of your message in a bottle?

not yet

I just recently gave Survivorman a shot, and I have now seen every episode Netflix has had to offer.

You have been to numerous places around the planet and survived unfathomably harsh conditions for the enjoyment and education of many. Thank you for all that you do.

My question for you is: Is there any place on the planet that you absolutely could not survive the week? Have you ever had to turn down a location?

not really - although i thought the side of a volcano was a stupid suggestion

Hey Les, My 6 year old son LOVES Survivorman. I told him you were doing an AMA today and he wanted to know if, in the recent Temagami Forest episode, what you initially thought was wild cucumber, really was?

i still dont know

Hi Les,

I've been a huge fan from the first time I watched your show. I recently listened to you on the Joe Rogan podcast. (AWESOME)

Two questions if possible:


Have you thought of doing your own podcast about your adventures?


On which episode/show have you come the closest to calling it quits and having the team come and retrieve you?

i would love to do a podcast

1) Your show is one of the very few my girlfriend and I can enjoy together. So thank you for that.

2) A lot of the areas you survive in are very similar (desert, tundra, forest). Is each survival experience unique or are two of the same areas similar?

i try very hard to make them entirely unique

Was there ever an experience which you almost regretted becoming a survivalist?

tv network contract negotiations

Does Discovery, or Science channels not let you show everything you want? Do we not see extreme survival? Are there places you would like to survive in but cannot due to legal reasons?

no thats not it at all - i control my show in its entirety - its all the other behind the scenes crap that one must deal with for tv contracts

Which is more difficult to deal with: extreme temperatures or being totally alone?


My son and I really enjoy watching the show. Do you do anything the week before shooting to help during those days out in the elements?

Also can you say Happy Birthday to my son Gavin, he turned eight on Monday?

happy b day Gavin!!!!!

Hi Les, I watched Survivorman when I was in high school. Like, all of it. Multiple times over. So much so that my mother banned me from watching it and told me to "go outside and actually try surviving at something". Suffice it to say, I'm a big fan. (I still talk about harmonicas attracting certain curious (and possibly dangerous) animals.)

I have a few questions:

Thank you for doing this! You're one of the coolest people I look up to!

yes it was absolutely just me doing it all alone

play concerts - write gbooks - go on adventures and hang out in 5 star hotels

Hey Les! Is there anything you can think of that may be damaging to the environment but is also the best way to survive a given scenario?

burning rubber to signal a rescue

Les Stroud "Survive" ultimate edition was the first thing I ever owned that really perked up my interest in surviving out on my own (and taught me a bunch of tricks nobody else thinks of in a pinch), do you think it's beneficial really to learn that way, opposed to figuring it out as you go along? (What do you recommend as a read for survival learning besides your own books?)

absolutely a good way to go about it and i would recommend larry dean olsons book

I heard you talk briefly on Rogan's podcast about what you believed to be a big foot encounter. Were you more terrified or excited at the time you heard the sound?


What is the least manliest thing about you?

there isn't anything unmanly about me

Les,have you seen the documentary of Dick Proenneke "Alone in the Wilderness" I enjoy your show and music immensely,keep it going. The addition of your son into the episodes was brilliant,wish my son showed an interest in the outdoors. Thank you. W.Burke

yep - i own it

Hey Les! I told you I'd be here (on facebook). It's great to see you filming again, and hopefully one day we can meet in person. My question for you, Do you think you'd ever be able to permanently Live in the wild? To go all "Robinson Crusoe"? If so, where would you live?


but it would have to be in the tropics on a beach

I am someone who never had the opportunity to go camping when I was a kid. I've gone on short hikes locally now that I am older. Any advice to someone who wants to learn to go out and camp for a few days out in the wilderness?

actually college courses on camping can be quite good

Thoughts on bigfoot...Sasquatch? other cryptozoic entities?


Some of my favorite Survivorman moments are watching your excitement after catching fish. What was the most memorable moral-boosting thing to happen to you during a survival ordeal?

it was the fish - the arctic char

Les! You're brilliant! Question: when raising your kids, are you exposing them to technology, or raising them with more of a 'off the grid' approach?

regular run of the mill life

You have singer songwriter written in your bio...do you have a link to some of your work? I am also a singer songwriter and would love to hear your experiences put to music, if thats what you write about. Seems to be a vast resource for creativity.

www.lesstroud.ca and also i am on iTunes

What's the most unexplainable thing you've seen in the wild?

i found a stubby beer bottle in the middle of nowhere one day - couldn't explain it unless it was thrown out of a small plane window

I was watching the episode of Survivorman the other day in which you were surviving in the Canadian woods. In the episode you mentioned that you no longer welts or bumps from mosquito bites. Is that a permanent change in your body and how long did it take for you to get this immunity?

yes permanent - i think it took about 4 years of constant summer trekking

Honestly, I just think you're the bees knees. * swoons *

you too!!

Salutations Mr. Stroud,

I always find the noises of nature fascinating.

My questions for you are what is the quietest place you ever had to film at, and what was the noisiest?

Northern ontario - in the depth of winter - minus 45 degrees

noiseist was in the georgian swamps - i could here the trucks on the highway

Hey Les, I love your show! While you are filming for Survivorman, you always talk about how lonely your experiences are. What do you miss the most while you're secluded? When you get home after filming, what is the first thing you do?

my kids

eat and sleep

The last time you did an AMA, you recommended not to drink your own urine when surviving in the wilderness. Has your outlook changed at all?


Les, I always try to channel you when attempting to play harmonica for my band's cover of "When the Levee Breaks." What are your big musical influences?

classic rock

Hi Les! Any plans to make more Beyond Survival shows? They fascinate me more than I can tell you.



no - i had to sell

I just watched your episode where you were stuck in a shack with two horses (sorry I forget the exact place, although it started with an 'A') and noticed you became imprisoned as it snowed for 25 hours straight. My question is, how do you remain calm and concentrated in a situation where you have absolutely nothing to do for such a long time?

not easy - and i dont always succeed at staying calm - but meditation helps

You stay classy, Les Stroud.

ok - if i have to

Hi, Les. In addition to the survival, I love watching the show from the perspective of a filmmaker. What percentage would you say you allocate time for filmmaking versus survival? Are there certain shots you always look for (time lapse, insects crawling, water flowing, etc)? What's your favorite film equipment to use on your adventures? Thanks!

60/40 survival film making

what is the one most important thing to surviving in all climates and conditions?

ability to make a fire

Love your show man. I watch it all the time. So if i were to be camping/backpacking in an area with a lot of bears, how likely is it that I will be attacked/mauled? Is it an irrational fear, or is there any serious possibility of getting my ass mauled?

irrational fear - no worries about bears other than polar

Hey Les I'm a really big fan.

My question is, where is the most preposterous place TV producers have wanted you to survive in?

side of a volcano

Have you ever entertained the thought of a survival-off with Bear Grylls? I think it would be interesting to see both of you video yourselves on GoPros surviving a popular vote determined location. Plus, it would be cool to see the different survival techniques used. You each get a week to survive in the place and then on the last day, you must have reached civilization. Thoughts?

he doesnt survive - he is only a tv host and i am told by members of the crew that he 'hates' survival


And you can watch Ray Mears if you want to learn.


Yeah, Grylls has been through the SAS and has climbed Everest, I'd pick him to be lost in the wild over Stroud, sorry.

that would be a mistake - but - your call


it wasn't piss - it was apple juice - which is wonderfully ironic - now expand that to the rest of the 'stunts' again - sorry

Bear always says he has respect for les, and les always seem to talk about Bear. Kinda off putting to be honest.

i get asked - and i answer - i said nothing for four years of bullsh$t - now i just speak as i know when i am asked - remember - there is no one that knows more of how MvsW was created than I - and believe me the whole story has never been told

There's a classier way to express that, like many redditors have said in here, different shows and different formats. No need to say he is not a survivalist, which he is.

no - this i debate categorically - he is NOT a survivalist - he is a good athlete and i assume a good sky diver and a decent rock climber - but he is NO survivalist - of this i can assure you - if there are any survival instructors out there reading this they will chime in - they know exactly what i am saying

Seriously. I love Les but whenever he talks about Bear I cringe a little. Show some class.

what i value as 'class' is honesty - and you haven't been given that - and when SOME of it came - it came with disclaimers and quick redirection and rhetoric - sorry but true

I agree. I would say calling him a "joke" is pretty similar to saying he isn't trained.

I'm ok with it. If I got into a survival situation, I'm not going to be thinking "Better try that freakishly athletic thing Bear Grylls did in that MvW episode I saw."

The way I see it, if you aren't taking MvW with a grain of salt, you probably don't have the common sense to survive in a sticky situation anyway. Anyone with a modicum of intelligence isn't going to attempt 90% of what Bear Grylls does.

thats true for us adults - but what about the 10 year olds that haven't yet developed the experience and maturity to know the difference

That's true. I guess I just assumed it would be more likely for adults to get into survival situations since they would be out hiking/camping etc. more than young children but I really have no idea. Thanks for your response either way!

checked back into this many days later - i will leave you with this gentlemen - there is FAR more to the MvsW story than has even ever been revealed of just how fake it is/was and just how much it was supposed to have never been found out - one time i asked people who watch my show if i should come out and share the whole story and overwhelmingly most said no - let it be....which is what i have done - but perhaps - someday i will tell the whole story - and its much more sordid that Mr Grylls would ever love to have out there - and - he knows that......i know that is a horrible tease for you all and i am sorry - but yes at some point i will simply say - hey - this is how it all happened....thanks guys....L

[No question]

goodbye all - i gotta go run and pick up my daughter from school!!!! thanks again for a fun AMA!!!!

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Les Stroud conducted on Reddit on 2014-02-06. The Reddit AMA can be found here.