Sunday, February 20, 2011

A Conversation With Les Stroud | The Backwoodsman

The March/April issue of the Backwoodsman Magazine, a primitive survivalist publication, featured a full cover picture of Les Stroud on a river raft with his digicam bandanna from the Peruvian Jungle. The article title, “A Conversation with Les Stroud”. In the write-up Les is asked several questions, which he answers quite extensively. I will sum up the question and answer session for you here.

Q: Does Les Stroud believe everyone should know survival skills because an apocalypse is coming?

A: Les doesn’t worry about any apocalypse, he believes that learning and practicing survival skills should be done because one is passionate about it. It is a way of life. Les believes survival skills are not necessary for all people, i.e. city dwellers, but that the personal discipline and personal skills necessary to be a survival expert are universally applicable.

Q: Does Les Stroud think that Survival should be a public education requirement?

A: “Absolutely.” Les beieves that presenting children with the problems encountered in a survival situation help stimulate their personal confidence and ability to overcome adversity.

Q: What brought about the differences between Survivorman and Beyond Survival?

A: Les was passionate about the way his native survival coaches lived and survived when he was touring the world doing the Survivorman show. Thus, he developed a show where he lived among native groups of people and explored their ways of life and survival, Beyond Survival.

Q: Does Les Stroud feel more spiritually connected to nature after his Beyond Survival experiences?

A: Beyond Survival re-instilled Les’s connection with nature which he lost during the labor and time intensive making of Survivorman. Les believes he was more in tune with nature before starting Survivorman and making Beyond Survival allowed him the opportunity to rediscover his connection to nature through the native tribes he lived with.

Q: Who inspired Les Stroud to become Survivorman, and how did he learn his survival skills?

A: Les Stroud started learning survival like most people, a weekend hobby and local college survival seminars turned into a way of life. Les’s favorite survival company? Prairie Wolf, owned by John and Geri McPherson. In Canada his closest survival friends include David Arama and Doug Getwood.

Q: What’s the down-low on Les Stroud’s new album and multi-media tour?

A: The tour will be an emotional and spiritual journey through all of Les’s experiences around the world fostered by his Surivorman and Beyond Survival shows. It will not be a concert, but a conjunction of film and music which bring together all of Les’s favorite and most meaningful experiences.

Q: How does Les Stroud feel he influenced the mainstream view of survival skills and outdoorsmen in general?

A: Les Stroud believes he walked the line between filmmaker, and survival instructor. He claims to not be perfect at either skill set but believes that his position between the two extremes enabled him to bring survival skills into the mainstream. Les Stroud believes that it’s not necessary to be a hardcore outdoor addict or gear junkie to enjoy what he does, and he made this apparent to the general public. Les regrets that now the survival genre of television and filmmaking now has gone the way of all other filmmaking. It’s surrounded by drama, controversy, and bickering among the rather disconnect and ignorant masses. Les says that his background off the screen, as a normal guy, was one of the best things going for Survivorman.

Q: Does Les Stroud believe that anyone will top Survivorman in the outdoor filmmaking arena?

A: Survivorman took an intense amount of effort to produce physically. Setting and carry all of his own filmmaking equipment (upwards of 50 lbs), it was physically exhausting. The most important part, though, was his passion for filmmaking. Les thinks that his utter devotion to filmmaking and his passion for the outdoors are a combination that will most likely never be seen again.

Q: Will Beyond Survival run a season two?

A: Les is confident that there will be more than just the multi-media tour coming up in the near future. This neither confirms or denies a second season but promises us something in the future.

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