Bear Grylls answers YOUR questions!

TV adventurer Bear Grylls has kindly taken time from his hectic schedule to answer some of the top questions you uploaded to our forum.

Take a look at what he has to say...


andymack - You've often been in dangerous situations. What's the best way to keep your head and stay calm when things start going wrong?
See things for what they are and not how they make you feel. Use fear, don't be controlled by it. It is there to sharpen your senses for what you then need to do. I have learnt that regular exposure to these situations makes this whole process simpler - but we are all human and those feelings are all normal, especially when confronted in a confined space such as a small rock ledge by a lethal angry snake! The discipline and skill is to control the link between your emotions and your actions. It is about being able to harness those feelings to work for you.


toonboots - Do you think it is important that organisations like the Scouts continue to teach young people skills that are related to staying safe in the outdoors? IE: how to start a fire, use a knife safely, what to do in an emergency, how to pick a good camp site and how to pitch a tent correctly?
I have always felt it is important that all of us learn these basic skills. Life often throws us a curveball and if we aren't prepared for that disaster we drastically reduce our chances of surviving intact when that moment comes. Emergencies always happen to the most unsuspecting people!
The Scouts prepare people not only for survival but also for life. I have often seen in young people how the ability to light a fire in the rain or catch a fish with no rod, can boost's confidence and self-esteem. These are great skills for us all to learn. But the Scouts teach skills way beyond that and I know Scouts who have earned badges from everything from snow boarding to rock climbing to photography and paragliding! What a cool way to empower kids who would never normally get the opportunity for adventure.


Jordanesq - How does your wife/family feel about what you do being that you are often putting yourself into dangerous and sometimes life threatening circumstances? Has there ever been an event in your life in which you really believed your time was up and you have pushed your luck too far?
It is always hard having a dangerous job and a young family. I lost my father when I was quite young and it makes me all the more aware and determined to be around for my young boys always. They are my world. I have though developed a good instinct over the years about danger and where it often comes from and how to survive it, and a big part of that is never taking anything for granted. I make sure all my risk is well calculated, and even though it might appear reckless I always work well within my skill levels...and double check everything!
Have their been occasions where it was a bit too close? Yes - too many! ...from jumping on top of a 16ft man eating tiger shark, and wrestling alligators to being bitten by snakes - but I really try and minimise those moments. Then again big mountains and remote oceans have a habit of testing you on occasions, despite the preparation you put in, and that is all part of the appeal of the wild I guess. My book Facing the Frozen Ocean on an expedition I lead was a classic example of suddenly finding yourself at the mercy of nature and almost coming a cropper!


geno - Of all of the locations you have visited, which terrain has provided the most difficult challenge of survival and why?
The extremes of temperatures are the worst - from the cold of Siberia in winter to the heat of the Sahara in summer. Both extremes I have learnt to dread! And when you are in one you just long for the after. That is why I love the UK so much.


banzaiboarder - Hi Bear, you must have had times adventures when it must be tough to press on and get to your objective. What�s the key to pressing on regardless? How do you personally unlock that grit and determination to get to your target?
Grit and determination is within us all, just sometimes life covers it with a veneer of fluff. The wilds have a habit of blowing that fluff away, and showing what we are really about. We are all a bit like a grape - when squeezed you see what it is made of! But I have been blessed to witness extremes of courage and determination on big mountains many times, and it often comes from the most unlikely people. It is within us all.
Churchill said: when you are going through hell...keep going. This is the key to surviving hardship: knowing that the solution to it all is to endure and never give up. It is vital if we are to win through in the game of life, and it is the crux of my message to young scouts:
them that stick it out are them that win.
My Christian faith has helped me so much as well. Psalm 121 says it simply. 'I lift my eyes up to the mountains, where does my help come from? It comes from you Lord, Maker of Heaven, Creator of the earth.'


IdRatherStand - As a well experienced mountaineer how do you go about measuring the success of your expedition when you finish it? For example: Some people may look back and think about how far they covered, and others may look back at the highest point.
An expedition is successful if we all return alive, and as friends. Mountains are bad places to prove yourself, but good places to find yourself. For me it is about helping people fulfill dreams - and the records and summits are just a small part of that. Last year we raised over $2.5million for childrens charities through our Everest paraglider expedition, which was a dream come true for me and all involved. Expeditions for me are an opportunity to touch, inspire and change people's lives through adventure.


cozy - How long did it take you to do the Fan Dance and which mountain in Britain is your favourite?
I did the Fan Dance in the Brecons many times not only on Selection but afterwards as training - I think it always took me around 3hrs 30mins (Of misery!). My favourite mountain is Ben Loyal, on the north coast of scotland. It is where I met my gorgeous Shara.


tomjackson - Great show - looking forward to the next installment. What do you say to all those people who question the legitimacy of the programmes, suggesting that after a take it's actually a bit of luxury for you, you have lots of people on hand to help you, and it's not really survival in the true sense of the word? Hopefully you can silence the critics once and for all - I'll keep watching.
There are always people who will want to put you down in life but the key is to try and not take it personally and to get on and do your job as best you can. But in the media you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth, and I am neither the superhero or a super baddy! On Born Survivor I work with a small crew of 4 or 5 who come with me to some serious hell holes around the world and those guys are the real heroes in my eyes.
They put up with some atrocious conditions in very isolated, remote, inhabitable places: from swamps to mountains to deserts and I guess I feel pretty protective over critics saying they have it easy. But it is always easier for people to criticise rather than to get out there and do!
I am in an airport at the moment having filmed 14 days solid from the extremes of Mexico desert in 120o to the alaskan mountains in ice and snow. We work at least 18 hrs most days and I slept both in a fishing net suspended up a tree in Alaska and in a cave in the desert. The crew had to battle icey waters, raging rivers, mosquitoes, snakes, and torrential rain for 5 days solid. As our cameraman says: the programmes speak for themselves.


rschorah - What would be your ultimate adventure and if you could take anyone at all on an expedition, who would it be and why?
I just love home! Many adventures, close calls and long separations have taught me that what I really value lies close at home: my wife Shara and our three young boys. We live for 3 months of every year on a small welsh island with no mains electricity or water and it is our private hideaway that we love. It is our time to be cosy and together. I consider the expeditions and programmes my work, and what I have been trained to do.


orpheus - Is your cameraman as proficient as you in climbing, or does he have everything rigged up in advance when you're sliding down the rockface?
The crew rig ropes on the really large, exposed rock faces if needed, in order to capture the moments, as it is pretty hard to climb with only one hand, even for guys as great as them!

orpheus - Have you ever done a dangerous stunt or eaten a nasty stinky slimy creature... Only for Mr Camera Man to say "we'll have to do that again."?
Yes. all too often... the ba****ds!

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