Bear Gryll’s Tips – Could You Survive?

Every time I watch Bear Grylls on the Discovery series, Man vs. Wild, I’m never quite sure what to make of him.  Is he a foolish stuntman taking outlandish risks for ratings sake?  Is he sane?  Superhuman?  He was a member of a unit in the British special forces, so he has had the benefit of  rigorous training in extreme conditions.  Can he really believe that someone like me, a relatively inexperienced nature neophyte, or someone like you, whatever your experience level might be as a hiker, camper, hunter, or mountaineer, to be able to apply his survival tips, if lost, injured,  trapped, or threatened by wildlife in an inhospitable environment?  I might know what to do from watching the series, but just not be able to do it.

Unless I had a flint, matches and some lighter fluid, I don’t think I could get a fire going.  Seriously, I have a hard enough time lighting the Smoky Joe.  Smoky JoeSo I’d probably starve or freeze to death; die of thirst, or dengue fever, whichever came first; or be unable to send up smoke to signal for help.  Without fire, this means, of course, no cooked food and if you’ve ever watched Bear in action, you know what that means!

I couldn’t eat anything raw.  I can’t even stomach the best sushi, or the freshest oysters.   Bear advises viewers to load up on raw grubs, beetles, termites, spiders, sheep eyeballs, bone marrow from fresh kill, organs still dripping in blood and live salmon right out of the stream, all rich in protein for energy.

Nor could I replicate some of his survival feats of grandeur.  He’s chopped off the limb of a tree and used it to pole vault down a steep mountain in Oregon to save his knees.  He’s built a raft out of bamboo and sailed it over giant waves to a more hospitable island in the Caribbean.   He’s caught fish with a piece of string, a small hook and a flip flop as floatation device.   He’s scaled and descended waterfalls, braved the rapids of the Snake River using his backpack to cushion the blows from sharp rocks.   He’s extracted water from a root, flammable liquid from a particular tree, and practically walked on crocodile infested waters to get the lay of the land.

Don’t get me wrong.  I love the show and Bear is the ultimate entertainer, but I don’t think I’d be able to apply any of his survival tips except maybe to stay away from the hippos.  I think I could do that.

Hippo

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