Les Stroud is a ninja
February 15, 2006 7:58 PM   Subscribe

Survivorman. An incredible show of one man surviving all alone in some of the harshest conditions for 7 days without a camera crew. He has to not only survive but carry 50 pounds of camera equipment he uses to film the show. Don't be fooled by the 30 minute abbreviated shows being aired on the US Discovery Channel, the good stuff is the meaty hour-long episodes available on The Science Channel.
posted by crunchyk9 (33 comments total)
A friend showed me this when I was staying at his house a month or so ago. Since then I have been cursing Comcast for not giving me the Science Channel. It is the most insane, informative, and interesting show I believe I have ever seen.
posted by aburd at 8:04 PM on February 15, 2006

Funny you should mention it, I just saw the Boreal Forest episode and decided I have to DVR the rest of them. And thanks for the tip about the distinction between the Discovery and Science Channel versions. It's the little survival tips that I love, like -- duh -- warming rocks by the fire to stick under your clothes while you sleep. I like to think I'd have thought of that, but I must admit I doubt it.
posted by schoolgirl report at 8:06 PM on February 15, 2006

There are now DVD's available for those of us too smart to get cable. I saw the 30 minute jungle episode last night and compared notes with a friend at work that had seen the hour long version and I missed out on some really excellent scenes. Apparently, in the hour long version, it cuts his finger to the bone and then sits there looking at it talking to the camera about how important it is to keep it clean and not get infected. Just kinda sitting there, talking into the camera ... bleeding all over himself ... heh ...
posted by crunchyk9 at 8:13 PM on February 15, 2006

That's a great show. I watch it with my kids and they think I can do all that stuff. I think I can do better than the cast of LOST, but Survivorman is just plain awesome!
posted by snsranch at 8:14 PM on February 15, 2006

I also caught an episode of this show -- the one in the Canadian forrest -- and liked what I saw, He seemed genuine, which is always refreshing. We don't get the Science Channel -- damn you, Comcast! -- but even in 1/2 hour form, it was compelling.

I'm an avid backpacker, and while I've never gone the survival route, I can appreciate the challenges he's facing; he does a great job of commenting on his life as he's living it. I mean, it's one thing to make a fire from friction, it's another to do it on camera as the light is fading. He makes this stuff look a lot easier than it actually is.
posted by mosk at 8:16 PM on February 15, 2006

I lurve this show. When the zombies come, I want Les on my side.
posted by bardic at 8:50 PM on February 15, 2006

Brings to mind Richard Proenneke who entered the wilderness of Alaska in 1968 and built a cabin with nothing but hand tools.

For 16-months he filmed his wilderness life.

After a brief visit with family and friends he returned to live in the cabin for the next 30-years.

In 1994 his films were edited into a documentary (available on DVD); his writings into a book.
posted by ericb at 8:56 PM on February 15, 2006

This was on cable in Vancouver more than a year ago, and before my cable was cut it was my favourite show- come to think of it I did survivorman for Halloween 2004. The craziest episode I remember was of him sleeping out in a southern bayou on about 200sq ft of 'high ground' surrounded by 'gator-infested swamp. I think that was the one of the episodes he dined on raw mystery meat.

Other good episodes included one shot in the far north, and one of bushwhacking somewhere in northern Ontario- "I know there's a road somewhere to the east of here- maybe it's another day away, or maybe 3... do I keep hiking or start looking for food?"
posted by simra at 8:58 PM on February 15, 2006

Correction: *In 2004*
posted by ericb at 8:59 PM on February 15, 2006

umm...not sure is this is kosher. if it isn't please delete. otherwise, enjoy!
posted by cgs at 9:01 PM on February 15, 2006

Funny, I have a dvd of his just waiting to be watched. A friend of mine says that he answers emails and is quite a sociable and amenable guy.
posted by ashbury at 9:06 PM on February 15, 2006

I've recently discovered and developed a love for survivor man. I wish the Discovery Channel or the Science Channel would run a marathon one Sunday, because I'd be glued to the couch all afternoon.
posted by obeetaybee at 9:08 PM on February 15, 2006

Kosher or not, thanks, cgs! And if I'm not mistaken, Survivorman is a Canuck... yeeaaa
posted by anthill at 9:16 PM on February 15, 2006

simra, apparently he got some nasty parasite during that swamp episode that reeked havoc on his mouth (!!) for a year (!!!!)
posted by crunchyk9 at 9:19 PM on February 15, 2006

we are all survivors in our own way.

but if the electricity goes off, most of us will die whereas survivorman will.....

but, is survivorman a specialist or a generalist ?
posted by troutfishing at 9:22 PM on February 15, 2006

I've only seen one episode (an Arctic one) and didn't think much of it, but this thread's convincing me to give the show another try.
posted by painquale at 9:25 PM on February 15, 2006

the first episode I saw had him in the Canadian Forest and I was immediately intrigued. I've watched several since (unlike many others here, I have the Science Channel) and I'm hooked...
posted by WhipSmart at 9:35 PM on February 15, 2006

It'll be sad when Survivorman eventually dies.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:37 PM on February 15, 2006

None of those Torrents are tracking for me (0% on all). Anyone else having luck?
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 9:39 PM on February 15, 2006

From my bittorrent 4.4.1 logs: "Survivorman 101 - Canadan Boreal Forest XViD" : Problem connecting to tracker - urlopen error unknown url type: udp"
Sounds like a formatting error in the torrent file
posted by anthill at 9:47 PM on February 15, 2006

Young survivorpeople ?

"Jane near Corryong

Jane recalled the days when her daughter was aged three years and used to eat wood lice while her son, as a toddler, used to wander around the garden and eat snails!

Anika in Wodonga

Anika recalled the day when her daughter ate a worm in a sandpit.

Alice in Shepparton

Alice said her younger brother and sister used to eat raw cat food when they were young. She also recalled the day when her and her brother and sister baked a pie made of slugs, snails, grass and dirt and ate it!
posted by troutfishing at 10:05 PM on February 15, 2006

I dug the episode I saw before and thought it was on tonight but I was wrong and it was on last night. Damn. But I believe I will be getting the Season Pass.
posted by fenriq at 11:30 PM on February 15, 2006

I had the same experience with the torrent files that cgs so kindly linked to, but a few minutes on Google turned up some torrents that seem to be working, albeit very slowly.
posted by mosk at 12:48 AM on February 16, 2006

Did anybody else think it was weird in the Boreal Forest episode that he set a camera up before he "suddenly had to puke"?

That and the far off shots of him walking places just made me feel like everything was perhaps a little bit scripted.

Other than that, I definitely enjoyed it. Very informative show.
posted by dsword at 6:27 AM on February 16, 2006

demonoid.com has several torrents of this show and generally has good transfer rates, but you'll have to register.
posted by jjoye at 6:33 AM on February 16, 2006

Ray Mears would kick his arse.
posted by Po0py at 6:45 AM on February 16, 2006

Seven days? Seven days doesn't seem that bad, if you can avoid injury.
Can't humans go for weeks without food - provided they've got a way to purify some water?

Meh. I know Canadians who've gone their whole life without eating normal food.
One word. Milkbags.

and... poopy?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 6:52 AM on February 16, 2006

OLN, here in Canada has been running this show 3 or 4 times a week! It's easily my favorite show, hands down. My favs include the arctic episode, the time where he thought he might have malaria and the episode where he was stranded on a raft. Good stuff.
posted by Hanover Phist at 7:26 AM on February 16, 2006

If you're ever in the Huntsville, Ontario area, watch for Les Stroud, Survivorman playing at local pubs. He's been playing his guitar and singing there in his hometown for years now.

The final episode of season one (which is the only one I haven't seen yet) has him stranded in a lifeboat on the ocean! I can't wait to see what he does in that one. On second thought, the first few minutes of 'Waterworld' show how to stay hydrated, and I'm not sure I want to see Les drink pee.

He's the man!
posted by Shfishp at 7:33 AM on February 16, 2006


there's no scripting as far as I can tell. The long shots taken involve him setting up the camera, going off in the distance, then coming back to the camera, retrieving it and retracing his steps! Not only does he have to survive, Les has to worry about shooting some decent footage and that means carrying the extra gear and doing things like scaling steep rock walls twice.

Yes, he's a Canuck, from Ontario IIRC.
posted by illiad at 9:52 AM on February 16, 2006

I am hooked on this show and Tivo it every week. It is my new favorite. I can't recommend it enough.
posted by jockc at 4:32 PM on February 16, 2006

I just want more episodes!!

I've seen all the ones on Science, and I think the best episode was the one with the plane crash.

He starts out simulating a plane crash and puts an arm in a sling. At some point he says "screw it" takes the arm down because everything was too hard.
That's also the episode where he starts a fire with a battery and some gasoline
posted by Megafly at 6:11 PM on February 16, 2006

i love it when he hasn't eaten in two or three days and his blood sugar is obviously low so he gets all kinds of cranky. "Oh come to costa rica! what a great idea that was. im gonna have a word with my producers"

lotsa times he isn't 'surviving' but rather "enduring" till the 7 days are up.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 9:50 PM on February 16, 2006

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