by Kraig Becker
If you’ve ever seen the television show Man vs. Wild you already know that host Bear Grylls has the skills necessary to survive in demanding environments. After all, over the course of seven seasons we watched him drink his own urine, extract water from elephant dung and eat more bugs than we can count. Those antics may have made for interesting television but its debatable whether or not Bear actually gave valuable advice on the show. But those who would like to learn how to survive in the wild just like Bear will soon have an opportunity to do so from the man himself. The British adventurer has announced that he will open his Survival Academy in the U.S. later this year, giving fans and outdoor enthusiasts an opportunity to hone their own skills while picking up a few new ones along the way.
Starting in November, Bear will begin offering a variety of courses to train attendees of his academy in the fine art of survival. Those courses will range from intense 24-hour sessions for adults and families to a full five-day survival adventure that gives students a chance to learn everything they would need to know to survive in the wilderness and then put those skills into practice. Topics include backcountry navigation, emergency first aid, how to find food, build a shelter and much more. The curriculum has been developed and approved by Bear himself and while he won’t be one of the instructors, each member of the faculty has been hand picked for their experience and knowledge.
The Survival Academy will debut in the Catskills Mountains of upstate New York , which should serve as a the perfect arena for testing the various skills that will be taught there. The remote and rugged wilderness is a beautiful, yet demanding, environment that will provide numerous challenges for the students. Next year a second academy will open in Texas, which will provide a different training environment to test Bear’s survival techniques.
As of now, no specific dates have been set for when the Academy will officially open nor has the cost of the courses been announced. But the 24-hour courses that are currently being taught in the U.K. run £350, which works out to about $530 at the current exchange rate. That seems quite reasonable considering all of the skills that Bear’s team will impart on the students. Besides, it’s not everyday that you get the chance to learn these techniques from a guy who perfected the ability to stay in hotels and not wander far from civilization while making a television show about how to survive in the wild.
[Photo Courtesy Bear Grylls]