Let me paint a picture. You’re freezing, hungry, and it’s beginning to get dark. As you hike up the side of a mountain in the middle of nowhere, you need shelter. You don’t have a tent, but you do have a knife and a dead animal about 100-yards ahead of you.
So, you do what any normal human would do, you die in the wilderness, only to be found by a hiker 6 weeks from now.
And then there’s Bear Grylls. He handles the situation a bit differently, cutting open the dead animal and sleeping inside of it. He lives. But that’s kind of his thing. Staying alive.
Originally from Northern Ireland, Grylls got an early start on adventuring by learning how to climb and sail from his father, Sir Michael Grylls. He became a Cub Scout at 8-years-old, and while most teenage boys are more concerned with acquiring porn, Grylls was learning how to jump out of a perfectly operational airplane, for fun. He was also becoming a black belt in Shotokan, seemingly preparing for a life filled with adventure, and someday doing jumping jacks naked in the arctic to stay warm.
Bear, who got his nickname from birth, was also responsible for starting a mountaineering club while he attended Eaton Collage. After graduating with a degree in Hispanic studies, Grylls went on to join the military at 22-years-old, specifically the British Special Forces. He was there for three years until he was injured during a parachuting exercise in where his chute failed,crushing three of his vertebrae, and almost paralyzing him.
He was honorably discharged, and 18 months later, at 23-years-old, he decided to climb Mount Everest. This is a joke, right? Nope. He’s one of the youngest people on the planet to climb the earth’s highest mountain. No big deal.
Since 2000, Grylls has participated in various expeditions ranging from navigating the British Isles on Jet skis to completing the longest indoor free fall. It’s like he’s genetically bred to create an adventure show. And in 2005, he filmed a four-part series called “Escape the Legion” where he and other recruits went through basic training for the French Foreign Legion.
And then came…professionally eating bugs. Man Vs. Wild debuted in 2006 and lasted 7 seasons. If you haven’t seen the show, Grylls was basically dropped in the middle of nowhere, in the most life threatening situations and tried to find a way out. He ate whatever, slept wherever, and showed viewers that it’s ok to drink your pee if you’re really thirsty.
Since the show’s end, Grylls has started several other shows relating to survival. He’s penned a couple of books, and his company now conducts survival tours in different parts of the country. He also has a survival clothing line, and a Bear Grylls knife.