Adventure man strips off for wild new TV show

Johannesburg - It’s survival season on Discovery Channel (DStv 121). Marooned with Ed Stafford and a new series titled Tethered will demonstrate physical and mental endurance, and patience when you are forced to survive under the harshest and most uncomfortable conditions.

After spending 60 days naked and marooned off an island in Fiji, Ed Stafford is setting himself a new challenge to see how well he can thrive physically and mentally in some of the world’s toughest environments.  

Cameras will follow Ed as he lives in a remote location in the jungle of Venezuela, with the harsh conditions challenging his survival skills. With no access to anyone from outside, he will master critical things such as finding water, shelter and food quickly and show that with the right skills you can thrive in some of the harshest environments.

"I felt I needed to prove that I was able to survive in different locations without any assistance from the outside world. Deciding to go ahead with Marooned was literally designed with that in mind. One man stuck on a desert island for 60 days without any food or equipment… and can he survive?" said Ed Stafford.

Here’s how to survive in the wilderness according to Ed:

What are the first things you should do if you find yourself in the wilderness?

Ed: Maybe the question should be altered to ‘lost in the wilderness’? Stop. The first instance that you realise you are lost, take your pack off, sit on it and take a deep breath. The last thing you want to be doing is guessing where you are and rushing off in random directions. You will just get more lost. Once composed I would do exploratory probes in different directions looking for anything I recognised or that could help me. I'd write down all this information too as its likely that your brain will be spinning with adrenaline and not retaining much. Slowly but constructively you can then build upon what you know and regain control of your situation. Chances are that after a couple of probes in different directions you'll find your track or something that will re-orientate you -but the good thing about this method is that even if you can't get out or get to help -it is a great way to start helping you survive. You can note down water sources, food sources and shelter materials. All this information could be vital if you end up being in the situation for some time.

What is the one piece of advice you would give to someone trying to survive in the wilderness?

Ed: Treat it like a game. I'm not saying take unnecessary risks – I’m just saying that fear is your worst enemy -it causes you to panic and doubt yourself. Treat the situation like an exciting game -that you are going to throw yourself into 100% ¬and the process or surviving becomes fun. Everything then mutates from an overwhelming obstacle to a thrilling challenge and this deliberate alternative perspective is vital.

How do you light a fire?

Ed: Presuming you don't always carry a lighter or a striker you'll need to adapt to whatever vegetation the environment consists of. Very generally -you need to look for super dry wood that is not too decayed and still has enough strength in it. A good test is to try and stick your thumb nail into the wood. If it doesn't go in or leave a mark it is too hard. If the wood crumbles apart it is too soft. If you can just leave a nice indentation with your nail it may well work to make a friction fire. Fire by friction takes practice though and if you haven't tried it you won't realistically be able to make a fire. My advice would be to get a large metal tray and practice in front of the telly every evening until you've got it! Being careful to avoid any flammable sofas!

What are the most deadly wild plants you should avoid eating?

Ed: I'm always most fearful of mushrooms and toadstools as the deadly ones often look as inviting to eat as the edible ones. If in doubt -don't eat fungi. You can survive for far longer than you think without food.

How do you ensure water is clean to drink?

Ed: Any spring that comes directly out of the ground is likely to be pure as it hasn't had the chance to pick up impurities and has been filtered through the rocks and earth. Failing that make sure that water is fast flowing and clear -but drinking non-purified water from a river is always a calculated risk -you never know if an animal has died further upstream and contaminated the source.

What is the most useful knot you should learn how to tie?

Ed: A clove hitch. It’s especially great in a survival situation when you have nothing, as it can be used to tie poor grade vines and bark that would snap if you used another knot. And it’s a doddle to tie. Two loops in a rope, put one behind the other and slip it over a pole. Done. Google it to see children doing it blindfolded!

Watch the trailer here:

Don’t miss the ultimate test in mental and physical survival only in Discovery Channel’s Survival Season! Catch Marooned with Ed every Tuesday at 20:05 on Discovery Channel (DStv 121).

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