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Thrills, Hills and Grylls: Bear’s Biggest Adventures in 2023

We’ve been following Bear Grylls’ adventures all year and it’s been a wild—dare I say Running Wild—ride. In true Bear Grylls style, one of Bear’s first adventures of 2023 was a night time winter sea swim in Scotland—with a long-lost cousin. Bear has said he often swims in cold water at night, and he has also talked about why he thinks ice baths are worth it.

At the end of January, Bear was back in the wild, filming in the desert of Nevada, USA for his hit TV show Running Wild, and spending the night camping outdoors among the rocks.

Scouting for Volunteers

Bear is Chief Scout in the UK and Chief Ambassador to World Scouting, and believes that everyone should volunteer in their local community. Early in 2023, he launched the Big Help Out for the coronation of Britain’s King Charles in May. When the day itself came on May 8, Bear was up early to meet some of the scouts taking part in the national day of volunteering across the UK. They had a phenomenal 6.5 million volunteers taking part (the UK population is 65 million, so that’s one in ten people).

In February, Bear’s book You vs The World – The Bear Grylls Guide To Never Giving Up was published, and became available in the U.S. in April. Bear wrote about important qualities in life like courage, and kindness:  “It’s something that’s in all of us. We’ve just got to make the decision to break it out every single day and use it as much as we can,” wrote Bear, reminding people to be kind to one another whenever possible and how kindness makes us all better.

Story of Love and Loss

In February, Bear also attended the premiere of the feature-length documentary Finding Michael with British TV star Spencer Matthews, whose brother Michael lost his life on Mount Everest at age 22. Michael is the youngest Brit to reach the summit of Mount Everest. Bear appeared in the film, and he told Outdoors.com that he was thrilled to see people’s response to the film, which was released on Disney+.

“This story of love and loss of family and the highest, biggest, baddest mountain in the world is always going to be powerful, so I’m really proud of this film,” said Bear. The ending is really poignant. It’s going to touch people. I think the world’s never needed a story of connection and family and love more than right now. I hope this helps and inspires people in some way.”

Tough Terrain and a Wilderness Escape

In March, Bear was in Wyoming with the Running Wild crew for more adventures—including a day of sub-zero antics with a swim in ice cold water. Bear’s conclusion on Wyoming in winter is “tough terrain, tough people, great spirit to this state.”

In April, Bear announced on Instagram that he had decided to move to an undisclosed wilderness location with his family—and that he would not be posting on the social media platform anymore (he currently has 7 million followers). This post had some of the highest engagement of all of his posts. However, the next day his followers breathed a sigh of relief when Bear was back on Instagram, to announce that the news was just an April Fool’s prank.

Surviving Bear Grylls

In May, Bear’s new TV show I Survived Bear Grylls hit TV screens on the TBS network. Participants in the game show had to show bravery, strength, and some smart ideas to make it to the end of each episode—with lots of thrills and spills along the way.

In July, the new season of Running Wild launched on TV, with stars like Bradley Cooper, Benedict Cumberbatch, Cynthia Erivo, Rita Ora, Daveed Diggs, Tat Maslany, and Troy Kotsur. Bear, who guided the stars smoothly through some challenging adventures, has written previously about how he deals with the big stars on the show.

Scout Advice

In July, Bear launched his book Do Your Best: How to Be A Scout, full of advice on camping and packing a backpack, identifying trees, animals, and stars, protecting the environment, being fit, and being a great team player. He said that of all the books he has written, it’s probably the book he is most proud of.

In August, Bear met 50,000 scouts from across the world at the 25th World Scout Jamboree in South Korea, taking to the stage to speak to the scouts about true adventure and how adventure is not just in climbing mountains or crossing rivers, but how it’s within us, and is about the courage to dream big, take risks, and overcome obstacles.

Later in August, Bear was back home in the UK for his family adventure festival, Gone Wild Festival at Powderham Castle. Adventures during the festival included SUP, kayaking, quad biking, coasteering, climbing, archery, ax throwing, paint balling, abseiling, scuba diving, parkour, and traversing an assault course, plus survival activities like raft-building and spear-making. There was also a chance to try a Wim Hoff ice bath, a giant trapeze, and the graffiti wall.

The Sky Was the Limit

Image by Bear Grylls

During the year, the sky was the limit on Bear’s adventures as he jumped and flew in different world locations— he went parachuting, paramotoring, skydiving, base jumping, cliff jumping, and hoverboarding, shared his fitness and workout tips, visited the Bear Grylls Survival Academy, spoke at the COP28 climate summit in the UAE, and had many more adventures. He also spent holiday time with his family, who he regularly says he is so proud of and keeps him grounded.

One of his most inspiring quotes from the year is: “Life isn’t about how high you can climb, but is about how many times you can fall down but get back up and keep moving onwards and upwards.”

Here’s to following more of Bear’s great adventures in 2024.

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