Survival Guru

Friday, May 13, 2011 4

Q: Which current survival TV host has the most wilderness cred?

Which current survival TV host has the most wilderness cred?
The Editors
Santa Fe, NM

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A:

In my opinion, Les Stroud has the most reputable show out there with his SurvivorMan Series or Ray Mears from the UK. Both are excellent presenters and actually spend time afield without the soap-operatic scripting that appears in the current crop of shows.

Having worked as a consultant on numerous shows over the years, I can tell you that while it may appear the hosts are knee-deep in the wilds, what you don't see is the film crew of 12 people, medic, and coolers stocked with food. Due to liability, most networks are also required to have an emergency vehicle within a few hundred yards of the action.

I was once asked to consult for a popular "reality" survival show which was going to be filmed in the desert. I declined when I found out that the producers were going to be hauling in a water tanker to flood a small canyon to create quicksand for the host to slog through and then later in the same show they were going to bring in an industrial-strength movie-fan to create a "sandstorm."

Enjoy these shows for their entertainment and theatrics but plan on gaining your survival skills at a quality training school and through continual practice in the outdoors- where the real world unfolds and Mother Nature provides prompt feedback.

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