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Great Practical Advice We Have Learned From Bear Grylls

Many of us have been following Bear Grylls’s social media, watching his TV shows and reading his books over the years. We’ve learned a lot of great adventure tips, as well as how to survive in extreme environments, and the mindset required to face fear when confronted with a challenge.

As this year comes to an end, we take a look at some of our favorite practical advice that we have learned from Bear, for our adventures in the wild:

Essential Survival Skills

Image by Simon Berger

Bear has shared many tips about the priorities of survival. The easiest way to remember these priorities is as follows: Please Remember What’s First – Protection, Rescue, Water, and Food, and how important it is to focus on those individual things in order. Make sure that you are protected from the elements first, and then seek rescue before concentrating on finding water. Food can come last—Bear reminds us that humans can survive three weeks without food but only three days without water.

Before You Set Out

Image by Louis Hansel

What you can do before you go into the wild is to pack the ultimate Bear Grylls survival kit and make sure to include some of Bear’s essential items such as waterproof matches, a 9-volt battery and steel wool, a button compass, water-purification tablets, a tea light, an unlubricated condom, and a tampon. Some of these might sound like unusual survival items, but they all have great practical applications that could help save your life. 

Bear also has great tips on what to pack in a survival backpack, and he suggests making sure to know how to light a fire in the wild. This is vital for everything from boiling water, to staying warm, having light, drying clothing, cooking, keeping animals away, or as a signal for rescue if you are lost. 

In the Mountains

Image by Kalen Emsley

Over the years, Bear has given advice  in his books and survival TV shows, about how to survive in the mountains— including the four ways to find water, such as looking for surface water, collecting rainwater, finding underground water and finding water from animals. 

Bear also has tips on how to find food in the mountains, from the different plants you can eat—especially how to recognize dangerous ones that you should avoid,  to what bugs, fish, rodents, and snakes you might need to look for if it’s an extreme matter of survival.

Bear is not only an expert on how to survive in mountains, but the forest or jungle as well. We love his advice on how to build a shelter in the forest, using the materials that are already there to build a warm, weather-proof shelter that will help protect you from things like bugs, rain, hot sun, or cold temperatures, and even falling tree branches. He also has lots of tips on how to find food in the jungle, and useful survival skills like how to escape a forest fire, with tips like looking for fire breaks and what to do if you find that you are trapped in your car in a forest fire.

Surviving Extreme Cold

Image by Neeray Pramanik

Bear is also an expert in sub-zero temperatures. He summited Mount Everest when he was 23 years old, and his extreme cold adventures include flying a paraglider in the Himalayas, crossing the polar ice caps, and sleeping in snow caves. At home, Bear takes regular ice baths to keep up with his training, both mental and physical. 

Using Bear’s advice, you can learn how to survive in sub-zero temperatures and how to make a shelter in the snow—whether you are building a tree pit, digging a snow trench, or excavating a snow cave (which Bear demonstrated to Jake Gyllenhaal in the famous “Iceland” episode of Man vs. Wild, one of our favorites).

Facing Your Fears

Image by Santiago Gomez

Bear Grylls climbed Mount Everest at the age of 23 and, and over the years he has opened up about the challenges along the way, even how he gets scared at times. He had a terrifying accident at the Khumbu Icefalls which he had to overcome to be able to continue the climbing journey to reach the summit. 

In a recent episode of Running Wild, he spoke about how he had fatigue, doubt, and hallucinations near the top and how he kept going. Keeping going and never giving up is Bear’s mantra, and he released two important books in 2023 which touch on this subject.

In You Vs The World, The Bear Grylls Guide to Never Giving Up, Bear gives lots of tips on how important it is to have the right mindset to overcome different challenges and thrive in the world. Although the book was written for young people, it reminds people of all ages to appreciate things like the freedom of being in nature, that it’s okay to sometimes have fear, and most of all, how important it is to be kind to others and how kindness really does make the world go around.

Bear’s most recent book How to Be a Scout is full of practical advice on not only how to be a scout, but all of the practical scouting skills that someone can apply to the modern world, such as tracking people or how to track animals like a scout.

He also writes about all of the best character traits of being a scout. These include things like being trustworthy, being loyal, and being courageous, plus being a great team player, being a great leader, and helping to protect our planet.

Bear has shared a lot of great, practical advice over the years. His books, shows and podcasts are great resources for all of us to learn from and work on honing our skills. Here’s to courage, leadership, kindness, survival and never giving up for 2024.

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