Les Stroud (born October 20, 1961) is a Canadian survival expert, filmmaker, and musician who is best known for creating, writing, producing, directing, and hosting the television series Survivorman. Scouts Canada named Stroud Chief Scout on November 22, 2021. Stroud became a full-time wilderness guide, survival instructor, and musician located in Huntsville, Ontario, after a brief stint behind the scenes in the music industry. For The Outdoor Life Network, The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, and YTV, Stroud has produced survival-themed programming. Several people have credited the survival techniques they learned from watching Stroud’s television shows as the reason they survived harrowing wilderness ordeals.
Is Les Stroud still missing?
Friends claim the 41-year-old Scarborough, Ont. man was devotedly watching Les Stroud’s reality TV show, which challenges man against nature.
Mr. Code went off for the woods outside Huntsville, Ont., with minimal food and warmth, armed with knowledge from the show and survival literature. Mr. Code’s body was discovered this week after an aerial and ground search. He died of hypothermia, according to Ontario Provincial Police.
Mr. Stroud, a Toronto native, was filming material for his new Outdoor Life Network show Vanishing Worlds in Madagascar yesterday. In a phone interview, he discussed how well-prepared one must be to survive in the wild, as well as the dangers of overestimating one’s own talents.
Les Stroud Productions is situated in Huntsville, Ontario, which is also the location of Mr. Code’s death. Have you participated in any survival missions up there?
Yes, without a doubt. I’ve spent a lot of time up in Ontario surviving, canoeing, and adventuring. It can be anything up there, from tranquil slopes to highly rough rocky terrain, thick shrubbery, and extensive stretches of bogs. It’s lovely, yet it can also be rough and rugged at the same time.
Despite the fact that your show includes disclaimers informing viewers that what transpires on the show is carried out by specialists, people are still going on missions without much training.
All you have to do to see my show is pay attention. I’ve only ever done one thing: de-romanticize wilderness and highlight its pain… I’m going to presume that if you’re going on a solo survival trip, you’ve taken a course and are ready to travel. Before I went off on my own, I took maybe six, maybe ten courses.
You go on simulated field outings with groups. You work together to create shelters, build fires, and catch food. And perhaps on the following trip, there will be groups of two, two, and two. Even on lone journeys out, you’ll encounter groups. My initial solo was accompanied by another 15 people. We each had our own small piece of woods, and I couldn’t see the next person, but I knew there was someone else doing the same thing a few hundred yards away.
The irony is that when the temperature approaches zero, hypothermia becomes more likely. The warmth of the day lulls you into a sense of ease, but then it gets brutally cold at night, catching you off guard. The added stress of spring is that it can deceive you with its temps. Then there’s this melting, freezing, melting, freezing process that’s great for generating maple syrup but terrible for survival.
You’re going to have a tough time if you don’t have the mental fortitude, the will to live, and the mental fortitude. And you’d best be extremely fortunate. If you look at my Survivorman series, you’ll notice that by day three or four, I was ready to leave. Why? Because being alone is a drag.
For some, yes, but not for me. I’m not a recluse. It’s never been about me overcoming my loneliness or anything. If you gave me the choice between being alone and suffering through the mud and surviving with others, camping, or being in a great sushi restaurant in Toronto with people, I’d choose the latter.
What are your thoughts on the death of Richard Code, a man you inspired to take on the wilderness?
It’s a sad tragedy, and my heart breaks for the families affected. I have no idea how he built himself up or anything like that, therefore I am in no position to evaluate or comment on how or what he did.
Any type of survival challenge is unpleasant, harsh, ugly, and difficult, and you don’t want to go through it for enjoyment. Accidents are certain to happen now that the wilderness adventure world has developed and there is such a large number of people participating in adventures. Survival in the wilderness is designed to be a complement to wilderness experience rather than a goal in and of itself.
I would encourage folks to continue taking a variety of courses so that they may gain experience with outdoor survival. But would I advise people to engage in wilderness survival as a sport? … It’s a high-level, hard-core sport similar to adventure racing, professional hockey, or downhill skiing. You’ll require a lot of training.
What happened to Les Stroud’s house?
Are you looking for a way to get away from it all? For $1,800 per week, you may rent Survivorman, Les Stroud’s cottage in Huntsville. If you’ve watched his movie “Off the Grid,” you’ll recognize the six-bedroom cottage, which was built on his 100-year-old farm. There are no phones, internet, or electricity, but there are solar and wind-powered amenities.
Is Bear Grylls a true wilderness explorer?
Many opponents of his show have claimed that Grylls did not genuinely stay in the wild while recording many episodes. While the idea of Man vs. Wild is one man alone versus the elements, those “elements” included four walls and a ceiling, as well as room service on multiple occasions. While filming an episode in the Sierra Nevada mountains, Grylls stayed at “The Pines Resort at Bass Lake”a modern lodge resort with two on-site restaurants, a spa, and other amenitiesand during another episode, Grylls was supposedly stranded on a desert island that turned out to be a Hawaiian archipelago, where he again spent his nights.