Whilst vacationing at the beach house in Aptos, my brother-in-law and I were watching some cable TV one night, and we caught a show on the Discovery Channel that I think is one of the coolest shows I have seen in a while. It is called Man vs. Wild. It stars a man's man named Bear Grylls. This guy just impresses the hell out me. He served three years in the British Special Air Services (SAS), which is comparable to our Delta Force in the United States. He scaled to the top of Mount Everest at the age of 23, and has done other feats of derring-do that I would never attempt myself.
Man vs. Wild is a very simple show. Bear is flown over some of the most inhospitable terrain on earth, such as the Kimberly Wilderness in western Australia, the Rocky Mountains, the Sierra Nevada in California, and the Amazon, then he skydives into these places with nothing more than the clothes he is wearing, a knife (sometimes), and a canteen. Once he lands, he takes the role of a stranded hiker, or lost tourist, and shows the audience how to survive in these situations. In just three episodes, I have seen demonstrations of field techniques (some I learned in the Army) of how to orient yourself, navigate, build shelters out of local flora, plants you can use to find moisture and even clean your teeth, how to build a fire without matches, and various other things that are so simple and can keep you alive when you don't have anything else.
One of my favorite parts of the show is when Bear is having trouble finding food. He is not above eating bugs such as spiders and ants, and while in the Sierra Nevada, he caught a small non-poisonous water snake, bit its head off, and swallowed that snake like a thick piece of spaghetti. He also kills and eats a rabbit, a rattlesnake, a python, piranha, trout, and fir tree needles. Did you know fir tree needles have eight times the amount of Vitamin C that orange juice does? I didn't either until I watched this show. Needless to say, I doubt PETA members are fans of this show. I could just hear their distressful shrieks when Bear killed a wittle bunny wabbit with a club made out of a stick of cedar. So in addition to watching some great survival techniques, the show also tosses a jab at the sensitive animal lovers out there.
This show was a timely discovery, because tomorrow, I leave for a short camping trip with a buddy of mine, and I would like to try some of the simpler techniques (such as the stick method for finding east and west) once I'm in the woods.
In the meantime, check out this show. I am definitely going to start DVRing it.
Good Day to You, Sir