When I decided to review the book “Will To Survive” by Les Stroud, I knew I was in for an adventurous read. The star and creator of Discovery Channel’s “SurvivorMan,” Les Stroud is a world renowned survival expert. In addition to being an expert in survival, he’s also an expert film maker. He has produced several television specials including Off The Grid With Les Stroud and Surviving Alaska. In his new book, “Will To Survive,” Les Stroud examines a few true life survival stories and explains to the reader what happened and why.
The first story that Les discusses is the story of Yossi Ghinsberg, a fiery young man who traveled across the globe in search of adventure. Yossi ends up in horrible situation in the Amazon, alone and fighting a fever. Les Stroud talks about the situation and how Yossi made some cardinal errors before he actually got into the jungle. One of the points Stroud makes is that Yossi did not pay attention to the mistakes his guide was making. The guide was a loner, and though he knew the forest like the back of his hand, he was not suited to bring Yossi and 2 other hikers into the Amazon. Yossi uses what knowledge he does have about survival to counteract a serious fever, the possibility of hypothermia and an encounter with a jaguar.
The book “Will To Survive” by Les Stroud also tells the story of Nando Parrado. Nando Parrando was in an awful plane accident that killed his family and friends. Left high in the Andes Mountains, Nando struggled to survived the rough weather. The told tale is unbelievable, and made easy to understand where things went wrong. Les Stroud also makes several key notes in the chapter, including tips like “Curing The Night Time Chills” and “Altitude Sickness.”
Sprinkled between the true stories of survival are tales from Les Stroud himself. Les discusses the issues he has faced while filming SurvivorMan and also while preparing for other projects. Les goes into detail about the time he spent training with the Waonari people. It should be noted that the Waonari people are notoriously considered the most violent people in civilization. However, Stroud’s interactions with them come off very educational and wise.
The book “Will To Live” tops out at an easy 227 pages of survival. And that includes some nice glossy colored pictures from SurvivorMan. This book will not teach you how to be a survivalist, but it’s a good introduction to the human spirit and how strong The will to live can be. All the chapters keep you genuinely interested, even if you already know the end result. I recommend picking up “Will To Survive” by Les Stroud. It’s a casual read within a very complex genre. Plus, if you don’t like the book, you can always burn the pages for warmth.