TORONTO - Survivorman? Or Superman?
Les Stroud, host of the Outdoor Life Network's popular "Survivorman" show, said Friday he's proud to hear that yet another lost soul survived for days in the wilderness with help from his reality show.
"It's very humbling, but it's weird because when I first started doing the show, some people would say: `You know, someday you're going to save a life with this' and you just sort of write it off," Stroud said in an interview from his office in Huntsville, Ont.
"I recognize that much of what I'm teaching has practical applications - that's the whole point - but when it really happens like this, it almost makes you a little nervous. You forget that there are people out there are actually listening and paying attention."
Snowmobiler Chris Traverse of Gypsumville, Man., is the latest to credit Stroud's show - also a big hit on the Discovery Channel in the U.S. - for saving his life thanks to the tips he picked up from tuning in regularly.
Traverse got separated from his friends and ran out of gas in the woods. He saw a telephone tower in the distance and spent three days walking toward it, eating snow to stay hydrated and making shelters at night out of tree branches.
He finally made his way out of the woods on Wednesday.
A Utah couple also credited the show last month for helping them survive for 12 days after they got stranded in their truck in the snow.
"They had to cut the material of the seats out of their truck to make snowshoes so they could walk out through the snow, and they said they learned that from me," said Stroud, a longtime adventurer and survivalist.
Of all of Traverse's survival tactics, Stroud says, he was particularly happy to hear that the 24-year-old ate snow - something that is frowned upon by some survivalists who warn that eating snow and ice can reduce body temperature and lead to further dehydration.
"I have always disagreed with that. Being a Canadian who's around snow a lot, I've always said if you don't have water, and you're working enough during the day and you're warm, and this boy apparently was, then just eat snow. And he did and that's some vindication for me, I guess," he said.
"Survivorman" features Stroud dropped off in various remote locations all over the world with just a video camera, the clothes on his back and minimal supplies - and no food and water - as he subsists for seven days on his own.
Some memorable scenes from the show have included Stroud chowing down on a scorpion kebab in the desert and being chased out of an Ecuadorean jungle by a jaguar.
The show begins shooting its fourth season soon, with Stroud about to travel to Papua New Guinea and Madagascar.