Communion Of Dreams

What kind of idiot . . .
August 26, 2009, 11:16 am
Filed under: Emergency, Failure, Guns, Preparedness, Survival

Take a good look at this picture:

Guy looks reasonably well supplied, right? Good clothes, pump shotgun. Full sized backpack, sleeping roll visible on the bottom. He looks to be in decent physical condition, about 30-40 years of age.

Now read the first bit of the article that goes with that picture:

It promised to stretch reality television to the limit: one man pitting his wits against the Yukon wilderness with just a camera for company.

But hopes for an epic three-month contest between man and nature were dashed when adventurer Ed Wardle failed to go the distance.

Seven weeks after striding out into the rugged forests of western Canada armed with a rifle and a fishing rod, Mr Wardle had to be airlifted back to civilisation suffering from starvation.

Here’s another bit:

Mr Wardle was chosen for the project because of his abilitiy as a cameraman and producer, and his experience of filming in the North Pole and on the summit of Everest.

He has worked on shows for Channel 4, ITV, BBC and Discovery.

But he had no specific training for living alone in the remote territory, 80 per cent of which is pristene wilderness.

OK, I saw this story early this morning, and have been thinking about it. It’s stuck in my head sufficiently that I can’t concentrate on working on the caregiving book until I write about it and get it out of my system. I’ve had several reactions to the whole thing, but I keep coming back to: “what kind of idiot do you have to be to try something like this without at least rudimentary training in wilderness survival?”

But close behind that is: “what kind of idiot, that well equipped (the article says that he had a fishing pole and tackle, as well), would you have to be in order to *not* survive just fine for three months in an environment teeming with fish & game?”

I mean, yeah, sure, anything can happen. Twist an ankle or break your wrist in a fall, and you’re in pretty deep shit. But look back at that photo – that guy could easily have enough decent gear and a change of clothes to get through three months of living rough without any problems. Hell, I’m in poor physical condition (relative to him, anyway) and I’m confident that I could do it just fine. I would’ve preferred a good .22 over the shotgun – much lighter ammo, and living off of small game is easier – but still.

Well, OK, that’s out of my system. Back to work.

Jim Downey

8 Comments so far
Leave a comment

No matter how well equipted you are-if you ain’t got the wetware to support it, almost inevitably doomed to failure of some kind (see Scott/Antarctic story). Or is that to frilling obvious for these people ?

Comment by Gerhardt

Definitely. As someone on one of the gun forums (where I saw this) put it: “software before hardware”.

Jim D.

Comment by James Downey

[…] Downey has also blogged about it. Related PostsWhat’s wrong with this picture?Rumor: Cerberus acquire Advanced Armament […]

Pingback by Reality TV take note: Carrying a shotgun does not make you a survival expert | The Firearm Blog

Made for TV eh? That explains it. Maybe he should ave watched survivorman…

Instincts and Hunting
Bloggers: Defenders of the Great Outdoors

Comment by Albert Rasch

I would say he forgot at least one additional key item, which is the ability to make fire. Maybe there’s a lighter in there someplace.

Overall I would agree with everybody who would say that this is an epic fail because the dude didn’t know how to hunt or fish and probably had never eaten anything he had to clean first. Guess with all his film experience the guy never watched Into the Wild or any other movie like that?

Comment by ML

Aarrgghh! These idiots, and those who produce this crap, just make me want to scream. I grew up having to survive from hunted and fished game, gathering wild edibles, making use of natural available materials and animal parts, etc. etc. and these morons with a ton of gear and a GUN and ROD cannot survive 3 months??? Give me a break form these moronic dimwits of TV land and inner city high rises. Hey, hears a thought….PICK SOMEONE WHO CAN HUNT AND FISH and actually has some REAL backwoods experience. NOT some pretty boy with a false Hollywood ego.
Geez, how did the mountain men ever make it with a muzzle loader?? LOL….

Comment by Delles

Downey – If you think you could eaily handle this you’re an arrogant egotistical fool. The whole idea is to show how a fairly AVERAGE person would cope with living in the wildness for 3 months, not some SAS survival expert. And seeing as Mr Wardle is probably rather above average fitness you are a totally self-deluded “kind of idiot”.

Comment by Handy

Do you really believe that, or are you just getting paid to defend this idiot?

Look, I’ve grown up hunting and fishing. I’ve camped and lived in the wild for weeks at a time. With the level of equipment that Wardle had, combined with basic training in how to use it, he should have been able to live in the wilderness easily for three months. This doesn’t require “SAS survival expert” ability – they didn’t just hand him a knife and a length of fishing line and drop him in his skivvies 400 miles from nowhere.

Jim D.

Comment by James Downey

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