By Puja Gupta
British adventurer and host of the popular adventure show “Into the Wild”, Bear Grylls first came to India when he was just 18. Since then he has made various visits to India and travelled all through the mountains in Northern India.
In an interview with IANSlife, Grylls expresses his love for India, his best expedition in the country, and his travel essentials.
What do you like the most about India? How is your connection with the country?
I first came to India aged 18 and trekked and travelled all through the mountains in Northern India. Much has changed over the years, but one thing that hasn’t changed is the wonderful warmth and kindness of the Indian people. I was so happy to see that warmth and strong spirit still so strong throughout the country when we have filmed here over the last two years. India has always been a country I love so much, not only for the remarkable wildernesses but above all always for the people.
The most difficult expedition you took in India and the one you would like to take?
Probably climbing in some of the remote parts of Sikkim. India has so many wild and such spectacular corners of the country and there is always something special about hill people. There is often a connection and respect for the mountains that brings people together. I have always loved that.
If you have to pick five things before going on an expedition, what would it be?
A good knife is number one. With it, you can then make shelter, fire, a natural roof and mattress. You can also create traps, hunt food and then with fire, you can boil water and burn animal dung to keep mosquitos away. In truth, beyond a knife, what will serve you the best on a night in the woods is the mindset of a survivor and choosing a strong attitude. In the wild, positivity, resourcefulness, courage, determination and a sense of humour are kings. And with dealing with other people, kindness and humility are the heart of how to build strong relationships.
What keeps you motivated?
Adventure has been the driving force of my life ever since I can remember – from growing up climbing with my late dad, to being a Scout and then through my job with the British Special Forces as a combat survival specialist, climber and skydiver. Adventure has been the one constant through so much and it is always rooted in endeavour, friendships, risk and resilience. My goal is always to do my best to inspire those values in young people in any way I can. That’s the mission.
What are you next working on?
We will be coming back soon to India to film some more adventures with Indian superstars – I can’t wait. And I also am hoping to return to attend a rally and support the incredible Indian Scouts who are inspiring so many millions of young people to be able to learn about the wild and adventure. Scouting also helps young people learn so many key life skills. I love that, and it is part of why there has been such phenomenal growth in Indian Scouting in recent years.