Survival expert and host of the groundbreaking interactive series You vs. Wild, Bear Grylls has probably done it all, from scaling Mount Everest to eating raw goat testicles. But how does the outdoorsy daredevil deal with a lockdown? Grylls, who is also the global brand ambassador of LUMINOX, bares his heart. By Adila Matra
What has been your biggest adventure so far?
Crossing the North Atlantic Ocean was exceptional on many accounts, for it brought us close to nature’s fury. We crossed the ocean in a small inflatable boat. It was 4,828 kilometres, and we had to face very frightening gale force 10 storms. With gigantic waves and icebergs, and relentless cold, it was an adventure of epic proportions. It made us realise the power of nature and friendships, and the importance of respect in the wild.
For an adventure enthusiast like you, what is the biggest challenge during a lockdown?
Life is all about adapting to difficult situations. At Scouts, we were always travelling around and having adventures, but now, we must adapt, so we have come up with ‘The Great Indoors’ campaign [a collection of over 100 activities that young people can do to stave off cabin fever]. It’s all about keeping yourself, the kids, and the scouts occupied and challenged.
Tell us about the training routine that helps you survive in the wild.
Coming from a military background, all the skills that I have acquired over the years have helped me survive in the wild. There are certain tools I carry that are essential. A good knife can help you make shelter, create traps, and hunt for food. Then comes fire—for light, cooking, burning animal dung, and keeping mosquitoes away. A natural roof and mattress are a must, too.
Where does your undying passion for adventure originate?
Ever since I can remember, adventure has been the driving force of my life—right from my childhood that I spent climbing mountains with my dad to being a Scout and joining British Special Forces as a combat survival specialist, climber, and skydiver.
If you had the choice to self-isolate anywhere, where would it be?
It would be in North Wales where we have our small island hideaway. That is where our three boys, Shara, and I are happier than anywhere else. We let ourselves loose and just go diving, paragliding, and climbing.