“Man vs. Wild” host Bear Grylls is probably a supremely cool dude, and there’s no doubt that he’s an outdoorsmen of badass proportions, but his new Survival Academy lacks an important piece: him.
That’s right; he’s opening a survival academy, much like NOLS or Outward Bound, but focused more on life and death circumstances rather than outdoor adventure. The catch: he’s not going to be in it.
The first six-day course begins on November 1st in what is known as the last remaining wilderness in the British Isles: Sutherland, Scotland. Training will be comprised of many of Grylls’ signature survival techniques ranging from making fire in rainstorms and foraging for grubs and rodents to remote land and sea survival tasks. You’ll also learn about medical trauma care, knife survival uses, river crossings and weather survival. And then you’ll go test out all your new skills in a 36-hour wilderness expedition designed to test you until you unravel in the mind and body.
That being said, if you’re looking for a little hangout time and instruction from Master Grylls, don’t bother. He won’t be there. He designs the courses, but they’re actually run by a team of “highly trained experts.” No doubt the instruction will be top-notch, just be forewarned that you won’t sucking down slimy grubs with the man you’ve seen on TV.
In a statement from Grylls, he says, “So many people have asked me over the years where they can learn extreme, practical survival – the type that requires spirit, determination and the skills to self-rescue against the odds, in some of the harshest terrain around. So it is with great pride that we can now finally launch the Bear Grylls Survival Academy to be able to share some of these skills and what it really means to be able to look after yourself when the chips are down,” said Grylls.
The price of the experience comes in at £2,999 per person (that’s $4,854.08), excluding any necessary flights and other transportation. It seems a high price for any survival school, but then again, you’ll also get a swag bag: enrollees receive a badge, certificate and a Bear Grylls knife. Don’t take my sarcasm for complete contempt; it seems cool, but flying the academy under the Bear Grylls banner, who won’t be there at all other than for “occasional surprise visits,” seems a bit misleading.
By Bryan Schatz