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For you "Man vs Wild" fans

10:18 p.m. on June 23, 2009 (EDT)
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According to this story , a 9-yr-old boy survived being lost in the northern Utah mountains because he had learned all about survival from the Discovery Channel "Man vs Wild" program. So there! Those of you who thought it was unrealistic are hereby proven wrong (he says while rolling on the floor, laughing hysterically).

When he realized he'd been separated from his family on a weekend hike in a northern Utah forest, 9-year-old Grayson Wynne's thoughts turned to television.

Grayson watches "Man vs. Wild" on the Discovery Channel every week with his brothers and his dad. On the show, host and adventurer Bear Grylls strands himself in the wilderness and then shows viewers how to survive the sticky situations.

That's where Grayson says he learned to leave clues behind to help searchers find him.

On Saturday, when he was scared and alone in the Ashley National Forest, Grayson started tearing up his yellow rain slicker, despite the intermittent downpours, and tying pieces to trees.

"I just used my hands," said Grayson, who was found safe Sunday after spending 18 hours lost in the forest. "I don't know how many times I tore the thing but quite a lot."

Grayson was among a party of about 15 family members that left Saturday from the Spirit Lake trailhead in Daggett County. The group stopped to tighten a saddle on a horse at some point, said Grayson's dad, Kynan Wynne. But Grayson didn't realize it and went ahead of the pack before diverting onto a smaller trail in the thick forest.

Although Kynan Wynne was concerned for his son's safety, he was also confident in the boy's resilience.

"Somewhere he got the idea that for multiple reasons, not just for people to find you, but to retrace your steps if you have to, to leave a trail," Kynan Wynne said.

Grayson created a small shelter overnight under a fallen tree. The next day, he decided to follow a creek in hopes of finding help.

"I (thought I) might find the lake, that there might be somebody at the lake," he said.

Grayson, who will start fourth grade in the fall, also left a couple of clues for searchers that he didn't mean to.

He dropped a granola bar wrapper about 300 yards off the main trail. Searchers also found a small footprint and a backpack about 400 yards from the wrapper.

"I was just being pretty stupid that I dropped the backpack," Grayson said. "I was just panicking too much."

When Grayson heard a helicopter overhead, he ran into a meadow and waved the last piece of his jacket. But two searchers on horseback saw him first.

"It was such a good feeling that I was going to be all right," said Grayson, who got back to normal Monday by playing in a Little League double-header.

When he was reunited with his father, Grayson's first words were "Happy Father's Day."

The Daggett County sheriff's office credited the searchers, volunteers and Grayson's common sense for the positive outcome.

"The thing that he recognized from the show, regardless of the circumstances you're in, you are capable of surviving," Kynan Wynne said.

I have a few doubts of the wisdom of tearing up his rain jacket to leave clues, plus dropping his pack. Best bet would have been "Stay Put!"

2:14 p.m. on June 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Very true Bill. This was just dumb luck. It does not sound like the rain jacket crumb trail had anything whatsoever to do with his rescue.

 

The show has on many occasions showed Bone Head following a river or stream to civilization. This kid should have stayed put. True survival training would have taught him this. Bone Heads show made him think he had to find his way out.

5:05 p.m. on June 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Well in the kids defense at least he tried and didn't roll over die so to speak like so many people do.

As far as staying put I wouldn't stay put either but for different resins namely because it would be a week before anyone missed me (its not uncommon for me to extend my trips just because I want too). But then agine I am the type of person that if I get myself into something ill get myself out of it, I don't really want anyone to do it for me some help with it is ok but I'm not just going to sit around and wait. And I have picked up a couple tips from Man vs Wild that could actually work in an extreme situation I find the show funny in a way but in no way do I believe every thing on it.

I have read a lot of the different post's here about survival story's, kit's, gear etc. And I agree with about 50% of them but that's me. In my eyes there are basically 2 ways to do survival the right way and the wrong way. If you live through it you did it right and hopefully learned from your experience If you die you did it wrong.

5:50 p.m. on June 24, 2009 (EDT)
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If you know where you are going, you should move, but staying put is critical. Man vs. Wild is a crock and I do not support it, I only watch it for a laugh. I watch Survivorman because he truly survives and is a great role model for kids.

7:18 p.m. on June 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I've never been lost, though I was turned around once for three days.

7:26 p.m. on June 24, 2009 (EDT)
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I posted in here awhile back about my wife and I's first back country adventure. We were trying to practice LNT and went off trail to set up camp in what looked like a nice open clearing. It turned out to be stinging nettles galore so we turned to head back to the trail and continue on until we found a better spot but guess what... someone moved the trail on us. I had her sit on a log, I took my pack off and did out and backs until we located the trail. It is amazing how easy it is to get turned around and "lost" in the forest.

12:36 a.m. on June 25, 2009 (EDT)
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If you know where you are going, you should move, but staying put is critical. Man vs. Wild is a crock and I do not support it, I only watch it for a laugh. I watch Survivorman because he truly survives and is a great role model for kids.

Applying the tools of the Special Forces trade is not a crock! There are a lot of people alive today because of the skills he learned and applies on his show.

7:50 a.m. on June 25, 2009 (EDT)
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It's one thing to learn about nature and the woods from a TV show and it's another to be actually outside under a backpack traveling thru a forest. The best scenario in my mind would be to be off the dreaded couch as a potato and outside in some wilderness with no clue of Bear Gyrlls, his show, or anything else on "Telederision".

9:29 a.m. on June 25, 2009 (EDT)
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The kid did good. What 9 year old that you know stays "put" for any ammount of time? Heck I have a hard time staying put myself. Good story, though.

12:08 p.m. on June 25, 2009 (EDT)
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outdrjunkie said:

If you know where you are going, you should move, but staying put is critical. Man vs. Wild is a crock and I do not support it, I only watch it for a laugh. I watch Survivorman because he truly survives and is a great role model for kids.

Applying the tools of the Special Forces trade is not a crock! There are a lot of people alive today because of the skills he learned and applies on his show.

Usersatch, it is not a crock if you are special forces and had months of training. It is a crock to think you can apply these skills, as shown on TV, and do it right. Did you see the one where he swims in an ice cold river... in the winter, to float downstream to find civilization? Did you notice the lifejacket he had on under his sweater? Putting this out there for the couch potatos... and 10 year olds to suck up and then think they can do it right, after watching a TV show... that is a crock.

 

It is pure entertainment, nothing more.

10:50 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Thank you BigSmoke. I have a lot of friends and family in the military and special forces training is great, for special forces.

11:22 p.m. on June 28, 2009 (EDT)
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Finally two people that don't get intimidated by someone that has a different outlook and can appreciate someones training. That doesn't sit and wait for some other person to come bail them out of a problem they got them self into. Most military training teaches you to get yourself out and to keep moving or at least mine did. But some people get all excited when someone doesn't agree to just stay put.

 

But ill probably irritate someone with that statement.

9:11 p.m. on June 29, 2009 (EDT)
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If you have the training to get out of a jam, you use it!

Most people, do not have that training, the advise to stay put, if truly lost, is intended to help the average person. It is good advise because the majority of people will make poor decisions under stress, especially when hungry and exhausted. Some will panic and start running around like a scared squirrel in the middle of the road just getting more and more lost while at the same time increasing the chance they may become injured.

So now they are injured, more lost, and panicking. Then it gets dark and real cold maybe. Then they hear things moving about in the dark, they start yelling for help, they sound scared and hurt to the animals in the woods.

Should have stayed put, close to the trail where you first got lost! That way the yelling or whistle blowing may do some good.

12:59 a.m. on July 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I agree that a young kid should not adopt the Bear Grylls approach. And probably quite a few adults for that matter. Should there be a better or more comprehensive disclaimer for the show? Not sure, but I'm pretty sure the existing one is adequate. Most of my non-SF friends say they would never try what he does on his shows, simply because they think he is crazy.

Is he full of shit? No. His approach is unique, suited to a particular group of individuals (however small). I can confindently say, however, that even if I didn't have the training I have had, I would still try some of his tricks of the trade if my situation was dire.

Personally, I enjoyed the juxtaposition of Bear and Les on the same network--both have good stuff to bring to the table. I am sad to see Les pursue other non-TV things.

I don't know if there are verifiable statistics to prove one way or the other, but I am curious to see the percentage of lost people who die in place compared to those who TACAMO.

Trouthunter...a whistle is absolutely indispensible!!!! Les proved that on one of his shows. Funny how a simple 99 cent item can save your life.

As for noises in the night, bullets have nothing on the sheer terror of a family of owls swooping over you in a patrol base in the middle of the night! My children laugh at me when I tell them that the scariest thing I ever did involved getting dive-bombed (actually, more like torpedo bombed) by a family of owls.

8:40 a.m. on July 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I don't know if there are verifiable statistics to prove one way or the other, but I am curious to see the percentage of lost people who die in place compared to those who TACAMO.

There's a book!

Lost Person Behavior by Robert Koester. There was a Q&A with him in the last Backpacker. (There's a short excerpt online.)

Koester works extensively in SAR and I think is an actuary or some other professional that deals with stats. In the article he said he started compiling the information to make his own job easier to know where to look for missing people, initially ones with dementia. It was one of the more interesting articles I've read in Backpacker in a while.

I don't know how the book, which I'm sure has lots of details, differentiates between very experienced, equipped hikers who stay put vs inexperienced hikers that stay put and so on, but in the magazine the author said many people blindly forge ahead hoping to find the trail or whatever, rather than going back to their last known location. And if you don't know your last known location and how to get back to it, you should sit tight.

I just bought the book, so I shall soon be enlightened further.

12:35 p.m. on July 4, 2009 (EDT)
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Alicia raises several good points.

I have been truly lost twice in my life, yes it's true and embarrassing too. Once at the age of 17 in Buckhouse swamp near Charleston SC, and once at the age of 26 in the Chattahoochee National Forest in N. Georgia.

I think that the sense of personal failure and embarrassment is a big reason some people forge ahead trying to find a trail. Who wants the humiliation of having to be rescued or having to explain to their hiking buddies why they are so late getting back to the trailhead or base camp?

Some will simply panic and forge ahead out of fear. It's getting dark, it's getting cold, oh crap I have no supplies with me!!! I don't want to die out here!! Everyone in that situation turns into a Christian for at least a few hours! Been there done that!

I would also like to know what the stats are regarding lost person behavior. Thanks for the heads up about Koester's book Alicia.

I think it boils down to preparedness, most dayhikers I encounter seem to be ill prepared for the possibility they may have to spend a night in the woods. Most backpackers have a shelter and extra clothing, food, etc. But it is hard to know what their navigation skills really are, or how prepared they are for an injury.

A serious injury in remote areas can have many of the same consequences of being lost even though you may know exactly where you are. If you break a leg you may still have to contend with the tendency to panic and most certainly with the pain. It will be much more difficult to make quality decisions now if you can not keep your witts about you.

When I got lost in the swamp at 17 yrs. old I was just out for a day hike on a known trail but left the trail to have a short look at a really cool swampy section. There were three of us, we had water and snacks, a lighter, and a jacket apiece. That is all. Oh...and no experience, or knowledge of the 10 essentials.

As it grew dark and we could not find the trail we panicked briefly but it was somewhat subdued by the knowledge that there were three of us and Buck house swamp was not that large of an area. Only problem was every direction we walked we ran into swamp water. How was this possible? After a long cold night of no sleep (we were scared to death we would be consumed by the gators) we were able to find the narrow strip of dry land we had walked in on. Whew!

The second time at age 26 I was well prepared and had a lot more experience, unfortunately my navigation skills were not up to the task of bushwacking in remote areas. I thought they were...gee I had read all the books and knew how to read maps, and knew how to find Polaris, etc. What could go wrong?

Getting lost is what goes wrong! I had only used my skills on known trails and short side trips. All of a sudden I was a little fuzzy about a lot of the technique I had read in the books.

Let's see now, was declination to the East or West in my area? You box the needle and orient the map and...uh, oh crap!! I had paid attention to my heading as I was hiking away from the trail I had been on but I was not keeping up with where I was on the map during this time. I had crossed several streams but these did not seem to be on the map. Where am I?!

STAY CALM...I've got plenty of food, shelter (tarp), and warm clothes. I decided to pull the famous 180! I turned around and followed the opposite heading back to the known trail. After 8 or 9 hours of pushing through bramble and sticker bushes I had not seen on the way in, and totally exhausted, I found a paved forest service road. Crap again...which way do I walk? Why didn't this heading take me back to that trail?

Nowadays it's funny! But it was reckless, and If I had become injured a S&R would have been necessary. Too many people, not all, worry about collecting gear and knowing every spec. for all the gear that is out there, and seem to neglect gaining realistic & usable navigation and first aid skills through practice. Or they do not take being prepared seriously due to a false sense of confidence in their survival skills as I did at the age of 26.

The 10 essentials is not a joke! But you must also work on your skill sets. I still have a lot to learn, but I know that now.

12:47 p.m. on July 4, 2009 (EDT)
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Some of the comments on Special Forces approach to "lost" remind me of our experience with a certain Coastie. He signed up for our High Adventure Training course, during which he proceeded to tell us that we were wasting time teaching basic map and compass when "modern electronic navigation systems" had completely made such old school stuff obsolete - "Nobody uses that anymore". Then he signed up for the Winter Camping course, and proceeded to state when walking into the course (before he had even seen the handouts and syllabus) that he would completely rewrite the course for us, since he had taught winter survival to Coast Guard personnel in Antarctica. The first thing he forgot (or just didn't realize) was that the HAT and Winter courses were to teach Scout adult leaders how to take adolescents in full hormonal flow on high adventure and winter trips. Adolescents, especially adolescent males in the 12-18 yo age range are at a very different stage of life than Coast Guard enlistees who have already been through Basic and have been on duty for a year or two. Adolescents are, as the old saying goes, "immortal, invulnerable, and omniscient" ("omniscient" means "know it all", just ask them). The venues are very different, the goals and motivations are very different, and the life experiences are very different.

Special Forces folks (Rangers, Seals, AF pilots - especially fighter pilots and even more especially carrier pilots) are trained and will be in combat situations. Frequently survival means, not just out in the woods, but you are in hostile territory with bad guys out intentionally to get you, armed with a lot of weaponry. This is different even than the situation where there are bears, poisonous snakes, and cliffs to fall over. The bad guys have a clue that you are there and are intentionally seeking you. If you stay put, they are likely to find you, and in many of those situations, will kill you or worse (a quick kill is a lot easier to deal with than an interrogation with "physical encouragement"). A lot of times, the SF folks get in the "lost" situation because they got shot down or because they were in the territory to do harm to the bad guys (who aren't exactly waiting with open arms).

Our Coastie eventually realized after a couple years of dealing with the adolescents that there are these differences, and now says that our HAT and Winter courses are very well designed.

There is also a big difference between trained and experienced backpackers, climbers, backcountry skiers and inexperienced ones. One thing that makes a huge difference for Special Forces, experienced woodsies, and inexperienced folk alike is "attitude". The SF and woodsy folk generally have developed an attitude that will allow them to survive and often to self-extract. The inexperienced folk have neither the attitude nor the skills.

Therein lies the difference - The best advice for someone who does not have the skills, experience, tools, attitude is stay put. For those who have the skills, experience, tools, attitude, they will be able to judge whether to stay put or to move. The people in serious danger are the ones who believe they have the prerequisites but do not really have them. In the flying world, we refer to them as "fat, dumb, and happy". They are the ones the raptor plucks off the tree limb or the lion sneaks up on and devours, or the Darwin candidates who win the Darwin Award. The wise person knows where along that spectrum s/he is.

1:05 p.m. on July 4, 2009 (EDT)
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...Lost Person Behavior by Robert Koester. There was a Q&A with him in the last Backpacker. (There's a short excerpt online.)
Koester works extensively in SAR and I think is an actuary or some other professional that deals with stats. In the article he said he started compiling the information to make his own job easier to know where to look for missing people, initially ones with dementia. It was one of the

It happens that a man disappeared a couple days ago from a parking garage in Cupertino, who has dementia. The location is close to a park leading into the foothills of the mountains around here. S&R teams are out and have been searching with no results.

2:01 p.m. on July 4, 2009 (EDT)
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That's too bad things like that happen I hope all turns out ok could you keep us here posted with the out come.

May be a thread could be stated for people who are lost or misplaced only. I know it has been done before but on a per person situation. I am thinking an ongoing post being that summer is here and it seems to be a increasing problem. Not to mention thous of us here that are not involved in S&R (either ever or just not anymore) but just happen to be in an adjoining area, the extra pair of eye on the landscape could be beneficial to that person. But its just a thought

You would want to post a search contact number, description, area, and a volunteer contact number or location, synopses etc. All put in a copy & past templet so all the information is in the same place & format

But its just a thought.

1:19 a.m. on July 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Good thing the boy did not need to use Bear's TV training in scaling cliff faces and running down steep ridges when you are trying to survive.

1:36 a.m. on July 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Worse yet, could you imagine, just a few miles away from Mcdonald's, and thinking you have to eat grubs or a deer head (think of the Will Ferrell episode) to stay alive???

And no comments about eating Mickey D's being worse than eating an deer eyeball!!!

6:24 p.m. on July 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Everyone seems to have a different idea of what to do in a survival situation [and, for that matter, everyone seems to have a different idea on what the best gear is, strategies for bear avoidance/deterence, how to hike, etc.--notice a trend?], but I think all of us might find ourselves doing things we didn't think we'd do when sitting here at our desks typing on the computer.

The fact is, no one, except the highly trained, is going to recall all the innumerable things they're supposed to do in a survival situation. That's like expecting that a person will perform a perfect ballet dance routine simply from reading stuff on the Internet.

Likewise, I reckon more than a few will forget about "staying put" when there are extenuating circumstances like finding water, shelter, escaping danger, and wanting to keep their moralle up by actually doing something.

6:34 p.m. on July 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Worse yet, could you imagine, just a few miles away from Mcdonald's, and thinking you have to eat grubs or a deer head (think of the Will Ferrell episode) to stay alive???

That's probably my favorite SNL skit of all time. Between that and the motivational speaker.

6:54 p.m. on July 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Hey grimstuff,

I think you are right, there are definately reasons that you should not stay put. It is however great advice for beginers and kids, idealy you want them to sit down and quit traveling in the wrong direction as soon as possible. One good place to stay put would be near a stream, you would have water and food (like it or not), staying put does not necesarily mean motionless of course.

As Bill S. points out, if you have the skills to find your way back to a trail, you have got to make that decision for yourself, it may be the right one, for some the same decision will make the S&R guy/gals work their butts off.

10:13 p.m. on July 9, 2009 (EDT)
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I've been "lost" (more like completely turned around) in the woods twice. Both times very near my own home, both times carrying nothing more than what I was wearing. Now that I've proven to myself how bad my "sense of direction" is, I don't venture into the wilderness -or even the woods- without at least a compass. I also consciously look over my should where I've just been.

As for the 9 year old boy, I think he was lucky AND had a great attitude. Both saved him. The TV show had nothing to do with it.

10:26 p.m. on July 9, 2009 (EDT)
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PaulS....you're not the only one brother!

I agree, the boy was lucky and maintained PMA.

11:38 a.m. on July 10, 2009 (EDT)
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Aside from Man vs Wild being staged and absolutely ridiculous, I'm somewhat curious to know how many people have died by trying to do what he does in the show. His solution for everything is to free-climb a sheer wall of rock. He happened to grow up climbing and while it works for him, most people (myself included) do not have the ability to do that.

Anyway, that kid is lucky that it didn't start raining...it's hard to stay dry with your rain gear on trees.

 

 

Edit: And I also wonder if they would have found him sooner if they didn't have to follow his trail...

2:11 a.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I can't resist sharing this Survivorman photo taken today at Outdoor Retailer. Bill and I thought you guys would enjoy it after all these discussions.

By the way, Bill told Les about the reality show discussions on the forums and that Les seemed to be ahead of Bear in esteem.

"I should hope so," said Les, who went on a little about that other show.

11:29 a.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Nice picture guys

Remember that Man vs Wild, Suvivorman what ever the its still a TV show designed to get and maintain rating's. To a point there all just like professional wrestling B.S. Yes I like Man vs. Wild yes he has learned a different way of survival that a lot of people don't agree with. I tend to lean more towards saving my self and or my group verses having someone else do it for me but that's me and how I was taught. Just remember when your watching these TV shows and you thing the one you a watching is the only real one and the other ones are fake or staged. Here's a news flash for you people its all staged The almighty insurance company's wouldn't allow half of the stuff you see on camera so just thing whats off camera. Not to mention the hero of the show is never dirty there clothes always look clean and neat and there hair is always mostly neat as well.
So we should all think about that when we are arguing what show is real there all not so real and as I said before its more like professional wrestling staged.

5:32 p.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I can't resist sharing this Survivorman photo taken today at Outdoor Retailer. Bill and I thought you guys would enjoy it after all these discussions.

By the way, Bill told Les about the reality show discussions on the forums and that Les seemed to be ahead of Bear in esteem.

"I should hope so," said Les, who went on a little about that other show.

Lucky!! That's Awesome!!

6:58 p.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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That's awesome!

Make sure you guys tell Les to come visit the S. Appalachians sometimes. He and I would make a great team, I can get us lost and he can round up some grub.

You guys have fun at the show!

8:44 p.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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I have to admit that I've watched any of these reality shows maybe 1-2 times each, total. But, since I was at the SPOT press conference, along with Bill, the opportunity was perfect for this picture.

Les was very nice and seemed genuinely personable. He chatted and remembered our names and seemed like a nice guy. After I looked at the picture I thought, I should have brought him a Trailspace hat!

Now, if Bear had been at OR we could have had dueling photos!

9:02 p.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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It sound like you two are having a good time that's cool

10:03 p.m. on July 22, 2009 (EDT)
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Interesting story! I don't know how much of it is believable though!

12:31 a.m. on July 23, 2009 (EDT)
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I have to admit that I've watched any of these reality shows maybe 1-2 times each, total. But, since I was at the SPOT press conference, along with Bill, the opportunity was perfect for this picture.

Les was very nice and seemed genuinely personable. He chatted and remembered our names and seemed like a nice guy. After I looked at the picture I thought, I should have brought him a Trailspace hat!

Now, if Bear had been at OR we could have had dueling photos!

Dueling photos??? NO way! I'm thinking an eyeball or grub eating contest. Bear can claim that title all to himself.

1:54 a.m. on July 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Dueling photos??? NO way! I'm thinking an eyeball or grub eating contest. Bear can claim that title all to himself.

I don't think there would be much of a contest. Bear would defiantly runaway with the eating gross stuff. LOL

9:39 p.m. on July 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Here's the best I can do:

It's a cut-out (obviously) advertising some Bear Grylls outdoor clothing line.

10:39 p.m. on July 23, 2009 (EDT)
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Here's the best I can do:

It's a cut-out (obviously) advertising some Bear Grylls outdoor clothing line.

That's no cut out! Get a trailspace hat on him! :)

What's the Survival Range all about Alicia?

11:40 p.m. on July 23, 2009 (EDT)
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That's no cut out! Get a trailspace hat on him! :)

D'Oh! I should have thought of that. Maybe if I'm feeling bold tomorrow. The cut-out is right next to the main entrance withe multiple security guards on duty.

What's the Survival Range all about Alicia?

Apparently Craghoppers sells a Bear Grylls line of clothing:

http://www.us.craghoppers.com/

http://www.us.beargryllsstore.com/

I think it came out for spring/summer 2009. That's all I know.

1:48 a.m. on July 24, 2009 (EDT)
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Wow only $90 for a pair of paints just like Bear's ill have to get two pair lol I'm sure they are tough and I do like them but I think that is a touch much Ill wait for a sale.

6:07 a.m. on August 19, 2009 (EDT)
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WOW that is soooo cool Alicia. Les and his program Survivor man is GREAT. It teaches great skills and he does it in an educative way and he seems to care about nature, not just conquering it. A few people have claimed they survived by watching Survivorman. While I can't say that's reality it's obvious that this kid surviving because of Man vs Wild is not. It seems more that watching the show and being impressioned from it was more of a danger than a help. He's lucky he came out safe and sound.

 

+ I really have to give it to Les for bringing around all the cameras and not eating granola bars fed from his crew like the other loser!!!

3:10 p.m. on September 4, 2009 (EDT)
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I'm not lost.. I'm just geographically misplaced.

8:51 p.m. on September 7, 2009 (EDT)
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Les Stroud is better, even though Bear Grylls is a total beast.

11:24 p.m. on October 3, 2009 (EDT)
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Special Forces folks (Rangers, Seals, AF pilots - especially fighter pilots and even more especially carrier pilots) are trained and will be in combat situations.

I only comment because you seem to be a man of obvious intelligence. The term "special forces" is reserved for the one group you didn't list: US Army Special Forces (commonly referred to as "Green Berets"). Everyone else are properly labeled Special Operations Forces or SOF. And it's SEAL, not Seal.

And, again, you're correct. Special Operations survival is geared towards moving out of a denied area under threat of enemy capture. Something that reflects in Bear's entertaining shows. Les's show is more properly oriented towards true wilderness survival, plus he plays the harp, which, in my book, trumps the sensationalism of the other show.

Also, I'm not sure how Bear's show is worthy of a lot of the derision that he's receiving here. I think one poster called him a loser? He's a pretty accomplished soldier and climber and a physical specimen, but a loser? I don't think so.

9:28 p.m. on November 9, 2009 (EST)
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Yeah people hate way to much on Bear. We must remember his show and Survivorman are two very different shows. Les often shows us what to do being lost in the woods and how to survive. Bear's show is more oriented on showing us unique situations and other variables that one could encounter. Bear never claims to be out by himself in the wilderness like Stroud but to show us the situations in which his methods could be used effectively

4:02 p.m. on November 14, 2009 (EST)
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OK. In "Living room camping trips" we can all take pokes at those on the screen easily without even getting cold. While a lot of this stuff is staged, there is a thread of value even in tv survival shows just because they present variations on a theme. ( don't do what the guys on the show did and you'll be ok maybe".) Read just one survival book and it makes you believe what you read/see is true. Read multiple books and you realise that the experts cannot agre on most things. This is because the true personality of the universe we live in is chaotic. Like turbulance, every time you run the same experiment it changes. There is not one TRUE or even BEST way. Not to say that you can do anything at all and get away with it, just to say that each and every case is different. You could remeber your training and it might be the wrong thing to do under the circumstances.

As Bill S pointed out, the experienced outdoors people will carefully consider the current situation and make informed decisions, the rest should probably dig in, conserve energy and wait.

Destroying my rain shell is something I would never do. Yelling a lot is good, makes you feel like rescue might come, keeps your blood oxygen up, and may have warming effect.

Anyway this is the reason for the ten essential idea. Why didn't he have the ten essentials? A signal fire warms and signals. Maybe a cherry bomb would have signalled his general location? I mean doesn't everyone carry "bear crackers"?

Remembering what you were taught - yeh ok - assuming you were taught well. Perhaps most importantly - be aware of your surroundings, look at the tops of trees and put landmarks in memory. Sit down and think first, act later. As soon as you are separated from a group, follow your tracks back and scream a lot. Appraisse what you gear you do have and make a decision about the weather ahead warrants a laid back approach or a self rescue.

As for the picture of Bill S and Alicia - Bill yer getting more handsome with age.

My GPS never lies. It has saved me a lot of precious energy locating my truck. For you map guys, if you're lost in a white out with a map and compass yer still screwed. I carry extra batteries. That said, I generally am in mountains and the land marks are pretty big, but being in a parralell canyon has really messed me up for a couple of hours. My "common sense" and my GPS did not agree and at first I went with my common sense, fortunately I switched to GPS after an hour.

Jim S

7:36 p.m. on November 14, 2009 (EST)
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Gee, Jimmie, what inspired you to crawl out of the woods? Been way too long since you've posted here.

To reintroduce him, Jim S has may decades of experience in the woods and hills, plus is a "real rocket scientist" (as someone recently described me). Tom D and I have both camped with him on occasion. In my case, that's both backcountry ski tours and "luxury ultralight" (Jim's pack would have been lighter if he hadn't insisted on bringing a bottle of California's finest "fruit of the vine).

And Jim is another genuine OGBO, as well as a member of the Ancient and Dishonorable Order of Curmudgeons.

8:59 p.m. on November 14, 2009 (EST)
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Hi Bill,

The bank took my house in Bend and I moved to Sisters 20 miles further into the mountains. Sisters is officially an 1890s town with board walk, and lots of horses. I've sort of been stressed a lot for a year and half and took 3 months to move in, but now here I am, ready to head up the road. Its 15 miles to the Tam McArthur ridge of Broken top, the three sisters are just behind it and there are three snow parks up the street. I pulled the snow gear out of boxes and found some skis and boots, so as son as my broken finger finishes healing and I can hold a pole, I'll be heading out.

I love the winter cause it gets me higher on the mountain. Summer is nice, but I can walk 2 blocks to a steelhead stream in the nat'l forest, or take my dog walking anywhere up the road after 4wdriving a bit. I like Grylis (SP?) flicks on cooking with rocks - I'll have to try that, especially the hot rock coffee heating. Since I enjoy many ancient crafts like tool flaking, - well you know - yer into mountainman stuff.

As Bill alluded, I am somewhat into advanced scientific pursuits and I have been aplying Chaos theory to just about everything from RF design to camping. I live in a much more dangerous flood plane than you do, as there is a 740 acre foot lake held back by a morain, that feeds the steelhead stream up the street. There are some very large boulders in the ground here, but 2 feet below the surface is solid basalt flow... and theres a lava tube under my house. I have no idea how big, but 40,000 gallons of water flowed under my house in 4 days from an open water line and it all ran into the hole, swallowing one pier from under the house. We dumped yards of sand into it and finally replaced the pier, but I could hear water dripping a long way down.

Actually I'm not a curmudgeon like you. I;ve been following yer exploits, lucky you came into that money.

Jim S

8:10 p.m. on January 27, 2010 (EST)
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Lucky you Jim S. I happen to live 15 miles east of sisters. Have you been up to Tam McArthur yet? If you do bring your overnight gear, absolutely beautiful up there!


I have to go with Les Stroud when it comes to "true" survival. Bear shows you how to put yourself in a survival situation! Since when is jumping off of cliffs and sliding down 45 degree scree slopes a survival necessity?

9:38 p.m. on January 28, 2010 (EST)
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Okay, I've already said I like Les better because I just prefer his demeanor / style better.

After watching Bear today....it's not nice but I gotta say I couldn't stand to be around him for very long if we were camping together, he just seems very high strung. Now maybe that's just his show persona, if so I apologize. But jeez, he just makes me nervous, why doesn't he just sit down and shut up for a minute. I do respect his accomplishments & skills, he does offer good advise generally speaking, his show is more entertaining than a book.

Having said all that...I don't have a TV show, and probably no one would watch me if I did have one, except my family, and that would be to crack jokes.

10:42 p.m. on January 28, 2010 (EST)
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Hmmmm Trout, tought choice. I find Bear to have some much more exciting adventures and he throws in a good tip here and there. However I do agree that Les is much more calm and collected in the situations he is in. He also gives good tips but are on a much more "everyday useful" level than that of Bear. I think that Bear is "fun" and Les is "realistic"..

D

1:58 p.m. on February 1, 2010 (EST)
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I enjoy watching both from time to time, Les for the same reasons as others have stated, and Bear just for the fun of watching his antics! It is clear that he experienced, knowledgeable, and capable, but the show is so over-the-top it is frequently absurd. But then I think the show isn't targeted for anyone who is an actual outdoors-person, but toward the average urban/suburban viewer who is "wowed" by all the dangerous & disgusting things he does.

Did anyone see the episode where he used a hanging vine to swing across a sheer-walled ravine, and nearly knocked himself unconscious when he slammed into the cliff on the other side? I laughed so hard I couldn't breathe!

3:36 p.m. on February 25, 2010 (EST)
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I am not the biggest Grylls fan in the world but he has my respect when it comes to his Everest accomplishment and military service. Several places on the internet refer to him as a "loser", "poser", and "faker". I think that is just obsurd. The man has been there and done more than most could dream.

When I watch his program I take it for what it is worth just like I do when I watch Survivorman. They offer their own great entertainment.

4:21 p.m. on February 25, 2010 (EST)
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There's nothing very entertaining about practical survival. Television shows are supposed to be entertaining, and Grylls is ridiculously so. That makes most of what he does impractical and, often, absurd. Pardon me for saying so, but I'd rather see absurd entertainment than boring practicality. If that means that the education element is damaged or lost, I'm not concerned. What this boy lacked was a proper respect for the difference between entertainment and education. That's a failing of his parents, not the Discovery Channel.

12:28 p.m. on March 20, 2010 (EDT)
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I must agree with Cpt Ken. 99% of the folks on this board including myself can't hold a candle to Grylls' skills, fitness, and experience. Those deriding him as a poser, loser, etc. have no idea what they are talking about...they are simply envious of a better 'outdoorsman'.

I completely understand that most of his shows are designed for entertainment value. Like others have said, correct survival technique is pretty boring to watch. It usually involves conservation of energy and low risk decisions. Folks need to take the shows for what they are...adventure more so than survival.

Now, if realistic survival instruction is desired, the Survivorman series is closer to the real deal. Better yet, turn the TV off and take a hands-on survival course.

7:53 a.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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I agree with all those that commented that a kid can't stay put, simply by the nature of the beast. My son got separated from us at Rocky Mountain National Park seven miles from civilization. He was nine at the time. We had discussed with him repeatedly about "staying put" if he got separated from us.

What did he do? He began running. RUNNING!?!!!!

Geez...it's the nature of the beast.

A fellow hiker found him after about an hour. All in all, it was good that it happened. He will be better prepared next time, I believe, and maybe instinct won't take over.

Also, here is one thing we do different now: I've taught him how to make a fire and have him carry firestarting tools with him at all times when hiking. If there is one thing that can overcome a kid's instinct to keep moving, it is his natural fascination with fire.

April 19, 2014
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