WWF-Canada Blog:

“Survivorman” Les Stroud joins WWF to Go Wild!

This spring, WWF-Canada is inviting Canadians to Go Wild and share their best ideas for getting their community more involved in helping nature thrive. The top five ideas will be awarded a micro-grant of up to $1,000 to help bring their idea to life. To select the best projects, four notable nature lovers will be part of the jury. Les Stroud aka Survivorman, is one of our judges.

Les Stroud @ Laura Bombier

Les Stroud © Laura Bombier

Les Stroud has had an affinity for nature for as long as he can remember.

To him, a connection to nature is essential, not only for discovering a purpose in life, but to understand our place within the world; “we breathe out and a tree breathes in – a tree breathes out and we breathe in, the ultimate connection.”

Les was quick to join our Go Wild campaign as a judge, recognizing the similarities between the campaign goal to reconnect people with nature, and his own point of view.

When he created Survivorman – the premier survival TV show in Canada and the US – Les did so to teach wilderness survival skills. But on a deeper level, he also wanted to help reconnect people with nature in a profound sense. He wanted to entertain, but also pass on his love and respect for nature.

He says it’s vital for people to know more and think more about nature – both the benefits it provides and the threats facing it; “try living without water or air – for just 30 seconds. Being ‘blissfully ignorant” of what is going on around you keeps us on a road to doom – to our own demise. No other species in history has survived the destruction of its own natural habitat – and neither will ours.”

After seeing Les in the role of Survivorman, one might expect that he might be most interested in Go Wild ideas that promote thrills or risk taking. That is not the case. He also meditates, spending a half hour at a time sitting in nature not thinking, and clearing his mind. In those moments he disconnects from everyday worries and listens to what nature has to say.

“Too often activities are so focused on the human body – like physical challenges and races and that sort of thing. That’s a lot of fun – but it is not connecting to nature in my mind. You want to Go Wild? Sit by a swamp for an afternoon without moving – be as quiet as possible and sit, listen, watch breathe and feel – that is much ‘wilder’ than any zip line will ever be.”

Les Stroud @ Laura Bombier

Les Stroud © Laura Bombier

The deep connection and respect Les feels for nature has changed the way he lives his life and makes decisions; “I would suggest that 80% of my decisions now are based around my love and connection to nature and the earth. The other 20% are completely selfish human condition type decisions.”

Tell Les (@reallesstroud) and WWF (@wwfcanada) what makes you feel connected to nature using #wwfgowild. Have an idea for connecting people in your community with nature, but need some help? Submit it at wwf.ca/gowild. All submissions will be considered and the top five will be chosen to receive a micro-grant of up to $1,000.

More about Go Wild here.

Read David Miller’s Wild idea here.

  • Brady Scanlan says:

    I know it isn’t everyone’s idea of the perfect solution. But for me, being raised as a hunter and being taught how to care for the land to ensure the best possible health of the animals that live on it, is the best solution I can think of. Myself, and many other hunters, spend more time each year taking care of the area we hunt and trying to do what we can to ensure good habitat for the animals and mitigate risks like hunger. Then, during the time that we are out hunting, e majority of it is spent sitting quite, just watching and listening. My friends and I like to call it a ‘Hard Reset’. There are no cell phones, little in the way of gadgets. We might break out an MP3 player on or two nights for a couple of hours, but most of the time is spent enjoying the company we are in and the environment in which we surround ourselves.

    Teach, or have someone else teach, your children to love the outdoors with hunting and they will have a reason they are passionate about to help protect wild places.

    Remember, no one in the world puts more time money and effort into conservation than hunters.

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