Tap Out Q&A: Jim and Ted Baird

Vancouver Island tested every team equally this season, but Jim and Ted outlasted everyone to take home the big prize in the end.

1. Explain your reasoning behind selecting your partner.

Ted:I picked Jim because he is tough as nails, strong as a bull, never gives up, and has a great mental attitude that always beats out negativity in the end. He has an incredible well-rounded skill set. He is my best friend and brother. He stands among a very small group of modern day explorers that have achieved phenomenal physical and mental feats and he would be my #1 pick in a lineup any day.

Jim:Honestly, there was no reasoning. I never thought about going through this experience with anyone else.

2. How did you prepare physically and emotionally for this challenge?

Ted:Years of real bush time combined with thousands of hours logged on many extreme expeditions in some of the most remote and harshest environments on earth. However, it was on Alone where I pushed myself to my extremes both physically and mentally all while filming. There is no substitute for experiences like this. They cannot be practiced but must be experienced to harden a person mentally and physically.

Jim:Though it wasn’t intended to be preparation specifically, earlier that year I walked solo across the northern Ungava Peninsula which took me 36 days. I had to physically push myself with little food, and deal with extremely harsh blizzards on this trip. The route lies 300 miles north of the Tree Line in the Arctic. I also completed a two week wilderness whitewater canoe trip in Northern Saskatchewan where it rained almost daily. This is in addition to two very demanding multi-day backcountry canoe trips in Northern Ontario. Getting closer to our launch date for Alone, I spent a lot of time researching the edible mushrooms of Vancouver Island which proved to be an invaluable resource on my hike.

3. What were the most challenging moments throughout your experience?

Ted:Pushing through the bout of severe stomach pains and overcoming them. Dealing with the extreme suffering that comes with intense hunger. Losing our crab trap was mentally tough as it was hope for a great meal every day that would have given us more energy to thrive. Realizing that the clock was ticking on our abilities and not having the energy to complete tasks I could normally do before breakfast.

Jim:The most challenging part was wondering when it would be over, what the other groups were doing, how many there were left, and what they had accomplished. I think in a way, when it comes to not knowing when it will be over is a reality of a survival situation. You never know when you may be rescued or make it to safety. Other than that, just getting out of bed as the weeks went on was a challenge when it was freezing cold and raining, and I was starving and weak. And we needed to go out to the tidal flats to turn over boulders in search of food, and stand in the rain trying to catch fish.

4. What did you learn about yourself during this entire experience?

Ted:I learned many things including that I can do anything I put my mind to. I proved that to myself on this show. I also learned that I’m a tough man and competitor and can push myself to crazy extremes that I didn’t even know were possible. I also learned that I get snarly when I’m hungry and finally, that I can survive in the wild!

Jim:I learned that maybe I’m better at survival than I’d thought. My expedition survival skills transferred to bush craft survival. I also learned that your body can go a long time while being hungry and that I take for granted how much food I really eat, and how much time and energy it really takes to get food with the tools we had and the availability of food in our location.

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