Could you survive three days in the wild for a chance to win $100,000? That’s the premise for Slice TV’s newest adventure reality show, 72 Hours.

TORO and a handful of adventurous media went on a trekking adventure to get a taste of what contestants will endure in the show.

After previewing episodes of 72 Hours en route to an area near Burford, Ontario, we were met by a team of wilderness and adventure experts from Treks In The Wild. Our adventure challenge for the day? We were paired off to complete a course with various checkpoints and challenges to find the grand prize. To get ready for the challenge, we went through some basic survival training and orienteering lessons to help us navigate the woods and swamps.


FIRE - We were taught how to make a fire with friction, using a bow set-up with some basswood, dry cedar, dry leaves, twigs, etc.Trek_MikeFireNest.jpg Basically, to make fire you need surface area, heat and oxygen. The process took a few minutes but seeing it happen felt like witnessing wizardry. After spinning some embers out of the basswood with the bow onto dry bark, the embers were carefully placed in a birdsnest of twigs and dry branches with cedar in the centre to catch the flame. After some controlled blows to the bundle, a fire emerged and a full fire pit was built around it which later served to heat our lunch of wild leek soup, chilli, sausages and, of course, marshmallows.

WILD EDIBLE FORAGING - When you can’t hunt animals or catch fish to fuel your body for survival, you’ll have to rely on wild plants/edibles.Trek_Plants.jpg The golden rule to remember: Unless you’re 100% sure what something is, don’t eat it. We were also taught what Poison Ivy looks like and which plant we would need to harvest to remedy the poison in case we contacted it by accident.

Some wild edibles can be eaten right from the ground, while others are toxic without preparation. We were shown five wild edibles that grow in the area and how to prepare them. From Skunk Cabbage (which needs to be dried out before eaten) to Hemlock (a great source of Vitamin C if steamed or used as a tea) to Trout Lillies and more. Key tip: Names for wild edibles can vary wherever you travel, but the Latin names for them will always stay the same. So if you’re planning an expedition it’s a good idea to pack a handbook for reference.

SHELTER - The most important element of survival in the wilderness along with hydration is shelter.Trek_Shelter.jpg It keeps you away from the elements, rain, wind, heat, animals/insects, etc. You want to ensure the opening of your shelter is opposite the prevailing winds so you don’t get cold and to prevent your home away from home from being blown away by a strong gust of wind. Make note of water flow/drainage slopes and build away from them. You also want to make your shelter as small as possible to allow your body's core heat to stay contained. A deflector fire at the front of your shelter will also help keep you warm. Last tip: Insulate the ground as much as you can. We all learn “heat rises” but when you lay on the ground it will absorb 80% of your body heat, so try to build off the ground 30cm or more!


After a basic tutorial on pacing distance and compass navigation, all teams were scattered over different areas and given a clipboard with 15 geographic checkpoints with distance and compass degree bearings. My partner, Shaleni of She Does The City, were actually thrilled to see the rain greet our start. The race was on.

Trek_TonyCompass.jpgDespite our enthusiasm, we didn’t win. After spending over a half-hour tracing and re-tracing our route, we realized we were using co-ordinates for the wrong checkpoint. Lesson learned, start off on the right foot and double-check your numbers. Once we got our bearings correct, we started making good time, hitting checkpoints while executing tasks like identifying edible plants and using the bow setup to make smoke/fire along the way. Though we didn’t win, we definitely felt like we had the most fun and embraced every ounce of mud, rain and swamp water that soaked us to our bones and filled our boots.

Trek_TonyBoot.jpgTHAT'S A WRAP

As we exited the wilderness for the concrete jungle of Toronto, I had a greater appreciation for everyday things that make my life easy, like warm clothes, shelter, prepared food and cell phone reception. However, armed with new survival skills and essential survival knowledge, I’d do it all again in a heartbeat. I’d even try it out for 72 hours with the chance to win some cash. Hey Slice TV, consider this a challenge. Team TORO on 72 Hours Season 2?!


72 Hours feels like a lovechild between Survivor and The Amazing Race. Each episode pits three teams of three strangers in a new wilderness setting, ranging from the Southern Rockies, jungles of South Pacific, lagoons of Tasmania and more. Each team is given only one one bottle of water, a GPS and 72 hours to find a briefcase holding the prize of $100,000 cash. You can expect high drama under tense conditions as various personality types collide.

Check out the premiere of 72 Hours on Slice tonight, Thursday June 6 at 10 p.m. ET/PT.

Related >> TORO does Tough Mudder

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