By Colin Perkel (CP) – Mar 4, 2010

TORONTO — An outdoors enthusiast and avid fan of TV’s “Survivorman” who apparently succumbed to the cold during an excursion into the Ontario bush loved the survivalist challenge but was not rash, those close to him said Thursday.

One friend, Barbara Ellis, said Richard Code’s hobby might have been a response to an arthritic condition and chronic fatigue syndrome that often laid him up for days at a time.

“Maybe he felt when he was sick and he felt kind of helpless that way he could challenge the outdoors,” said Ellis, who said Code was like a son to her.

“He just loved the challenge.”

Provincial police found Code, 41, northeast of Huntsville, Ont., on Wednesday.

He had left his Toronto home early last Thursday for what was to be a four-day excursion into the bush, hitchhiking to his camp even though he had money for the bus.

While autopsy results were not known, police told his brother in Kitchener, Ont., that it appeared Code died of hypothermia.

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