In a stunning celebration of one of earth’s last great wildernesses, Ray Mears goes on an epic adventure into Canada’s unforgiving yet inspiring landscape.
Part 1: The Forgotten Forest
His journey begins in the vast Boreal Forest at the heart of Canada. This is a place where knowledge and experience are still far more important than the equipment you carry, a place left alone for centuries before Europeans arrived. Ray explores the wonder of this special forest, learns about the people who called it home and unlocks the secrets of this forgotten world. This is a land where knowledge of bushcraft is not just desirable, it is essential.
Part 2: The Company that Built a Country
As Ray travels across land and by canoe, he tells the story of one of the greatest companies the world has ever known – the Hudson’s Bay Company that opened up Canada. Ray discovers how those early traders were pioneers who laid the foundations of the modern Canadian state. He also demonstrates local crafts and bushcraft skills that bring the landscape to life.
Part 3: The Unknown Pioneer
For Ray Mears there is one British pioneer who stands above all others in the exploration of Canada. That man is Samuel Hearne. In learning to travel using First Nations skills, he set the template for successful travel into Canada’s wilderness. Hearne’s story is defined by hardship and adventure, an inspiring tale made more powerful by the journal he left as a legacy. In a celebration of one of Earth’s last great wilderness
Part 4: In Arctic Footsteps
Ray follows in the footsteps of an unsung British hero who helped put modern Canada on the map. John Rae from Scotland was the first great Arctic explorer and came to be regarded as the foremost authority on First Nation methods of Arctic survival and travel. Ray Mears follows the story of how John Rae found the Northwest Passage – the Holy Grail of 19th-century exploration. Yet this man, who should have been a hero of his day, was vilified by the British establishment. Ray believes it’s time to put the record straight.
Part 5: Koo Koo Sint: The Star Gazer
David Thompson was a Briton who helped change the face of Canada. He mapped nearly four million square miles of North America. This would be an impressive feat today – in the 1800s it was, quite simply, staggering. Thompson effectively paved the way for trade from coast to coast in Canada, strengthening the status of the country and defining the borders that kept Canada independent from the US. Ray explores Thompson’s footsteps across the Rocky Mountains to the Pacific Coast. He draws on a new set of bushcraft skills and local knowledge, and explores the mapping techniques used by Thompson.
Part 6: Journey’s End
Until David Thompson found a route through the Rockies, the west coast was effectively cut off from the rest of Canada. Combined with the unique terrain of the Pacific coast, the result was a different land. The unique cultures, skills and landscape of Canada’s far west make it a rich and diverse place – a land of cedar boxes, steam-bent fish hooks and dugout canoes, and a place where totem poles once dominated the landscape and people relied on the sea. Ray Mears explores the area’s bushcraft, nature and traditions as he completes his journey across Canada.