Les Stroud vs Bear Grylls vs Ray Mears

Posted by El DiPablo | 6:00 AM |

Arguably the three biggest names in TV survival are Les Stroud, Bear Grylls and Ray Mears. Being a big fan of their shows, and survival shows in general, I thought I would write my comparison's on these three, and what I perceive their take on "survival" is. Let's get started!

Les Stroud - Out of the three I would say Les is the most hardcore. The dude goes out on his own without a crew at all, and films himself. That takes some balls. His scenarios are a little more "real world" where he only brings with him what an unprepared person in that situation might have on them. He then tries to stay alive for 7-10 days (Depending on the episode) using what he can find, or what he has on him. Les is really more of an adapt and overcome type survivalist.

Bear Grylls - Bear is arguably the worst "survivalist" on TV. I would venture to call Bear more of an adventure seeker than a survivalist. He does some seriously unnecessary and dangerous stuff on his show that no survivalist would recommend. That being said, Bear tends to bring with him most of the stuff he needs (Canteen set, fire steel, backpack, cordage, knife etc.). Bear does give some good tips on occasion so you if you filter out the nonsense, you can still learn from his show.

Ray Mears - I've watched every episode of Extreme Survival and a few episodes of Bush Craft Survival. Ray to me seems to be more of the backpack camper sort than a survivalist. He shows some really great tips, but in almost every situation he brings with him every single thing he needs. To me if you go out into the woods totally prepared you aren't surviving, you are camping. Still though, the man does seem to know his stuff when it comes to primitive fire making skills and wild edibles.

Out of these three men there are tons of things you can learn. It all comes down to what you want to learn. Do you want to learn how to survive off the land in an emergency, or how to survive off the land while being fairly or fully prepared?

What's your opinion of these guys? Be sure to vote for your favorite survivalist in our poll on the right. Also, I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments!