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An Open Letter to Bear Grylls

September 17, 2009

Dear Bear Grylls,

Let me start off by saying that your show Man Vs. Wild is amazing. You put the badass in Badass Motherfucker.  The following video is evidence of this.
That was gnarly to nth degree.

I grew up on a farm and did the whole camping and outdoorsy thing. I’ve done some survival training, and was part of the “outdoors” club in High School. I’ve gone skydiving, white water rafting, and climbed a mountain. Sure it was a small one, but still.

Long rambling story short I think I’d be more than adequate at outdoor survival. That is unless it was a competition between the two of us. In that instance I’d probably end up eating poisonous berries and shitting my duodenum out. While I was doing that, you’d likely have killed a bear for sport and would have made a suit out of it’s fur, various jewelry out of bones, a headdress out of it’s head and a tasty three course meal.  You’d likely also have removed all of it’s tendons and sinew to make yourself some type of improvised rope.

But then you go and do something like this:
That is to say, something unimaginably stupid. I know that in the course of danger, stress and panic that mistakes can be made.  The problem with this is that you have safety coordinators, and take about 10 days to make the show.

The first thing that you learn about mountain/glacier safety is don’t go anywhere near a crevasse. There can indeed be hundreds of feet deep, and you definitely don’t go crawling through an ice cave in a glacier. A glacier is a living, moving thing. Attempting what you did is beyond stupid.

The sad thing about this, is uneducated people would think that what you did was an acceptable safety risk. People could die from what advice you’re giving.

Sure, maybe dumb people deserve what happens to them. If we’re going to feed so many people varied safety info, could we not make it entertaining for the rest of us.

How about we sign people up for a hyper -realistic reality show. Take 12 people and have you teach them your blend of half great and half ridiculous survival information.  Send them out individually in six hour intervals. The fastest aggregate time wins $500,000, the people who die get their funerals paid for.

Have ex special ops acting as one man camera crews documenting the entire procedure. Imagine the insane drama as one competitor happens upon another competitor being mauled by a cougar.

Now that’s must see TV.  HBO or Showtime, call me. And Bear,  keep up the great work, but if you’re going to lead people into dangerous situations at least have the heart to film it for the rest of us.



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