Les Stroud of Survivorman fame took to Reddit today to engage in a long-awaited AMA. For years now, Stroud’s been at or near the top of many Redditors’ wishlists because he’s done so much cool stuff in his life (and because, despite the fact that most Redditors rarely emerge from their basements, they all seem to get off on the idea of living off the land).
Of course, the most up-voted question in the AMA was about Stroud’s opinion of fellow TV survivalist, Bear Grylls (Man vs. Wild). The Internet has invented a feud between the two men because their shows are very similar, but surely Stroud has only good things to say about his peer, right? Right?
Hell no. Stroud didn’t hold back, blasting Grylls for being a total faker (which has been rumored for years). It was awesome. Someone’s gonna have to get Grylls some cool piss to put on the burns Stroud dished out:
Here’s the full text of Stroud’s response, formatted in a way that makes it easier to read:
I can only assume you mean in terms of Survival – and not film making or music? That being the case – lets establish one thing first – he acts – (they act) – I survive.
As far as the survival instruction and gimmicks shown, i will speak only as a survival instructor and not the guy who first put survival on TV: many of the actual survival skills taught are bogus – It is NOT possible to squeeze drinkable water out of elephant dung – well it is when your cameraman has soaked it with bottled water. Others are pure tv stunt entertainment and do not relate to the real world of survival – so my ‘professional’ opinion of BG as you have directly asked is that he is a TV host – acting out scenarios based on what he and his producers dream up and glean from books and from the on-location consultants advice, they hired for an individual show.
I would even go as far as to say that some of the skills if followed and attempted in a real survival situation could result in worsening the situation. (then again maybe the same could be said about whatever choices i make when i am out there) – but then that is the difference – i need to make choices on the spot to secure my survival – he (they) need to do the next scene for the location director and then spend all day filming a dangerous scene of clambering down a 15 foot waterfall when they could’ve walked around it in 10 minutes.
I am glad he has at least brought attention to adventuring in nature to the young fans – and i am sure he is a great outdoor adventurer and he seems to be quite the athlete – but my professional opinion on the subject of survival is that he is not an instructor i would ever suggest to be followed when survival skills are the ones you want to learn.
Asked straight-up whether it’s a good idea to drink your own urine in a survival situation, as Grylls so famously did on his show, Stroud offered a simple response: “no.”
He later conceded that urine could possibly be good for washing one’s body.