Camping, Bushcraft & Survival

The 5 best Bear Grylls books

The Top Bear Grylls Books For Aspiring Adventurers

Since bursting onto our screens in Channel 4’s hit series Born Survivor (also broadcast on the Discovery Channel as Man vs. Wild), Bear Grylls has become (in)famous for the kind of swashbuckling, mud-soaked adventures most of us would prefer to leave to tall tale tellers in the youth hostel canteen. This garnered success has led Bear to star in other popular survival programs including Running Wild and The Island, in which we witness celebrities dangle from cliffs and a collection of novices left to fend for themselves. And as sure as night follows day, whenever a TV career kicks off, a book deal is never far behind.

Our man in the combats and utility jacket is no exception, so here’s our five top Bear Grylls books which explore his best dispatches from great outdoors to help you separate the wild strawberries from the witchetty grubs.

Mud, Sweat and Tears

by Bear Grylls / RRP £7.99

“World-famous ‘extreme adventurer’ Bear Grylls had so far avoided telling his life story – until now. Well told, personable, fast-paced, and undoubtedly a fascinating read” Daily Telegraph

“Just could not put this book down! It arrived at 10am and I finished it that evening! If you’re a Bear Grylls fan and would like to know how he got to be the man he is today, or if you just appreciate a great success story of somebody who has worked really hard to achieve some amazing things, then I highly recommend this book.” Five Star Amazon Reader Review

This is the big one, the full story. Ever wondered what beefy Bear got up to as a youth on the mean streets of the Isle of Wight? Look no further. Turns out out he spent a fair bit of time picking up climbing and sailing tips from Mr Grylls Sr – when he wasn’t hard at work perfecting his martial arts chops, of course. Before long he was off to Japan for Karate grandmaster training, after which it was back to the UK to try out for the 21 SAS.

A particularly nasty free-fall parachute accident sometime later on left him in danger of losing the ability to walk. So it must have been an enormous relief to all concerned when, eighteen short months later, Bear became one of the youngest climbers ever to scale Everest at the age of only 23. And that’s just the start of the story. You’ll have to grab a copy for yourself if you want to find out the rest – and the odds are you’ll be seriously glad you did.

Mud, Sweat and Tears Junior Edition

by Bear Grylls / RRP £6.99

“Such a brilliant book my 9 year old couldn’t put it down. Its short chapters and great content made it very easy for him to read.” Five Star Amazon Reader Review

Far from being just a repackaged version of the adult edition, this has been comprehensively rewritten and restructured for younger readers. Featuring most of the same events as the original (this is the same guy we’re reading about here after all), it’s been re-jigged for younger minds – so a little lighter on the gory details and maybe the odd bit of colourful language taken out for good measure. This is a great book to inspire youngsters to get involved in some outdoor pursuits, especially if you’ve got a camping holiday coming up and want to put a more adventurous spin on those night-time trips to the communal loo.

Your Life – Train For It

by Bear Grylls / RRP £14.99

“Great book if you are serious about getting fit and not just body beautiful! This will tone and build muscle. Clear instructions on each exercise and plenty of routines to keep you interested. Great pictures to offer a visual aid too. All in all a good exercise book.” Five Star Amazon Reader Review

“I love his book more than I love chips.” Another Five Star Amazon Reader Review

Not strictly speaking an adventure or survival book, this is Bear’s guide on how to build muscle, get fit, and stay that way. Think of it as being a bit like hiring the man himself as your personal trainer – just without the presumably massive expense or the time wasted gawking and thinking “Look, it’s Bear Grylls” to yourself. Instead you’ve got a programme of totally doable, 30-minute-or-less workouts which will help people of all shapes and sizes to get stronger, slimmer, and more flexible. Recommended routines are divided into Kettlebell Resistance training, Bodyweight workouts, and Primal Power stretch sessions, or – if you’re feeling really up for it – you can combine all three in one of Bear’s hardcore Hero workouts. To cap it all off, there’s even some useful nutrition advice just to make sure you don’t spoil all that hard work by stuffing your face full of sugary treats from the bakery at the end of the road. But don’t worry – Bear shares some recipes which are so delicious you won’t be missing out in the slightest.

Mission Survival 1: Gold of the Gods

by Bear Grylls / RRP £6.99

“Exciting, well-informed and zips along at an impressive pace.” The Independent

“This is such an exciting book for teenagers who love the outdoors and adventures. I could not put the book down until the last page.” Five Star Amazon Reader Review

Another one especially for younger readers, Gold of the Gods is the first in Bear’s bestselling Mission Survivor series of adventure novels. Starring the familiarly initialled Beck Granger, the plot follows the teenaged survival expert as he negotiates his way out of the jungle with no food, no compass, and no possibility of being rescued. Your budding adventurers will love this book for its fast-paced action and realistic descriptions of actual survival techniques. The series so far consists of eight books in total, so once your young cubs are finished with this one there’s plenty more to inspire a bit of adventurous spirit and keep them off the games console.

A Survival Guide for Life

by Bear Grylls / RRP £7.99

“This book encompasses positive living and happy living. Bear Grylls seamlessly provides easy steps to achieving your goals and living a more adventurous and happy life. Bear, by being so humble and showing humility, succeeds in providing a brilliant selfless happy authentic guide to life. A must read for those who wish to better themselves.” Five Star Amazon Reader Review

Bear proves his versatility yet again with this punchy self-help guide in which he condenses some of the wisdom he’s picked up over the years into 75 bite-sized chapters. You’ll find inspirational tales to put all those set-backs neatly into perspective, plus the great man’s take on the spiritual side of life. To complete the package, Bear also shares some of his favourite quotations from inspirational figures who have helped him to survive and thrive through the various trials and tribulations of his many adventures. It’s a great book to dip into if you’re in need of a quick motivational pick-me-up, or to devour from cover to cover in a single sitting.


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