Bear Grylls vs. Les Stroud

It's human nature to compare people with related skills to see who is "better". We do this all the time for athletes, politicians, writers, and artists. And so I think it is time to compare the two most popular survival experts, Bear Grylls and Les Stroud to see who is more skilled in the area of wilderness survival.

Finding Food
In my opinion, Bear Grylls wins this one. He seems to be able to scrounge up something to eat no matter what the situation whereas Les Stroud is more likely to just go through the entire seven day ordeal that is his show's standard just on the sustenance the producers provided him.

Finding Water
Again Bear Grylls seems to be better skilled at this important survival skill. I've seen him find water bubbling out of a crack in a rock or dribbling down plant roots in underground caves. Les Stroud, on the other hand, is usually lucky enough to find a stream or be surrounded by snow he can eat.

Building a Fire
Starting a fire is a necessity in most survival situations and just about every episode of Man vs. Wild and Survivorman include a fire building segment. This one is another tie since both men have proven their skills at taking two sticks, some kindling and tinder, and ending up with a roaring fire.

Building a Shelter
Both Bear and Les are capable shelter builders especially in forested areas. I've seen Les attempt to build an igloo and fail miserably, but I don't know for sure that Bear is any better it. I'm going to say that he is though given his extensive mountain climbing experience. Surely building a snow shelter is a skill every Everest climber has developed.

Seeking Out Rescue
This one isn't entirely a fair comparison. Les Stroud's show, Survivorman, has a particular format that doesn't encourage him to move too far from his starting point. He will, after all, be picked up by his crew after seven days. However, there is no question that Bear Grylls will climb, swim, or cross any obstacle in his quest to reach safety. His military training seems to have provided a solid base for such activities.

Roughing It
Bear Gylls is accompanied by a camera crew. While I'm sure he doesn't "cheat" be eating or drinking from his crew's supplies, it's quite obvious that having a crew carry all of the camera gear makes him extremely mobile. And knowing that there are others around to help in dire emergencies means he can take risks that make for good TV. Les Stroud is entirely alone. He has to lug his gear around with him often having to re-enact scenes multiple times bring together a coherent story. Les Stroud wins hands down for roughing it.

Final Score
Bear Grylls: 4 (finding food, finding water, building a shelter, seeking out rescue)
Les Stroud: 1 (roughing it)
Ties: 1 (starting a fire)

Bear Grylls wins! But I still like watching both shows.

Update: The above comparison was done with the assumption that both survival shows were authentic. However, it has been reported that Bear Grylls and his team are staging situations. Even if only one or two things are faked, the knowledge of this makes me suspect the entire show.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 2.33 out of 5)
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99 Comments

  1. Started watching Survivorman on Netflix a few days ago. Learned some things that might help me in a survival situation. Watched Man vs. Wild (urban) last night, and learned that this Bear character isn't concerned at all with survival. Almost everything he did in that show would have been highly risky. What if he hadn't reached the crane? What if the ventilation shaft he crammed himself into was blocked further on? What if he'd fallen while looking for bird eggs? And that last bit - Oh, let's climb down into the sewer! Pure idiocy.

  2. Bear Grylls is as fake as it gets. Couldn't watch more than one episode, just made me angry. I've spent a week with no equipment & food in the wild (didn't just build a camp, I walked over 100 kilometers during that week in demanding terrain), and it's something totally different. Have you ever tried to make fire by just rubbing/drilling a stick?! I have, and it's extremely difficult, taking alot of time with no guaranteed success. Bear has a fire built anywhere, just like that... if he really did make the effort each time, he would definitely show it on TV. There is also some dangerous stuff in the show that should never be done in a survival situation, when you're alone out there: never run down a steep hill, way too dangerous. Break a leg -> you're dead. Never jump off a cliff to unknown waters. Also, the camera crew seems to get down there with ease, to film his action sequence. The list goes on and on... can't even be bothered to list all things wrong in the first episode. But, in case someone watches it, wanna point out one fail; look at the part where he does the extremely stupid thing of swimming in cold water, getting his clothes wet (a big no-no in real situation): he seems to stay afloat with ease. Is that a life jacket under his shirt? There's definitely something bulky, which is then removed as he gets off water... lol... and then he makes a fire (big effort, but not to him it seems) and after heating the rocks he buries the campfire under the sand. Trust me: nobody does that, after rubbing the skin off his hands to get fire going... His hands are just fine btw, in real life it's a bloody mess, unless you are wise enough to build a bow drill with string. Didn't see him building one. Trained in survival skills & been in a similar situation, I can honestly say: Bear Grylls is as fake as it gets. In fact, some of the stuff he does and "teaches" is actually dangerous and should never be done in a survival situation. I hope nobody dies because of his bullshit.

    • Your comment is quite literally the truest review of Bear Grylls I have ever read. I could not agree more with you! I have lived my entire life to date (amongst school, university and my job) in the outdoors. Llearning survival skills in the cadets, the scouts and the Duke of Edinburghs scheme amongs other things. Bear Grylls is an embarrassment to poeple that actually out in the work. His "advice" will get you killed. Various non-reliable rope techniques, water sourcing, food gathering and much more is all faked on his show. I am embarrassed as an ex-scout member to say he is now our chief scout. As an organisation, by using him, we use a liability.

    • Bear Gryll's was British Special Forces. There's nothing fake about that! He has formal survival training! He teaches how to get OUT of a survival situation. Les sits on his butt and eats stuff that makes him vomit on TV. Lol Les is a musician and self taught back yard outdoors guy. Most youtube survival guys know more then him. News for ya, Les has a crew just minutes away at all times for when he screws up and needs rescue. You can read that on the website. You are clueless and misinformed! Get your facts straight before misinforming others.

  3. Comparing Bear Grylls with Les Stroud is like comparing a scripted reality show versus a documentary of survival that is as real as it gets. Sure Bear Grylls show may be entertaining but it is nothing more than a staged reality show. He's also basically been outed as a fraud. Les is the real deal. One of the things I enjoy is realism. Les isn't afraid to show his failures as well as his successes.

  4. I don't even know how you can compare the two... both come from diffrrent backgrounds and both are experts.... however Bears show was completely sketched and scouted from start to finish...every scene planned out .. so of course hes gonna find food or water quicker.... While his show maybe more entertaining you get a better feel for Les's survival abilities bc they look more realistic... when your alone in the wild it will take hours even days to possibly find one drop of water... heck even Les being a lil more lazy is in itself a survival tactic conserving calories...

  5. Look if you have half a brain your going to know that Bear's show is set up but it doesn't matter anyway because isy put across in an entertaining way and and you can tell Bear is the real deal when it comes to getting into it. Less Stroude is great at what he does to but his show is full of complaining and he doesn't make bush shelters in most of his shows. I know he has no crew with him but he comes of as a littleazy when it comes to survival. I like the Man VS Wild format better and Dual survival is a fantastic show. But if you watching these shows thinking these people are actually in this survival situation your a flipping dummy. Ray Mears is the best when it comes to the knowledge portion of survival and no one can make primitave fire like Ray. Man Woman wild is a great show to because its in the sinario format. Less Stroude's show is not as entertaining because how much can really happen to a fella that's always sick and sleeping in the rain or pree existing shelters? He just goes out and fastes in the bush.

  6. Check out the biographies of both guys. Les is impressive, but in my opinion bear's is ten times more so.

  7. Bear cheats. Stayed in hotels, was brought food, had a crew. the "Wild" horses had horseshoes. He also does very stupid shit that would be suicidal in a real survival situation. But it's flashy horseshit, which is popular. I really liked watching the Stroud shows, and figured Man vs WIld be right up my alley. Boy, was I wrong.

  8. You're kidding, right? Bear Grylls has nothing on Les Stroud. Les is not provided with any food. He is every bit as capable, if not more, than Bear. Also, how can you take a guy who runs everywhere seriously? If Grylls were smart, he wouldn't be running. That's one thing you should never unless absolutely necessary when trying to survive. The fact that he Is followed by a crew everywhere says a lot as well. Your comparison is stupid. Me smart, you dumb.

    • My humble opinion and take on it, I've heard the only formal training Les Stroud has is as an musician and I hear he's sucks at that also. Bear is a formally trained bad a$$ who climbed Everest and was British special forces. Les can play the harmonica and vomit on TV though. Hmmm? In fact, Les is always vomiting all over the place on his show .... BECAUSE HE DOESN"T KNOW WHAT HE'S DOING, he always gets himself sick. Lol News flash everyone Les has an emergency crew to pick him up at all times lingering just an earshot away. In a couple episodes he actually had to be rescued by them. Hmmmm, could that be because he doesn't know what he's doing? Lol Bear Grylls knows more, has formal training and is by far more successful then Les. It's clear Les and his seemingly small fan base are jealous of Bears knowledge and tremendous success. For this, Les is bitter and he doesn't hide it. For this reason I choose not to watch his lame, boring show. I'm shocked you'd even compare the two ... it's like comparing Filet Mignon with a fasts food burger. Heck ... Dave C, Cody, Ray M, are far ahead of Les. Seriously, he's not in the same league as Bear.

      • Do you like entertainment wrestling too because that's about as real as Bear. Les is by far a more realistic example of a survival expert, Bear is all Hollywood.

    • Hermann, You have your "me smart, you dumb" written backwards. Do you even watch the show? There was an episode in which Les had a jar of peanut butter and a half gallon of water another with a plane to sleep in. That's not survival ... that's called camping. Get your facts straight. At least Bear has formal training (British Special Forces). What training does Les have? Point set match! Without question Bear is light years ahead of Les. No Brainer!

  9. Both are great shows, but if I had to pick one over the other, Bear would win hands down for me!! <3 Bear, he is awesome!!

  10. Bear is best. Les does unnecessary things like in an episode he is stranded on an island and at last he made a musical instrument. What is that? He shows how to survive not to play music. Survivorman is boring. Man vs. wild is best. Bear is an incredible and hes inspired me too

  11. Bear Grylls is an entertainer; he horrifies us professionals - and anyone else who actually knows something about wilderness or urban survival. Les Stroud is real; not a master (he's a rich kid with a hobby) but on the right track. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/practical-outdoor-survival-len-mcdougall/1110851740?ean=9781599211718&isbn=9781599211718&itm=5&usri=len+mcdougall

    • Bear is the entertainer? Are you kidding me? LMAO, Bear is ex- British Special Forces. Formally trained in every realm of survival. The fame came later in his life because of his interesting life story, back round, training and accomplishments. T that I say good for him! I understand Les is a failed musician, I've heard he tried to become famous in the music industry and failed. So he became a self taught woods guy and tried to become famous that way instead. Not too impressive. When Bear, Cody and Dave became far more successful, Les and his fans became jealous and bitter. Thus leading to garbage posts like yours. What training does Les have? The harmonica? Lmao ... You Said ... "he horrifies us professionals" Lol, it's clear you misuse the words "us professionals". All do respect, IMO, by measure of that comment it's seems you haven't done much research with regard to this topic. I hope the case is different if you are a teacher of survival. Bear is a progressive survivalist who has the skills and talent to survive and get 'OUT' of any situation. Rather then Les who just sits on his butt waiting for his resources to dwindle which would eventually lead to his expiration if he wasn't rescued after 7 days. No brainer Bear wins by a mile!

  12. LES STROUD is better , Bear Grylls is fake he has a camera crew with him.

  13. BEAR IS THE BEST BUT LES, IN HIS OWN WAY, IS COOL. BEAR IS MUCH MORE ENTERTAINING THAN LES.

  14. I think the real question is ... If you were lost or stuck in a remote environment, which one would you rather have with you to help survive and endure ? I'd have to go with Les Stroud.

  15. Bear Grylls is an irresponsible nut job! I wonder what his life insurance premiums are.... He'll end up like the crocadile hunter!!!!

  16. While bear grylls might have a more exciting show, he doesn't quite show you how to survive. Sure he will show how to set a trap, start a fire a build a shelter, but in the same episode he will go pole vaulting down a mountain side, or sliding down a rocky scree slope. Thats something no one trying to survive would ever want to do. Les Stroud does what his show is about, SURVIVING, not showing off his cool skills.

  17. In general, this is what I think of the two men. Both have the skills that can enable them to survive pretty much anything. However, in terms of what they can do, Les is at the Cub scouts level and Bear is at the Rover scouts lever (I think I might need a better way yo explain this, but it is like comparing a 1st grader to a 12th grader). Les can teach you the basic skills to survive. However, Bear can teach more than just the basic survival skills. Going with what trung said, Les survives till he gets rescued, Bear self rescues. From my point of view, the things Bear does on his show can be more easily understood for people who have more advance experience with climbing, skydiving, hiking/backpacking in wilderness areas etc (it is very difference to gain experience in all those areas, well unless you had training equivalent to training the people in the special forces receives). A lot of techniques that Bear demonstrates are real techniques that are used in the real world. I found the term Glissade (the thing Bear did to slide down a glacier in the Alaska episode) in a Mountaineering Book. If you don’t believe this is real, look up this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glissade_%28climbing%29. And here is the technique Bear does to survive falls from tall heights: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parachute_Landing_Fall (for an illustrated guide read http://www.sportparagliding.com/i.php?pg=education&ed=PLF). Well, should you do what Bear did if you are in a survival situation? Well, it depends a lot of other factors and yourself. Explaining these factors can take forever, so here is a very simple explanation. First, you should think about the consequence of your actions (would this kill me or put me in a bad spot). Next, you should consider the experience you have in performing the techniques needed. If you have a lot of experience performing the techniques Bear does in his show (in the case of jumping from high heights, Special Forces soldiers probably do over 1000 Parachute Landing Fall practices before they do their first parachute jump) and are confident that you can commit to the act without killing and injuring yourself, you should do it. Then how can you explain the staged scenarios Bear demonstrates on his show? The main reason: insurance. Due to the liabilities involved in demonstrating the techniques, the insurance coat can be high and it can be hard to get people to support and fund the show. If Bear does his show in the same format that Les does his show, even if he can make it out alive, no one will want to support making that show due to the issue with liabilities. However, there is another answer for the above question. When you watch Les’s show, it does get quite boring after watching a few episodes as he basically does pretty much the same thing: survive for 7 days. Going along with that and the earlier argument that Bear is a at higher level compared to Les, Bear’s show is more than just being able to survive for 7 days before hopefully someone finds you. It is about the way to get out of bad situations. He is demonstrating things that average person does not know and is showing them that there are ways to do things that they would never ever imagine doing. It is about pushing your body to the limits and do things that would you never think of doing. This is what someone should be doing in a survival situation: be positive and push yourself. In conclusion, I can probably say that Bear’s show is not a true survival show. It is an informative show that demonstrates and teach people things to do to overcome difficult situations. I will watch Bear’s show to inform myself of the many new techniques the exists for me to use in an informal setting. However, when it comes to actually learning those technique, I will be better off getting proper instruction from a certified instructor and from NOLS (short for National Outdoor Leadership School).

    • Without a doubt, Bear is more entertaining than Les, and as far as the technical survival information goes, they are both excellent. But if I found myself in a true, grim survival situation in the wilderness, I'd value Les Strouds's examples much more. Bear approaches each situation with all the vigor that a night in a luxury hotel or a motorhome can give you. He also has a director, a production crew and all the props he may need to demonstrate each lesson. Les is out there in a true survival situation. Some of his advice is actually dangerous, like eating the dead carcass of a coyote (which made him very sick). If I had to rely only on what Bear Grylls had shown me, I might think I could start an instant fire with 2 damp sticks, catch fish with my bare hands or catch a wild mustang, tame it and ride off into the sunset. Such delusions in a true survival situation could be quite dangerous.

  18. I like Bear's as much as I like Les's but when it comes down to it Les is the better survivalists. He's the only one who has proved he can overcome the hardest part....being alone while doing it.

  19. I am saying this with complete respect and honesty to the author... There is no comparison to who is a more renown, respected, knowledgeable, and intuitive survivalist between these two men. Les Stroud is a survivalist... Bear Grylls was in the SAS, he's not a survivalist and never claims to be one. Bear simply enacts situations which would be hazardous and provides a solution to the problem. Discovery Channel even admits that Bear films a show, not a survival bout... that's why people have seen him in hotels and have observed filming spots in the show off the side of a paved road. Man Vs. Wild is usually aimed toward a sensationalist viewer who wants to see some action in a survival situation. Les Stroud has lived for an entire year in the Canadian brush with his wife without any metal tools, or conventional means of living that we have today and his wrap sheet of experience and training would put Bear in a seizure if forced to read it all. Les strives for reality along with tested and true survival techniques that WORK and there are many people that have survived drastic situations that credit Les to that. Bear, on the other hand, films a fun show to watch that is mildly informative... in all reality, if you traveled the way Bear did in a survival situation, flat out, you would die. He takes so many risks that are just aimed at raising the shows rates.

  20. Yeah.... Except if Bear DIDN'T have his camera crew, he would have either: A: Died from falling, freezing to death, or cutting himself open after one of those reckless stunts that make "Good TV" B: Died from dehydration/overheating caused by running about like an idiot in an attempt to gain resources. He simply doesn't calculate risk vs. reward properly. I've seen him climb down a 50 foot well in the desert in hoes of finding water. If he had taken the time to think about it, he would have realized that, seeing as how it was abandoned, there probably wouldn't be any water, and even if there was. if he had thought about it, he could have saved tons of calories, fluid, and not almost died if he simply hadn't gone down. And he does that crap all the time! because he can, because he has camera crew to save his ass.

  21. Bear doesn't really do much, his crew puts him in locations where there is plenty of food around and he hops around here and there.. he pretends to survive. Les Stroud gets left in an area for seven days, might eat, might not eat, tries to find food and shows you how to survive. Les Stroud ate his sled-dogs food that was covered in dog shit. He would've eaten the dogs next. Bear Gryll's stays in resorts and lodges while he's filming, and he has a camera crew EVERYWHERE he goes, if Bear gets hurt, you're telling me that his camera crew isn't going to try and help him? If Les get's hurt, he's got a way of signaling to his crew, but if his gear doesn't work he's dead. Les > Bear.

  22. "Les is also by himself for 7 days. No companionship (Bear has the cameraman)" lol.. Bear has a f***g caravan of 15+ people. You know, I can tell you the BIG JOKE about Bear. See, when Stewe Irwin was around, we didn't really care about these survival shows, because Irwin's show was much more interesting. Now when he's gone Bear (i give hime a credit for actually being around before Irwin died) tries liek hell to win over that audience. I can see he desparately tries to mimic Steve's cheerful attitude. That makes me puke in my mouth a bit. Not only his show is fake like hell, Bear also tries to steal some fame from great men. What a second-hand douche.. [spits]

    • Simply put, you have no clue what your talking about. This has to be a joke, no ?

      • This comment was supposed to be directed at Wilderness Survival Guy, who apparently doesn't know his ass from his elbow...

      • It was more evaluating of "Discovery Channel" business strategy.

  23. east or west bear grylls is the best

    • @Tyler....Bear has more experience? Like living in the woods with little to none in respects to modern tool for an entire year? Oh yeah, wait, that was Les. And there was no cavalry for that, no Discovery channel safety crew. Even on Survivorman his safety crews were many times dangerously far off, to the point where they had to call off some shows because the safety crew couldn't have reached him if they would have stayed later due to weather or other dangers. Do your research on Bear's resume compared to Les's. While Bear was off playing British reserve commando, Les was "surviving" without necessarily guaranteed pay for it. Bear rarely shows anything worth note taking for us normal folks. Most of his "demonstrations" are not only staged but useless information. Les has WAY more experience ACTUALLY surviving. I'll take Les Stroud over Bear anyday.

    • Sure....as long as there is a safety crew intimately close by. I'd like to see Mr. Reserve British Commando go a year in the bush without modern tools like Les Stroud :)

  24. Both shows are a bit unrealistic. Grylls, does a lot of staging for the camera, and it wouldn't be wise to expect you can do what he does in a real survival situation. Stroud has the theory right, but he doesn't have much practice, because many of the things he tries don't really work out.

    • Im sorry, I have to enlighten you for a moment. Have you ever been in a real survival situation? Likely not, because if you have been you'd know that everything you do, whether thats building shelter, gathering food/water or tending to a wound, is 10 TIMES HARDER than in the comfort of your backyard or home... every little pain or discomfort is amplified by the knowledge that you might not live another day if you dont warm up, eat, drink or stop bleeding. So don't sit here and say, "Stroud has the theory right, but he doesn't have the practice, because many of the things he tries don't really work out." Les literally has decades of training, his only disadvantage is that he's actually in a life or death situation... whereas Bear is in a comfortable Suit at the end of every night he films. Im offended that Bear even implies he's "surviving," it's disrespectful to the people who have actually lived and died in these situations.

      • this is a tv show dude but he knows what he is talking about,for anyone who watches they get to gain some knoledge for a time you would hope does not come

  25. I'LL TAKE LES HANDS DOWN ANY DAY; ALTHOUGH BOTH I WOULD IMAGINE REALLY DO HAVE WILDERNESS SURVIVAL SKILLS LES ACTUALLY IS ACTUALLY ALONE IN A SUVIVAL SITUATION. WHICH IS WHY I WATCH THE SHOW. BESIDES I LIKE HIS DRY REALISTIC SENSE OF HOUMOR.

  26. I have to disagree on this post. I believe Les Stroud demonstrated more survival techniques that a realistic situation would demand. Yes, Bear has his points. But you can tell they have staged most of the location for the filming of the location. Bear also puts himself in unnecessary danger and takes risks for the sake of "entertainment". In a real survival situation, you do not want to take unnecessary risks for fear of injury. Breaking a bone makes surviving much more difficult. Les is also by himself for 7 days. No companionship (Bear has the cameraman), most of the time Stroud's safety crew is quite a ways off as well. So if Les is hurt severely, it could be his life. In a real survival situation, you have to think about being there for a while. There is no guarantee of immediate rescue. Bear covers insane amounts of ground and never stops taking risks, never really considering the fact that in a real survival situation, you have no way of knowing you will be recovered. Covering that much ground will not only wear you out, but expose you to the elements without shelter. The reason Bear seems to find all that stuff so quick is because they know that it's there before they film the show. I don't believe Les scouts his locations down to the minor details. But, who knows, that's just my opinion. Both are fantastic shows and great survival experts. I have to take Les over Bear on this one. But I'm grateful for both and watch them religiously. :)

    • JUDGING BOTH IS WRONG.AS THE NAME IMPLIES BEAR IS DOING A "MAN VS WILD" SO HE IS SHOWING US HOW TO DEAL WITH WILD.ON CONTRAST LES IS MUCH MORE INTO SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES.SIMPLE!!!!!

  27. Bear is better. He has openly admitted to having some oppurtunities stages so he can show us what to do. That is a good thing. You learn more from his show whether it's fake or not, and it's much more entertaining along the way. It's a win-win. Les Stroud starves slowly, I can already do that; there is no need to watch it, however real it is. People also say Les's show is more realistic. How is carrying who knows how many camera's around and filming yourself realistic. He wastes time and energy he could be surviving which detracts from his abilities to survive and his show.

    • Mike I'm going to lay this shit down plain and simple BEAR is a BITCH. You say that he openly admitted to having some opportunities stages so that you would know what to do and you don't know why not having a camera crew is realistic. Bear once had to cancel a shoot because there was a lighting storm out in the wilderness. Instead of staying out in it he booked a 3 star luxury suite at a local Holiday Inn. So if we all listen to Bear when our plane crashes out and were stranded out in the middle of nowhere we should just look for a Holiday Inn in a lightning storm. Les starving and bear not has a lot to do with why Les doesn't have a camera crew and Bear does. Do you really think the camera man and sound guy will be sleeping on the ground eating raw snakes in the swamp with Bear? No they will have a nice tent with sleeping bags pillows AND MOST IMPORTANTLY FOOD lots and lots of food. When Bear takes a bite out of his raw snake or cat fish there is a commercial break before he swallows...how convenient. Thats because he spits out the raw shit and enjoys a hot fully cooked meal sitting in a chair sipping a evian with his buddies around a fire that was lit with gasoline and a lighter. When your stranded out in the wild your not going to have food water or shelter just given to you will have to work for it in order to SURVIVE! Bottom line and this is for all of the Bear supporters out there. Bear is an idiot and a fake. Les knows what he is doing and his show proves it.

      • Are you serious? you think Les couldnt get help at literally anytime if he needed? doesnt matter if their together or not neither of them use the help, Sure he carries around cameras.. but he hardly moves from the starting area which makes up for all of that. Bear tries wayyy more things, I dont care if some of it is staged.. its all about the knowledge and bear has 10x more the Les. He easily has more experience and a much better "resume" for surviving in the wilderness. If i had to pick one or the other to be lost in the jungle with. I would pick Bear hands down. The only reason Les is decent is because hes canadian.. which makes him auto badass.

      • Yeah man, I hear ya. Dude, just checkout how many people have actually survived survival ordeals because of Les' brilliant and wise advice. Les is the real deal and his experience, actions, and outcomes prove it in other people's live. PEOPLE ARE ALIVE NOW BECAUSE OF LES' ADVISE... nuff said, bear bitches.

  28. @Shaun, I'll reply to your post point by point. "No, you see Les just starves himself in the middle of the where ever he is, you see thats not the key to survival, if Les was out there for a month with what only the produces give him, lets see whos better then." It's definitely true that Les has a tendency to starve or survive on very meager portions; however, that's because he's put into an actual survival situation. Bear Grylls, as it has been established, is never actually IN a survival situation. Survivorman is an attempt to actually document what survival is like, which often includes a dearth of food. Because Les isn't being fed nightly by his crew and 'stumbling upon' cleverly placed food caches, he's less likely to eat enormous portions. With that being said, what he does eat (from scorpions to geckos to coconuts), he has ACTUALLY found for himself... a feat far out of Bear's repertoire. "Also Bear doesnt need to prove that he is tough, his giving and entertaining show about survival, he has done alot more than Les, and Bear has alot more training then Les. And Bear has done has completed some of the Hardest and Dangerous training and explorations ever." I think this is really the key point here - the delineation between entertainment and survival. You're right about one thing - Bear's show is NOT about surviving. It's about jumping around and entertaining the audience. In reality, the feats that Bear Grylls is doing on his show would get you killed in a real survival situation. He jumps idiotically from rock to rock, downclimbs mountains and unnecessarily gets wet. In real life, that shit gets you killed. So - you're right. Bear Gryll's show is DEFINITELY not a survival show. And that seems to be the problem. On a television level, it's exactly like the difference between WWF/WWE wrestling and ACTUAL wrestling. The first is fake and scripted, and the second is an actual sport practiced by athletes. As for training, I'm not really sure what benchmarks you're using to measure this. It's certainly true that, as a former military agent, Bear Grylls has a set of skills that Les Stroud does not have; however, as an actual wilderness survival expert, Les Stroud has a set of skills and knowledge that Bear Grylls lacks. "And for roughing it, Bear goes through alot more than Les, on Suvivorman he just sits around and talks, Bear goes through caves, swamps and thick forest, climbs up mountains and swims away into the Pacific Ocean on a raft, so for roughing it i think bear easily wins" Again, you're making the mistake of thinking that Bear is actually 'roughing it'. He's not. He stays in hotels, he wanders through elaborately planted sets, and the crew carries his gear. That's why he has the energy to do stupid shit. If he gets injured, he's 30 seconds away from a medical crew, and thus he's willing to do silly things for the camera. If you actually believe that, put into a survival situation, he would do those things... then I'm not really sure what to tell you. His show has some of the FAKEST setups I have ever seen (swinging a chain blindly onto a railway bridge and magically 'hooking it' on a non existing hold?) As for location, I'm not sure what you're talking about. Les has survived in deserts, jungles, mountains, the ocean, thick forests and much more. The difference is that he ACTUALLY SURVIVED. Listen, Bear Grylls is fun to watch. He's play-acting out all of the Indiana Jones scenarios that we all dream about when we're kids. But the key is that he's PLAY ACTING. It's not real. Again, if you're watching Bear's show and believing it, then I'd really suggest a reality check.

  29. No, you see Les just starves himself in the middle of the where ever he is, you see thats not the key to survival, if Les was out there for a month with what only the produces give him, lets see whos better then. Also Bear doesnt need to prove that he is tough, his giving and entertaining show about survival, he has done alot more than Les, and Bear has alot more training then Les. And Bear has done has completed some of the Hardest and Dangerous training and explorations ever. And for roughing it, Bear goes through alot more than Les, on Suvivorman he just sits around and talks, Bear goes through caves, swamps and thick forest, climbs up mountains and swims away into the Pacific Ocean on a raft, so for roughing it i think bear easily wins.

    • It's not about "roughing" it, it's about "surviving". Les would be fine for a month. The thing that gets Les is that he knows he is getting pulled out in 7 days. So if food is to much of a problem, he can stick it out. Bear stages just about every situation he does. I respect his training, I respect his experience. But as far as the show is concerned, it's just unrealistic. He "happens" upon most of everything that keeps him alive during the taping. In a real situation, the fact is, you just don't "stumble" across all that.

      • NOTICE THE SHOW TITLE.THE SHOWS ARE DIFFERENT.MAN VS WILD WILL HAVE TO SHOW A MAN INTO WILD NOT JUST SITTING.SURVIVORMAN IS CONTRARY.ITS JUST BOUT SURVIVAL NOT ABOUT WILD.

  30. In the episode "Big Sky Country" (Man vs. Wild)... Bear just 'happens' to: - find a sunken canoe in the middle of a lake - make a kite which he uses a sail across a lake - throw a grappling hook ACROSS a canyon in order to make a zipline - find an abandoned house - find an abandoned telephone pole which he pulls down for cable (which he conveniently uses to make a zip line) - find an abandoned mine shaft which happens to have exactly the chain links he needs. WHAT LUCK! Furthermore, he... - continues to talk about how dangerous being wet and cold is, but has no reservations about continuously dunking himself in literally every body of water he comes across. - happens to have a flint stick and tinder for EVERY fire he needs to make - jumps around dangerous terrain without concern for his own safety It's almost as if the entire show is completely staged... ...oh wait. Survivorman is kind of boring, but at least it's legitimate. And Les isn't such a macho alpha man, so you can actually care about him. He's got something on the line.

  31. They're both good, but Bear's show is.. well a TV show, but Survivorman makes you care about him. He could get injured and they'd pick up only his corpse after a week. Umm .. aside from these two men - what is that show on Discovery where one dude (looks quite young) walks around, eats shit and explains something (I guess) connected with surviving in a terrible manner? That show blows. The dude looks very unexperienced. I better watch super-old Crocodile Hunter tapes than that.

  32. Bear is fake, its all over youtube, Les is better.

  33. Bear's latest show proves that it's all just the biggest gimmick. It's as real as Die Hard for Pete's sake. Mr. Stroud can actually accomplish something, but those who so vehemently adore Mr. Grylls' show for its "authenticity" prove themselves to be little more than intellectually feeble. Lucky for Discovery, the show is aiming for that exact, un(der)educated target audience.

  34. You can suck it!!! bear grills is a wimp les goes in harder areas, he's alone, with camera gear for the climbing. Les uses more methods for starting fire than flinting and using different tinder, he has used a vine, rubbing a stick and way more. Lots of people say bear grylls is eating and drinking behind seens. So screw bear grylls les stroud all the way in my book the score is: Les:5 Bear:1 Ties:0 Bear is horrible, better than me, but Les owns him...

  35. Bear Grylls only finds water and food, because they are planted by the crew. Bear is a fraud, end of story.

    • bear is the best true some stuff you cant do but most people who would go out in the enviroment he would and gets lost is most likely in good shape and able to fo most of his stunts short and plus there is a story of a lost kid who surviced 15 days becouse he did the thing bear did so the bear haters shut up and watch man vs wild and surviver man becouse they are bothe good shows and they bothe show you good things to survive.

      • lol, les stroud went 5/7 days in north ontario in the winter with only his left arm to use bear sucks.

  36. Bear Grylls show is smarter for one thing. When your out there surviving, your not going to be carrying a ridiculous amout of camera gear with you. And most of the time your going to be looking for a way out, not just sitting aroud waiting for a rescue unless your on a deserted island. Bear wins...

    • Yeah, your right. Cause Bear has other people carry the camera gear, and plant the food he finds, and tell him the route to take to get out, oh and lets not forget fly him to a hotel at night so he doesnt have to sleep outside. You lame ass Bear fans always spout the same things, that Bear is the man because he can scale a sheer rock face or swim a rapids without a boat or blah blah extreme blah blah. What you are forgetting is that he was trained in the special forces. HE can do those things but you people, no way. If you attempted any of Bears stunts (and lets face it, thats all Bear has is stunts and flash) they would find your corpse at the bottom of that rock face or jammed against a log in those rapids. We the people watching his show cant do the things he does so they are absolutely USELESS as far as survival techniques go. So sure, keep watching Bear because he is extreme, but lets not kid ourselves, Les is truly the only one who does a survival show.

    • bear is the best true some stuff you cant do but most people who would go out in the enviroment he would and gets lost is most likely in good shape and able to fo most of his stunts short and plus there is a story of a lost kid who surviced 15 days becouse he did the thing bear did so the bear haters shut up and watch man vs wild and surviver man becouse they are bothe good shows and they bothe show you good things to survive

    • He has equiptment so he can make a show, not because he thinks people are gonna have cameras with them when surviving

  37. we all know it... bear's a fake. Les rules!!

  38. One thing I notice from avidly watching both programs is that Bear traverses a lot of extreme terrain that a middle age man with 50 lbs of media equiptment doesn't and likely couldn't. It doesn't matter much to me that Les does his own shots, I like watching a guy jump through the 'hoops', making serious miles in dangerous landscapes. Why? Because while I'm capable of filming myself for seven days, I know I can't, however, physically climb the way Bear does.

  39. Bear is an idiot... 'nuf said

  40. On one episode GRYLLS broke his shoulder, and if it wasn't for his crew right there baby sitting him he would have died. Grylls would win? COME ON! You Bear ass kissers have been raised watching too many cartoons. Les is the REAL DEAL. Bear drinks his own toxic piss without distilling it. Can't survive on that. Les survives, Bear FAKES IT! wake up.and,... oh yeah, Berto Levario is a homo.

    • YEAH, WELL SAID!!!!!!!!!!!!! couldn't have said it better Larry

  41. i think les would win but i aslo think they both should have some type of competion or something

  42. bear grylls would win but i love both shows

  43. Wrong wrong wrong in my opinion. Les Stroud would absolutely win in this situation. The reason Grylls might 'appear' to find food and water more easily is because he and the crew ALL go out looking for it and then let him know where it is. The food segments are faked. Animals are set up for him to kill. Bear's show is fine but it a TV show ABOUT survival techniques NOT a show showing a guy actually surviving. With Les on the other hand, you are watching someone actually doing it.

  44. Great points Me. md just doesn't want to get it though. I enjoy Survivorman because it gives my brain something to digest, while ManVsWild stimulates only the senses. Now of course Les has a radio, no use risking death if you can avoid it, and probably for insurance purposes as well. Again, Les doesn't teach you how to starve.' I'll tell you how to do that right now; just stop eating. He shows you how NOT to starve, I mean, he eats like a king, comparative to what the laymen would gather. What your not understanding md is that sustenance is truly hard to come by in a REAL situation, and that Les doesn't ever 'starve'.....he is still alive. md seems biased towards grylls and I suspect hardly watches Stroud, and I admit that I've seen every episode of survivorman, and that I hardly pay attention to Grylls.

  45. The thing is bear sometimes does cheat a bit like go google and they have a bearwiki page on the things he faked and about 70% of the things that are comfirmed by crew members and tehres easily over 50 things listed that are faked, so when it comes to surviving for long periods of time i have no doubt that les would survive longer then bear, and that les is more talented at making shelts becasuse alot of the time bear recieves help making his shelters and instead of staying there goes to a hotel.

  46. Interesting. Euslace has some good points, and I understand what md is saying. That being said, I think that some things need to be cleared up. First, Grylls certainly HAS the past knowledge from his service to survive. He was an instructor in the SAS. Second, Les Stroud HAS survived in the wild for a year. Neither of those are things that people just "do." The point that people miss, however, is that Grylls, with his SAS background, would NOT do any of the stuff you see him doing in his show if he was in a survival situation. He'd end up a lot more like Les, who does very well. Until you have actually had to survive miles from civilization, you might not be able to understand it. Now, in his show, Grylls, according to some, does stupid things to show you how to survive said stupid things...but...well, you don't drink urine, sorry. Falling in ice does happen, and Stroud did an entire long segment dedicated to that, and he had both natives and a medical team with an MD to explain the physiology of what happens. Grylls hooks people because he's extreme. Anyone familiar with real survival will know that the things in the show are just for show, and they'll get you killed. Interestingly, I talked to a survival expert about two months ago, and he brought up Grylls, as he apparently helped with one episode. According to him, Grylls team didn't have a clue what they were doing. Sure, Grylls knows how to survive, but his show is not realistic, and some of the "bad situations" he puts himself in to "show you how to get out of" are situations that are best gotten out of by explaining not to get in them, ever.

  47. Man Vs. Wild should NEVER EVER be watch for information on SURVIVAL. It is strictly of entertainment value. If you were to follow Mr. Edward Grylls' examples in a survival situation, you would perish quickly. Should he be running around like he seems to do, constantly? NO, conserve your energy! Should he be climbing slippery rocks, spindly trees, or flipping backwards down waterfalls? NO, any injury is magnified in a survival situation! Does he build shelter and face the stark solitude and danger of a real survival situation? NO, is with a camera crew, films most episodes within a few hundred feet from highways, and sleepsat motels! Whoever posted this article in the first place obviously has not been told that 'Man vs. Wild' is staged; the reason he seems better at finding food and water is because his team goes out before filming to find it first. You said, you're sure he doesn't 'cheat' by eating/drinking the crew's supplies? Well guess what, HE'S NOT TRYING TO SURVIVE. I also find it funny that you point out the ONE time we have ever seen Les Stroud have difficulty building a shelter. Perhaps if you watched his show you would know that he is hands down THE master of shelter-creation. Have we EVER seen Mr. Grylls build ONE shelter? NO. Whoever it was that posted this article obviously has not watched more than two episodes of Survivorman, and it the category really is SURVIVAL SKILLS, Les Stroud wins, hands &%#$ing down. If the category is ENTERTAINMENT, ACTION/ADVENTURE/FANTASY, then the award goes to Mr. Edward Michael Grylls. "Most Extreme Human" my left nut! ITS A TV SHOW! ITS NOT REAL GUYS!

    • Alright, as we all know Bear Grylls was a member of the SAS, commonly thought of as the most elite special forces in the world, only comparable to Navy SEALs. All special forces are taught wilderness survival and actually have to use it to survive (this means he can regardless of whether his show is real). He does more extreme stuff because he's had the training and knows how to do so. Now lets assume he DOES stay in hotels, you still see him act out, on camera, many important techniques such as finding food, water, and building shelter. (and some crazier stuff like jumping in frozen lakes to show you how to get out, a very useful thing to know). And are you kidding me, you've never seen bear make a shelter? He's done A-frames, raised platforms, even hamocks for gods sake. Anyway the point is you walk away from his show knowing some useful things regardless of if its real or not. All you walk away from Les Stroud's show knowing is how to slowly starve to death for seven days, then come be rescued by your crew. So not only is that now useful, it isn't entertaining.

      • You really need to make the distinction between ENTERTAINMENT and INFORMATION, thats key in this discussion. Les Stroud teaches you how to starve?? Bear doesn't really find those grubs and snakes and whatnot, his crew does...so they can film him eating it live...because that gets ratings....beacuse its a &%#$ing entertainment show. do you really believe that 'Bear' is in a survival situation on his show? FALSE. I am aware of his training, but he does things out in the wilderness that any reasonable person would ABOLSUTELY NEVER DO, in a RRREEEAAALLLL, survival situation. There is not a single coherrent argument for 'Bear' being a survivalist. I am sorry. "But he's so cool!!"......yes.....but its not survival. Stroud on the other hand; there are people around the world who claim to have lived through a survival situation from watching Survivorman, that speaks for itself. You really need to make the distinction between ENTERTAINMENT and INFORMATION, thats key in this discussion.

      • We've established some stuff is staged already, i get that, but that's the point. If he has more situations presented to him then he can show you how to handle them, therefore you learn more. ANd are you kidding me? All Les Stroud does is starve. If they left him out there one more week he'd be dead. There are 2 or 3 exceptions, for instance Australia. HE got a pretty good amount of food, however he also had to come be rescues via GPS and SUV. That's some surviving for you! I mean everyone in a survival situation has a team on standby, a radio, and a GPS.... oh wait. However, when you really get down to it, neither would help one of us survive much, you can't replace an hour long TV show with wilderness training and experience. You can learn some cool tricks, but that will just make you die happier.

  48. bear grylls is purely an entertainer and cannot survive without his camera crew who alot of times find his food

  49. Actually bear grylls is fake my cousin goes on a bunch of backpacking trips and her guide once told her that bear was droped 5 miles out of a big city and stayed at a hotel during the nights

  50. This whole thing is beginning to sound like " LET'S GET READY TO RUMBLE" -- BEAR VS.LES. i always thought the intention of the show was to explain different survival tactics to the person watching the show; not competition such as who is better and all that. Watching both has given me a lot of ideas and knowledge.. That is the way I will continue to observe it. Although I will say AGAIN: If you are stuck in the middle of the Everglades BY YOURSELF, it is a total difference than when you have people with you or watching out for you, If you do not believe me then TRY IT. Spending 3 days in the Everglades and not seeing one water moccasin, would be like walking in downtown New York City and not seeing any people. I only use the Everglades as an example. I am sure there are many other scenarios.

  51. Bear wins in my opinion. I mean, by all means watch survivorman if you'd like to know how to not get enough food to sustain yourself. If he was out there for another week he'd die. On the other hand bear grylls has passed up on killing animals because he already had more than enough food. But les could still do a hell of a lot better than most of us, and he's fun to watch. But bear still wins.

    • You do know that just about all the food Bear has "found" has been provided for him by his crew? So claiming Bear is "better" in any way because he "finds food" and Les doesn't is a gross misrepresentation. Facts are your friend.

      • Chris Needham

        Yep. After I wrote the post a while back I read the news about many of Bear's situations being presented to him. I've got a little update at the bottom of the article indicating that, but it's easy to miss.

      • In that case bears' crew is better at surviving then both of them.

    • On the show, sure Bear Grylls wins. But beings that it is scripted, and Grylls is being very heavily aided - strike that, he is being sustained by his producers - while Les is actually surviving, Les wins in actual survival. Saying that Grylls wins is like comparing the worlds strongest man to the Incredible Hulk - sure, in the movie, the Hulk is portrayed as much stronger than the worlds strongest man. But the actor that played him is, in actuality, much weaker than this man.

  52. It is impossible to determine who the better survivalist is for many reasons: First of all, there is no way to record statistics for an accurate comparison. Secondly, Bear and Les are put in completely different circumstances, which have their advantages and disadvantages. For example Bear has a camera crew, which allows him to be less cautious and take greater risks, while Les has is alone, meaning he has to worry about his camera equipment, also giving him a strict 7 day time limit. Both shows have unrealistic scenarios. The only way to test their true abilities would be to put them in the same situation alone, with no planned rescue or cameras. The winner would be the first to find rescue, but even then, we still wouldn't have an absolute answer because each of them has their strengths and weaknesses in certain environments. There is also an age difference which I think should be put in to consideration, and the factor of Luck. Sorry for the long comment, but I think everyone should know this before putting up Opinion-based answers.

  53. Les wins. I live in rural western Montana and often go on long hikes, sometimes with just me and a gun. On a couple of occasions I've become stranded, and on both I've been just fine. Les does the right thing; a lot of Bear's stuff could possibly incapacitate you. From what I know, Les and his wife once lived for a year w/o outside contact in Canada. His show is more valuable.

  54. Bear Grylls was in the TA SSA this isn't like the normal SAS. It's the reserve SAS where going to war is optional, he would have been in the TA SAS and also had a normal job.

  55. I think that Les is better hands down beacuse he is on his own.

  56. Jekyll, Its a TV show, if somethings weren't stage it would make for extemely boring TV. Bear is Ex SAS... nuff said.

    • Some people say that Bear Grylls' show is more exciting. Well it aught to be. It is staged and directed for the camera to make it seem exciting. Of course he always catches food, finds water and has a "death defying stunt". It is all faked. Scouted out in advance, he is flown in to the place they want to shoot. They shoot the night scenes and then bugger-off back to the hotel. They find the water so that Bear can "discover it". They set traps for him and bring in tame animals so that Bear can "catch them". Bear has done nothing more dangerous than any number of hollywood stars who do their own stunts. He has advisors teach him everything he needs to do for that portion of the show. He is a stuntman and not much more. And half of the stuff he recommends doing is the ABSOLUTE LAST thing you should do if you were really in his situation. It is done for entertainment, it is no more reality than the Bachelor or Survivor. Les Stroud however actually survives on his own in environments most of us would die in. He films himself with no outside support. He sleeps in the wild for the entire duration. Nothing is faked. nothing is staged. If a bear comes by then a bear comes by. They don't dress up crew members to act like a bear because there are no crew members. There are no helicopters to take him back to the hotel when the filming is done. He finds his own way out and actually spends 7 days surviving. Les is a survivor who is teaching people how to survive, what to expect and rules to live by: Fire, Shelter, Water, Food. Oh yeah... Bear is ex 21 SAS which is the reserves (Territorial Army = Part-time) and he was in for 3 years. Figure 1 weekend a month and 4 weeks in the summer... he was in for about 500 days total.

  57. Ha! Bear is a total fake. I used to buy into his show hook, line and sinker, but the guy is a total fake. I wouldn't take advice from him. Anyone can find food when the producers leave it there for you. Anyone can build a shelter or raft if its done for you and then taken apart so it looks like you did it yourself. Les wins, no contest.

  58. I think that the key is to watch both shows for what they are, and pick-up as many tactics or skills any way that you can. Both shows are very educational. They each have their set-backs; but what doesn't. Right now- you build fires, build huts, hunt for water , and eat. Eventually, to survive, they will have to go furthur: such as geting bit by a poisonous snake, scorpion, or spider- and then surviving under that condition. Or being very ill from drinking bad water, etc,etc.

  59. Chris Needham

    Shane, I think what is bothering people, me included, is that Bear strongly implied that he was roughing it. Staying in a hotel or arranging for horses to be in a field doesn't diminish the value of his lessons, but not being truthful about the circumstances doesn't sit well.

    • While it is disappointing that so much of the material is falsified, if you google what Bear Grylls has achieved in his life & some of the extreme events he has undertaken, you'd have to be pretty naive to bad-mouth him as a pussy or fraud. The guy's resume speaks for itself. His biggest failing from what i can see is the ridiculous names he's lumbered his children with.

  60. I think Bear is awesome I like to learn all I can about the outdoors and like to think of me knowing alot before the shows.But I find myself learning something new every episode.By far in my eyes Bear wins.Watching Les Stroud is like watching McGuyver on discovery health theres more walking and taking apart stuff then there is learning.I have to give both men props for roughing it like they do.I know theres rumors that Bear stayed in a hotel a few nights. But if you ask me there is no reason to stay all night as long as they get the learning experience across to the viewers and the footage they need for the show.Cause I don't care about watching men freaking out over sounds with a runny nose in night vision.

  61. Chris Needham

    Randy, I too have learned a lot from Bear Grylls. However, I do believe that the general advice is to assess your situation and not necessarily try to "get out". You need to ask yourself how likely you are to succeed and also whether anyone knows where you are. It makes it a lot harder to be rescued if you are on the move. At the same time, if no one knows you're even gone, then staying put isn't likely going to end well.

  62. I wondered that myself about not being attacked, as we saw in the Savannah with Bear. I could imagine some of the camera crew are armed in case of some sort of attack that, ofcourse, we would never see. Then look at the late Croc-Hunter, he was insane (which was fun) and knew limits of where he could or could not go that may provoke serious danger. Perhaps Bear knows the same limits. However, I have learned more than I could have ever known by watching Bear over Les. If I was stranded I wouldn't wait around, I would go for it as Bear does and try to find my way out. It would be cool to see if he would ever take someone with him, just to see what it is like first hand. I would certianly go!

  63. Chris Needham

    Val, I've been watching more and more of Suvivorman and I certainly appreciate the challenges he faces by being alone. Even though Bear's crew doesn't help him, there is certainly some psychological benefit in having them nearby. I've been getting the Survivorman DVDs from Blockbuster so I imagine you could too if you wanted to check him out. His style is more low-key than Bear's, but still entertaining and informative.

  64. 1) I have never watched Survivorman; but if Les does this by himself; then this has to be 90 % of any scoring model. Bear was very lucky to have a crew with him in the Everglades. With 1 person sneaking through the swamp things are going to happen. The risk is much much less when you have a crew. Again: water moccasins were left out; probably because of the crew noise. He also went thru Africa savannah without being attacked by anything. By himself this would be rare. But; both need someone to take pictures of what they are doing. I like Bear's ability to use logic- such as "you can't just stand there- you gotta do something! Les waited 5 days before building a raft in the Ga swamp. There is not a heck of a lot to do for 5 days in any swamp, except to try and get out.

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