Ray Mears: Tales of Endurance Interview

Ray Mears

Bush craft expert, author and TV presenter Ray Mears will be touring his thought provoking live show Tales of Endurance across the UK this March.

 

The 24 date affair stops off at The Lowry in Salford on 13th March and will see Ray sharing some of the stories that have inspired him on his travels and should appeal to fans of Mears’ popular TV shows and anyone with an interest in the great outdoors.

 

I was fortunate enough to speak to the famous outdoorsman last week, he was keen to impress on me how much better these stories are when told in person rather than on his TV show,

 

If we televise these stories then we are limited in what we can say and they become very dry, on the tour I can talk more personally in order to bring the stories to life.

 

He was also very keen to highlight the educational quality of these tales insisting:

 

There’s many things we can learn from the things the people did right and the things they did wrong.

 

So how does an English man become interested in bush craft? Ray grew up in a part of the country where there’s plenty of trees and great open spaces which he describes as simply perfect. He also developed an interest in trapping foxes as a child but lack of knowledge and equipment meant his outdoor pursuits were always cut short. For many youngsters that could have been fad over and onto the next, but that’s not Mears’s style. A little help and encouragement from his Judo teacher meant his outdoor aspirations were back on track.

 

We did mandatory Judo at school and the guy who taught us fought in Burma in the second world war, he said to me “We didn’t have equipment either, we used these skills” which he taught me - that’s when the world of bush craft opened up to me.

 

Once you walk through that door you start to ask questions and answer them but every answer poses 10 more, I’m still learning.

 

Over and above everything else it’s good fun. He said

 

Now the thing that puts me off is that endurance activities are such hard work, do we have to take ourselves to the brink to find out what kind of endurance qualities we have?

 

I think that’s what happens. All of these stories are of people in dire situations where some will just give in.

 

What these stories do is to make you think about yourself, make you ask yourself what you would do in this situation. How would I deal with that? Why did this person survive?

 

Should we prepare ourselves for some horror stories?

 

Yes, there’s some pretty strong stuff.

 

What these stories do is to make you think about yourself, make you ask yourself what you would do in this situation. How would I deal with that? Why did this person survive?

 

They pose questions and I think that’s really important. We don’t get so many opportunities to do that and we get so many distractions in everyday life.

 

To think so deeply about things is quite rare and these stories encourage us to do just that.

 

There’s a fine line between what you say and putting yourself in danger.

 

Some people put themselves in danger but others have no way of avoiding it.

 

Ray Mears

Are you a cautious fella?

 

Yes, but not in a hesitant way, you pay regard to your preparation, and think about the consequences of your actions. That’s what keeps you alive.

 

Can you recall being in a dire situation?

 

I don’t think of it like that, you just focus and get on with things. We teach people to focus on one thing at a time and if you do that 99 times out of 100 everything will end fine.

 

The stories are also very humbling, when you realise some of these people are the most unlikely characters doing extraordinary things.

 

The wilderness is no different to the city but it requires a different set of skills.

 

Being a city dweller I figured you had to be raised by wolves or have served in the special forces otherwise the wilderness might eat you. Ray insists this is simply not true;

 

The wilderness is no different to the city but it requires a different set of skills.

 

At some point in your life you might find yourself in a situation where you can make things better for others but there may be a risk involved, these stories will have extra importance at that time.

 

Everyone has the potential to do extraordinary things. The most ordinary of people have done the most extraordinary things. That’s the message of the show.

 

RAY MEARS: TALES OF ENDURANCE – UK TOUR

Show begins: 7.30pm

 

Ticket Prices

Adult tickets: £21

Child tickets (under 16): £15

Family ticket (2 adults 2 children): £68

Concessions / OAPs: £18.50

Parties/ Groups receive one free ticket per ten tickets booked

 

**This show is not suitable for children under 12 years old**

 

Running Time

First half: 1 hour

Second half: 40 mins (plus 20 mins Q & A)

There will be a book signing after each show

 

www.raymears.com

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