Bear Grylls Survival Academy Launches in the Catskills of New York

Our family loves survival shows on television.  Survivor, Man vs. Wild, Survivorman, Dual Survivor, Naked and Afraid… you name it, we watch it.  Nothing better than sitting on the couch watching other people suffer for our entertainment.  Heck, when I joked watching one of the shows that “I could do that,” my daughter looked at me and said, “sorry, dad, but you’re more of a theme park survivor.”  And to prove it, we made our debut episode of “Dad, Daughter, Wild.”  Now for all of you out there who, like me, have sat on the couch watching survivor shows saying “I could do that,” it’s time to put your money where your mouth is because Bear Grylls is bringing his Survival Academy right here to New York.  The Bear Grylls Survival Academy will open its first United States camp in New York’s Catskills Mountains, and there’s even a 24 Hour Family Course.  So now I don’t have any excuses for continuing along on my 100% grub-free diet.  Continue reading for more information on the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the press release below as I practice up on my fire making skills.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

From the Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Man vs. Wild star Bear Grylls announced the launch of his first ever Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the United States, offering outdoor enthusiasts across the country the chance to learn his extreme survival techniques.  Designed by Bear Grylls himself, the course will consist of several survival techniques and will be run by his close team of highly trained survival experts.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

The first academy is set to kick off in the Catskills Mountain region, a wild undulating area of New York State in November.  In addition, a further Academy will be opening in Texas at a later date.  Comprising of a combination of remote land/water survival and adventure tasks, the course will culminate in a wilderness expedition designed to put the participants new found skills to the ultimate test.  Techniques include fire lighting, emergency shelter building, knife skills, foraging for grubs and rodents, remote medical trauma, a range of dynamic activities including rappelling, tyrolean traverses and scrambling, extreme weather survival, river crossings and of course Bear’s famous Gross Eat challenge!

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Lead instructor and course developer, Scott Heffield, who also works closely with Bear, says: “The Catskills provide the perfect backdrop for Bear Grylls Survival Academy course to launch.  Topography, rivers, lakes, extreme weather conditions and wildlife are all important factors to consider and the Catskills provides the perfect setting to recreate an environment that simulates real life Bear Grylls survival situations.”

Bear Grylls is arguably the most recognized face of survival and outdoor adventure, with experience gained during his seven seasons of Discovery’s Emmy nominated hit TV show Man vs. Wild and NBC’s new Get Out Alive with Bear Grylls.  The course is based around the skills he learned from his time with the British Special Forces and his many survival missions to every extreme wilderness on the planet.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

“So many people have asked me over the years where they can learn extreme, practical survival – the type that requires spirit, determination and the skills to self-rescue against the odds, in some of the harshest terrain around.  So it is with great pride that we can now finally launch the Bear Grylls Survival Academy in the USA to be able to share some of these skills and what it really means to be able to look after yourself when the chips are down,” says Bear Grylls.  “Oh, and it may hurt a little.”

To help deliver the course, Bear has teamed up with Worldwide Experience, experts in delivering high quality experience-lead conservation and volunteering courses around the world.  Paul Gardiner, Managing Director of Worldwide Experience explained, “Nature, conservation and education are really important to us and we are so excited to continue working with Bear and his team as the Survival Academy launches in the USA.  Our aim is to inspire people to reconnect with the natural world and the course will give people a really raw but fulfilling experience hopefully leaving people feeling challenged but with big smiles on their faces!”

Bear Grylls Survival Academy

Updated information can be found at  The official opening dates will be announced on the website.  So who’s ready to sign up with me?  What do you think?  Does this sound like a perfect Daddy/Daughter bonding experience or what?  Somehow, I think I’ll hear crickets when I ask my 12 & 15 year old daughters to join me, but that’s OK, we get to eat the crickets, right?  For more family travel news, reviews, and trip reports, be sure to follow Adventures by Daddy on twitter and “like” our facebook page too.

About Dave Parfitt

Married, father of two girls, and living in the heart of the Finger Lakes. I'm a runner with a PhD in neuroscience and a passion for travel.