Ray Mears, an English woodsman and TV presenter, is known for the famous TV series, Wild food. In the episodes, Ray Mears goes to different countries’ tropical forests or deserts. Under different conditions, he tries to use all resources around him to survive. Travelling extensively around the world, Ray Mears have developed a broad and practical knowledge of edible plants and such.
Most of the survival techniques in the TV series ‘Ray Mear’s World of Survival: Extreme Survival’ and ‘Ray Mears Goes Walkabout’ are learned from indigenous peoples. Ray’s travel to Australia gave the viewers an insight on the lifestyle of Aboriginals. The episode showed Ray face to face with the witchetty grub, the biggest maggot to live in the roots of a witchetty bush. Other episodes try to further emphasize the role of food to a hunter or gatherer.
Gatherers or hunters are believed to have an inner connection with their surroundings. The nature, its animal residents and plants are all connected along with the hunter or gatherer. The hunter/gatherer is meant to find his wild food and should be thankful for its blessing.
In the episode ‘Summer Harvest’, Ray Mears showed viewers how our early ancestors preserved their meat and gathered berries. Their diet composes of a healthy balance and they had a very good technique of preserving venison by smoking it.
A similar view is showed in the episode ‘Woodland’ where viewers are given a closer look on how our ancestors gathered as many nuts as possible before the winter fell.
In ‘Wetland’, Ray Mears is accompanied by Professor Gordon Hillman, a plant expert, to France. They inspect marshes and waterways that ancestors used to travel through. Water lilies are shown to be a good source of carbohydrate and stings can be taken out of nettles easily. He also demonstrates how to spear fish in the river efficiently.
What Ray Mears mainly teach viewers is that no matter where a person is, there are resources that can be used in different ways. Despite being stranded or trapped in a forest, anyone can gather berries for food. Other wild food can be found in the form of tree roots, leaves and even fat maggots.
Simple survival skills, Ray Mears proves, are more helpful than survival kits like tents, knives or flashlights. If a person has some knowledge of starting a fire, there will be no need for a flashlight. Sleeping does not have to be done on a comfortable sleeping bag. A clump of leafy plants may provide enough comfort. On the topic of food, people will find it useful to know that green bananas are healthier and has more potassium than yellow ones. They can save energy or restore some during times of fatigue. Roots have more nutrition and contain at least 60% water and will help rehydrate a thirsty person.
There are many ways to acquire the basic human needs; one will only need to consider the items around him/her. No one thing is completely useless and nature is abundant with our basic necessities.