One of the Discovery Channel’s most popular programs, Survivorman, is returning to television after being on hiatus for more than three years. The show, which features host Les Stroud demonstrating survival techniques in extreme settings, such as the Kalahari Desert or Alaskan wilderness, will relaunch with a series of special episodes sometime in 2012.
While Stroud’s list of destinations is not yet known, we do know that the format for the show will remain mostly the same. The episodes are filmed by Les himself, who goes out into the wild alone, carrying all of his camera and survival gear. In the past, he would usually spend seven days living in the wilderness, but according to the announcement on his website, he’ll actually be staying out for ten days on these new episodes. Apparently he’ll also begin filming the first new show in just three weeks time.
Fans of Stroud will be happy to hear of his return, as he had garnered quite a loyal following when the first three seasons of Survivorman were being aired. At the time, there were numerous comparisons to Man vs. Wild, the show hosted by Bear Grylls, which often sparked debates as to which of the men best knew his stuff. While Bear is a bit more theatrical and over the top, Les tends to remain more grounded and practical in his approach. Both shows are fun to watch however and I always enjoy seeing the destinations as much as what kind of trouble the two men can get into there.
The new Survivorman specials are set to air on OLN in Canada, Discovery Science in the U.S., and Discovery Channel International elsewhere. No word yet on when we can expect the shows to hit the airwaves however.
[Photo credit: Les Stroud]
Several weeks ago, hunky Arizona Congressman Jeff Flake fulfilled a childhood dream by spending a week doing his best Les Stroud impression in the Pacific’s Marshall Islands. Bringing with him only the “bare minimum,” Rep. Flake survived on the abundant coconuts, crabs, and fish that he discovered around the island.
Chronicling his trip in a travelogue and a slideshow for the Washington Post, Rep. Flake explains his motivation for undertaking the survivalist trip:
This long bout of Crusoe-envy seemed to be more physical than spiritual, an appreciation for what Teddy Roosevelt called the “doctrine of the strenuous life.” Roosevelt bemoaned the “timid man,” the man living “a life of slothful and ignoble ease.” The man I fear I’ve become. As a kid, I used to snicker when I shook an uncallused hand. Now I’ve got two of my own. I used to bathe in the evening after a hard day’s work. Now I shower in the morning.
But if I was really looking for physical exertion, I could have just trained for a marathon. Perhaps the greatest appeal was not knowing what was behind the next wave. Maybe I would learn something about myself.
More, including spear-fishing, an encounter with a shark, and what Rep. Flake missed most about home, here.
Filmmaker and Discovery and Science Channel star Les Stroud, known for his show, Survivorman, is calling it quits after three seasons. The 47 year-old Canadian earned street cred amongst survivalists by filming himself completing various week-long survival challenges. Unlike Man Versus Wild’s Bear Grylls, Stroud traveled without a camera crew and survival experts. I, for one, found his solo approach to film-making and survival refreshing compared to Grylls’ preening in front of the camera.
Stroud explained his decision to call it quits to Reuters: “You can only do seven days surviving without food a certain number of times a year. I’m pleased with what I have done, I’ve been copied around the world, but 25 times I’ve not eaten anything for a week while sleeping on rocks. I need to move on.”
Filming for the third, and now final, season is wrapping up in Papua this month. Though the tag Survivorman will probably always remain with him, Stroud plans to move on to other projects. He is writing a book about wilderness survival and is planning a new show where he will follow in the footsteps of famous explorers.