Name: Les Stroud
Hometown: Toronto, ON
Bio: Best known as the star and producer of the hit TV series Survivorman, Les Stroud is widely credited with creating an entire genre of television: “Survival TV.” Stroud is also recognized as the only person in the history of television to produce an internationally broadcast series entirely written, filmed and hosted solo. Beyond the small screen success, Stroud is a member of the prestigious Explorers Club and also the best-selling author of Survive—Essential Skills & Tactics To Get You Out Of Anywhere—Alive! and Will to Live, an advanced survival trainer for the Canadian Military Armed Forces and an accomplished musician to boot.
Explore Magazine: When did you first discover your passion for the outdoors?
Les Stroud: In my very young years, watching Jacques Cousteau and Tarzan movies — and this translated into building shelters out behind my cottage and sleeping on the bare rocks.
EX: What are your favourite items of outdoors gear?
LS: My canvas folding camp seat; my homemade wool “blanket coats;” my belt knife; my big canoe packs; my handmade paddle.
EX: Where is your favourite outdoor destination in Canada and why?
LS: Wabakimi Provincial Park [Ontario] — because I was fortunate enough to spend a whole year living out in the bush there and it is such a beautiful and remote place. There is nothing like it anywhere.
EX: Do you have a fitness and training regime?
LS: General [cardiovascular] exercise, including running — but I do it as interval training with push-ups and sit-ups and dips and chin-ups, as well as mountain biking.
EX: What do you feel is the most important element of your success?
LS: Persistence — coming to a hurdle I can’t go over and instead finding a way under or around it. Fear of mediocrity — I do not want to get to the end and find out what I did was mediocre. And passion, and then some more passion
EX: What are your three top survival tips for outdoors enthusiasts?
LS: 1. Stay calm.
2. Get a fire going immediately.
3. Remember that you can go an incredibly long time without food — so it is the least of your concerns.