Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

10 Top Bear Grylls Survival Tips For Every Adventurer

Bear Grylls survival tips! From eating eyes to charging phones in armpits...

10 Bear Grylls Survival Advice That Could Save Your Life

If there’s one man who knows a lot about outdoor survival, it’s Bear Grylls, so we thought we’d put together a list of Bear Grylls survival tips to help you out with your adventure needs.

The thing is, the Born Survivor’s survival tips are always bound to be pretty hardcore. The guy conquered Everest at 23, he’s the youngest chief scout in the history of the organisation, and he’s probably the only man in the world whose actually drunken camel poo without getting sent to a therapist.

You certainly couldn’t accuse him of living life in half-measures anyway, but whether he’s being badass, ingenious or just disgustingly logical, he certainly knows how to get the job done. Here are some Bear Grylls survival tips that prove just that… We’re guessing you don’t fancy following all of them!

1) Drink Your Own Urine

The cornerstone entry in any list of Bear Grylls survival tips. The Englishman is famous for drinking his own piss, whether it be from a bottle, a plant, or, y’know, from a dead snake, but there’s plenty of method behind his madness.

The average human can survive between 3-5 days in strong heat without water, possibly longer in cooler conditions. Either way though, finding water is essential, but not always easy.

If you’re out of water and, crucially, still somewhat hydrated, drinking your own urine can keep you alive. This is because relatively clear urine will hydrate you, but if it’s brown and thick, it’s just waste and won’t help at all.

2) Know Your Edible Nature

Photo: Discovery TV

This Bear Grylls survival tip is a little nicer than the previous one, at least until you remember that eating the wrong thing in a survival situation could well get you killed.

The general rule of thumb for survival food is that unless you’re 100 percent certain that it’s edible, don’t eat it. Do your research before you go – for example, Bear notes that every jungle in the world has palm nuts, an excellent source of calories an carbohydrates containing 81 calories and 15 grams of carbs. That’s the kind of information that could save your life. On a side note, here’s a clip of Bear just chilling with, well, the president of the United States – Watch: Barack Obama Eat A Chewed-Up Fish Carcass

3) Pee On A T-Shirt And Put It On Your Head

Photo: Discovery TV

Back to urine then. Bound to happen on a list of Bear Grylls survival tips, really. That’s kind of his thing.

In extreme heats, you have to stay hydrated or you’ll pass out pretty quickly. That’s not the easiest of tasks when there’s very little shade around though and next to no water.

The ex-SAS man recommends peeing on a t-shirt and wrapping it round your head. Sounds fun, right? Well, it’s super cooling and will give you a big energy boost as a result, so it could just save your life if you’re super dehydrated.

4) Use Your First Aid Kit To Boost a Signal Fire

If you’re trapped somewhere, lost or struggling with injuries and in desperate need of help, a signal fire is a great way of attracting attention.

How exactly do you get a fire going big enough to get people running though? This ingenious Bear Grylls survival tip tells you exactly that… using only the materials from your survival first aid kit and survival gear.

Get a small fire going, then grab a bandage, smear it in Vaseline, and chuck it into the fire along with mosquito repellent, which yes, is flammable. This gets a big fire going fast. Next, quickly pile leaves on to cue the smoke which will get you noticed.

5) Composure is Key

It’s easy to get flustered when you’re out in the wild, particularly if you’ve ended up in a survival situation. With your heart racing and your mind blurred though, your decision making won’t be anywhere near it’s best.

Bear says that “your best survival tool is staying focused and calm. If you feel confused, disorientated or panicked, you will end up making bad decisions.”

He recommend taking stock of the situation, evaluating all possibilities and making sure that when you make your final decision, whatever that may be, it wasn’t a decision made on a whim. Let your heart rate go down before you go anywhere.

6) Use A Backpack Liner To Help Cross Rivers

Picture the scene, you’re stranded in the wild, running out of water and food, and you come across a river you need to pass. A big river. A fast river. Fear not. There may not be an app for that, but there is a Bear Grylls survival tip.

If you need to cross a powerful river, Bear recommends anticipating where you think you’ll be spat out on the other side then giving yourself an extra 25% for safe measure. You can then use a backpack liner, an excellent flotation device, to help you on your way to the other side.

Trap as much air in the liner as possible and seal it, keeping your feet up and pointed down the river so you can kick away from any rocks. Don’t fight the current, Bear says, use it.

7) Eat The Eyes Of A Random Dead Animal

Right, c’mon people. I can literally hear you squealing. This is a list of Bear Grylls survival tips, what did you expect? Tips on getting your tent poles set up right? Nope. You’ve got eyeballs instead. Which is more than we can say for the yak which Bear once munched the eyes off in Siberia.

Why? Well, ounce for ounce, an animal’s eyeball will give you more protein that a steak. Admittedly, Bear grimly declared the thing was “awful” after eating that eyeball in Siberia, but you’ve got to be strong-stomached if you’re willing to survive. A choice between death and eating an eyeball? We’d definitely go with the latter.

8) Use A Dead Seal As A Wetsuit

Okay, we know, this is getting a bit ridiculous now. Bear Grylls is a pretty odd guy sometimes. You have to admit though, using a dead seal as a wetsuit isn’t quite as ridiculous as dying because you refused to use a dead seal as a wetsuit.


This lovely tale comes from our very own island of Britain. Bear needed to swim to the mainland after finding himself stranded on an island. He had to swim, but in those freezing waters, quite possibly wouldn’t have made it the short distance.

Needless to say, he slapped on the seal body and set out on his way. The Vikings used to use seals for sleeping bags, clothes and ropes, so we suppose it’s not too outrageous – although they did do a fair bit of pillaging as well, and we’re not so on board with that.

9) Be Wise With Your Mobile Phone

A mobile phone can be an absolute life-saver, but it has to have charge and be working if you’re going to use it to call in help.

Bear notes that charge is a particular problem in extreme colds, where batteries struggle to last as well as in the heat. He recommends putting your mobile in your armpit to warm it up and bring the battery back to life, assuming there is still charge left, and also making sure your phone is waterproofed, whether in casing or even a sandwich bag.

10) Tell Someone Where You’re Going

“This kinda goes without saying, but always, always tell someone where you’re going and when you’re due back.”

A classic mantra to bring to an end our varied list of Bear Grylls survival tips, and a suggestion that anyone who’s ever seen or heard of 127 Hours will surely be smart enough to obey.

If nobody knows where you went, when you went there or when you were meant to be back, your chances of getting help in a survival situation become a whole lot worse. Be clever, plan well and you’ll be absolutely fine.

You May Also Like

17 Disgusting Things Bear Grylls Has Done That No Human Being Should Ever Have To Do

23 Ridiculous Facts That Prove Bear Grylls Is The Ultimate Adventurer


Newsletter Terms & Conditions

Please enter your email so we can keep you updated with news, features and the latest offers. If you are not interested you can unsubscribe at any time. We will never sell your data and you'll only get messages from us and our partners whose products and services we think you'll enjoy.

Read our full Privacy Policy as well as Terms & Conditions.