VIDEO: Ray Mears to share survival tips with Dundonians at city show
Survivalist Ray Mears has picked up a plethora of life-saving skills while conquering rainforests, mountains and deserts.
And next week he’s set to share those skills with an audience at the Whitehall Theatre in Dundee.
Speaking to the Tele ahead of Wednesday night’s show, the world-renowned woodsman, instructor, author and TV presenter said he “insisted” on coming to Scotland with his Born To Go Wild tour.
He said: “I’ve done several tours before but I insisted we came to Scotland.
“We’re marking 35 years of teaching bushcraft next year so we thought ‘let’s do it’.”
During the live show, Ray will give his audience a rare insight into his life as a wilderness explorer and the survival techniques that have enthralled TV viewers for years.
However, the family-friendly show will be packed with practical feats too, as Ray heats up the stage with a live fire demonstration.
He said: “We’ll be having some fun on stage — we’ll even be making fire. With this show, I want to talk to people about skills and how important they are. We’ll even do a bit of time travelling to look at how our ancestors did things. People will come away with a better understanding of what life was like for them.”
Ray has spent most of his life learning about and teaching bushcraft — an umbrella term for skills that can help someone survive in the wilderness.
He set up Woodlore, a bushcraft education company, in 1983 to help pass on these skills which he said form a “very beautiful subject” which could save someone’s life.
He said: “It’s something you can share with people. There is a survival aspect to it because you never know what the future will hold.”
Ray’s tour also coincides with his new series, Australian Wilderness with Ray Mears, which starts on STV next Friday.
His live show will feature some unused footage from the programme, which sees him explore the expansive Australian Outback, home to some of the most inhospitable places on Earth.
Closer to home, he was recruited by police in Rothbury, Northumbria, to track gunman Raoul Moat in local woodlands in the summer of 2010.
It gave his already enviable set of skills a stamp of authenticity.
However, he shied away from speaking about it for more than a year after the incident.
He added: “We were trying to find out what he was up to and at one point I would’ve been about 20 metres away from him. He had gone into the woods and made the place dangerous for other people.”
Despite his celebrity status, Ray says that at his core he isn’t a showman. He added: “Everything I’ve done on TV, I’ve done for real. I’m not having a pop at anyone else when I say that.
“I believe that if you have the ability, you have to make it available. If I don’t make that available I’m not being respectful to the craft. Tracking takes years to learn.
“A little skill can be enough to bamboozle people but the fact that what I do is all real is the magic of it. There’s nothing better than using your skills for real. You can dream up an idea but you have to see it out in the real world to get a better understanding of what’s real and what’s not.”
He also insists he’s not the expert many regard him as, adding: “I’m still learning every day. I never stop.
“I’m still a student, and I don’t like the term ‘expert’ as it suggests you’ve arrived.”