Saturday, 15 September 2012

Ray Mears' Northern Wilderness (Documentary)


Northern Wilderness is a television series hosted by Ray Mears.

Mears explores the Canadian wilderness. His journey begins in the Boreal Forest at the heart of Canada, where he examines and demonstrates the survival skills of the aboriginal people of the territory. Episode 1 was filmed in Prince Albert National Park, Episode 2 was filmed along the French River in Ontario and Episode 6 was filmed in British Columbia.


Northern Wilderness is Ray Mears at his absolute best, as he heads into the wilds of Canada for an epic series that combines landscape, bushcraft, history and adventure. This series taps into Ray's passion for a land he knows intimately - a land where knowledge of Bushcraft isn't just desirable, it's essential. Ray follows in the footsteps of British pioneers, takes the time to learn crafts from locals and adapts to his surroundings. 

Watch the full episodes below.

Mears also released a book of the same title:
Northern Wilderness is the latest book from Ray Mears, written to accompany his BBC series of the same name, which aired on BBC2, October 2009.
Northern Wilderness is a stunning celebration of one of earth's great wildernesses. Ray Mears journeys on foot, by canoe and by snowshoe through mountains, forests, tundra and ice in a land where roads are still scarce.
He explores the vast Boreal Forest and its rich animal life from beavers to bears. He travels across the Hudson Bay by canoe, and tells the story of the fur trade and trappers who traded with the hat manufacturers of England. Ray follows the paths of the great early northern explorers, Samuel Hearne and David Thompson, who survived through their knowledge of what we now call bushcraft, as they trekked across the tundra and the Rocky Mountains. He explores the frozen north and learns the ways of the Inuit, who teach him how to combat snow blindness and build shelter.
This book is rich in bushcraft, as Ray explains the unique survival techniques of the Native Canadians and the Inuit, as well as how the prospectors in the gold rush used bushcraft skills to survive in this inhospitable but awesome landscape. 
Episode 1 - The Forgotten Forest
Part 1 of 6
Part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

Ray explores the wonder of this special place, giving insight as to how the eco system works, forest survival and traditional crafts. He sees how different it is in late summer and winter, learns about the interdependence of all things in the forest and unlocks the secrets of this forgotten place. 

Episode 2 - The Company That Build A Country
Part 1 of 6
Part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
Ray explores the skills needed by those who worked for the HBC. Camping on an old fur trade river he takes a birch bark canoe through rapids for the first time ever and meets up with the crew of a 36 foot birch bark canoe – an impressive sight on any waterway, but of special significance on an artery of the fur trade. 


Episode 3 - The Unknown Explorer
Part 1 of 6
Part 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.
For Ray Mears there is one man who stands above all others in the story of the exploration of Canada. That man is Samuel Hearne. In learning to travel using first nations’ skills he set the template for the successful exploration of Canada’s wilderness. Hearne’s story is defined by hardship and adventure, a truly inspiring tale made all the more powerful by the journal he left as a legacy. 


Episode 4 - In Arctic Footsteps
Part 1 of 6
Part 23456.
Ray Mears follows in John Rae’s footsteps to tell the story of how he found the North West passage – the holy grail of nineteenth century exploration that would open up a whole new trading route to the far east. 


Episode 5 - Koo Koo Sint "The Star Gazer" FULL Episode in one.
Ray explores David Thompson’s footsteps across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. He draws on a new set of bushcraft skills and local knowledge, in particular Ray explores the mapping techniques used by Thompson. 


Episode 6 - Journey's End
The unique cultures, skills and landscape of Canada’s far west make it a rich and diverse land. This is a land of cedar boxes, steam-bent fish hooks and dug out canoes. A place where totem poles once dominated the landscape and the people relied on the sea. Ray Mears explores the bushcraft, nature and traditions and finds out how the first nations descendants play their part in modern Canada. 

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