TJ Kelly

Survivorman Drinking Game

A few months ago, I played a round of a Survivorman drinking game with some friends—a game we made up on the spot. I enjoyed it so much (and enjoy Les Stroud’s show so much), I thought I’d share it with the world.


Survivorman Drinking Game Rules

The Survivorman drinking game follows the standard rules of any TV- or movie-based game: drink when X happens. What and how much you drink upon each of these events is up to you.

This is where I insert the stock message. Please drink responsibly; only 21+; don’t over do it; don’t be a meathead; it’s not my fault if you get wasted; I didn’t make you do it; etc., etc.

You have to watch and listen closely because some of these things happen quickly.

Drink when Les Stroud says:

  • “Survival”
  • “Will to survive”
  • “Survival meal”
  • “Life and death” or “Life or death”
  • “With any luck at all”
  • “Punky wood” or “Punky log”
  • “Thick bush”

Survivorman in a winter landscape.

Drink when this happens:

  • Les uses some tool or equipment — this happens all the time
  • Les laughs or jokes — all the time
  • Food ecstasy: Les goes berzerk with joy after eating something — nearly every episode
  • Les wakes up with puffy eyes — several times each episode
  • Les talks about his vivid dreams — pretty common
  • Les appears shirtless or naked — frequent in warm-climate episodes
  • Les has or sustains/contracts an injury/illness — this is rare; sometimes he mentions a head cold
  • Les appears panicked, upset, or scared — I’ve only seen this happen three times *

Drink when Les does other stuff:

These ones happen nearly every episode, sometimes multiple times within an episode.

  • Eats food
  • Makes fire
  • Uses fire bundle
  • Admires nature’s beauty
  • Tests gear/equipment (fire starters, MREs, camping gear, etc.)
  • Gives an inspirational speech
  • Swears or shouts in exasperation or pain

Survivorman with a video camera.

Drink when Les does manly things:

  • Catches game for sustenance
  • Dominates his surroundings in impressive ways
  • Guts a fish or otherwise manhandles some creature of nature
  • Real-life MacGyver’s just about anything

Drink when Les uses cool names for things:

  • “Apache Match”
  • “Payute Deadfall”
  • Etc., etc…

This rule could apply to when he calls herbs and things by their textbook or colloquial name. Or he could just have badass nicknames for things.


Drink when these camera/editing things happen:

  • Les walks in the distance, away from camera on a tripod
  • Les walks back for the camera
  • Les makes the crew collect the camera
  • Time lapse video
  • Night vision footage

Survivorman playing a guitar in the wilderness.

Drink whenever these things show up:

  • Multitool
  • Harmonica/instrument
  • Live wild animals (caught game doesn’t count; that has its own rule)
  • A house, building, or other man-made, permanent shelter

Bonus Round

These ones are even more fun. Some are rare, some are gross, some are just in their own category.

Drink when you see Les…

  • Vomit
  • Urinate or mention defecation
  • Capitalizes on trash found at his survival site
  • Make comments about or directed at the crew or editors
  • Mention some viewer watching him make a mistake, yelling at their TV

If you enjoy Survivorman as much as I do, even in re-runs, you’ll appreciate this drinking game. It makes Stroud’s show even more enjoyable, especially in groups.

But fair warning: this game’ll gitcha drunk! Be careful out there, heroes. After all, it’s about survival.



* To my knowledge, Les has appeared panicked, upset, or scared three times:


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