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Bear Grylls: Insane or Amazing?

 Bear Grylls on

Maybe you know Bear Grylls. Maybe you’ve heard the name, or maybe you’ve just heard the legends. Regardless of which crazy story you’ve heard about Bear Grylls, chances are, its probably true. Bear is the host of Man vs. Wild, a wildly popular reality television show in which Bear fights to survive in a number of extremely challenging scenarios.

In the show, viewers are plopped down in far flung and inhospitable environments along with Bear and his film crew. He then must fight his way back to civilization, or admit defeat in the process. During most of the episodes, Bear is forced to hunt for his own food and create a shelter in which to spend the night. During his trek back to civilization Bear recounts other, similarly challenging situations that he’s either gotten himself out of, or failed miserably at. What strikes viewers is Bear’s candor when recounting his past. He’s not your typical reality tv host in that he definitely does fail from time to time and isn't embarrassed to share that with viewers.

There’s no doubt from any fan of Man vs. Wild that Bear Grylls is the real deal. From eating freshly caught rabbits in the snow, to drinking his own urine right out of a snake, nothing is too extreme for him. Bear understands full well that the most necessary elements for survival are finding shelter and water. These two things are among the first feats he tackles when dropped in a new place. Without hydration your effectiveness as a survivalist plummets quickly. With even moderate dehydration people can get disoriented, develop cramped muscles, and a general lethargy, which is very counterproductive when searching for a safer, wetter place. In order to combat the dehydration that can quickly set in, Bear has found water from a number of unlikely sources. He drinks blood sometimes, as the nutrition and hydration present in blood can be very helpful for survival. He also is a big proponent of drinking your own urine. This technique is pretty commonly known among survivalists. When in need of hydration, drink your urine- preferably your first urine of the morning. He’s even gotten a few celebrity guest stars to follow suit!

After you’ve handled your hydration, Bear says that it’s also crucial to figure out your shelter as soon as possible. As the sun begins to set and the elements become harsher on your body, you’ll need a place to hole up. Bear has achieved this and found shelter in some of the most unlikely places. In fact, in one episode Bear even managed to hollow out the innards of a dead camel and crawl inside. The inside of the camel provided shade from the sun and warmth during a cold, desert night.

Although most of us are unlikely (hopefully) to find ourselves in any similar scenarios to those on Man vs. Wild, learning Bear’s approach to crisis situations is informative. Next time you’re caught in the middle of quicksand you might want to reference back to Bear’s escape from the same scenario. In case you haven’t seen it, the basic technique is to remain calm and cause as little upset in the sand as possible. Jerky movements can cause the sand to open up even more and, before you know it, you’ll be neck deep in this heaving mass of sand and water.

Bear seems fearless when it comes to food, as well. On the show he has been known to kill and eat the raw meat of a number of wild creatures, from mooses to alligators and all form of bugs in between. He also gives informative explanations of the nutrient rich foods he’s consuming. If you’re ever lost and hungry in the wilderness, Bear is the man to be trapped with. For those of you who are fledgling outdoorsmen (and women) taking a few notes from Grylls is a great lesson in survival. Making a fire, pitching a makeshift tent, telling the time by the movement of the sun, and preparing for disaster are all obstacles that Bear confronts head on. Although some feats may appear staged, the vast majority of his stunts are the real deal. He’s even been appointed Chief Scout by the Boy Scouts of the UK. This is a prestigious title held only by one striking outdoorsman at a time. This should indicate the validity of his skillset and survival know-how.

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