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What Bear Grylls Loves Most About the Outdoors

While Bear Grylls gives lots of advice about how to survive in rugged terrain, if there’s one thing he is passionate about it’s enjoying the outdoors—not just surviving it, but really experiencing all the benefits of spending time in nature.

“Have you experienced the hypnotic patter of rain on your tent, the clear call of an owl or the rustling of the wind through the leaves at night?” writes Bear in A Survival Guide for Life. “It’s a feeling of absolute freedom and belonging—a chance to reconnect with both ourselves and planet Earth.”

Whether or not you take the path less traveled. Bear often talks about the restorative power of simply sleeping outside.

Image by Arutthaphon Poolsawasd

It’s a way to slow down

Bear reminds us often of the quiet calm you can find in the outdoors. For example, consider how you feel when you sit beside a mountain stream, listening to the tinkle as the water flows over rocks. Or the awe of standing on the top of a cliff and looking down to the pounding surf below. Or even the peace of just hanging out at your campsite in the quiet hours after sunset.

“Sitting around a campfire under a sky of stars is the most ancient and wonderful of human activities,” says Bear. “It reminds us of our place in the world, and in history—and it’s hard not to be humbled.” 

It’s natural therapy

Bear also believes that these experiences calm us and help our mental health. Sometimes spending time in the great outdoors reminds us of our dreams, or lets us see problems in perspective. 

“There has never been so much stress and loneliness in our lives,” he told The Times in an interview about the benefits of outdoor exercise. “There is so much evidence that spending time outdoors can be therapeutic for our state of mind.”

Image by Roberto Moiola/Sysaworld

It teaches self-reliance

When your adventuring has you learning to tie a bowline or to light a fire without matches or even to make a toothbrush from a plant, you’ll feel a huge sense of achievement at mastering a new skill, and you’ll never forget the experience. Reaching small goals like these also helps us grow in character and offers tools to help overcome life’s obstacles.

“A night in the outdoors is also a reminder that the best things in life aren’t things,” says Bear.

Bear’s favorite simple outdoor experiences 

  • Spend a night in a tent (even if it’s only in your backyard).
  • Watch a campfire, a.k.a. ‘nature’s TV’.
  • Sit under a sky full of stars.
  • Cook a simple meal over a fire.
  • Sit around a campfire and tell stories.
  • Watch a full sunrise.

More from Bear Grylls:

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