Bear may be just as skilled in outdoor survival, but that’s not what you see on his show. You see testosterone filled dangerous stunts.
He climes rock walls for seemingly no reason (for the entertainment value)
He jumps across a ravine (for the entertainment value)
He jumps out of a helicopter that’s 25 feet in the air into a stream (for the entertainment value)
And a lot of other dumb things that only a stupid person with a death wish would do (also for the entertainment value)
His show is about entertainment, not survival. If a person did what he did all the time you would end up dead or very seriously hurt.
Bear is entertaining, and I am not disrespecting his skills. I like Les because I learn stuff, I like Bear because it's fun. I really like his old shows where he had to edit in comments about his crew catching fish for him or bringing a butchered rabbit. We try to guess the new parts, comparing our memory for what was said previously.
And, I know full well it's called 'Man vs. Wild', not 'Man communes with Wild', or 'Man works well with, but not in an annoying way, Wild'.
Actually, that would be a cool show: 'Man negotiates a truce with, but reneges on his end of the deal, Wild'. That I would watch in a heartbeat.
I think Les is twice the badass that Bear is. I mean in a survival situation calories are crucial right? Anyone disagree?
Carrying around 50 pounds of camera gear, setting it up, walking past it then walking back probably burns twice the amount of calories right? I'd say its comparable to ohhh i don't know hiking the AT with a really heavy pack???
I think that simple fact is one of the most impressive.
Also in a survival situation having another person there ( like Bear does) has to be a HUGE morale booster. Even if they're not supposed to talk/help you just the presence of another human being has to be incredibly comforting.
I think one of the reason that Les spends "5 min talking about his feet" is because he is simply lonely after a week in the wild and at least he has something to talk to in the form of his camera.
But anyways to answer the original point of this post. I've noticed that when Man v. Wild is on survivor man is not. I feel like they rotate in the other show every month or so.
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While Bear is the king of doing stupid things, Les does them as well (though not as often). Like the time he was living large (food, water, shelter, etc.) on some beach only to decide to hike into jungle where he had no food, water, shelter, couldn't make a fire and was attacked by bugs (ants??). Even he (les) admitted it was sort of stupid to leave the beach in the brief narration in the waning seconds of the episode.
I watch Bear once and Les 3-4 times before I stopped watching. Either I'm getting more picky or TV has just gone to h3ll the last few years.
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Bear is always backed up if something goes wrong. Les is on his own, and has walk much of his adventure twice, to setup the camera and to film him walking it. Les the man...
From what I hear, its just the season break for Survivorman. Love to see him do like the rugid section of the AT with a tarp, 2 matches, and a powerbar.
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I like Bear, but there is a lot about his show that is overly produced. It's good that he's now being honest about some details.
Les is definitely more authentic. I've actually spoken with him, and he's also a genuinely nice guy.
That said, both have a ton of survival knowledge to share. Bear has a special forces background, and spent some time as a combat survival instructor. Les spent a year living off the grid in the Boreal forests of northern Ontario. Say what you will about their shows, I don't think it's fair to question either person's credentials.
I’m not questioning either person's credentials, I’m sure they both know a lot more then I do or ever will. I just don’t like Bear’s reckless style, and the foolish stunts for the camera. Every show he seems to find a way to show how much of a man he is. In a survival situation, you don’t climb a shear rock wall that’s 150 foot tall when all you have to do is follow the river down to civilization. And pretty much all rivers lead to civilization.
I realize that entertainment gets viewers, viewer #'s sell ad spots, and ads put money in network's pockets, but sometimes Bear is over the top.
I still watch it though, but as far as useful knowledge, I'd rather watch Les.
And, showing people what not to do is as beneficial as showing them what they should do. The bad choice to go into the jungle got it's point across to some people I'm sure.
the siberia episode when it was like -22 out in the day and he jumped into that frozen lake was crazy. often he just presents situations to show what to do "if..." - he shows survival skills in interesting fashion and is entertaining enough to keep me from flipping the channel, something les is not. his plant and animal/insect knowledge is sick as well. some of you people are just haters, honestly
Just remember, it is entertainment.
The beauty of television is you turn it off and pick up a book if you want. Tom Brown perhaps?
Chances are, he's got a crew of people who spend months researching these places before he goes in. They know ahead of time the types of creepy crawlies and flora native to the area. They give him the equivalent of 'study guides' and they also coach him during the filming. I'd also bet you he's got a laptop nearby full of research. He's admitted as much in a few of the episodes by talking about the 'experts' he's consulted. He's mentioned tribesmen and a few other 'locals'.
They also shoot in takes. I'm sure he does his damn best to get the 'eating bugs' scenes right the first take though! I know I would!
It's the same as shows with naturalists. They have research available during filming and don't always know everything off the top of their heads.
I'm not hating, there's nothing wrong at all with doing things that way, but he's learning all this stuff for the purpose of filming.
It's really truly a production. And again, there's nothing wrong with that, but Bear isn't likely a walking encyclopedia. Climbing Mt. Everest doesn't make him an expert on everything.
i'm not saying that he's an expert on everything, but the way this thread was going it seemed that a lot of people here were more knowledgeable about such things than him - doubtful
also most 'backpackers' aren't experts on every piece of gear or nook and cranny of the AT. they have to consult guidebooks/maps/ and other data to give accurate info. so do doctors and vets. they often use laptops to get accurate info on hand. does that make them any less credible as you've done w/ bear?