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Ray Mears in Ontario

Over the past two decades the name Ray Mears has become recognised throughout the world as an authority on the subject of Bushcraft and Survival.  

He has also become a household name through his various television series including Tracks, World of Survival, Trips Money Can’t Buy with Ewan McGregor, the Real Heroes of Telemark, Wild Britain, How the Wild West Was Won and many more. Ray has been a lover of Ontario’s pristine wilderness for many years, and here he tells us why:

“I love nature, I love wilderness and relish the challenge of time spent living in wild places experiencing nature in her most raw state. I’ve been exploring the quieter waterways of Ontario by canoe for 20 years. Ontario contains some astonishing Provincial Parks; last year I guided a canoe expedition in the amazing Woodland Caribou and Wabakimi Provincial Parks but I still have a long list of waterways to explore..”

This year Ray journeyed deep into the spectacular backcountry of Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park in the Temagami region where he was immersed in Canada’s canoe culture and the legend of Grey Owl.

According to Ray, “Grey Owl was the most effective conservationist of his age, he preached a message of concern on behalf of the creatures of the wild he found suffering in the advancing tide of industrialization, with its pollution and callous destruction of habitat.”

Grey Owl’s story has fascinated Ray for years, growing up in the same corner of England with very similar interests. He wanted to experience first hand the landscape and Anishnable First Nations culture that so greatly influenced Grey Owl.

The Temagami region is known for its prominent canoe culture dating back to the 1830’s with the permanent settlement of the Temagami First Nations. It has the most extensive network of canoe routes in Ontario with some of the best wilderness paddling found in Lady Evelyn-Smoothwater Provincial Park. It is also renowned for its old growth pine forests and sparkling lakes and rivers.

Grey Owl push point


2 Responses to “Ray Mears in Ontario”

  1. lloyd daly says:

    Growing up in the same area of Britain as Ray and having watched him since he first appeared on ‘Tracks’ when I was about 12 years old, I’ve always felt a great affinity with him and the way he see’s our rapidly shrinking wild spaces. I remember back then, the highlight of my week being the 5-10 minutes he was on screen explaining how to build an A-frame shelter, or make a fire – I was so excited I would shout to my Dad that Ray Mears was on the telly and we’d huddle round the little portable TV upstairs while my mum was watching the soaps in the lounge and be amazed by his knowledge and skill. Any time I’m out hiking or practicing the bushcraft techniques I have learned from him I can hear him in my mind, reminding me to be respectful, tread gently and leave no trace. It would be incredible to spend some time with one of my heroes in a place as beautiful as Canada and I hope I win the competition, but if I don’t and can’t thank him in person, thank you Ray for inspiring me to explore the wild places and be a participant rather than merely an observer. We belong to it, indeed. Lloyd

  2. Bob M says:

    I’ve been watching you for 10 years you inspired me to purchase my first book called cold weather survival. Although I have never even camped before I feel that I’m hardwired and have the instincts to be able to survive almost anywhere -it’s so interesting. I love your YouTube videos keep trucking Ray

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