"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.