Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Bear Grylls - aka 'Born Survivor'

Bear Gryll's has done several programmes which purport to show survival skills in a number of 'dangerous locations'. Well, call me a sucker but I've never watched such rubbish professing to demonstrate survival skills in all my life.
  • These programmes have exactly the same format. Each one shows him climbing up and down something steep. (Logs or trees will do if there is no rock) It is obvious from a safety point of view you should walk round such objects.
  • Jumping into freezing water. This is guaranteed to kill you in the arctic, alps or scotland in winter. (Unless you have a hotel at hand).
  • Eating the most ridiculous insects and animals/fish mostly raw.
  • Turning to the camera just before the next stunt and announcing, "only last month someone tried this and died", or something similar.
  • Getting covered in dirt at every opportunity.
  • Carrying around a water bottle even in wet, cold environments.
  • Out of camera shot he stays in a nice hotel and eats normal food. He may even like a beer or two.
In the episode where he was in the Alps I laughed when he claimed to have slept the night in a snow hole. The shot purporting to show him punch his fist & head through the top of the snow hole first thing in the morning had Bear Grylls announce "It snowed a lot last night", Anyone who has any experience of snow could see that the snow was old and was off-white. The next shot showed him walking over a landscape that was free of new snow - the rocks were bare (sorry Bear). And best of all, judging by the shadows, it was taken at about mid-day. He clearly had a long lie in at the hotel.

In Scotland he was shown jumping into a bog to demonstrate how to survive. Now I've spent many a winter in Scotland climbing and have never, ever, had this problem as they are either frozen or obviously visible. (To survive you have to take your clothes off before falling in as he demonstrated) It is certainly not on the Scottish Mountaineering Council list of required mountain skills. Ok I know he loves taking his clothes off but.... And we saw him again with that stupid water bottle. Does this man not know that Scotland is rather wet and always has plenty of safe drinkable water in every stream in the Highlands?

Another episode had him in the desert. In Morocco, I think, blurting out about how hot the temperature was and so on. Could he not recall his own advice from the episode when he claimed he was in an American desert that "You should never walk during the day, I must find a cave to wait out until the temperature drops at night"?

In another pointless stunt he crawled inside a (dead) camel's body cavity claiming it was an example of a survival skill He also has a fascination with his own urine. He just loves to pee. This time in large quantities all around his camel. "to ward of predators such as Jackals". The man's mad!!. How many Jackals have ever attacked a man inside a camel for god sake? I've seen plenty of Jackels sniff human pee and they runaway as soon as they spot you. Ask any wildlife camera-man.
He came out of the camel in the morning, shirt covered in gore and blood as one would expect. I wondered how he was now going to keep the flies at bay the rest of the day until I noted he moved off (after having consumed an ant for breakfast) Bear Grylls was wearing a very clean and fresh shirt. Obviously the camel he stayed in was up market and had excellent room service. I must pack a camel in my survival bag next time I go walk about!.

On second thoughts to keep both cool and warm Bear Grylls should take a tip from the Spanish Foreign legion handbook and dig a hole large enough to get into and cover himself up. This works well to keep you out of the sun during the day and out of the cold at night. (To avoid scores of readers attempting this on the beach next time your on holiday and dying you must keep your head out of the sand. (Cover it up with a shirt or dead camel)

To prevent further programmes, however, I'd suggest the added precaution of digging the hole with a JCB, at least six feet deep, tossing Bear Grylls into the bottom, urinating on him (to keep the jackals away), covering him up with sand and leaving the JCB on top for a couple of weeks just to make sure he can't get out.

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