E6: PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Through the perilous jungle Survivorman treks deep, with the help of a couple of local guides. Led off the beaten path he is deserted alone in this primordial landscape. Starting off the week sick with a parasite form the water, all of Les’s survival expertise will be tested for the next 7 days as food is scarce and shelter from the rain is hard to find in the deep jungles of Papua New Guinea Being in the middle of the jungle in the spring is no place you would want to venture. Rain comes in torrential downpours daily, and the night sky is always rumbling with the sound of thunder accompanying the looming nightly showers. Les has no choice but to start off the week by taking care of his first priority… Shelter. With a shelter erected the quest for the next essential survival tool begins, fire. With most of the jungle being soaked Les attempts to light a fire using dry vines and what little dry tinder he can find. With these conditions it is no surprise that fire starting is next to impossible. Luckily precautions were taken for such a scenario and a butane torch is pulled from the emergency kit. A fire is roaring in no time but to keep it going will undoubtedly be a challenge especially in such an ill state. In his quest for food Les finds himself extremely hard pressed. Being in the jungle very little food is suitable for human consumption. With a few local vegetables and plants given to him from his guides and still suffering bouts of diarrhea due to the parasite Les is quickly running out of energy. Waking up to find wild pigs in his camp traps are promptly set up in hopes of getting some fresh meat. When the traps bare no meat the need to desert cam p and travel further into the forest becomes crucial in order to find suitable food. Leaving the camp it isn’t long before a jungle farm is found. Tempted to pillage the farm Les is at a crossroads as to survive or to take what is not his all while knowing that the local punishment for such a deed is nothing short of death. Sick, hungry, wet and tired Les is brought yet another choice by the local villagers, stay in the jungle and survive the last 2 nights or join them in a local celebration which no white man has participated in before. Les leaves the jungle at the end of the fifth day to participate in the generous offering from the local natives. The celebration is quite fitting for his last venture into the great unknown in the final episode of Survivorman.
Forced to land his ultralight aircraft due to miscalculation in fuel, Survivorman is once again out to endure the elements for seven days in this spectacular locale… the Australia Outback. Its spring “down under” and temperatures can be as hot as 45°C – or just above freezing. The location is home to the deadly brown kingsnake and death adder – among the most venomous in the world. To help protect himself during rest, Les clears away the brush to lay a scavenged rope in a circle around him. Some aboriginals believe that snakes don’t like to cross it, so he decides to test this lore. He’s fortunate to find a fresh water stream where he fishes for yabbies… more commonly know in North America as cray fish using the sleeve of his shirt as a trap. His diet is supplemented with edibles such as tar vine, lemon grass, acacia victoriae tree sap and watercress. He also finds witchetty grubs, the term used to refer to this large, white, wood-eating grubs. They’re large enough that they can be eaten raw or cooked and are an excellent source for high- protein. On day seven he uses Spot, an emergency location device, to see how fast the safety team can find him in this forbidding environment.
Temagami, pronounced “Te-MAWG-a-mee” is Ojibway for “deep water by the shore.” It’s located in northeastern Ontario and home of some of the oldest rocks on the face of the planet, old growth pine forests, clear deep lakes, and it boasts artifacts and stone drawings dating as far back as 6000 B.C. It was Grey Owl’s stomping ground and now, Survivorman’s. Autumn can be quite beautiful at this time of year, but the nights are cold at around freezing, and the days are fickle… rain, sun, humidity, are all possible within a very short time with little or no warning. Les and his friend, Bob, are out for a hunting weekend when they get separated from each other and lost from their ATV which is carrying all their supplies. Spending the first night separated, Bob opts for a birch bark mattress while Les sleeps in his hunting blind. The next day, they are reunited through a series of gun blasts and whistle calls. Although no luck hunting, they manage to shoot a squirrel and capture a snake which, along with various wild edibles is a meal ready for their fire, started using the gunpowder from a shotgun shell. Thirsty from their meal, Les shows Bob how to drink water from rain-filled moss and the two settle in for a harmonica duet to boost spirits. Eventually, search-and-rescue is called in to find our survivors. Although they hear the chopper, they’re unable to signal it due to the thick tree canopy. But choppers aren’t the only source of tracking available to the SAR and the dogs make short work of finding our lost hunters.
E3: ARCTIC TUNDRA
In the land of the midnight sun, Survivorman heads in to 72°.46 N – the northern tip of Baffin Island. Living here is an exercise in survival. Getting to the base camp takes two days longer the expected due to weather. On-route the boats are surrounded by a pod of orca… killer whales. And Les soon notices what the killer whales are after… thousands of narwhale; something that most of the Inuit rarely see. Les’s survival starts on the Arctic tundra coast where he’s left with a folding canoe, CB radio, fishing tackle, some whale blubber and his wits. Since bad weather is upon him, refuge in an old plywood box is essential as he stays vigilant for polar bear and arctic wolf. Soon he finds some old steel wool and uses the battery terminals from his CB radio to start fire and decides to fish for some arctic char… the ubiquitous fish will be necessary if Les is to survive this bleak tundra for seven days.
E2: COLORADO ROCKIES
Cowboys… the iconic figure of the Wild West and the Colorado Rockies. These seven days finds Les surviving not alone, but with two horses. This gives survival a whole new twist. Out for a casual day’s ride, Les (and horses) have to survive temperatures that vary from 70°F in the day to snow flurries at night. The mosquitoes are thick and relentless and mountain lions hunt in the area. While trying to find graze and water for the horses, Les has to collect food in the form of wild edibles… shooting stars, lady supper dandelion, glacier lily and more. Then casting his hand at fly-fishing, he doesn’t catch a brook trout, or brookie as they’re known locally… he catches two! And what better way to eat fresh fish, then cooked. Of course it’s always easier if you have fire with which to cook the fish, so utilizing his flashlight, he breaks the bulb but keeps the filament intact. Then with a simple push of the “on” switch, his fish fry is only a flame lick away.
E1: SIERRA NEVADA
The California Gold Rush drew people from all over the world to the rugged Sierra Nevada’s. Now it’s a hiker’s dream – drawing people from all over the world. You can easily hike for miles and miles here. The problem is… it’s just as easy to get lost. Les finds himself in the predicament of a lost hiker. Travelling with a typical “day hiker” pack – only provisions for an overnight stay – Les needs to make the most of what he’s brought with him, and scrounge the rest. Fortunate to have a tent, he still needs to find nourishment without stumbling into poison oak which abounds in this area. Miner’s lettuce, wild onions, Manzanita flowers, pine buds and acorns are but a few of the local flora he can eat. As night falls, it’s time for fire and he makes short use of the flashlight that he brought, turning this battery-powered utility into a real “torch.” As the seventh day of his ordeal dawns, the local Search and Rescue unit takes to air and land to try and find Les. Truly lost, if they don’t find him, Les could be in real trouble…