Les Stroud’s playlist
The 54-year-old Canadian filmmaker and outdoor survival expert has set out with his son Logan on a jungle adventure for a Father’s Day episode of Survivorman and Son.
For over a decade now Les has filmed his excursions to remote and off-the-grid locations around the world for his reality series Survivorman.
In each episode Les puts himself in unusual yet realistic survival situations where he demonstrates how one might ride-out being stranded for a period of up to 10 days with minimal supplies until rescued. Finding food, water and shelter are the main challenges Les is faced with.
It sounds extreme, even crazy, but the man isn’t totally nuts. Les has a satellite phone on hand in case of an emergency and maintains daily radio contact with a support crew.
“I try to give you the truth of what I’m going through, but every show is a carefully calculated risk,” Les tells me during our phone interview.
Les explains that the waters are always tested before he dives in. Extensive planning is involved and locations are scouted and heavily researched. Les also consults with local experts and natives of each location.
“Survivorman isn’t a game,” he adds. “After watching the show, don’t go out, purposely put yourself in those situations and try to survive in the woods.”
Or anywhere else in the wilderness for that matter.
Fans have seen Les do it all. Since Survivorman premiered on the Discovery Channel in spring 2005, he has filmed survival scenarios in a variety of places from Alaska, the Arctic and Norway to the Amazon Rainforest, South Africa and the Australian Outback.
“My concept of home has definitely changed since I started traveling the world to film Survivorman,” Les answers when I asked what the definition of home might be for a globetrotter like him.
“I’ve come to realize that the meaning really comes down to the relationships you keep and maintain. I can feel at home at your house with you if we have a strong relationship. You know how people say, ‘Make yourself at home?’ I’ve come to know the reason why that expression exists.”
When Les isn’t Survivorman, he is a father of two and an accomplished musician with a handful of albums available for purchase on iTunes.
He is also a former member of a David Bowie cover band named Diamond Dogs, and has worked behind-the-scenes in the music biz with gigs that include an associate producer position at MuchMusic.
“Music has always been a big part of my life,” Les says before compiling this playlist of his current favorite artists.
“There is so much emotion in Adele’s music. She is simply phenomenal. I love how Adele sometimes reminds me of Roberta Flack and her song ‘The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face.’ There are similar qualities there.”
Dave Matthews Band
“I love Dave Matthews a lot. I love everything about him. ‘Why I Am’ is a great tune. I like how that song doesn’t have a typical song structure.”
“k.d lang is unbelievably brilliant. I love her album Sing It Loud. It’s so textured and beautiful.”
Mumford & Sons
“Mumford & Sons absolutely has to be a part of any playlist. ‘But it was not your fault but mine. And it was your heart on the line. I really fucked it up this time. Didn’t I, my dear?’ That’s ‘Little Lion Man,’ one of my favorites. They have a lot of powerful lyrics. Their words really speak to me.”
“I know it’s really weird to pick my own music here, but my music is an important part of me and very much a representation of who I am, the place where I’m at and all I’ve experienced.”
Survivorman and Son airs Sunday, June 19 at 10 p.m. on the Science Channel. Click here for additional info.