Bear Grylls is one of the most famous explorers and survivalists alive today. The adventurer has done just about everything imaginable when it comes to an outdoor lifestyle. Including, yes, drinking urine.
Videos by Outdoors
Grylls can not recall the number of times he has had to consume the substance, with good reason. It is as nasty as you would imagine it to be. He explained that it is also one of the most frequent questions he gets asked and the answer is almost always the same.
“The answer is yes I have, and yes it is terrible,” Grylls wrote in Never Give Up. “I do not drink urine for fun. Or for health. There are some people out there who seem to swear by it. I’m not one of them, but I have drunk it a bunch of times in the name of survival.
As for the people who immediately follow up looking for him to describe the taste, it is also about as good as you would expect.
“It stinks,” Grylls added.
He then detailed a pretty specific situation that would make most anyone think twice.
Warm, salty urine is not designed to taste good, he wrote. Especially if it’s stored in the skin of a rattlesnake while crossing a desert.
It was a very graphic sentence that hits home for many survivalists — regardless of current level of training. Adding that in terms of staying alive, drinking urine may be difficult but it is par for that course.
The grime that comes with survival is what inspired Grylls to take it mainstream. He said that the sterilization of many shows — at least before Man vs. Wild — was not true to the lifestyle. It is that difficulty and tough decisions that can separate true survivalists from the pack.
If you are going to drink urine, there is one big tip that Grylls has for you: Don’t waste clear pee.
“In a survival situation, staying hydrated is right up there in terms of your priorities,” he wrote. “Without precious fluids you go downhill fast. So conserve, be smart, do the difficult, drink the clear urine, survive.”
He added a last message: brown, stinky pee is all waste. Do not drink it!
Bear’s new book Mind Fuel: Simple Ways to Build Mental Resilience Each Day is available now, you can order it at this link.
Mental health means the world to us. We’ve partnered with Better Help in an effort to bring virtual mental health support further into the mainstream. If you sign up for their therapy services through any of our links, 247Health may earn a commission.