Becoming Bear – Everyone has a Right to Adventure


Bear Grylls has quickly become the hero of many boys, teenagers, and grown men. Since his TV début in 2005, Bear’s programs have captured the hearts of millions of viewers across the globe. Of course, his feats are impressive and, at times, disturbing (floating in a rotting zebra carcass down a river gets my vote), but it’s Bear’s generous nature and tenacity that continue to blow away his fans.

Bear Grylls

You won’t gain Bear’s skills in an hour, a day, or even a week, but give it a month, and you could be taming lions on one of your next safari holidays. Ok, sedated lions which are being tagged for data, but you get the idea: it’s Bear’s philosophy that ‘if you risk nothing, you gain nothing.’ See below for 5 ‘Bear’ essentials:

1. Climb Everest (or Ben Nevis)

Bear Grylls is famous for being one of the youngest people ever to climb Everest. In fact, he is the youngest Briton to have climbed this behemoth of a mountain. In 1998, just eighteen months after injuring his back, Bear bravely climbed to the summit at the tender age of 23. Reaching it had been Bear’s childhood dream since his late father gave him a picture of the mountain when the whippersnapper was only eight years old.

You don’t have to do the same to get your ‘Bear’ necessities as A. it’s expensive B. it’s dangerous, and C. your month deadline will be over months before you even plant your left toe at the base. Try Ben Nevis instead: the summit, at 1,344 meters (4,409ft) above sea level, is the highest in the British Isles.

2. Buy the Gear

No wannabe explorer would be worth their salt without a bit of kit. On his website, you can get Bear’s knife (the model he always carries with him – scream!). Is this clever marketing or just evidence of his over-arching good sense? You can make your mind up. Bear also wears an old army watch with an altimeter, and you can get something similar online.

3. Watch Old Survival Television:

At times, it may look like Bear just popped out of his mum knowing all this essential man-knowledge. But don’t be fooled: he was highly trained by good teachers whose raison d’être was to pass on the flame of their learning. Books are fine for learning some basics or going on safari holidays and learning from local guides, but look out for vintage survival telly with the likes of Ray Mears and even McGyver providing the survival words of wisdom.

4. Write a Book on Survival (Or Make a Ridiculous YouTube Video)

Ok, so Grylls puts the adventure into adventure travel and has enjoyed many experiences worth telling people about. Eating grubs the size of small rodents is a classic Bear story, as is drinking snake urine. Some of you there will want to go out and do just that. Good luck to you. The rest of us will probably camp in the nearest field and toast a bird we bought in Tesco. Make a YouTube video of your outdoor feasts and near-death experiences with a fox, and you’re onto a winner.

5. Get Involved in Charity Work:

The real beauty of Bear Grylls is that he keeps on giving. He is seriously involved in the Scouts, being the youngest Chief Scout ever (do you see a pattern here?). The Chief Scout position was created to lead all of the adult volunteers in the UK, which have reached an astonishing 100,000 in recent years. Join too, and you’ll get extra Bear points for being efficient: Scouts and charity – you’re halfway there already.

Creative Commons photo by Royal Navy Media Archive

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