Survival expert Bear Grylls has been showcasing the best ways to not die in the wilderness for years now, across 13 different TV series in both the U.S. and U.K. His latest, Face the Wild for the Facebook Watch streaming platform, sees the outdoorsmen inviting ten everyday fans—including one incredible US veteran who lost both his legs—out into the wilderness for a helicopter-jumping, cliff-climbing journey.
So naturally, we chatted with Grylls about his tips for taking on the wild.
FIRST, AND OBJECTIVELY MOST IMPORTANT: WHAT'S THE VERY BEST TECHNIQUE FOR GOING TO THE BATHROOM?
"Well, that's easy. Quickly, is the short answer," Grylls told us. "If you need to pee, take a bottle, go in that, and then use it as a hot water bottle to keep you warm through the night."
As for your #2 needs, the survivalist is a big proponent of the simple dig-a-hole, find-some-soft-leaves method. But in an extreme cold situation, that poop might just save your life.
"What we used to do in the military was to poo into a little thing of plastic wrap, like you would find in a kitchen," Grylls said. "Then we’d wrap it up and pass it around to keep our hands warm."
ACCORDING TO THE FORMER BRITISH ARMY TROOPER, YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIVE IN THE GYM TO BE SURVIVAL-READY.
Grylls, who films one wilderness series or another practically year-round, keeps himself in consistent shape with quality over quantity.
"I’ve realized over the years the best training for me is short, sharp, 30 minute, high-intensity bodyweight-type Tabata training," he said.
"I’m doing it against the clock. It’s explosive," he continued. "It’s strength-based, but I get a really good cardio workout. Thirty minutes and really go for it. I do that maybe four times a week, and then a bit of yoga as well."
BUT THEN, OF COURSE, THERE'S THE MATTER OF WHAT TO EAT WHEN YOU'RE MILES FROM CIVILISATION.
Talking to Bear Grylls about eating is always going to be an exciting situation. This is, after all, the dude who shot to fame almost as much for a drinking-your-own-piss meme than Discovery's Man vs. Wild. But he does bring up a great point about eating, both in the jungle and on your couch: When it comes down to it, the best thing for your body is the bare necessities. (Example: The Paleo Diet.)
"You probably wouldn’t want to be eating bear poo or elephant dung or camel intestine every day of the year," he told us, accurately. "But generally, survival food is great for you. The bad stuff is all of the processed parts that people are eating. Natural food is, most of the time, the best option."
But whether it's on the celebrity-focused Running Wild or this latest Facebook Watch project, nobody gets through a Bear Grylls adventure without eating something at least a little unpleasant.
"We always give them a little experience of some wilderness food, whether it’s finding some bird eggs, or a snake, or something like that," he said.
"[The guests] always go, 'Oh no, all my friends have been warning me about this part.' But generally it’s the things we fear most in life that aren’t so bad. It usually ends with, 'Oh, it really does taste like chicken.'"