Sometimes I get the urge to go camping. Drive a few hours away, set up a tent, start a fire, and just relax in the woods knowing your miles from nowhere. (Except for the Boy Scouts who are camping in the lot 10ft from you and your stash of Fruit Roll-Ups) When I go camping I try to keep it simple. No air mattress. No electric heater. And no shaving. (Yeah, I can get grizzly.) But Les Stroud is a professional survivalist and he puts my “roughing it” to shame. Dangit Les! Why can’t you just let me have this?
I love this show. Although not on the air anymore I still love catching a rerun on Netflix. There’s something awesome about surviving in Alaska where hardly any vegetation grows and your only fear is a wandering Polar Bear…you know…aside from the freezing temperatures, endless wind off the barely fishable waters, and simply starving to death. This guy voluntarily chooses the most barren places on earth and lives there for 7 days. That doesn’t sound so bad if you hitch up a Winnebago and stay to enjoy the view. No. Les get’s dropped off by his producers to survive. What does he keep on his person? He always carries a multi-tool, his harmonica, if he’s lucky…a primitive way of starting a fire, and 50 lbs of camera gear. Why camera gear? Well my curious friends who live vicariously through me, he shoots his entire venture for a TV show. Yeah, really.
You may be one of those skeptics who say “Man vs. Wild is better and more entertaining!” Why? Because he’s got a cool foreign accent and runs around the woods doing crazy stunts with his camera crew following every step? (That actually does sound kind of cool.) Well guess what? He’s not surviving is he? He’s only goofing off like a 10 year old when he figures out he can combine hair spray and a lighter. Les Stroud has a lot more going for him and his audience. First off, he does have a foreign accent. But you can only tell when he says “a boat” and you’re like “Dude! Speaksa da English. It’s ABOUT! Not A BOAT!” Second off, he’s alone. No camera crew. Just a starving dehydrating guy who’s videotaping this self-torture. Third off, if I happen to get teleported by my nemesis one day to the Australian Outback…I’m pretty confident I’ll live. (In theory.) Thanks Les!
I know what you’re thinking right now, you’re thinking “Man, I wish you would type one more random paragraph and bold another word. It’ll really be swell!” Well my 1950’s friend, here is my gift to you: I wish I could go camping one weekend with Les. Sure, I might pack Hostess snacks but he could probably show me how to snare a jaguar with them. That’s what I call surviving. (You’re welcome.)