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Man vs. Wild?
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Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Man vs. Wild? on 11/25/2006 13:01:16 MST Print View

Obviously a complete digression for this board, but since a few folks watched this and commented last week, just wondered if anyone watched this week and any thoughts?

I definitely learned something this week. I was entertained, especially by the awesome French Alps location, and the avalanche site footage.

Even though I understand that the purpose of the show beyond entertainment is to relate even little tid-bits of info., I cannot get past the feeling that the "host" is not the person he plays on TV. Some will cringe at his over-the-top theatrics as he hams it up chomping on a live trout or makes it look especially hard to crawl out of the frozen pond he throws himself into, but I can get past that. He just does not come across as a genuinely tough person. Which is hard to do considering he treads water in what is probably 20 degree water for a minute. I would have passed out more than likely!

When compared to most anything else I can choose to watch during my limited TV time, I would still choose a show like Man vs. Wild over most anything else, but I suppose to be better, the show would have to find a way to lose the very staged feeling everything has. Starting with finding a real outdoorsman, who doesn't have acting credits in London theater (and I am only guessing on that one).

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Man vs. Wild? on 12/05/2006 15:16:01 MST Print View


First, thanks for your response on my ULA pack thread.

Second, your show is Survivorman. This was the first 'survival show' and is the inspiration behind Man vs. Wild. There is absolutely no pretense in this show (first season airs on Discovery channel, second season in the works). Les Stroud (creator & presenter) is exactly what you describe: a real outdoorsman. He spent a year in the Canadian backcountry with his wife, living by primitive means as the Inuit would have (no metal implements). He films the entire show by himself using portable cameras. He does a much more credible job of teaching techniques to survive in the wild with minimal gear. He also doesn't pull the over-the-top stunts Bear Grylls is continually putting on for the camera. IMO, Stroud is much more entertaining and personable at the same time. Definitely check the show out if you like Man vs. Wild.

Scott Peterson
(scottalanp) - F

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Man vs. Wild? on 12/05/2006 16:33:51 MST Print View

I have seen one episode of Survivorman and would agree based on that alone that Lee is tough! I will make a point to watch the next season.

Man vs. Wild offers up the Sierra Nevada episode this week, so I will have to watch that given it is my favorite zone! I kind of like evaluating the cheese factor too...

So far, the Everest TV expedition is really engrossing. I suppose I knew it was a business...but while I am fascinated to see the rigors of high altitude survival, it is a turn-off to see how "dependant" the process is. From Sherpas donating their lives to oxygen all seems much less like a wilderness experience than I would have thought. I know there are some that value being able to join an elite club (and bring it up as a "life credential") but I would trade summiting for a killer backpacking trip to Patagonia or Alaska any day. As long as my trip is not dependant on some guy with a computer telling me when to go!

James Schipper
(monospot) - MLife
Man vs Wild on 12/05/2006 17:48:11 MST Print View

I agree that Surviorman is the far superior show. I stopped watching man vs wild after he peed on his shirt and wrapped it around his head. He also does things that could be potentially life threatening like trying to swim under a log jam in a slot canyon. There is a differece between demonstrating what you would have to do in a difficult situation (as Les did on a episode of Survivorman when he simulated a canoe capsize) and advocating doing stupid things.

Edited by monospot on 12/05/2006 21:30:31 MST.

(RavenUL) - F
Re: Man vs Wild on 12/05/2006 19:47:24 MST Print View

Well, "Survivorman" is a much better show, but I wouldnt hold it up too high. Les Stroud makes A LOT of goofy mistakes, sometimes just as life threatening as what "Bear" does. Thankfully Les is much less "extreme" with what he does. I have yet to see him parachute into anything.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: Man vs Wild on 12/06/2006 13:37:53 MST Print View

True, Stroud does make some dumb mistakes but I get the feeling that he's learning from them and wants to show his audience why he made the mistake and how to avoid it. He's even made a point of mentioning that in his narritives.

My biggest gripe with Man v. Wild is the situations that Bear Grylls places himself in with the intimation that he has no other options. "Well, I was hiking along the Colorado Rvier and I see there's human habitation on the other side. I have to get over there!" Whereupon he jumps into the river (cue cheesy, dramatic music) and fights a strong current to get across. How about just hiking down the river a few miles rather than risk drowning?

Edited by rswanson on 12/06/2006 13:38:43 MST.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: Re: Re: Man vs Wild on 12/06/2006 14:29:40 MST Print View

Ooops, I see that there's already a thread in the "On the Web" forum that does a much better job the we have of pointing out this show's inadequacies...

Kevin Denlinger
(ktdenlinger) - F

Locale: Great Lakes Region
Man vs. Wild on 02/02/2007 20:28:10 MST Print View

I've watched most of the episodes of the two shows. I do think Les is better, but certainly not as entertaining. If I want to watch survivor man, my wife grumbles. If I watch Man vs Wild, she seems okay with it. Personally I think it is for the same reason I will watch a fashion show with her--the scenery.
My kids prefer Bear over Les as well. I watch with them and point out mistakes and we discuss what we would do.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Man vs. Wild on 02/02/2007 22:22:20 MST Print View

I've been avoiding this forum for too long.
Although you can't beat survivor man, I get tiered of the same old (I hold down the fort for a week and only eat about 200 calories).

In many of the situations and locations survivor man is faced with, he would not be rescued.

Man vs Wild on the other hand may be a little more amusing due to the fact that he has to get back to civilization, but, he is always place in locations were civilization can always be found in 5 days or less with an easy walking pace.

This makes the show much better in a way that 99% of the people that get lost that will not get rescued now have a "stupid", "life risking" way of making back to civilization.
If you know you are in a location were you can stay put and be rescued, Man vs Wild is not the show to watch.

The only good thing about the stupid things, Man vs Wild does, is if you also did something stupid and put your self in a similar situation, the dumb but life-saving techniques he does can actually save your life.

They need a show that commentates and compares the 2 in the same places and see who is smarter, Man vs. Wild taking off or Survivor Man staying put.

James Schipper
(monospot) - MLife
Surviorman on 02/03/2007 16:38:03 MST Print View

I haven't see all the surviorman episodes but Les doesn't usually wait to get rescued. To name a few I can remeber; in Utah he walked out early because he couldn't find enough to eat, in the artic episode he walked 70-80 miles to get to his meeting point and he walked/rafted out of the Georgia swap to name a few. The question of if you should stay put or move probable is very situation and person dependant. How closely can you estimate your location? How well can you navigate through the terrain? How much insulation and shelter do you have with you? What are the chances of you being able to signal help? Did you tell people where you were going and when you'd be back? etc.

Also, people keep aluding to Les' stupid mistakes. I'd be interested to here some specific examples. Its clear Les is more comfortable in certain types of terrain, but he does have extensive survival and primitive living experience. I have my ideas about what would work in certain situations but have far less real world experience than he does. I don't know exactly what Bear's background is (except what they tell you at the begining of the show) but it's pretty clear the show is more concerned with dramatic effect that actual survival (when are you ever going to find yourself "lost" in the middle of a crater of an active volcano?) The bottom line is Les is actually surviving by himelf (and taking the time to do his own filming) for prolonged periods of time with minimal equipment and often with simulated hardships (ie capsized canoe)