Man at His Best

Have A Talk With Ed Stafford Before He's Left For Dead

Time is ticking.

BY Editors | Oct 25, 2017 | Film & TV

Image from Discovery UK. Credit: DNI

Remember Man vs. Wild? Where we saw the survivalist spirit rise above whatever it is that nature tosses its way? The titular star of Discovery Channel’s Ed Stafford: Left for Dead, challenges the elements by having himself be plonked in the middle of nowhere and relying on his wits to get to his destination in a certain timeframe or risk embarrassment in having to call in for aid. Either way, it makes for engrossing TV. We pick Stafford’s brain about his.

You've travelled the world, went on expeditions, where did this love of adventuring came from?

I’ve always had an affinity with nature—I grew up in the countryside and built dams and treehouses as a kid. All of that led to me to join the army. While I didn’t have the discipline to stay in the military, the experience gave me the grounding and the skills I needed to live a life of adventure. Naturally, this led to my passion for leading expeditions.

What are some of the "unknown places" that you would like to explore?

I’d love to visit Antarctica, China and India—all places I have not been to.

It'd seem that throughout human existence on earth, there are still places on this planet that have not been discovered or talked about. What's your take on that? Is there still more to discover?

I think it’s very easy to think that we’ve seen it all in this modern day. Invariably, we all have very similar travel maps, but it’s easy to get off the beaten track and explore things that aren’t the norm. Personally, I would prefer to stumble across a little mountain stream in the middle of the jungle on my own than go to Niagara Falls with all the other tourists. I like personal experiences and meeting people. Having the privilege to go and film in these locations with Discovery Channel gives me a purpose. You get a different experience working alongside the locals.

Much has been documented about your survival skills in far-flung islands and such but what about urban areas like Alcatraz prison? Does that still fall under your purview as a survivalist?

I don’t think it does. While I probably would be able to survive in prison, I wouldn’t have an advantage over anyone else. Nature is the thing that ties all my stuff together—I feel very at home with nature. As I’m not a terribly urban person, I think I would be just as vulnerable as anyone else in an urban setting like prison.

Speaking of uncharted territories, you're expecting a child, how's the endeavour into fatherhood coming along?

We’ve started HypnoBirthing classes. As long as the mid-wife allows it, I will be able to deliver the child in a birthing pool at home. Honestly, I can’t wait to be a dad. This is without a doubt the most wonderful thing that has happened – fatherhood has given everything meaning and I could not be happier. I cannot wait to have my child come into my life.

Ed Stafford: Left for Dead is shown every Tuesday at 9pm on Discovery Channel.