The way we watch nature shows has definitely changed over the years. Years ago, we used to be forced to watch a show depicting various species of animals living in the natural environment and listen to some English guy tell us what they were and what they were doing. Then everything changed. Suddenly this was no longer the way to learn about nature. The viewing public wanted something more intense and much more entertaining.
This brought about the genre of television known as Outdoor/Adventure TV. These are shows that educate the public on various aspects of the outdoors, while still maintaining a high level of excitement. The hosts of these programs are normally some of the most memorable characters on TV.
Whether they are out hunting, traveling, fishing, or simply surviving the elements, we always find ourselves watching and wishing we could do something like that. These shows tend to capture our imagination and instill a new level of respect for Mother Nature that we did not have prior to viewing. For these skills and ratings, television channels are willing to pay these hosts a pretty penny. Many of these people just started out doing something they loved. Then all of a sudden, they were millionaires. More than likely they would have done this stuff for free.
10. Jeremy Wade — Net Worth: $1.5 million
Jeremy Wade turned a successful career as a marine biologist and master fisherman into a job with Animal Planet. Wade began fishing as a child in East Anglia. He received a degree in Zoology from Bristol University. The British angler is now the host of the popular tv series River Monsters. The show depicts Wade going across the world in search of rare fish that have been involved in attacks on humans. He typically does not know what fish he is searching for at first, but after interviewing locals and sticking a line in the water, he normally figures out what species was behind the attack. Jeremy Wade is worth an estimated $1.5 million.
9. Andrew Zimmern — Net Worth: $5 million
You may know him simply as the guy who eats all that gross stuff on TV. Andrew Zimmern is the host of Travel Channel’s Bizarre Foods. Zimmern, a master chef by trade, travels across the world in search of some of the strangest foods other cultures have to offer. In order to find these foods, most of the time he is forced to travel way off the beaten path. Prior to hosting Bizarre Foods, Zimmern was a high quality chef in New York City who became homeless due to a drug and alcohol addiction. He turned his life around and went from rags to being worth an estimated $5 million.
8. Les Stroud — Net Worth: $5 million
Following an unsuccessful music career, Les Stroud began to focus his attention on his love of the outdoors. One day he took a canoe trip through Temagami and started working as a canoe tour guide. He soon became an expert in wilderness survival skills. He took those skills to Outdoor Life Network and started the show Survivorman. This show features Stroud being put out in the middle of nowhere and being forced to survive off his surroundings. He has also produced many other shows for various networks including Discovery Channel, Science Channel, and YTV. He is worth an estimated $5.5 million.
7. Bear Grylls — Net Worth: $6 million
Bear Grylls is the guy who every man wishes they were. Not only is he the ultimate man’s man, but he also is worth $6 million. Grylls hosts Discovery Channel’s Man vs. Wild. He is required to travel through miles of harsh terrain, surviving off anything he can find, in order to find a point where he will be airlifted to safety. Grylls was born in Ireland and moved at a young age to Isle of Wight. He was a Cub Scout and Boy Scout as a kid. He is now the Chief Scout, the head of entire scouting program throughout the world. Prior to having his own show, Grylls was a member of the British Special Forces. It was during this time that he perfected his wilderness survival skills.
6. Bill Jordan — Net Worth: $10 million
Bill Jordan is most known for starting the company Realtree. Realtree is a brand of camouflage clothing for hunters. He used his success in the hunting outfitters business to start a line of home videos on hunting called Monster Buck. He immediately began making guest appearance on various nature shows. Jordan now has his own show on the Outdoor Life Network called Realtree Outdoors. Jordan’s various hunting businesses have earned him just over $10 million.
5. Phil Robertson and Family — Net Worth: $15 million
It was only a matter of time before the Duck Dynasty family would show up on the list. Phil Robertson turned his passion for the outdoors into a multi-million-dollar company, Duck Commander. Now he and his family are worth an estimated $15 million. Phil has retired and handed the company over to his son, CEO Willie Robertson. Duck Dynasty is now the highest rated show ever aired on A&E.
4. Ted Nugent — Net Worth: $20 million
Ted Nugent is worth an estimated $20 million. Uncle Ted burst onto the music seen in the late 1960s after his band, The Amboy Dukes, released the song “Journey to the Center of the Mind”. He then went on to have a very successful career as a solo artist. He is known for his love off everything outdoors. He is now one of the most watched hosts on the Outdoor Channel. You can catch the rocker on his show Spirit of the Wild.
3. Mike Rowe — Net Worth: $35 million
Mike Rowe is the host of Discovery Channel’s Dirty Jobs. The show is not necessarily an outdoors program; however, it is most definitely an adventure. The show features Rowe going around to many different types of job sites around the United States in search for the toughest Blue Collar careers. Many of these are outdoor jobs such as farming or ranching. Rowe, who is worth an estimated $35 million, is an advocate of labor rights and often discovers that these much needed careers are way tougher than he originally anticipated.
2. Jeff Probst — Net Worth: $40 million
Jeff Probst is the host of the show that basically launched America’s craze for reality TV programs, Survivor. The show sends a group of people to an uninhabited island, forced to survive off their surroundings. Probst has been with the show since 2000. He is the one who introduces the show’s participants to various tasks. Prior to this role, he had appeared in many small Hollywood roles. He is worth an estimated $40 million.
1. Terri Irwin — Net Worth: $66 million
Terri Irwin was part of the twosome that launched the outdoors/adventure genre of television. Along with her late husband Steve, Terri was the co-host of Animal Planet’s The Crocodile Hunter. The show was extremely successful due to Steve’s lovable persona and passion for animals. In 2006, Steve Irwin tragically passed away after being stung by a stingray. The show ended, but Terri still dedicates her time to wildlife conservation efforts throughout Australia. In 2006, she was named a Member of the Australian Order for her contributions to wildlife conservation. She is worth an estimated $66 million, but donates a great portion of her incomes to environmental causes.