As instructor, author and television presenter the survival specialist has brought traditional skills to millions of people. We asked him what 5 things he thinks are worth heeding in life
Team work is vital
You can take a stick and you can break it; take two sticks and it’s harder to break them; but if you take a handful of sticks you can’t break them, so being a team is really important. The team is built from strong individuals. Each must learn the skills they are being taught for themselves, because you never know which part of the team may need to support the other. You don’t coast on the others in a team, each person holds their own. With the buddy-buddy principle, one person looks after another, then one pair looks after another, and so you build this dynamic chain of support as an active principle of how you do things, and that makes your team really strong.
Will to survive
The most important thing is always your attitude and determination never to give in.
The importance of study
I was tiny when I acquired outdoor skills, eight, nine, 10 years old. I taught myself from books and by meeting people. I had a judo teacher who had been in Burma behind the lines during the Second World War, and he opened the door into bushcraft techniques and skills, and then it was a matter of research. When I started there was no YouTube, no reliable manuals, and I had to go to anthropological records to find the answers. I really had to do my homework carefully, to study and learn the plants, there were no easy answers. Most of the information that was available when I was young was for other countries, not for Britain, so I had to extrapolate – so you use this tree for this thing, so is there a tree similar to that in Britain that might do the same thing? And then I’d go out and experiment. I think of this hardship as an advantage, it gave me a schooling in the subject that very few people had. It was good fun.
Bushcraft is a connection with nature
There are many reasons why people learn bushcraft skills, and reconnecting to nature is a very big part of it. It’s the most profound connection to nature, it’s a practical study of nature.
Seek your own wilderness
Everyone must find their own place. If I pointed out somewhere everyone would go there. Woodland and forest would be my favourite type of landscape.
Land Rover is a partner of HITZ, and with the help of Land Rover ambassador and explorer Ray Mears, is providing HITZ participants with a unique outdoor experience as reward for their progress on the HITZ programme.