Bear Grylls is the go to survivalist expert in the eye of the public. With multiple tv shows like Man vs. Wild, Running Wild, Into The Wild, The Island and many other shows he’s been on the forefront of survivalist expertise on American television for years, even though he was born in Britain he feels like a hometown hero to all of us. The survivalist has been in many stick survival situations over the years and we’ve seen him climb, crawl or leap out of all of them.
With the expertise of someone like him there are key valuable lessons that we the public can learn while watching. You never know when your car could break down in the middle of nowhere, or a camping, hunting or fishing trip could go south. These survival skills require basic understanding and basic application and to be more adaptive in the wild is the core of Grylls message.
Bear Grylls Top 3 Survival Tips:
- From Fire Failure To Fire Success:
If you’re in a situation where you need fire and do not have a lighter or matches it is very important to understand the use and value of fire. Not only does fire provide heat and warmth which can be life saving but it also helps to deter predators as well as create a condition for cooking food. Any meat or fish that you can harvest. A warm lit fire at night with food in your belly is crucial for survival, sleep and making progress to escape these conditions. Bear recommends a fire steel and striker (on amazon here) which he says is even better than matches or a lighter because it will even work if it’s wet whereas the others will not. He also carries cotton balls soaked in vaseline which make great tinder. Two very small things that give you the assurity of a fire under dire conditions whether wet or not. He reminds us that the fire needs the same thing as us to survive. Heat, fuel and oxygen. If you’re starved of one, or the fire is, you’re going to die. Bear also shares that you can start a fire by stabbing your cell phone’s lithium ion battery with a knife. This will generate sparks, heat and could save your life.Here are some other ideas for fire use and application:
2. Rescue Water & Food:
Water is incredibly important, more so than food. Dehydration is always coming for you and you need to take it seriously. The closer you are to civilization the longer you can go without it because you know you’re not that far out, this water closer to civilization is also more likely to be polluted. In the wild wild, however, you want to drink water when you find it and look for water that is moving. Rivers, streams, water trickling off rocks. Moving water is going to be less likely to be polluted with bacteria or pathogens of any kind. Additionally if it does get real dire and desperate you can drink your pee. Bear calls it “Nectar of the gods” and swears by it. Kidney Juice! The additional benefit here is that you won’t be losing as many electrolytes also, so not only is the pee rehydrating from the water but from the mineral-electrolyte uptake that you would otherwise lose. They say it’s not as bad as it seems!
In regards to food, it is valuable to know your plants and animals. There’s a great app called ‘plantsnap‘ in the app store that I highly recommend downloading now and using on your next hike or journey into the forest. This app will educate you on plants and their species. The more you use it the more you’ll learn your native plants in the region you live, hike, camp, fish and hunt. The more educated you are about the ecology of the forest around you the better you can discern wither something is poison or a wild edible food.
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3. Be Ready To Send Smoke Signals On Demand:
You need to be ready to send smoke signals on demand. If you do not have a flare this is where these fire starting tools come in handy. To be able to generate some smoke very quickly could very well save your life.
4. Climb Trees To Get A Better Vantage Point:
Climbing trees allows you to see the best direction to move to conserve your energy on the ground best. Be sure to stay closest to the tree trunk while climbing the branches and be sure to climb slowly, calmly and test branches before you put all your weight on them. You want to look for civilization, human movement or the general direction of someone that can help you escape the wilderness and get back to civilization.
5. Find True North Using An Analog Watch Or The Sun’s Movement
Remember, the sun rises in the east and sets in the west. If you wake up and see the suns position look at the shadow of the sun on a tree to determine where it is and where it’s going. It rises in the east and sets in the west, from there you got half the equation, and then determining truth north and south is important to ensure you have your steps moving in the appropriate direction. There’s nothing worse than being in a survival situation and walking deeper into the forest to get ‘rescued’ because that won’t help! Additionally you can actually use an analog watch to find north according to Grylls. Watch the video on how to do it here:
6. Food Foraging Tip – Use Your Sense Of Smell:
If you’re unsure about a potential wild food use your sense of smell. You can use your sense of smell to determine how pungent something is. Typically the stronger the smell the more likely it is to be poisonous. On that same note there is wild garlic, wild leeks and other wild foods that you may smell and relate to something you’ve had before in a more industrialized form. Another tip is to watch what the mammals are eating. Not so much birds, birds can eat things that are toxic to humans. Watch what other mammals are eating and mimic them. That’s a safer bet!
7. Keep A Sense Of Humor:
Keeping a sense of humor in dire situations is important because if you lose the lightness of life you can easily become disappointed, and lose hope, faith and determination. This causes you to miss out on crucial opportunities for food, water, shelter and anything else that may actually save your life. Keep your faith and hope, and your sense of humor throughout the journey. The worst thing you can do is become a strong pessimist. You close off any opportunity for survival, progress and making it through. This is a great lesson in general for life as well.
There are many cool tools, tips, practices and ideas you can use in the wilderness.
One of the coolest companies that I have found that supplies hunting, camping, fishing and outdoor gear is GoSun. They make solar powered cooking devices, coolers and rechargeable batteries. Check them out on amazon here. Check out what they did with a simple design and device:
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