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Film-maker Ed Wardle's Trek Across the Canadian Yukon - Follow the Adventure Online!

You'll remember our previous article about survival techniques in the Western wilderness - Man vs. Wild. This time we present another harrowing survival odyssey in the Canadian Yukon (this time in cooperation with the National Geographic Channel, with some exclusive content specially for DRB readers) - Alone in the Wild.

(all images courtesy National Geographic Channel)

There are three lesser-known Laws of Thermodynamics, against which we are constantly fighting:

1. You can't win.
2. You can't break even.
3. You can't quit the game.

These options seem pretty limiting, especially when you are battling the pitiless wilderness without adequate resources or supplies - when you need to survive on a bare minimum. Film-maker Ed Wardle - not a survival expert, just a natural adventurer - decided to trek across the Canadian Yukon, being followed by National Geographic Channel in near real-time for three months (remember the movie "EDtv"? It's just a naming coincidence, of course, although "reality TV" has come a long way since then).

Day 7 - Close Call. After his canoe capsizes, Ed is reminded just how little stands between life and death in the wild -

Week 3 - Washing in a Stream -

Find out more about his mini-camera and other equipment here.

(Various small cameras including tiny ‘bullet’ cameras)

Eating to Survive

He's been eating bark, leaves, plants and wildflowers (some even tasting a bit like oysters). But other flowers and plants are deadly - for example, one bite of the pretty blue Monk's Hood flower can kill you within six hours. So you do have to know what you are picking up.

The novelty of scavenging the forest for food has worn off, but Ed's still not into hunting -- if he can avoid it:

In Man vs. Wild it was the overly adventurous Bear Grylls that was tested to the extremes - including eating many untoward- and unappetizing-looking morsels (snakes, bugs, and worse). Now it's Ed Wardle's turn... here is an exclusive advance video for DRB:

(watch his latest video updates here)

Among his Twitter updates:

How does a porcupine taste? Well...

Follow Ed’s Twitter feed here

Day 6 - Skinning a Porcupine. After shooting a porcupine, Ed must figure out how to divest the skin without stripping the meat:

"Earth provides enough to satisfy every man's need, but not every man's greed." -- Mohandas Gandhi.

Ed has been lugging ridiculously heavy backpacks through nigh-on impenetrable forest - in wet clothes, with bloodied hands, on feet covered with blisters. He has been doing it for four weeks already...

There is a saying "If you're going through hell, keep going", indicating that at some point conditions are likely to improve. These updates from the Yukon Territory will culminate in the broadcast of Alone in the Wild on the National Geographic Channel in September, 2009.

DRB Exclusive: Bear Tracks. Ed's admittedly afraid of bears, and after spotting pawprints along his path decides they might be a little too close for comfort:


Watch Ed's latest videos here and follow his Twitter updates

Also Read: "Man vs. Wild" ->

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Blogger Fett101 said...

Had no idea the laws of thermodynamics applied to surviving in the wilderness. Silly me. I thought it dealt with heat and energy :\

Anonymous Steve said...

an acquaintance of mine make tours and rafts through the yukon- well ok we are from munic germany ;-)



Anonymous Keloo said...

I'll find it an real interesting experience. But isn't this really the "survival thing" out in the wilderness? Why does he have to twitter? I mean why do you really need access to the Internet out in the Yukon?
Maybe that's the deal for TV and National Geographic, but it seems a little odd to me.

"hi-pitched audio alarm built in that Ed can switch on as necessary. At night, the pressure pads can give early warning if predators (larger than a rabbit) roam through the camp."

Water-Resistant, High-Resolution Bullet Cameras 'FollowMe' Remote CamerasAutomatic Capture CamerasSony PalmcorderLightweight underwater Xacti camera - whre does the energy for all those from? Does he carry all the batteries along?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

That guy is an over-dramatizing idiot. It is warm, he has plenty of clothes and plenty of equipment. This isn't "survival", this is hiking. Join the nearest scout troop. They do the same thing every other weekend.

Blogger Bart said...

He's not 'just hiking': he needs to get his food from the wilderness. Although he has some rice and oatmeal, I expect the NGC producers to have pushed this so he will at least go for a few weeks. (halfway through he said he'd eat most of it in the next days because he was so hungry)

I checked his latest vids and he really has this malnourished desperate face, talking somewhat incoherent and generally look weak.

On cams, twitter and internet access: they're heavy and you can't eat them so they're probably more a burden then a boon.

The sunday scouts probably don't have to eat porcupine, berries and leafs to stay alive, also they don't have to sat-phoneair-rescue to get pulled.

Mad respect, i'd probably be dead in a week.

Blogger John's Arts & Crafts said...

Great Story & Photos! New blog on the Hx. of the Ladybug:http://historyoftheladybug.blogspot.com/

Anonymous Keloo said...

according to the twitter account, they pulled him out, because he wasn't in a good health. So maybe Bart was right in his comment, that he had some problems with finding food or getting anything good to eat.

Blogger Ali said...

Really neat to hear DRB got exclusive stuff on this show. :D

Anonymous Martiya Parsi said...

Isn't it amazing how we are fascinated by someone living in a world that many indigenous people did (and some still do) quite easily.

Blogger yoyar said...

I've lived outside for as much as a few weeks at a time. When things go wrong you really know it. You feel it deep inside because there isn't a hospital down the street or a friend to pick you up if your car breaks down. Most folks would've given up long before this guy. He's tough to have made it so far. He probably would have fared better if he's stayed where he was where there was more food. But that's the way it is outdoors. If you make a mistake that's it, there's no going back and you have to deal with the consequences which are immediate and unforgiving. I'll wager that anyone down on this guy hasn't camped more than 10 yards from a parking lot.

Blogger Mango said...

he didnt make it - he was short by 5 weeks i believe. it was a BBC production originally, so if you are looking for more information search BBC - too bad i would have loved to see him make it - apparently he was starving and going a little crazy

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I guess he tried but it seemed a little too amateurish. for example I don't know how he capsized his canoe in calm water, may be for drama. He should have made getting food his priority and not on twittering. They even gave him guns! As a good old Canadian boy I spent three and half months in the high Arctic (twice!) and I didn't get a cent for it. Too bad Discovery wasn't around 18 years ago, I could have been a super star!
P from Montreal

Blogger chenry said...

He didn't have adequate training and eventually used his emergency sat-phone to call for evac. He was suffering from delusions brought on by advancing starvation.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I made it through 15 minutes of this show just a bit ago. I understand that apparently he didn't make it to the end, which doesn't surprise me. He's a moron and obviously has no common sense. I understand the whole "no survival experience" pitch, but seriously. You have a gun, you have bedding, you have a myriad of supplies... stop whining.

US Army

Anonymous Robert said...

Started off as something that may have had some substance. There was only 4 episodes and the man started crying in episode 2. 3 and 4 were the same. Man looks for food. Man can't find food. Man cries. I probably would have cried myself out there but wathching it on tv was just painful. I beat myself for watching it through. Glad he came to his senses and went home. I loved the last scene when he was back in his hotel room. looked at the mirror at himself and of course...cried one more time...ha!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

He is a very sensitive guy, not wanting to kill, missing his family and girlfriend, and perhaps he isn't cut out for what he set out to do. His undoing was his need for human companionship combined with his total lack of food. He was on the verge of having an emotional breakdown. I'm glad he left. At least he had the option to do so. To show the world his vulnerabilities/weaknesses was very brave. I know lots of men who wouldn't even consider it. I just know he's a "keeper" and his girlfriend is lucky to have him.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

This show devolved into bad television. Ed has provisions, albeit spare, all the way to day 50. Plus, his producers brought him food! He didn't look like he was "starving" or anything near it. Editors could have done a much better job of showing his adventure instead of one crying scene after another. Ed is weak and it turned out...so is this show.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Show: Grade D
Ed: Grade F

This show rapidly became stupid and meaningless.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

My BS detector went off almost immediately. What a stupid show!

Les Stroud remains the genuine article.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Started watching this, and I must say, I'm less than impressed. Expecting a show about wilderness survival, and getting a grown man weeping will do that. Better to watch Survivorman, or My dvd of Lars Monsen going across Canada. Granted he used almost three years and had dogs and a sled, but at least it was watchable

Blogger Greg said...

I TiVo'd the whole show and I thought it was great. It does give you a pretty realistic vision of being alone in the wilderness.

I've done something similar on two occasions. The first was when I was 23 and I spent a month on the Canadian border camping by myself, living on a week's worth of food and fishing for the rest. Like Ed, I lost a good deal of weight. I brought a book and read it cover to cover three times.

The other time was a week long trip by myself again on the canadian border but this time at the age of 47.

When you are alone the wilderness is completely different than when you are with someone else. Completely different. There isn't anything to distract you and you are forced to live - if you will forgive the abstraction - totally inside your head. Time slows tremendously. You'd be amazed how much you can eat even when you aren't moving camp. Just making a fire requires 500 calories and you're lucky to get that back from a fish you caught.

I totally admire what Ed did. I do think he made some mistakes like moving around too much and not hunting large game like the Moose. It really isn't a nature vs. man test if he obeys the hunting seasons and doesn't shoot the ducks, so that part wasn't fair to him. Great show though. Too bad he didn't make the full 90 days.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

totally irresponsible for people like this to attempt these mid life adventures. Plus this fellow was not mentally ready for what this trip was about. Ed could never make it in the military. Stay in your favorite pub or coffee house Ed and stop making a fool of yourself.

US Army Retired

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I squirmed the entire time watching this idiots attempt at survival.. grow a pair and dry the eyes Ed.. what a worthless show... I learned everything not to do if found in this situation and I already know how to fish.

Anonymous Anonymous said...

@ Fett101:

Of course the laws of thermodynamics apply to surviving in the wilderness.

You must maintain a body (semi-closed system) temperature of 37 deg C, and that requires energy.

In other words: Find food or die :-)


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