Survivorman Les Stroud Breaks Down Survival Movies

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Survival is hard — making movies about survival may be harder

If there’s one thing Les Stroud knows, it’s surviving in conditions where most people would give up and go home.

Stroud made a name for himself by surviving in extreme conditions across the world during seven seasons of his show Survivorman.

“Les Stroud is the only producer in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, videotaped and hosted alone,” according to his website. With Les credited as the original genre creator of ‘Survival TV’.”

Survival TV wouldn’t exist without this guy — or it wouldn’t be where it is today. So, it’s safe to say he knows what he’s talking about when he critiques a survival movie.

It turns out that a lot of movies mess up by making survival more exciting than it is. According to Stroud, most of his time out while surviving involves a lot of waiting around.

What do people typically end up eating when they’re surviving alone in nature? It turns out it’s a lot of bugs and anything grubby.

Stay calm and don’t run

He says you’ll rarely come across an animal that you manage to catch. With minimal tools, nature isn’t on your side, so bugs become your nutrition a lot of the time.

Surviving encounters with predators bring a whole new level of danger when in the wilderness.

Unlike what some movies show, you’re unlikely to be successful in running from a bear if one takes an interest in you.

Stroud suggests doing what we’ve all been told — but have a hard time believing — to do if a bear shows up.

Play dead.

He says you want to be as boring as you can be to a bear if it comes around. That means it’s best to curl up in a ball, protect your vital areas, and wait for it to be over.

The less you do, the less interest the bear will likely have.

Don’t even think about running, it won’t end well.

Unfortunately, most people will probably run, according to Stroud — even him.

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