Meet Andrew Ucles, an Aussie environmentalist and a barehand snake wrangling, spider finding, croc tussler with a degree in Environmental Science and Master’s student in Wildlife Management. Because of his penchant for not dying when he probably should, he has built a massive online following.
Also, he’s the first documented self-guided venturer through the toughest stretch of land the Northern Territory has to offer.
Andrew believes in a more “hands-on” approach to his Youtube channel which has tapped the 575k follower and 160m+ viewer marks with viral videos.
Videos such as…
- “Catching Feral Pigs Using Trashcan Lids
- Don’t Catch Porcupines in Trees
- Sloth Attack!
- And of course, How to Catch A Vulture Barehanded
In June, Mr Ucles made the trek across the length of Arnhem Land in the upper North-East of the Northern Territory. Not known for its cushy livability but rather for its unforgiving landscape and host of wildlife most would consider intimidating.
But not old Uncle Ucles…
The First Documented Solo Trek Through Arnhem Land.
Armed with a spear, knife and some simple rope, Ucles navigated the way with a GPS identifying key areas for survival. Due to only having meagre rations of rice, biscuits, salt, and honey just to keep him upright and stay the course, he looked to the environment.
“They were mandatory items used to sustain a basic level of function. Using a hand held GPS, I progressed through the landscape identifying key areas I could utilise for my survival. Importantly, each key area being situated near a water source.”Andrew Ucles
His companion – a horse fittingly named Arnhem – made the journey with Ucles from the east coast of Arnhem Land (Numbulwar). The pair clocked 12-15km per day in 34-degree heat with almost 0% humidity.
Throughout the journey, Ucles encountered and captured a variety of local fauna. A feral pig here, a water buffalo and some wild cattle there. If you want to see some cracking encounters with top end wildlife, check out his Instagram and give him a follow.
Was It Fun?
“I had shoes for the first 480km of the endeavour, but in the last 100km I ended up walking barefoot as my shoes had fallen apart.”Andrew Ucles
The taxing mileage and rough conditions appeared to take their toll. Yet underneath, Ucles had the same steely resolve for survival. His basic needs for sleep, food and water came at a physical and mental expense even as he made traversing the landscape ahead of schedule.
“I slept the first four weeks in a tent, however the last 2 weeks I had to rough it under paperbark as my tent had accidentally caught fire.”Andrew Ucles
By the time it was all said and done, Ucles had completed the 586km trek through the arid bushland in 42 days. The expected time to complete it was 60 and it’s probably worth mentioning he started the journey weighing about 66kg and came out weighing over 10kg less.
“My prepackaged rations lasted up until day 22, from then on it was about whatever I could find out there.”Andrew Ucles
Why Did Ucles Trek Alone Through The Outback?
Why does he commit to insane feats of wilderness survival?
Ucles says it’s simple.
He strives to understand how to catch animals and bring them to the camera so he can show their unique behavioural traits and teach viewers with each catch. The immersion into the wild is a means of challenging his own motivations and instincts for survival.
Through his endeavours in challenging environments, Ucles has broadened his interests into indigenous cultures and beliefs.
“… the greatest impact to our environment is our disconnection from it and my sole mission is to connect people back to nature.”Andrew Ucles
A big step in Andrew’s reach has been the announcement of a co-hosting gig on the History channel’s “Face the Beast”, a show that gathers the facts on the greatest historical animal attacks on earth. Something he’s not too unfamiliar with!
Want Andrew Ucles outback survival skills?
If you prefer to get a more practical sense of what he teaches, Andrew runs a unique experience during the territory dry season where you can learn first hand from the man himself.
Andrew will show you the keys to becoming a survivalist in some of Australia’s most unforgiving environments with hunting strategies, animal handling & tracking plus basic survival skills.