Last Updated on December 15, 2020
As preppers know there have been several TV shows that deal with the prepper lifestyle, from the extreme, Dooms Day Preppers, to the benign shows that show up on the DIY and HGTV networks to the wilderness builders of the “off the grid” lifestyle. Among these is Bear Grylls and his “Running Wild” Series. I thought a closer look at a couple of his adventures might be entertaining.
Bear Grylls is a little bit past his heyday in terms of his fame and the attention that’s paid to him. Some have questioned the accuracy of his various television programs and others have simply moved on to new shows and new TV personalities, as is the way of things.
But one clever way Grylls has found around this, for those still paying attention, is by incorporating celebrities into his adventures. Who can forget his getting permission from the Secret Service to allow Obama to take a taste of a bear-discarded salmon in Alaska? All while surrounded by 60+ agents/snipers/staff.
By performing feats of daring and survival not just alone, but alongside people who aren’t accustomed to such things, Grylls is sometimes better able to demonstrate the real difficulties of what’s going on. Or at least, that’s how it looks.
Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Running Wild With Bear Grylls is a show that’s been running for a few years now, and while 2018’s season four (4) didn’t quite get the same ratings as its predecessor, it’s been largely appreciated by audiences. Reviews for individual episodes were generally strong, and one all-encompassing write-up hailed it as an ideal form of summer television.
This does indeed speak to its entertainment value, as well as an enjoyable slate of celebrity guests ranging from famous actors to athletes. But for his faults, Bear Grylls can still teach a thing or two about survival as well. So we wanted to look back at some of the most interesting tips from the season that just concluded.
Rappelling is a useful skill
Rappelling is not anything new for Bear Grylls on Running Wild, nor in fact, is it new on this particular show. But one episode in particular – with actress Lena Headey – was particularly instructive. Headey is best known for her role as Cersei Lannister on the popular drama Game Of Thrones.
Her character is brutal, tough, and savvy, but not one we frequently see performing any kind of physical feat. It was thus a little bit different to see Headey repelling down a cliffside with Grylls.
A site devoted to all things Thrones carried a clip of the scene, in which Grylls actually gives some pointers rather than just helping her along. Rappelling isn’t something most people wind up doing without planning on it, but this episode was a nice reminder that it can be a very useful skill for a time in the wilderness. One that every prepper should look into as an additional tool in their bag of tricks. Doing it the second time when you really need to trumps doing it for the first time in a real TEOTWAWKI situation.
Alternate Protein Sources
Tennis legend Roger Federer was perhaps one of the more surprising and interesting guests for Running Wild. Earlier this year, at the Australian Open, Federer closing in on his 20th major title seemed like all but a certainty – and, indeed, he triumphed. But a year before that, at the same tournament in 2017, he lifted a major trophy for the first time in a few years.
He was back on top of the tennis world, and it was only a month or so later that he met with Grylls to film their episode in the Swiss Alps. It seems odd timing in the context of Federer’s career of late, but he seemed to have a great time with Grylls in what was perhaps one of the safer expeditions.
One nice tip though, unpleasant as it seems, was to eat a raw fish eye for quick protein. Of course, the two had to catch the fish. But it’s a nice reminder that in such a situation if you can’t cook or make a fire, you can at least eat parts of an animal raw to sustain yourself and get a spark of energy.
Using sunlight to start fires
While the Roger Federer episode may have focused on finding protein without cooking, an earlier episode in the season, featuring actor Joseph Gordon-Levitt actually concerned about how to start a fire with limited resources.
In that episode, Gordon-Levitt – who’s known for a wide range of film appearances, including 500 Days Of Summer, Looper, and The Dark Knight Rises – treks with Grylls through parts of Kenya. And at one point, after Grylls had told Gordon-Levitt to collect elephant feces, the pair use it as the base for a fire (which they set by directing sunlight through a camera lens). It’s not foolproof, but it’s a nice story to remember if you ever need to set a fire when lost in the wild.
While we as preppers know many other ways to start a fire, get some needed protein and fats, and get down from a mountain, you have to admire his choice of fuels!