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View Full Version : How did Ray Mears become so experienced at bushcraft?


Capt. Ridley's Shooting Party
05-11-2005, 03:56 PM
Obviously he now has a team of researchers behind him, but where did he initially learn all his bushcraft from? Was he in the army? The SAS? Is it just an interest that he himself fostered?

mittu
05-11-2005, 04:18 PM
Just an interest and the lack of money to buy camping equipment.

From www.raymears.com

Ray grew up in Southern England on the North Downs, where he discovered a countryside abundant with wildlife. Developing a unique attunement to his local environment, he learned to track foxes into the forest, never realising that he was embarking on a journey that would become his life's mission. Wanting to be able to sleep out on the trail yet unable to afford camping equipment, he resorted to a more Robinson Crusoe approach to solving the problem.

It was his judo teacher (Kingsley) at school who fired his imagination and encouraged him to look at the world in a different way. Kingsley was a wonderful man. He had fought behind enemy lines in Burma during the Second World War and he taught Ray to challenge conventional wisdom and practices. "You don't need equipment, you need knowledge to survive in the wild", he would tell him. "Maximum efficiency from minimum effort", was another of his themes.

It goes on to say that he gained much of his knowledge from reading books at his local library. I'm not too sure why he would need a team of researchers. He seems to be a world leading expert on forgotten bushcraft so who could he possibly get to advise him?

Busy Scissors
05-11-2005, 05:57 PM
Obviously he now has a team of researchers behind him, but where did he initially learn all his bushcraft from? Was he in the army? The SAS? Is it just an interest that he himself fostered?
Ray Mears is a dour, humourless man who should not have his own television show. I know Bushcraft is a serious buisness and all, but does it have to be so fecking dull?

He is also too fat to instruct on bushcraft, IMO. A man of the backwoods should have a lean and hungry look, like Aragorn for instance. Viggo Mortensen's bushcraft, that would be a good show.

mittu
05-11-2005, 06:03 PM
Well Myler Keogh I suppose it depends on why you watch such programs, to learn more about bushcraft and "forgotten" practices, or to watch some guy with a machette going crazy, sounds to me like you might be more entertained watching Crocodile Dundee ;)

Personally I love his shows, I can see why you might call them dull if you aren't interested in the subject matter but that's what he is showing you. You can't make a boat out of a tree in 5 minutes, it takes time and patience and concentration which wouldn't come across if all they showed you was a 30 second clip with some funky music playing in the background.