• Photo: Derek Elvin
    Canada’s Greatest Explorer competition and working as a professional action adventurer. (Photo: Derek Elvin)

Woods Canada has opened the application process for Canada’s first ever Greatest Explorer competition. To earn the title of Canada’s Greatest Explorer — and take home the $25,000 cash prize — 12 “brave yet humble” adventurers will go head-to-head in a variety of outdoor challenges. Webisodes will air online this summer at woodsexplorer.ca.

Here, tornado hunter Ricky Forbes talks hosting the Canada’s Greatest Explorer competition and working as a professional action adventurer.

On the type of person who can win the competition

The person who’s going to win this competition is going to have the necessary survival and outdoor skills but will also be quick-thinking — a very creative type.

On scouting locations

We want to challenge the competitors. At the same time, we want to show off how beautiful Canada is. The challenges are all across Canada. They’re going to be tough, but they’re going to be in picturesque locations.

On working as a professional adventurer

It’s been a long haul and it is tough sometimes. Lots of traveling. You always have to keep the ball rolling. But I love what I do. As for the lessons I’ve learned… the main thing is trusting in your equipment. I buy the best equipment I can. When you have a bit of a fear of heights and you’re up on an ice waterfall ice climbing, you don’t want to look down, and when it’s time to rappel down, you don’t want to let go. But you need to trust in the rope.

On the importance of Canadian exploration

From my point of view, I love nature. I love the outdoors. I love the challenges. It’s getting outside and getting back to nature and getting to really appreciate Canada. It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world and that’s what this show will be showcasing. Once in awhile I’ll trek outside of Canada for adventures, but Canada holds everything I need for all the adventures I want to do.

The application portal for Canada’s Greatest Explorer competition is open until April 22, 2016. Hopeful contestants should upload their 60-second promo videos at woodsexplorer.ca. Canadians can vote for their top 12 contestants until May 11, 2016.