Did you ever want a certain gear item you didn’t have?
A machete in the jungle. There is so, so much you can do with a machete that is almost impossible with a small knife. But therein lies the challenge. Most people who get lost in the jungle do so with very little—that’s why I go in with the bare minimum. This is what seven seasons of Man vs. Wild has really been about: empowering people to survive with the minimum amount of gear if disaster strikes.
What’s the most unexpected piece of gear you carry?
A laminated photo of my family that I keep under the sole of my shoe. Never underestimate the power of hope.
You’ve encountered some amazing wildlife. Is there an animal you’d like to see again?
I would love to swim close up once more with huge humpback whales. It was an incredible reminder of the quiet power of nature; the aura of strength and calm was palpable.
One you wouldn’t?
Probably the saltwater crocs in Australia’s Northern Territory swamps—they’re real cold killers, the ultimate stealth predators, and ruthless. The day before I was dropped in there, we heard of a croc that took a fisherman from the bank and shook him so violently in his jaws that the man’s head whip-cracked off before the croc disappeared with his body.
Speaking of animals, you’ve eaten yak eyeballs and live scorpions, among other things. What’s the most disgusting thing you’ve eaten?
Worst is somewhere between the elephant dung, bear poo, camel intestinal fluids, and raw goat’s testicles. No, in fact, the goat testicles were the worst! A memory I have tried to blot from my mind! They melted into a mouthful of everything you hope a mouthful of cold testicles won’t melt into!