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Ray Mears Northern Wilderness [DVD]

24 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Subtitles: English
  • Subtitles For The Hearing Impaired: English
  • Region: All Regions
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: Exempt
  • Studio: Woodlore
  • DVD Release Date: 7 Dec. 2009
  • Run Time: 400 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B002FHS300
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 61,014 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Bush craft survivalist Ray Mears travels by foot, canoe, and snowshoe through the Great Northern wilderness. Exploring the Hudson Bay by canoe, Ray tells the story of the fur trade before following in the footsteps of early pioneers Samuel Hearne and David Thompson who charted the Rocky Mountains. In addition, Ray demonstrates the survival skills employed by both native Canadians and the Inuit to survive one of the most hostile environments on the planet.

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

63 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Rowena Hoseason HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 19 Nov. 2009
This is a series for people who've followed Ray Mears' previous efforts and are already in tune with the basics of bushcraft and exploration. If you're hoping for blow-by-blow accounts of how to light a fire using nothing but moss and friction, or which berries can be eaten or which plants cure dysentery, then you need to go back to his earlier programmes where he covers the basics of outdoor survival, of living in nature and with nature.
Northern Wilderness pretty much assumes that you're already up to speed with that kind of background, and instead takes a broader look at the stunningly beautiful Canadian countryside, its heritage and the people who discovered it and shaped its development.

So you get far more than just a travelogue or survival guide in these hour-long programmes. Instead Ray Mears demonstrates how individual explorers discovered the wild lands of Canada; how the fur trade and later commercial development led to the birth of a nation. Mears explains the background of the history of the country itself and how the Europeans and native peoples worked alongside each other - often, sadly, to the detriment of the First Nation and the wild animals.
Mears uses a variety of forms of transport to re-trace important journeys into the wilderness, going by canoe to tell the story of the Hudson's Bay Company whose early traders laid the foundations of the modern Canadian state. Another episode follows the route of explorer Samuel Hearne who learned native skills in order to complete his epic 1000 mile journey beyond the tree line and into the tundra. Another of the six programmes looks at the Arctic explorer John Rae who found the Northwest Passage, and Mears examines his (dodgy) reputation and attempts to set the record straight.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By H. Dowdalls on 7 Dec. 2009
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BBC was set up to be Educational,Entertaining,and Explorative.

Having lived on East and West Canada,Toronto,Quebec City,Edmonton,And Vancouver,returning to UK some years ago,i can honestly say that Ray Mears has captured for me the essence of the vast size of this beautiful Country,and its extremes of Climate.He has done so in a matter of fact,educational way.But for me,the iceing on the cake is the historic "throw away fact",which he entwines with his enthusiastic narrative.He also "lives with Nature",which would be a wise thing for us all to appreciate at this time.
Excellent series.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Agma on 3 Dec. 2009
This documentary of course broadcast on the BBC not so long ago, will no doubt join the ranks of excellent documentary series recently shown by the BBC such as Wild china, Yellowstone and South pacific, i don't know what happening in the BBC at the moment but the photography in these new documentaries is amazing, still "Northern wilderness" is no different. in fact i don't think i have ever seen the canadian forest and tundra shown so well if i'm honest, it's really striking and very impressive indeed it's that good you almost forget your watching a DVD and that your standing there in person!

Ray's latest series is a little but not a complete departure from his older catalogue in respect to the content covered, i definitely agree with the other reviewer who mentioned that Ray spends a little less time on the "hands on" survival skills this time but with a increased leaning towards the meeting of the locals and general exploration of the canadian outback, the geographic and historical points are generally more frequent and are presented in a better context. Though Ray still has time to put his extensive survival skills into practice and it's great to see him sharing them with the natives as it is very friendly and warming to watch.

The whole package comes across as a well balanced, mature and frankly a joy to watch series and i would say that this is probably Ray's best series yet ( Although wild food for me was a close second.) and definitely worth the money, overall Ray once again proves he has no equal and has the knowledge and experience to show the beauty of planet earth in a way no one else can, i expected great things from this DVD and all of have been delivered and then some, this is one of the best DVD documentaries i have had the pleasure of viewing, and i think Ray will do well if he can top this one in the future..... An absolute must buy, amazing.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Molecatcher Brad on 6 Dec. 2009
Ray's done it again!
He just keep's getting better!
The content, the attention to detail, the superb location filming, and Ray's delivery...
No 'hairy-chested' dramatics, just a guy who's devoted to, and enthuses about his subject matter.
He's without doubt an expert in his field, but never too proud to learn.
If anyone could step into David Attenborough's shoes.... well, he's as good as you'll get!
I just sit there and say; "This is what we pay our licence fee for".
Well done Ray and your team.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By nunamiut on 26 Feb. 2010
Verified Purchase
Beautiful filming and fascinating stories from one tv presenter who knows his stuff.

This is not a ridiculous man vs. nature series, but an insightful series about man's relationship with nature.

Mears series are engaging and gives one interest to read and learn more on both the people mentioned (f.ex the story of the unfair treatment of the achievements of John Rae)and the skills and crafts portrayed.

But, way too much focus on Hudson Bay Company and people associated with that company. Fascinating stories about expeditions into Canadas unmapped terrains, but sadly mainly for exploring and mapping natural resources.Maybe it would have been best that some placed were unmapped. The focus on the trading company is somewhat problematically contrasted with Mears genuine interest in the skills of The First Nations of Canada.

Also, a bit too much focus on so called leadership skills of the persons portraited (mind you all european and english) and a bit anglosentric,but I guess that is inevitable when broadcasted by the BBC.

That aside, an excellent series.

One other tip (from a norwegian point of view)about the joys of living in and with nature:

Read some of the books by Helge Ingstad, f.ex The Land of Feast and Famine,about his stay with a group of reindeer hunters on the tundra east of the Great Slave Lake, near the source of the Thelon River. In those days(1920s)still unmapped, and therein lay the fascination....This book has been a great introduction for many Norwegians to the joy of the great outdoors, and about pursuing a dream of living with nature.
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