"Survivorman" host and producer Les Stroud has written a real-world guide to survival using his decades of experience for the title.
Read an excerpt of the book below.
In Surviving the Extremes, Dr. Kenneth Kamler writes, "Human beings are the only animal whose emotions, spiritual imperatives and lust for adventure overrides our survival instincts. We get into trouble because we have an insatiable desire to explore. We know very well we have assumed risks when we travel in an extreme environment and that our decisions could have fatal consequences." My own insatiable lust for adventure has seen me voluntarily place myself, time and time again, in survival ordeals or extreme adventures. I used to do it for fun, and I guess I still do.
I have always channeled my creative energy toward filling voids, doing things that nobody else has done. Creating a survival series for television was no different. I had seen lots of survival films; they seemed dry, boring, and of little interest to anyone but the hardest-core survivalists. What was missing was the drama that unfolds in real-life situations. I realized that to really show how to survive you need to go out and actually do it—and film the experience. Out of this thinking, my idea for producing a television series, eventually called "Survivorman," was born.
From the get-go, I vowed not to let Survivorman make a mockery of survival by incorporating games and challenges, or by cheating my way through it by staying in hotels every night or bringing along a makeup artist to help me look dirty. There would be no camera crew to offer me food and assistance. I needed to be out there, alone, just as I had for years trained to be, actually surviving, or at least coming as close as I could to simulating that experience. Dr. Kamler notes, and I agree, that there are four forces at work in the struggle for survival. Knowledge—well, you've got a good start by reading this book. Conditioning—an often-overlooked aspect of preparation for wilderness adventure. Luck—my dad would have called it "dumb" luck; hopefully you've got some! And the single most important force of all: the will to live. Without it, people have perished beside packs of supplies. With it, others in similar situations have survived seemingly impossible ordeals. To this list I would add survival kit. Certain gear can make a huge difference in your struggle to survive.
Snowmobiler Chris Traverse certainly had most of those forces when he got lost on his way home from a fishing trip in northern Manitoba in March 2008. To reach safety, he had to endure five days of walking through waist-deep snow without supplies. I was humbled when Chris credited Survivorman with helping him survive.