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My Outdoor Life [Kindle Edition]

Ray Mears
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (117 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Ray Mears is a household name through his television series Tracks, World of Survival, Bushcraft Survival, The Real Heroes of Telemark and many more. He is a private individual who shuns publicity whenever possible and would prefer to let his many skills tell their own tale - until now.

In MY OUTDOOR LIFE, Ray tells of his childhood and the formative years when he first developed a passion for both bushcraft and the martial arts skills that are central to his life. Having travelled the world several times over, he is no stranger to risk and has had more than his fair share of dangerous and life-threatening encounters to share with his readers. But his life is so much more than a tale of derring-do. Shortly after he returned to England having narrowly survived a serious helicopter crash, his father died. Just a year later, he had to face the death of his first wife Rachel. The book conveys the many sides of Ray Mears, taking us up to the present day - including the previously untold story of his involvement in the man-hunt for murderer Raoul Moat.

MY OUTDOOR LIFE gives us all a chance to share a life-story as rich and as inspirational as a walk in woods with the man himself, Ray Mears.

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Moving...gripping...The rather old-fashioned qualities he admires in others: fortitude, understatedness, loyalty, above all stoicism, are the same ones we admire in him. Long may he survive. (Daily Mail)

Book Description

'If Ray Mears isn't a Great Living Englishman, then goodness me, who is? Ray is a persuader, pragmatist and populariser in the Durrell-Attenborough-Bellamy tradition.' - Robert Crampton, The Times

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An excellent book by a true inspiration. 17 Sept. 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have followed Ray Mears career since he first appeared on 'Tracks' in the mid nineties, and avidly watched each of his TV series and read his books as they came out. He always struck me as a man who has lived life to the full, and I always hoped he would write an autobiography.
And here it is, and I was not disappointed, this is a superb read. Coming up to his fiftieth birthday, he has crammed as much into these years as most would in ten lifetimes.
It follows his school years, judo, and his friendship with the man and mentor who helped to spark his obsession with the outdoors.
His determination and drive, even at an early age, were admirable, and he seemed to possess a maturity, determination and intelligence that few people have.
His career has been fascinating, and left me with a feeling of huge admiration for the man.
His life has not all been sunsets and exotic places, like everyone he has had set backs and tragedies in his life, and he deals with these honestly and unflinchingly.
Overall, this was the book I always hoped he would write, and it is an inspiration to anyone interested in the outdoors, bushcraft , conservation, or the future of the natural world.
I cannot recommend it enough.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Well worth the wait. 28 Jun. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Fantastic book, I've waited a long time to read Ray's autobiography, I was not disappointed.
You find out so much about his life that you don't get from any of his t.v programs. Ray is so enthusiastic about nature and all the people he meets on his travels.
I was hooked from the start,very interesting and Informative.
Ray is an inspiration to us all.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who is interested in nature, travel, people, Ray's documentaries and previous books.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Harvest of a Quiet Eye 17 Sept. 2013
As a naturalist, there is no doubt that Ray Mears is the one in the public eye who is the most profoundly connected to the magic of the natural world; he is immersed in all its wonder.

His chapter Going Solo, in language without flamboyance or sentimentality, describes a journey in a birch bark canoe along some lakes and rivers in Canada. You are beside him, this writer with a keen eye, the whole way.

As a boy living in Sussex, Ray became captivated by the natural history of the woodlands near his home. With a talent for observation, he embarked upon what amounts to an intense training, pursuing every opportunity to explore and draw upon every available resource he could find regarding bushcraft, natural history and outdoor survival techniques. This concentrated effort of wide reading and practical application over a substantial time built an extraordinarily deep knowledge; indeed, as he freely admits, the learning continues to this day.

At school, his interest in judo both as a physical skill and a mental discipline introduces him to Kingsley Hopkins who becomes a mentor, a fount of wisdom, and encourages him in outdoor life. Later, an interest in photography provides Ray with his job working for World magazine - but not before persistently accruing the necessary skills to produce a portfolio with the high standard sufficient to convince the editor to finally assign him.

As his skills and contacts develop, he begins to offer courses on fieldcraft, and consolidates these into a small business which steadily grows. Today, Woodlore provides wide ranging training courses plus equipment for those keen to benefit from a greater understanding of the world around them, and to learn and apply practical skills.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible outdoor life, so far... 24 Sept. 2013
I bought the book and finished reading it within 10 days. It is a fantastic read. I've been following Ray's work for the past decade and had only recently got the opportunity to take part in one of his courses, (It was a present from my parents for Uni graduation) learning the different techniques of fire-lighting. It was hard work I must admit but nevertheless, it was a great experience and incredibly satisfying and reading this book just makes you want to go outdoors again to practice more of these skills.
The book also shows how very knowledgable Ray is in Bushcraft/Outdoor Survival; learning the skills from when he was a boy wondering around the woods in North Downs, England to learning skills from the various tribes and hunter-gathers from around the world but also putting his skills to the test, e.g. tracking a certain man who was on the run for murder. He has a chapter about this and it is quite fascinating.
The book also indicates how very down-to-earth Ray is. For example, he does not use his TV programmes for entertainment purposes (unlike some other outdoor programmes) but solely for educational purposes, to encourage the viewers at home to go outdoors and try out bushcraft skills. I honestly believe that without his TV programmes, he would not have had as many students in Woodlore School as he does now, I might be wrong but I can only speak for myself.
We are lucky to have people like Ray and his Woodlore team, especially at a time when the world today is in grave danger of becoming a concrete jungle and losing their traditional skills using natural resources where they treat them carefully and not abuse them to the point that they are gone forever.
If you like biographies, outdoors, survival or bushcraft, this book is worth purchasing.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Brilliant book .... arrived in good time ... a very good read !
Thank you
Published 15 days ago by B. J. Mimm
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
great book
Published 1 month ago by Not Amused
3.0 out of 5 stars Not all that!
Not bad but he is not shy of explaining how wonderful he is (like how he amazed the police with his tracking skills. Please!) Modesty is not his strong point. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Lol D.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like reading about an adventurous
Fascinating. What a varied life. Every chapter a new experience. If you like reading about an adventurous, outdoor life this is the one. Read more
Published 1 month ago by john truman
5.0 out of 5 stars Do read this beautiful book.
This is a wonderful work, often insightful and occasionally very moving. This book reveals the man I have admired for many years to be as well spoken and thoughtful as he appears... Read more
Published 1 month ago by J. L. Carter
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
good to find out a bit about the man we all think we know
Published 2 months ago by B J Hatchard
5.0 out of 5 stars buy this and learn something
A great book from Ray (as if I knew him). I would recomend to all to have a read and see how life has it's twists and turns. Inspirational!! Read more
Published 2 months ago by gordon hughes
5.0 out of 5 stars great book
really enjoyed this book . its an honest no frills account of a man who just loves every aspect of nature and being a part of this amazingly diverse world. well worth reading,
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars I purchased this as a Christmas present for my son ...
I purchased this as a Christmas present for my son who is very interested in the outdoor life - it is a fascinating and absorbing read and written with the usual vivacity one can... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Thetis of the Silver Feet
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Very good read
Published 3 months ago by richard
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