'Survivorman' Fan Dies in Canadian Wilderness

Canadian man and survivalist fan found dead of hypothermia

Yesterday, Canadian police recovered the body of Richard Code, a 41-year-old Ontario man who likely succumbed to hypothermia in the boreal forest wilderness of that province. He was found with little gear, and family members say most of this survival enthusiast's skills were gleaned from books and shows like Survivorman.

Code was found in a marshy, snowed-in area with a multi-tool, axe, matches, lighter, an emergency blanket, fishing gear, compass, survival book, maps, and money, but no formal tents or shelter. He left a note with his landlord detailing his return time and GPS coordinates. On Monday, when he missed his return time, his landlady contacted the police.

He had attempted many 'survival trips' in the past, but none successfully in the winter, and family members often worried about his lack of training and warned him of the dangers. Survivorman host Les Stroud, whose show often stresses the discomfort and dangers of real wilderness survival, sought to reinforce that idea.

“You need that time in the bush and there is no replacement,” Stroud said, speaking to the Star before Code’s body was located. “I wouldn’t attempt to solo until I’d done at least half a dozen or 10 courses . . . in the bush with people that knew what they were doing.”

—Ted Alvarez