Bear Grylls

September 13, 2011

I am Bear Grylls. Ask me Anything.

Thank You Reddit! It's been fun.

See all my responses at

What's your favorite hobby other than surviving?

Playing guitar with my kids.

Do you play any other instruments besides guitar?



Here's my video reply. Thanks for the question.

What scenario did you come across while filming that was completely unexpected and really caught you off-guard?

rockfalls have often caught us out unexpectedly- Ian one of our crew got caught in a nasty one in NZ recently and broke 6 ribs. But he is mending now! Just got to be careful always and look out for each other I guess.

Have you ever felt like the situation was too dangerous to continue? Are there unfinished episodes for this reason?

to be honest sometimes I have definitely felt nervous about going on (especially if one of us have had a particularly close call - which has happened quite a bit!), but I have learnt that it is fine to feel like that- you gotta then put your head down and keep going- and that attitude has helped me so often.

Here's some advice:

First, Mr. Grylls has pre-confirmed this with the admins and mods, so there's no need to request proof

I’d like to remind people that we’re lucky to have such a notable person come do an IAmA and that we shouldn’t stomp all over that privilege by ruining this IAmA with a flood of “HAHAHA how does piss taste, LOL!” comments. Mr Grylls has a long, and pretty fucking interesting, list of accomplishments, and also has the misfortune of being the subject of an internet meme. Let’s focus more on the former and less on the latter.

So, my questions to you:

  1. What achievement of yours are you most proud of?
  2. Why’d you change your name to “Bear”? Was it a nickname, or was “Edward” not hardcore enough?
  3. What’s the best “Holy shit I am going to die now” story you’ve got, and how did you get out of it?

What am I most proud of? Here's my answer:

Im an eagle scout. whats your take on the scouts. i will not be offended in anyway. just curious?

an incredible worldwide force for good - we have 28 millions scouts now and growing every day. It is all about encouraging young folk to LOVE adventure! Am super proud to be Chief Scout for sure.

What did you find was the hardest location to survive and film in the 'Man Vs Wild' series?

Hardest Location?

Huge, huge fan here, both of your outdoors skills and your boldness in your faith, a few questions.

quick fires for you! What did it feel like to summit Everest?... cold but amazing Who's one of your heroes? my late dad Do you ever drink your piss just for, you know, fun? um no! What's your favorite place in the world? home...

Do you feel your camera man gets the recognition he deserves? Always wondered how he does all the same things, but whilst holding a camera. It impresses me.

yep he's a very nice handsome dude. (by the way he is here with me in the studio and I am answering this under duress!!!!!)

How do you feel about being such an iconic figure on the internet?

How do I feel?

What was the least favorite thing you've ever forced yourself to eat? And what was the most surprisingly good thing you've ever eaten in the wild?

My least favorite thing? Well...

Piss is a beverage that accompanies his meals...obviously.

of course... no meal is complete without it!!

I was in the Audience when you were on the Graham Norton show with that monstrous Kathy Griffin, and I went specifically because you were on the show, but I've got a question that may have already been asked. If it was then I just give my respect.

Question: In Canada and the USA you are often compared to Les Stroud, a man who had his own show called Survivorman in which he did similar things as you.

How do you feel about people saying that, in comparison to Mr Stroud, you are weak and that Les Stroud is the stronger and better equipped man?

Note to everyone who may downvote me. I do not feel this way, I enjoy Grylls' show. I just want to know how he feels in comparisonl.

Interesting question. How would I rate myself?

Did you actually play your video game? If so, what did you think?

yep but my kids like it when i get eaten by the croc! ... I dont.

This question might get lost in this AMA, but there was a video that was posted here long ago where Bear outruns a train when going through a tunnel, and to this day I do not know if it's real or fake, especially with the way CGI has become so much more advanced. So, Mr. Grylls, is this real?! I will not think any less of you and your crazy antics in the wild regardless of the answer.

Video in question is here

real train, real tunnel, real new underpants needed afterwards!

When you finally do "retire", where do you see yourself living?

on our little welsh island back in the UK. It is heaven to me.

What made you join the military when you were younger? And are you just incredibly talented for the UK Special Forces or are your skills common place in the UKSF?

all the guys I served with were well trained. It was the job.

Also, is the cameraman basically doing the same intense things as you but with a camera on his shoulder?

Is the cameraman doing the same thing? Let's hear from him:

There should be a show about just the cameramen in shows like this. It would be on the history channel.

You know, I kind of agree with you.

How do you view Les Stroud? As a competitor in the survival-tv-show industry or as a friend and "coworker"?

Here's what I think...

What sort of training do you do to keep yourself in shape (both mentally and physically) for these sort of adventures?

Here's my training...

What's the worst injury you've ever sustained in the wild?

My worst injury? That's a tough one, but this brings back a painful memory...

What was the most surprising location you've survived in? One you thought would be a (relative) cakewalk but wound up being significantly more challenging than expected?

Surprising? This is a good one.

What three things should you keep always on your person and why?

Very important:

Where do you think you would be now if you never accepted the offer to have your own TV programme?

I've often wondered that:

What was it like working with Will Ferrel on that one episode?

Great guy, here's the story:

How do you respond to people who call you a hack (compared to say, Les Stroud)? Not trying to be a dick, just want an honest answer.

EDIT: Seriously, people, i'm not some ninja Survivor Man PR person. I don't have a chub for Les Stroud. I asked a question based on an observation. I'm not here to personally ruin anyone. If I wanted to be a jerk about it, I would have just called him a name and not asked a question. Damn, guys, calm the fuck down.

Good question, here's my take:

What do you say to people who say your show is staged? Also do you and Les Stroud ever hangout?

This is my take on Les:

What do you say to people who say your show is staged? Also do you and Les Stroud ever hangout?

Here's my take on Les:

Hi Bear

Was there ever an animal or an insect that made you just say "NOPE, not eating that!". If so, what was it? And what is to most awful thing you ever tasted?

Crazy insects? Check.

Besides a dead camel, where is the worst place you ever had to spend the night?

This is an ugly one:

Hi Bear, if your children wanted to follow in your adventurer footsteps would you encourage it?

I suppose so. Here's why I wanted to do it myself: are awesome. If you had some advice for Suvivor Man, what would it be? Could you beat him in a wilderness challenge? Would you challenge him? Have you trademarked any drink deals? Well....nevermind.

this is a CEO approved question...

Here's some advice I would have for everyone:

I don't think he'll ever see this, but I am curious. How does your wife/kids feel about the dangerous things you do for your show? Do they watch?

How do they feel? Here's what I think they'd say:

This interview was transcribed from an "ask me anything" question and answer session with Bear Grylls conducted on Reddit on 2011-09-13. The Reddit AMA can be found here.