Issues with your account? Bug us in the chatroom at http://webchat.freenode.net?channels=#firstones

Born Survivor: Bear Grylls

StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
I just finished watching a Bear Grylls survival marathon on Youtube. [URL="http://www.youtube.com/view_play_list?p=DC0E5399D8214973"]Here's a sample of what he does best.[/URL]

While his shows make for great entertainment, I'm not sure they offer a lot of useful info in case you were stranded in some of the most hostile environments this planet has to offer.

He usually goes off on his wild adventures with little more than a water bottle, a knife, a flint, a backpack and his clothes on his back. His SAS training has prepared him well to master the challenges set before him, but I believe that all of this is of little use to you, the average Joe.

When was the last time you got stuck in a desert, jungle or icy mountain range? The only situation I could imagine if you were stranded in the wild after an unfortunate plane crash that you managed to survive, and even then, the safest place to stay would be at the crash site as this would be the easiest place for rescue crews to locate you.

Some episodes are more realistic than others and give out some useful tips as to how to prioritise your survival tasks just to stay alive.

The funniest parts of the show though are [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAnsbHh41J0"]all the things he actually puts in his mouth[/URL] just for the sake of getting a few grams of proteins. :D I believe this even has become [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuB3kr3ckYE"]a running joke[/URL] of the show itself. Anyway, do check it out, it's time well spent.

Note: parental discretion is advised, this is not a cute animal show, rated "R" for raw meat. ;)
«1

Comments

  • TyvarTyvar Next best thing to a St. Bernard
    In the event of a plane crash your you know the plane is outfitted with a transponder beacon, indeed the best bet is to stay near the plane, they will find it, eventually. However alot of the survival tricks can be used if your not moving.

    Other situations he gets into, uh, some of his stunts are not so wise for the not well trained. Particularly his habit of jumping in bodies of water and following em down. Unless you know for sure what your dealing with, its best to stay the hell out of any sort of body of water. even seemingly slow moving creeks and rivers are deceptive, you never know when your going to hit nasty rapids or a water fall. doing these things on a make shift raft is a good way to die real easy.

    Best bet is to follow game trails parallel to the body of water, travel during the day, set up a fire and sleep at night.

    His point about there being tons of edible stuff is true though, but most of it tastes sooo nasty you probably wont be able to stomach it until your really starving.

    Frankly if your traveling overland your best bet is to just pack accordingly. Blankets, fire starting tools, extra clothes, food, water, first aid stuff. MAPS AND A FREAKING COMPASS, yeah yeah GPS units are nice and cool and all, but they require power, and are more fragile then a ruggized military compass (heh don't ask what my compass has been through) and KNOW how to use them! remember true north/map north and magnetic north can be quite a bit off! keep that in mind! the map should have as part of its legend information on the difference between the two.

    If your in the US if you can get your hands on the NGIA (national geospacial intelligence agency, its the map making branch of the DoD) 1:50,000 maps that's the best ones to have for the areas your going to be, failing that the USGS 1:100000 set, unless you really want to carry around a ton 1:24000 quads :P

    In the US especially id does good to pay attention to his desert survival tricks, because if your taking a road trip that involves any kind of travel west of the Mississippi, your going to hit a desert, somewhere. Learning tricks to get water, keep from dehydrating and or having heat stroke during the day, or freezing to death during the night can come in handy should you get stranded on some lonely stretch of freeway in the middle of nowhere.

    If you are going on a hiking or camping trip someplace remote and get lost. keep your head, keep an eye out for high ground, and noticeable landmarks on the horizon, and you will be able to figure out roughly where you are via triangulation. Once you know where you are, you can usually figure out how to get the hell out of there :P and again, pack appropriately!
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    I would add, don't forget to tell someone where you are going and when you expect to be back. :D
  • MessiahMessiah Failed Experiment
    Wow, that is most certainly a no stop journey of disgusting stuff. Awesome tips, but as you said, how much of that will be of use to me?

    Cant seem to stop watching though..
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    I know what you mean, I've watched it all. :D
  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    Its very entertaining viewing, but I agree, some of the stuff he does is a) bordering on plain stupid and b) something that you should do only if you really know what your doing.

    Still good fun to watch tho :)
  • TyvarTyvar Next best thing to a St. Bernard
    Just pay attention to the tricks about water, food, shelter and fuel for fire, everything else is entertainment :P
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    There are quite a few TV survivalists out there.

    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bQN4jcXDjbE"]Ray Mears[/URL] is taking the more realistic but less entertaining approach. If you want to learn something useful, he may be the right choice. I just spent 30 minutes watching him sharpen a knife to perfection. :D

    [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oi2eu60GK4U"]Les "SurvivorMan" Stroud[/URL] seems to be made of the [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ltUrvK47Bd0"]same goofy wood as Bear Grylls[/URL], the only difference is that Les appears to be doing it alone. :D
  • JackNJackN <font color=#99FF99>Lightwave Alien</font>
    Aside from some clever tricks that you might learn, the basics are:

    Never travel alone.
    If you do travel alone, let someone know where and how long etc.
    Prepare for your trip.
    If you do get into a predicament, don't panic.
    If you do panic, don't move until it has subsided.
    Use your brain, most survivors think their way out of a situation or at least think their way into getting noticed in a situation.
    Don't waste time over how you got into the predicament. Move forward with your own survival.

    Everything else is gravy on the roast.

    ;)

    Things specific to the Sierra's I have always remembered. NEVER EVER drink the water until it is Boiled for 10 minutes or more. I'm talking a REAL rollin g boil too for the entire 10 minutes. Those comments about clear fresh mountain water are bullshit.

    If you can't boil water, drink small amounts from the center of a stream not the borders. You have better chances of cleaner water and lower bacterial infection from running water.

    T-shirt filtering only removes particulates from water not the biological risks.

    Rainwater directly from the sky is better than runoff from rocks and trees.

    There is so much more but these are the first priorities.
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Sound advice, Jack. :)

    You know, the more I watch these shows, the more I see how artificial their setups are and how they hardly ever reflect real world situations. Even Les Stroud's attempt at a [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ckfl7BSwtdI"]plane crash in the Canadian wilderness simulation[/URL] only works to some degree.

    I mean, how do you explain the axe in your carry-on luggage? :D
  • MessiahMessiah Failed Experiment
    [QUOTE=JackN;182287]Aside from some clever tricks that you might learn, the basics are:

    Never travel alone.
    If you do travel alone, let someone know where and how long etc.
    Prepare for your trip.
    If you do get into a predicament, don't panic.
    If you do panic, don't move until it has subsided.
    Use your brain, most survivors think their way out of a situation or at least think their way into getting noticed in a situation.
    Don't waste time over how you got into the predicament. Move forward with your own survival.[/QUOTE]

    After seeing the Bear videos, Id just like to add:

    Be prepared to step out of your comfort zone.

    In many cases you dont have to, but in the extreme cases, thats what youll have to do. The cases of people who drink their own pee to survive in collapsed buildings come to mind.
  • BigglesBiggles <font color=#AAFFAA>The Man Without a Face</font>
    [QUOTE=Stingray;182297]I mean, how do you explain the axe in your carry-on luggage? :D[/QUOTE]

    By reading too many [url=http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Hatchet]books[/url]. :p
  • MessiahMessiah Failed Experiment
    Haha! Or [URL="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Zombie_Survival_Guide"]this[/URL]..
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    After watching those three survivalists for a while, I've noticed that they all have different reasons for being outdoors.

    [B]Bear Grylls[/B] is just out there for the challenge of finding his way back to civilization and does so in a very entertaining way. He's not really about preserving the environment, but more about using it to his advantage to get home in time for dinner. You can see that he's the military type, focussed and driven, a man on a mission. All criticism aside, his show doesn't really try to sell you anything else. There are companies out there that sell vacations just like that.

    [B]Les Stroud[/B] is more of an idealist and poet. He's about getting back to the old ways, getting back to nature and getting off the grid. Even though some of his shows are about survival, they try a bit too hard to turn back the wheel of time. I'm sure if you are tired of life in your community, this is a good alternative to learn how to appreciate the advantages of a hot shower in the morning and sliced bread. Things we all take for granted. I don't need to spend a night out in the woods to know this. :D It's neither realistic nor possible to expect 6 billion people to live like that anymore.

    [B]Ray Mears[/B] is somewhere in between, while he's more of a boyscout and someone who uses the entire range of possibilities the environment gives you, he tries to keep the human impact on nature as little as possible. While his down-to-earth approach is less exciting, his practical tips are probably more useful. Basically he bets more on preparation and less on improvisation. You won't be in a survival situation if you go by his rules.

    All I know is, it's nice to be outdoors, but there is no need to go off the beaten path and put your life at risk to have a good time. I also don't really want to know what raw or cooked [I][URL="http://www.flickr.com/photos/serota/175254845/"]witchetty grubs[/URL][/I] taste like, but it sure makes for a great TV show. :D
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    And the polls are in, [URL="http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20090623/ap_on_en_tv/us_utah_boy_found"]Bear Grylls[/URL] is the one to beat. :D
  • MessiahMessiah Failed Experiment
    Awesome. :)
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Ray Mears actually worked with [I]Ewan McGregor[/I] on a show called [I][URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMWtRvnrXMY"]Trips Money Can't Buy[/URL][/I]. :D
  • Wasn't Bear Grylls said to be fake, and gained his 'fame' mostly by eating camel poo?

    Anyways, this [URL="http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/alone-in-the-wild-eds-bio"]Ed Wardle[/URL] guy seems to be just like an ordinary fellow, sent in the wilderness... I enjoyed his videos in show's website:
    [URL="http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/alone-in-the-wild/"]Alone in the Wild[/URL].

    I think he is far more realistic 'survivor', especially when you realise what happened to him after he had ran out of supplies.
  • MessiahMessiah Failed Experiment
    [QUOTE=Stingray;183972]Ray Mears actually worked with [I]Ewan McGregor[/I] on a show called [I][URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iMWtRvnrXMY"]Trips Money Can't Buy[/URL][/I]. :D[/QUOTE]

    Is McGregor doing that inbetween his Universe shoots, or was that a long time ago?

    [QUOTE=sinclair;183973]Wasn't Bear Grylls said to be fake, and gained his 'fame' mostly by eating camel poo?[/QUOTE]

    I dont get why people say Grylls is fake? I mean, actually hauling your camera guy through the places he does, and making sure that guy survives as well has to be harder than doing it alone..
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    The problem with those survivor shows is that they need to create entertaining content and do this relatively safely for the cast and crew. Most guys in those shows need to rely on expert consultants who have real world experience dealing with those life-threatening situations and conditions. You just need to check out behind-the-scenes clips of any show out there to catch a glimpse of how they work.

    Bear Grylls isn't any more fake than Les Stroud or anyone else out there. His approach and philosophy is different from the likes of Ray Mears or the late Steve Irwin. The latter two actually being the real deal as far as their background is concerned. Bear Grylls' shows are quite a bit more flashy and targeted towards a younger audience. Even though he is spending a lot of time outdoors, he's a guy with military background and not a conservationist or tree-hugger. While those "documentaries" only show you want they want you to see, there is a lot more going on behind the scenes.

    The only criticism I'm aware of regarding Bear Grylls is that one episode where they cut corners towards the end of a specific segment on volcanic rock during which Grylls wasn't really in any real danger. Someone actually posted a clip showing the exact locations and proof of proximity to civilisation that made it look like the entire show was just a big hoax. Grylls isn't very subtle but his methods are very down to earth and provide you with sound guidelines should you ever be in an emergency situation. Guys like Ray Mears show you how to prepare yourself before heading out into the wilderness.
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    [QUOTE=Messiah;183975]Is McGregor doing that inbetween his Universe shoots, or was that a long time ago?[/QUOTE]

    [URL="http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0000191/"]Imdb[/URL] says this footage was shot in 2001, so that would make it some time in between The Phantom Menace and Attack of the Clones.

    I've also heard of some long motorcycle trips he's been on. Not sure if they made a road movie out of it though. :D
  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    They did, 'The Long Way Round' and 'The Long Way Down'. Both are worth watching, although the first one was the better of the two.
  • JackNJackN <font color=#99FF99>Lightwave Alien</font>
    Les Stroud (SurvivorMan) did a show in the Sierra's. The location was literally in the backyard of our former home in Oakhurst. Some of the spots he ended up in, I knew by sight because I have hiked those areas.

    Just because he filmed the show within reach of civilization, doesn't mean that the things he brought up and techniques he used aren't valid.

    :)
  • I enjoyed Bear Gryll's shows, it's not about that... But he seems to be an actor, and that troubles me.
    Here is some article I happened to find just by taking a quick look, [URL="http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/grylls_thrills_bogus_expert_sK5S85neNKD0T52mMeRqEK"]Click.[/URL]

    I'd rather hear the whole truth before, not after... Of course, you can't deny it. He is out there and has done these shows... Even though he might spend his nights in a hotel.

    I suppose it's just about the way you watch things, I rather like something original. If a reality based show is made, it should be made with real people.
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Well, the truth of the matter is, there is hardly any raw footage on TV. Most of it is edited in some way. So whatever they don't show you, or don't tell you can be interpreted however you like. This means whatever you see is not necessarily all that there is to it.

    Most agree that those survivalists as seen on TV are basically TV hosts who just sell themselves as something they are not. Even Les Stroud said in one of his stranded-on-a-tropical-island episode that his team was just located beyond the horizon should he require real assistance. I mean, none of these guys are suicidal. :D

    I still think these shows are interesting and give you enough food for thought should you feel like going on one of those treks. I mean there are people who travel a lot by plane and it could some day happen that they end up in some hostile area after a crash and they'll have to get all their skills together to make it out alive. If your job consists of mainly walking about in a suit and tie, you are hardly prepared for what will be required of you.

    Those survivalists are really trying to sell us adventure and make us long for the wide open spaces. I've been on plenty of travel conventions where they try to sell you vacation trips with blisters and mosquito bites included. I don't really see anything wrong with that. Maybe they could be a bit more upfront with it within the format of their shows but then look at all the garbage that is served on TV day in and day out.
  • Of course they are not suicidal... But that Ed Wardle guy who I mentioned eariler, he was alone.

    But he did have a satellite phone and such equipment for emergencies. But if a bear (not Grylls) would have attacked him, no satellite phone couldn't save him. Thus he had a shotgun.

    The point is, he wasn't trying to be a 'survivor', he tried to survive. It really makes you think what it is like out there, he didn't undesrstand why he started crying after few days just because he saw a plane above. Though everything was just fine.

    Never seen Bear Grylls cry in his show, but that's because he wasn't never in such situation unlike this Ed.

    Btw, I'm not trying to make this a VS. fight :P
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    Fake or not, you won't see Ray Mears hanging from a chopper over a deserted tropical island any time soon. :D

    The bottom line is, we are surrounded by places that look great but that will kill you if you are stupid. :D
  • JackNJackN <font color=#99FF99>Lightwave Alien</font>
    [QUOTE=Stingray;183994]...The bottom line is, we are surrounded by places that look great but that will kill you if you are stupid. :D[/QUOTE]

    Yeah like New York, L.A., Nashville, etc.

    ;)
  • ShadowDancerShadowDancer When I say, "Why aye, gadgie," in my heart I say, "Och aye, laddie." London, UK
    You could drown in your kitchen sink if you were stupid enough
  • StingrayStingray Elite Ranger
    [QUOTE=sinclair;183991]Of course they are not suicidal... But that Ed Wardle guy who I mentioned eariler, he was alone.

    But he did have a satellite phone and such equipment for emergencies. But if a bear (not Grylls) would have attacked him, no satellite phone couldn't save him. Thus he had a shotgun.

    The point is, he wasn't trying to be a 'survivor', he tried to survive. It really makes you think what it is like out there, he didn't undesrstand why he started crying after few days just because he saw a plane above. Though everything was just fine.

    Never seen Bear Grylls cry in his show, but that's because he wasn't never in such situation unlike this Ed.

    Btw, I'm not trying to make this a VS. fight :P[/QUOTE]

    Maybe Ed Wardle is suffering from depression. Because why would he be going through emotional phases like that? It's not like he was a victim of his situation. [URL="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CQ3n9ps72Jg"]The true endurance test is for us to watch a grown man cry for four and a half minutes.[/URL] :D

    I'm pretty sure Bear Grylls was crying when he broke his shoulder in the arctic. But that's not what he's trying to sell on TV.

    As Ray Mears keeps telling in his show, survival is also a mental exercise. That's why he stresses the ability of making fire, shelter and cooking, as it lifts our spirits and chances of making it back to civilization alive. It's not about fighting nature, but to use it to our advantage when we depend on it.

    I just saw an episode of Man vs. Wild where Bear ate deer droppings and killed a wild boar with a knife stab to the heart. I don't know about you, but this is a bit too real for my taste. :D
  • He never claimed to be an adventurer or such, more like a social person. Then he is dropped out alone in the wild.

    I think that's the way how most of the people would react.. I can't see him running after bears with his knife while shouting "chaaaaaaaaarge!", and then eating deer droppings for snack. I suppose we all have our choise to see what we believe is realistic or not.
Sign In or Register to comment.