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Monday, May 12, 2014

Les Stroud Self Reliance Expo 2014

I got to the Self Reliance Expo about 15 minutes before Les Stroud was scheduled to speak.  The expo was small and many of the vendors were selling the same things.  I wasn’t really there for the vendors.  I just wanted get an autograph.  Within those 15 minutes, I had walked the whole floor.

When Les Stroud arrived, the masses gathered around the stage. He spoke, answered questions, and sang.  He was open and answered questions on a variety of topics including his competitors. He repeated several times his show was dangerous. He really was isolated. His rescue team was usually miles off and most likely out of communication range.  Regarding his rival shows, he admitted they were good and entertaining but the stars were more of a MC and were reenacting skills instead of surviving.

He shared a few funny anecdotes. Being chased by a bull elk and refusing gifts of whiskey and jerky from natives as he filmed were the most memorable. He talked about Bigfoot, being scared, and almost dying. He gave advice and then sang some more.

As I listened, I watched the table that was set up for signing. When a line started to cue I joined it about 5 people back. When Les told the crowd he’d be signing, the line grew and I ended up being about 20 people back. 

He was very friendly and posed for photos with everyone. Most people were buying books and getting those signed. When I handed over my photo, he paused and told me he liked it. He mentioned it was taken in Africa.  He signed, we shook hands, and I left.


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