Update 8:02PM - Hey everyone - Les has to head out but says thanks for another great AMA - Web Girl

My short bio: I’m Les Stroud (also known as Survivorman) — I’m a filmmaker, outdoor adventurer, singer-songwriter and performer.

It’s been a while since I was last here and a lot has happened. I’ve shot 14 episodes of Survivorman and Survivorman Bigfoot since we last spoke and while on my second to last shoot in Mongolia I had a terrible car accident which ended my Survivorman shoots for the season.

Since the accident I've performed with Journey on stage and shot a commercial on top of a glacier in the mountains of British Columbia.

I am currently planning my winter music tour and next seasons filming of Survivorman and Son (with my son Logan – who recently survived cancer - like father like son!) as well as an amazing new album.

You can find out more at LesStroud.ca, Twitter.com/reallesstroud, www.facebook.com/thereallesstroud

I'll be back at 6:30PM EST to answer your questions!

Update 8:02PM - Hey everyone - Les has to head out but says thanks for another great AMA - Web Girl

My Proof: https://twitter.com/reallesstroud/status/647530980111159296

Comments: 2053 • Responses: 87  • Date: 

boutfrigginmagine1757 karma

In terms of urine, would Bear Grylls drink you under the table?

reallesstroud2245 karma

hands down

JudasGoat821491 karma

Hey Les, not so much a question but more a neat story to tell with you in it. I am an avid bushcrafter that was primarily inspired to get into bushcrafting by watching Survivorman. Back last year in September you wandered through a little town called Hinton, Alberta. I was on my way out to do a little bushcrafting but I stopped at the mall to pick up some things, I was going to make Rasher and Rum and I bought some bacon and i was on my way to buy some rum which I though was a tad bit odd because it was 10:30 in the morning and I thought "who the hell buys booze at 10:30 in the morning?" So I go to the liquor store, buy some rum and as I'm wandering out who walks in the mall? Les Stroud! The guy who inspired me to go out and do bushcrafting! You walk in the mall, see me and the first words you spoke to me was "Where's the Liquor store?" So who buys booze at 10:30 on a Tuesday morning? Bushcrafters! So thanks again for taking the time to shake my hand on your way to get alcohol, and thanks for inspiring me to go out in the woods and start fires.

reallesstroud1488 karma

i remember you!!

MQ9181125 karma

Do you think you've come close to actually finding Bigfoot?

reallesstroud1348 karma


Steinbeck_was_right227 karma

I understand you probably have to hold your cards close and save details for the show, but can you share your thoughts about it?

reallesstroud396 karma

its way too much to type - its such a long and slow and demanding phenomenon to get a handle on - the patience it takes is otherworldly - BUT - have NOT seen one (yet)

B-ruckis226 karma

Do you think Bigfoot or is it bigfoots have a developed conscience? How else could they have evaded being seen all these years?

reallesstroud371 karma


cfunkhouser902 karma

does survivorman have a chance of coming back to netflix? is it on any streaming services?

i dont even like the outdoors but i love survivorman.

reallesstroud788 karma

I dont know - thats part of the networks deal

Reddit-is_for_fags749 karma

How are you after your accident?

reallesstroud948 karma

getting there

BZ-B83 karma

getting where?

reallesstroud309 karma


griffmeister741 karma

When are you and Joe Rogan finally gonna do an episode of Survivorman together?

Love the show, can't wait to see the new episodes

reallesstroud2572 karma

i would but i think he's worried about not being able to carry enough guinness and pot

ErikThe663 karma

What's the funniest thing that's ever happened to you while shooting an episode?

reallesstroud1668 karma

i once had a town of aboriginal Canadians come and visit me every day on snow mobile to get me to sign their windshields and pose for pictures

PsychoNautJohnII617 karma

I just want to say I'm a huge fan. I don't really like reality TV, but I love watching your show.

My question is: was there ever a point where you just wanted to pack it in. Just when things got too heavy and you wished that there was a crew handy to take you home?

Also, what do you consider the most beautiful land scape in Canada?

reallesstroud809 karma

not really - i got pretty down on a lot of shoots usually in the middle when i am out of food and tired and know i still have a few days to go - as for Canada: ALL OF IT!!

tromuniapp604 karma

What is your professional opinion of Bear Grylls?

reallesstroud1554 karma

he's a tv host - good athlete - his rhetoric is second to none - his charm and smile win the day as he never truly answers your question (which is the same as lying) he knows the truth about how it all started - and he is very skillful at keeping that from you - but of course he is laughing all the way to the bank - good on him - at least he supports outdoor adventure - i hand it to him for that - but he is NO survival teacher and never has been - he wants to be james bond

odrax551 karma

Do you still live in the home you built in your Off The Grid documentary? Is there going to be a part 2!?

reallesstroud1158 karma

sadly i lost that in the divorce

voltaire64430 karma

Les, I have had a life long fear and nightmares of being caught in quicksand. They say that you are to fall onto your back and you will eventually float. Is it that easy and have you ever had the misfortune of being in that predicament?

reallesstroud630 karma

ya - its like falling into ice you gotta get flat - and no i haven't fallen in other than under controlled tests

GauchoIRL430 karma

What do you think about all the new survival shows on TV? Most specifically, Naked and Afraid and Alone? You're kind of the OG of this type of show so I figure you gotta have some opinion on them

reallesstroud1316 karma

what needs to be realized is that all of these shows were created to entertain (which is fine) and get as big of ratings as possible - they are not about true or real survival - they are not about teaching right skills - they are invented by tv producers - scripted in many or most cases - staged - set up - faked - folks I'm sorry - but they are just not real - anyone who producers television can watch those shows and show you the fakes a mile away - because to those of us who work in this industry = those things are obvious - or at least to those of us who teach survival....i haven't watched alone - but ask yourself - what are the odds that a guy who gets interviewed about his fear of bears has a bear near his camp - or a guy who in his interview talks about being afraid of wolves - has a wolf pack near his camp - its called - big budget = animal wrangler - and since the shot has to be right - we better move the people into position to get the shot.....the non disclosure agreements they sign are as thick as a phone book - and of course they love being on TV so - they are happy to go along with it and start charging big money for the keynotes they will do after .....i have said this before: i started Survivorman before all the rest with the purpose of teaching skills - the rest (including unfortunately some actually skilled men) just wanted to be on TV

justanothershell297 karma

Greetings Les, what is your favorite harmonica key to play in?

reallesstroud524 karma


WolfofPortland282 karma

Hi Les,

Two questions...

1) Are you and Bear Grylls friends?

2) How does it feel to be related to Ron Swanson?

reallesstroud532 karma

1) hahahahahahaha

2) who?

Esperanza132259 karma

What are your thoughts about Amazonian shamanism and the healing powers of plants such as ayauasca?

reallesstroud414 karma

lots - but - fully endorse them

Mjgb8245 karma

Has your approach to surviving in the wilderness changed much as you have aged? I'm 57 now and I would love to sell everything I have and start a home stead off the grid. I guess my question is do you think there is an age that you would say "no way"? My family thinks I'm nuts for wanting to just start over but I'm really tired of being tied to all the luxuries that we have today. I want to slow down and enjoy this beautiful country we have that surrounds us!

reallesstroud361 karma

not at all!!! keep going - 57 is as young as it gets!!

InvaderChin222 karma

Hi Les. My mother insists that you have an entire film crew on Survivorman because "all of those guys fake it".

So my question is: If you were in a survival situation where you are hungry for days, forced to forage and hunt for every last scrap of sustenance, but there's a full production crew with snacks and modern comforts mere feet away, what survivalist weapon do you fashion to kill the crew and take their food?

reallesstroud553 karma

tell your mom - I'm the only one who doesnt

crochunter100188 karma

If you could have anyone on the earth right now who is alive accompany you, who would you think could a) handle it and b) would be fun for you?

reallesstroud519 karma

a) clint eastwood B) Rachel MCcadams

Norvillerogers365184 karma

Can I buy you a beer next month at the London Music Hall?

reallesstroud359 karma

guinness please

Schmutzie_184 karma

Les- We've joked about Jeremiah Johnson on Twitter, but I have a serious question on the same subject. The idea of heating rocks in the campfire, and then burying them, or tucking them into your clothing to stay warm in cold temps...had you used that before you saw the movie, or did you learn it from Bear Claw? And more generally speaking, did you learn most of your techniques from trial and error, or did someone show you the survival ropes when you were a kid?

(watch your top-knot)

reallesstroud228 karma

like those skills i leaned alot just taking survival course from various people around north america - but alot of what i learned i definitely also did by trial and error - going out with my survival buddies and practising - but of course i loved watching those skills on that movie courtesy of the great Larry Dean Olson

Booduuh175 karma

What's it like being alone so much? When you're shooting.. Unless of course you're not alone. I don't really know.

reallesstroud437 karma

yes i am very alone - and it sucks


Under what circumstances should one resort to drinking their own urine?

reallesstroud1045 karma

while watching reruns of MvsW

treestar0126 karma

Hi Les! Have you come across many archaeological sites or artifacts while out on your solo survival adventures? If so, what have you seen? -Aspiring archaeologist

I always miss your AMA's, so freakin glad I got home in time!

reallesstroud206 karma

ALL the time i do and its freakin fascinating!! - especially in the deserts - always pottery

AstronautGreedy123 karma

Love your show. Is there anywhere you havnt been and would like to go still? It seems like with your show youve been all over the world and experienced all the enviroments at this point.

reallesstroud200 karma

more time in the Himalayas

stolenfish121 karma

Ever consider surviving in northern Saskatchewan? Or looking for Bigfoot here?

reallesstroud125 karma


OhHelloPlease105 karma

Hey Les, hope you're doing well following the car crash. My question is you always seem to talk about how delicious the wild foods you find on Survivorman are, but what is the worst tasting thing you've eaten while filming the show?

reallesstroud172 karma

the grub i ate in Indonesia on the Survivorman: Beyond Survival series

Coolj31iceman93 karma

Hey Les! I wanna know from an actual survivalist. Have you heard about Chric McCandless? What do you think killed him?

reallesstroud142 karma


reallesstroud297 karma

actually thats not right - he wasn't arrogant - mostly lets say over confidence

Hewgag91 karma

I'd love for you to do a show where you have to survive for both you and an injured friend.... obviously someone playing the part of the injured. Think you are up to that sort of challenge?

reallesstroud160 karma

thats in the running


Huge fan of your shows. Sorry to hear of your accident. What location was the most difficult to survive in?

reallesstroud203 karma

anywhere its cold

Jah-Ith-Ber85 karma

Do you prefer summer or winter?

Can you tell us something about yourself that we probably do not know?

reallesstroud200 karma


i am NOT an adrenalin junkie

realgm-defector81 karma

is it safe to drink your own piss?

reallesstroud252 karma


Oblivionqt78 karma

Hi Les, glad to have you with us today!

What would you say is the WORST commonly propagated piece of survival advise heard these days? (i.e drinking pee)

Where do you think you would have the hardest time surviving?

reallesstroud120 karma

worst is the usually useless use of energy - tackling big stunt like movements.....the harder is always wherever its cold

-JamesAsner-69 karma

What do you think about the format of Naked and Afraid? Would you ever try surviving for 21 days with minimal tools and no clothes?

reallesstroud200 karma

i think its ridiculous - and not interested in that

zacht18067 karma

Les - what was the time you were most scared you've ever been in your life?

reallesstroud204 karma

in the bush - the time i was chased up a tree by a bull moose

Revol-64 karma

Hello Les,

Thanks for taking the time to hang out with the reddit community. It must be physically and mentally exhausting filming Survivorman. Aside from a few obvious reasons what are your other incentives for continuing with these types of expeditions? Do you see it as a personal challenge?

Thanks in advance, Revol-

reallesstroud238 karma

its all a part of my own personal mission to reconnect people to the earth - to get us all to celebrate nature again - to reconsider the earth and all its natural splendour and to protect it

JamiePT57 karma

What was your first experience of surviving by yourself and at what age?

reallesstroud90 karma

i was 24 - and i loved every minute of it!!

crackawood55 karma

Les, you are the man. These other wannabe television survivor types, and we both know who I'm talking about, don't even compare. Any locations that you've really wanted to do a shoot at that were just unsafe because of drug cartels, political climate, revolutionary activity, etc.? What do you do in the days immediately following starving almost to death?

reallesstroud119 karma

ya - columbia is too dangerous for where i usually like to go - usually i have pizza and beer and get back home to my bed for two ays of sleeping

emeryz45 karma

Les, long time watcher of your show here. Awesome work.

Question: Do you ever plan surviving in my home country New Zealand? We have some pretty gnarly bush and terrain in the wops. It would be cool to see how you would go around living in there.

reallesstroud55 karma


joemmac44 karma

Why not do a regular 7-day Survivorman in a Bigfoot hotspot? Maybe you get some evidence, maybe you don't, but they're still some of the most beautiful places in NA?

reallesstroud78 karma

yep - did that

Kufflink3843 karma

What books would you recommend as must reads for the fledgeling survivalist?

reallesstroud84 karma

well - mine for sure Survive!....and Larry Dean Olsens - anything by John McPherson or Mors Konchanski

NephilimGiant43 karma

Hey Les!

I'm a broke college student and live near a big park, any tips on finding food to survive?

reallesstroud132 karma

subway, burger king.......or

take some mushroom and wild edible plant courses in that area!! :-)

careshel39 karma

Hey Les,

Huge fan of Survivorman, you're an inspiration.

I really like your prolonged stay in the woods in Snowshoes and Solitude. I know you're at a completely different point in your life, but would you ever consider filming a Survivorman offshot where you stay in the wilderness for a longer time? Something like 3-6 months?

Thank you!

reallesstroud114 karma

no - i like people too much

ifoundyoudrax37 karma

How do you feel about where you are in life?

reallesstroud90 karma

extremely excited for the future

porn_theater_refugee33 karma

Do you follow any survival blogs and if so, which ones?
Apart from a willingness to survive, what do you see as the most important factor in a solo-wilderness survival situation?

reallesstroud77 karma

no - i try not to spend too much time online - and overall skill set acquired with groups BEFORE heading out alone - you gotta really know your stuff to go it alone

SixPathsofPein32 karma

Do you still plan to film the episodes of famous past survival stories? If I remember correctly, you were going to talk about what happened and what you would've done differently if you found yourself in the same situation. I've been looking forward to those for a while now.

After that it would be great to see you return to the basic format of the show.

reallesstroud59 karma

yes - those are coming out this winter

insomniaczombiex25 karma

Les, I love watching your shows and as a novice outdoorsman I really appreciate all the survival techniques that you use in each episode. Would you ever consider bringing a group of people out into the wilderness, either on or off camera, to have the same experience to when you go out solo?

reallesstroud27 karma


IQ8421 karma

Any plans on being on JRE again soon?

reallesstroud34 karma

meh - maybe just go have a beer with him

FlapJackSam20 karma

Whats your favorite breakfast cereal?

reallesstroud72 karma

cornmeal made like cream of wheat - with blueberries bananas and maple syrup

Silverlight4220 karma


Do you collect anything? If so, what and why?

What do you think the best part of doing a show with your son will be?

I'm glad you're okay after the accident. Have you fully recovered yet?

reallesstroud44 karma

artefacts from around the world - music memorabilia - and of course simply being with my son is great enough reason of all

odrax16 karma

I didn't know you were a cat person. makes me wonder: Pepsi or Coke? Beer or Wine? Pizza or Burger? Tent or Hammock? Fishing or Hunting?

reallesstroud66 karma

neither, both, both, both, both

Aero9315 karma

Big fan of your show, Les.

How many times did you have to walk back miles to do another shot?

reallesstroud46 karma

OMG - too many to count for sure

rbond_200811 karma

Les, any advice on finding references for edibles that may be native to an area in which you are surviving? Always enjoy your shows!

reallesstroud32 karma

Peterson field guides are always great

brownsd4205 karma

is there a way to, disguise trail cameras with a scent and camoflauge? and any ways to set up cameras, to where a sasquatch wouldnt see you doing it? because the forest is always watching

reallesstroud6 karma

yes - check out the hunting stores for scent disguisers - and also smoke helps - as for the second question - i honestly dont believe so

hazeleyedwolff4 karma

Can you give us a quick top 5 survival instruments? I know you don't carry much on the show, but if you're headed out into the woods for a weekend with your son, what are your essentials?

reallesstroud12 karma

firestarting shelter water boiler (pot) food signalling

rxsheepxr4 karma

If I were to plan for the worst every time I left the house (let's assume some sort of apocalypse where all bets are off) what three tools should I try to always have with me, realistically?

Big fan, BTW, representing the Maritimes of Canada. :P

reallesstroud7 karma

firestarting rifle with ammunition rain poncho

DrunkWhenSober4 karma

What an amazing life! Can you tell me what you like to do for leisure?

reallesstroud18 karma

wine tours - hiking - canoeing - food tastings - music

attr_reader4 karma

Hey Les,

I'm a huge fan and I've watched all of your shows. I've always wondered: what keeps you going during a shoot? Is it the adventure or the dedication to your audience? Or neither of the two?

I hope a new season is on the way. I'm glad to hear you're recovering well from the car accident.

reallesstroud6 karma

its BOTh of those two

coolrbear4 karma

What is the biggest mistake you made while surviving? Also, how did you get into survival?

I'm a huge fan and watching your show inspired my love of the outdoors.

Thanks for your work.

reallesstroud4 karma

biggest mistake is always getting too cocky - over confident the "i got this" syndrome

MyWifeDontKnowItsMe3 karma

How were the locations selected, would you change the locations of the episodes, and if so, which locations would you select?

reallesstroud3 karma

i choose them - pretty much on my own whim

IAmThatNerd3 karma

All time favorite place to go camping?

reallesstroud4 karma


recreationAtion2 karma

Hi Les, HUGE fan of your shows, just curious if you found the film making portion of your job more of a burden than the actual survival portion? Are there some days where the last thing you want to do is film? Also, how much are you involved in the actual editing of your show?

reallesstroud3 karma

many days the last thing i want to do is film but my passion for it wells up and i get busy - and yes - i am in control of my show top to bottom

Jdirrt2 karma

hey les, big fan here. Would you rather be stranded in the heat, or the cold? Also, what's the best way to stay positive If you find yourself in a bad situation?

reallesstroud2 karma


calm down and remember you HAVE the will to go on - this too shall pass

Mutt12232 karma

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?

reallesstroud10 karma

moosetracks by kawartha dairy

AAronMarable2 karma

Hey Les. AAron in Orlando here... Wondering if you ever got that chance to play music with Greg Allman ?

P.S. I was a fan of the show you did with your son. I feel like it was the realist reality TV on.

reallesstroud3 karma

oh man - no - i so wanted to though - i understand he's just not playing anymore?

cynikalAhole992 karma

Hello Les - great to have you back and glad you are ok! Glad to hear Survivorman and Son will be back too. Wanted to know about Survivorman Bigfoot - how did it go? Any new info we can look forward to? Have you tried using FLIR(thermal imaging) cameras and new "lures" like Windchimes, Balloons or similar to try and catch a sighting? Thanks again for the great show!

reallesstroud3 karma

yep -used the flir in the show - as for more - thats up to the networks and they're in a state of flux right now

gmikoner2 karma

Thanks for taking the time to do an AMA! Huge fan of the show.

When you go into heavy bear country do you ever bring bear bangers or spray with you?

reallesstroud5 karma


MattGHT2 karma

Hey Les.

I am really interested in getting out more into the outdoors.(I love finding geocache's along trails and am finding being outside more and more rewarding than sitting here typing this with each day passing) I live in Northern Alberta in grande prairie, I guess you would suggest heading to Grande Cache or Jasper?

How does one ease themselves into getting into more and more extreme outdoor adventures? What are your bare essentials?

Can I have your Axe?

reallesstroud6 karma

the big thing is courses with competent teachers - its best to be shown these skills over just reading about them - thats how i started - courses

unclebimbo2 karma

Big fan Mr. Stroud.

What would you say has been your favorite place that you have been to in the world?

reallesstroud4 karma

thats always a hard one to answer - i LOVE the jungles and conversely i LOVE the high arctic - then there is the high andes too!

thaloopdigga2 karma

I love your show and have two questions: how bad could you beat up bear grylls, and what is your favorite knife?

reallesstroud8 karma

how bad do you want? well OTHER than my own line - i always loved the Buck 110

MuffinPuff2 karma

Will you be doing anymore Sasquatch episodes?

reallesstroud6 karma

if the network allows

Jaksongitr1 karma

Les, I missed your musical tour a couple years back. Will you be touring musically any time soon?

Long time career admirer & fan. All the best!

reallesstroud4 karma

absolutely - in fact i am working on two new albums right now and we start touring in Feb in Florida - in the mean time there are a couple little one off shows - i will be doing a ton of music - all focussed on celebrating nature over the next couple years

terrotifying1 karma

What was your most unsettling moment in the wild? A moment when you thought "This is actually really, really seriously bad," and how did you cope with that and come out the other side?

Also not really important, but I did want to tell you that you're basically my dad's #1 hero. Well, you and Jack Bauer. It's probably a pretty close race.

reallesstroud3 karma

while shooting the show - the trek down the hill in Norway

Okidokilokie1 karma

I am extremely happy that you are doing better after the car crash. I have loved watching your adventures on TV. I have always enjoyed seeing how you can make something useful out of something that was left behind from others. What has been the most challenging part of surviving and doing all of the recording? Also, with diving near Cocos Island in March of next year, do you think there will be any complications because of the accident?

reallesstroud3 karma

usually dealing with the cold is the toughest part on all levels

Hitech01 karma

When you had the rollover "accident" there were many on FB suggesting that you have a punctured/collapsed lung. Did you read any of those prior to flying home?

reallesstroud3 karma

i had to stop reading them to stay confident

Gigidyy1 karma

How much longer do you plan on doing the show?

reallesstroud3 karma

as long as the networks will have me

LongBelwas1 karma

How much trouble was it having to set up and take down the cameras to get those cool wide angle shots back when you were doing the show?

reallesstroud7 karma

back when i was doing the show??? dude - i still am - new ones coming on in a month....and no trouble - its part of the passion of being a film maker

Prius_For_Life1 karma

Hi Les, you are my favorite survivor expert. Thanks for doing this. What is your favorite pizza topping?

reallesstroud3 karma

hmmmmmmm - all of them!

leopardprintlife1 karma

What's the scariest event that ever happened to you on a shoot that never made the show?

reallesstroud4 karma

not much really - it usually always makes it into the show