Those of us living in a primitive state, without modern conveniences such as cable or satellite television, were still able to see Bear Grylls, survivalist star of the Discovery Channel's "Man Versus Wild", on old-fashioned broadcast television last night.

An Oregonian co-starred with Grylls - local Gerber Legendary Blades of Tigard, Oregon. Gerber has produced a Bear Grylls signature line of knives and survival tools since 2010, and they were prominently featured throughout the first episode, which aired Monday night at 9 p.m. on NBC.
Gerber knives used by bear grylls

It's a survival show, with teams competing in the lush rainforests and rugged mountains of New Zealand. The scenery is spectacular, with deep mossy greens, snowy peaks and churning rivers reminiscent of the landscape in "Lord of the Rings", and also what you'll find around here in the Pacific Northwest.

Gerber knives make an appearance at the very start of the show when the teams are assigned survival tasks. Each team pulls a Bear Grylls/Gerber knife out of a log. On the blade of one is written either “FOOD”, “FIRE”, “SHELTER”, or “OBSTACLES”. Knives were chosen and the teams were off following a GPS, fording a glacial river; bushwhacking up a steep rainforest slope; building fires with BG/Gerber fire steels; making shelters; and cooking a deer that had been left for them to find. Some of the participants ended up exhibiting symptoms of hypothermia. This was real survival stuff. Bear stalked them and watched from afar; he peered through his BG/Gerber binoculars, and joined the group periodically to coach them and give further instructions.

In my opinion, the show is more genuine than other survivalist shows. Bear Grylls is an engaged host and his commentary is compelling. The viewer sees him fording the river behind the teams, and not being whisked away by a helicopter between scenes.

There was a bit of a "Fear Factor" feel to it, not only in the sketchy terrain and river crossings to endure, but in the fact that half of them had to drink their own urine, which was warm and mixed with mud. Yuck. But, Bear made his point that survival may not look, or be, pretty. He berated one brash participant for getting his clothes unnecessarily wet, emphasizing how important it is to stay warm and dry if you want to survive.

But, the team that got sent home were the ones who really didn't contribute and just watched while everyone else did the work. Survival is not a passive activity seems to be the real message of the first episode. You have to fight to keep the internal fire burning if you want to survive.

When stoking the internal survivalist flame, make sure to stop by Next Adventure for all you need to successfully survive in the wilderness. We have the Gerber Bear Grylls signature knife, as well as knives from such other local companies as Kershaw and Columbia River Knife and Tool. We support local businesses, big and small, so make sure to stop on in to see our wide selection. You can find these items, along with the Bear Grylls Gerber Drop Point Scout Survival Knife and the orange paracord fixed blade model featured in the show.

We also have more than gear; we have resources for planning and preparing for your next adventure--maps, guidebooks, classes, clinics, presentations, outdoor skills instruction, and a knowledgeable staff.
The more you know, the more you'll be prepared, and that will help you get out alive.