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

Comments: 5088 • Responses: 64  • Date: 

YlleJumper2050 karma

What is your professional opinion on Bear Grylls?

reallesstroud3093 karma

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.

Valhalla_Awaits2109 karma

So should you drink your own piss or not?

reallesstroud2719 karma


KGSquared2105 karma

So, I should stop?

reallesstroud2178 karma

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

mw_nn_wm965 karma

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

reallesstroud1467 karma


HoneyBadgerAtHeart513 karma

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

reallesstroud1313 karma

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

aw_dam_its_mic1608 karma

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...

reallesstroud1960 karma

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

Alistracious1318 karma

What is the biggest survival myth?

reallesstroud2853 karma

that it is fun

NetCaptive1209 karma

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?

reallesstroud1541 karma

  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

reallesstroud1079 karma

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

Uteva804 karma

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

reallesstroud1374 karma

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

Hootie_Hoos803 karma

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

reallesstroud1144 karma

hey - is that Howard Stern whos asking???

chinchillachase803 karma

What are the top 5 things people should always carry?

reallesstroud1217 karma

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)

SkippyTheDog257 karma

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

reallesstroud562 karma

a way to get a fire going

Salacious-747 karma

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

reallesstroud1315 karma

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

freeseasy746 karma

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

reallesstroud995 karma

sadly it is up for sale

Backwell987 karma

He's divorced since 2008. Awkward..

reallesstroud2920 karma


JoeyBallz69725 karma

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?

reallesstroud1202 karma


DexterTheDragon688 karma

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

reallesstroud990 karma

tough one - the waoroni

mgspada647 karma

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.

reallesstroud931 karma

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

Fuckingfucktastic623 karma


reallesstroud700 karma

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

thesearmsaresnakes89546 karma

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?

reallesstroud765 karma

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

funkseoulbrotha539 karma

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?

reallesstroud866 karma

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

McGuire72539 karma

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

reallesstroud1158 karma

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

ramrod1484 karma

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

reallesstroud825 karma

talking with him now about it

realslacker428 karma

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?

reallesstroud845 karma

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!

nickelkeep425 karma

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?

reallesstroud634 karma

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

TheRagingLlama418 karma

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!

reallesstroud657 karma

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

ab3normal385 karma

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?

reallesstroud720 karma

polar bear - african lion

calltheofficemike378 karma

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?

reallesstroud757 karma

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

RobertVEsquire376 karma

Have you ever been in a submarine?

reallesstroud389 karma


kjzing375 karma

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!

reallesstroud567 karma

amazon jungle and the Utah canyonlands

tell me where to play in Colorado!

mrn5022371 karma

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

reallesstroud640 karma

every situation - they are at least close to equal

W_A_Brozart357 karma

What is your favorite brand of hot sauce?

reallesstroud860 karma

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

101mini101342 karma

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?

reallesstroud563 karma

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

Flatapuss333 karma

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'?

reallesstroud662 karma

every single time

Beirute289 karma

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?

reallesstroud523 karma

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

Mikeyone77278 karma

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

reallesstroud440 karma

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

Gravy-Leg__273 karma

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

reallesstroud588 karma

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

Alexandeadmau5268 karma

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?

reallesstroud488 karma

death valley

AbraxianAeon241 karma

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

reallesstroud576 karma

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

likat204 karma

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

reallesstroud303 karma

honestly - i'm half and half

ettuaslumiere201 karma

What park is your favourite place to camp in Ontario?

reallesstroud320 karma


MrF33186 karma

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?

reallesstroud257 karma

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

tnerbusas183 karma

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.

reallesstroud894 karma

pizza and beer

smileystoner166 karma

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?

reallesstroud276 karma

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

kraakenn164 karma

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.

reallesstroud255 karma

mostly norway and the kalahari

kishi153 karma

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?

reallesstroud193 karma

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

duff0062150 karma

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.

reallesstroud277 karma

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 :-)

vertexoflife144 karma

What's your favorite hunting/survival knife?

reallesstroud286 karma

my own brand now - but i always loved my Buck

tehhunter113 karma


reallesstroud199 karma

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

Rlight108 karma

What scavenged food have you been most pleasantly surprised by?

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

reallesstroud211 karma

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

Flazer100 karma

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.

reallesstroud178 karma

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

Train0Thought89 karma

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

reallesstroud188 karma


Kevsgone76 karma

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

reallesstroud162 karma

oh yes

DTFpanda68 karma

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)

reallesstroud165 karma

touring with a band

Reinmaker63 karma

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

reallesstroud94 karma

  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

Murken57 karma

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?

reallesstroud257 karma

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

TeslaFTW189556 karma

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?

reallesstroud140 karma

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

kindaladylike56 karma

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!!

  • Have you ever seriously thought you were in danger or maybe pressed your survival skills too far in any situation? If so, what was the situation and what did you do to get out of it?

  • Does being alone in the woods/outdoors for a week make you feel lonely or do you feel complete serenity being detached from the craziness of the world?

  • What is your favorite beer?


reallesstroud147 karma

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

oneeyedjamie54 karma

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

reallesstroud109 karma

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

CAN_ZIGZAG50 karma

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.

reallesstroud84 karma

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

hannahftw44 karma

What are your thoughts on hammock camping?

reallesstroud85 karma

love it/hate it

DeskFlyer41 karma

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?

reallesstroud81 karma

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

ettuaslumiere33 karma

Do you do speaking engagements at universities?

reallesstroud60 karma