Anchored Podcast Ep. 56: Les Stroud, Survivorman – A Journey into the Wild

Les Stroud On Survivorman
Table of Contents

Anchored Podcast:

Ever wondered what it takes to survive in the wild with nothing but your wits and the bare essentials? Les Stroud, famously known as Survivorman, has made a career out of doing just that. From a kid in the suburbs to a symbol of wilderness mastery and environmental advocacy, Les’s journey is nothing short of extraordinary. In this episode, we dive deep into his life’s adventures, uncovering the drive behind his survival expertise and his unwavering commitment to reconnecting humanity with nature. So, join us to learn more about his transformative experiences, from harrowing survival challenges to creating groundbreaking content that has inspired millions.

Outline of This Episode

[1:35] How Les’s urban childhood led to his wilderness obsession

[24:21] The transformative year in the bush with Sue and its aftermath

[36:27] The birth of “Survivorman” and the challenges of real survival TV

[49:01] Stroud’s departure from television and pivot towards music

[1:05:49] Les Stroud’s philosophy: Connecting people to nature

From Suburban Kid to Wilderness Enthusiast

Les Stroud’s story begins in the suburbs of Toronto, where he was born and raised. Despite his urban surroundings, Stroud was drawn to the wilderness from a young age, which was a passion not inherited from his non-adventurous parents. Still, his childhood was filled with outdoor play, fishing, and a deep-seated love for nature documentaries and the works of Jacques Cousteau. This early obsession with the wild set the stage for his future endeavors.

A Year in the Bush With Sue

One of the most pivotal moments in Stroud’s life was the year he spent living in the bush with his partner, Sue. This experience was not only about surviving with minimal resources but also about connecting deeply with nature and learning the importance of community in wilderness living. Despite the challenges, including severe illness and personal loss, this year solidified Stroud’s desire to pursue a life of adventure and wilderness education.

The Birth of Survivorman

“Survivorman” was born out of Stroud’s frustration with the lack of authentic survival content on television. He envisioned a show that would not only entertain but also educate viewers on real survival techniques without the aid of a camera crew or the trappings of reality TV. Despite skepticism from industry peers, Stroud’s persistence paid off, and “Survivorman” became a groundbreaking hit. However, it was not without its challenges and the constant pressure to compromise the show’s authenticity.

Moving Beyond Television

Despite the success of “Survivorman,” Stroud felt constrained by the demands of television networks and the dilution of his original vision. This led to his gradual departure from TV and a renewed focus on his music career. Music, like wilderness advocacy, has been a lifelong passion for Stroud, and he now seeks to inspire and connect with people through his songs, much as he did with his survival show.

Les Stroud’s Philosophy: A Lifelong Mission

At the heart of Les Stroud’s diverse career is a simple, powerful mission: to reconnect people with nature. Whether through the harrowing survival scenarios of “Survivorman,” his music, or direct advocacy, Stroud aims to remind us of the beauty, power, and importance of the natural world. It’s a mission born from a lifetime of experiences, a testament to the transformative power of nature.

This episode is sponsored by Nemo Equipment 

Buy Les’s Books: Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere – AliveWill to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival
Length: 01:14:04

Resources Mentioned in This Episode/Connect With Les Stroud

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Anchored Outdoors is an ever-growing network of fly fishing experts who’ve been brought together by podcaster and fellow outdoorswoman, April Vokey.

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