He was a member of the United Kingdom’s super-elite Special Forces Selection. He was the youngest person to ever climb Mount Everest. He is the tenth (and again, youngest) person to be appointed Chief Scout by The Scout Association. He’s also an international celebrity, thanks in no small part to his immensely popular telvision show, Man vs. Wild. He is Bear Grylls.
We’re very proud to work with Bear on his Bear Essentials survival app for iPhone. It’s an incredibly useful resource to have when out in the wilderness, and is even entertaining to use when lounging in the comforts of home. Bear took a few minutes out of his busy schedule to comment on life, survival, his app.
Chillingo: You’re without a doubt the most well known survivalist in the world, with a rabid cult following that spans every corner of the world. Did you ever see yourself in this position during your military days, or even as a child?
Bear Grylls: No, of course not! I was just always the kid who could climb the highest tree and loved being muddy 24/7 — not a lot has changed in that sense! It is still what makes me happiest.
Chillingo: You’ve done everything from climbing Mount Everest at the age of 23 to having dinner 25,000 feet in the air underneath a hot air balloon to becoming a renowned television star. What’s left on your to-do list?
BG: I need 10 lifetimes to scratch the surface — really. We live in an incredible world with so many adventures to be had. The best adventures always involve best buddies — that’s an important one to remember.
The best adventures always involve best buddies…
Chillingo: How does technology fit in your professional life given your strong association with nature and survival? It almost feels like it’s unnecessary from an outsider’s perspective since there’s seemingly nothing you couldn’t do without it given your knowledge and sills.
BG: Technology is just a tool just like a knife is. Ultimately you need to know how and when to use those tools, and what to do when they all break.
Chillingo: Let’s talk about the Bear Essentials app for a bit. When and why did you decide to make your own app?
BG: When I got over 10,000 messages saying develop one! Everyone wants to have all the skills they see on Man vs. Wild available for them on their phone. That’s a cool thing to carry.
Chillingo: It’s absolutely packed to the brim with content and utilities. To have the same kind of informational resource and tools available on, say, a camping trip 10 or 20 years ago would have required one to carrybooks, videos, and a suitcase full of devices. Now it’s all on a single phone. What do you think about that?
BG: And it could save your life. The SOS feature is proving super popular.
Ultimately you need to know how and when to use those tools, and what to do when they all break.
Chillingo: Along those same lines, how do you think survival as a whole has changed over the last couple of decades? Or has it changed at all?
BG: It is all about skills, attitude, knowledge, spirit, fitness, and luck. The app can help you hone all of those elements.
Chillingo: The Bear Essentials app lets you give survival tips and advice to your fans around the world. What’s the most valuable piece of advice that you’ve received from someone else?
BG: Never ever give up.
Chillingo: We have to ask: Have you ever used your own app while out in the wilderness?
BG: I am lucky in the sense that I carry the knowledge in my head, but I am not too proud to pre-program the SOS feature in the app before I head out into the wild — just in case!
Chillingo: Thanks, Bear!