Bear Grylls’ Survival Tips

Bear Grylls has survived where few would dare to go. His bushcraft skills and endurance have become legendary as a result of numerous television series in which he pits himself, often alone, against the elements. To mark the release of his new book, he has agreed to share with us his top ten tips for surviving in the wild:

- Don’t underestimate the elements. It’s essential that you have a good working knowledge of how to shelter yourself. I don’t just mean tents and sleeping bags; I mean clothes and footwear too. They are your first line of defence against the extremes.

- Fire is your best friend in the field. That said, making a good fire is a bit of a mystery to many people, and there’s nothing more useless than a wet match. Matches can be dried by rubbing them through your hair, but you can also waterproof them before you leave home by dipping them one at a time into melted candle wax.

- Don’t discard the chippings that come away as you are chopping wood. They make very good kindling for the fire.

- Your pack should be as light as possible, so eliminate anything that you don’t really need. Make sure it fits well and is comfortable – you might be wearing it through some unforgiving terrain.

- Any fool can be uncomfortable. Ensure you pitch camp somewhere suitable. Select your campsite wisely, on flat ground and close to the amenities that the natural world provides.

- They say that an army marches on its stomach, and it’s true. If you’re going to spend any amount of time in the field, it’s crucial to understand what kind of food will provide your body with the essential energy it needs. If you’re worried about vitamin deficiency, remember that green grass contains vitamins A, B and C – and it doesn’t actually taste that bad!

- Good hygiene is essential for good health. Dry out sweaty or wet clothes whenever you can – remember the sun also kills bacteria. If you don’t have any soap, white ashes from your fire can be used as a substitute, as can sand and loamy soil.

- To be able to navigate yourself and your companions efficiently, confidently and accurately through all terrains in all weathers can literally be a lifesaving skill. When you’re following a bearing, check it regularly. Each time you check it, locate a landmark along that bearing, walk to the landmark then check the bearing again.

- Good medical training is crucial in the field. A working knowledge of first aid could save someone’s life. It could even save your own. In the wild, the smallest cut can lead to infection, so rinse a dirty wound under clean water. If the water is dirty you may be able to sterilize it by boiling it for a minute at sea level, plus an extra minute for every 300 meters above sea level. Leave it to cool completely before using it.

- It is vital that we learn to look after our bodies. Keeping yourself fit, strong and healthy is vital. Train hard beforehand, as it makes your job of surviving in the field much easier and more pleasurable.

We are offering our readers the chance to win Bear Grylls’ new book, Mud, Sweat and Tears,  along with £100 of Blacks vouchers and a bundle of previously published Bear Grylls books. 

To be in with a chance of winning, just leave a comment telling us “What’s the most extreme situation you have ever found yourself in?”

Terms and Conditions
  • The competition launches on 27.4.12 and closes on the 11.5.12.
  • Entrants must be UK residents aged 18 years or older to enter.
  • The winner will be chosen at random by Tesco from the entries received.
  • By entering you agree that your name may be published both on the blog and on Twitter when we announce the winner.
  • Entries should be made in the comments section of the competition blog post.
  • The competition is not open to employees or affiliates of Tesco Books or anyone directly connected with the planning or administration of the competition.
  • The “bundle of previously published Bear Grylls books” mentioned above as part of the prize are: Living Wild, Great Outdoor Adventures, Born Survivor: Bear Grylls.
  • By taking part in the competition, entrants are deemed to have read, understood and accepted all of the Terms and Conditions and agreed to be bound by them.
  • Tesco reserve the right to amend the T&Cs without notice. 
  • Once contacted, prize winners must respond within one week – if not, another winner will be picked.
  • Delivery of prizes may take up to 28 days after the prize winner has supplied all necessary delivery information.
  • There is no purchase necessary to enter.