Bear Grylls, the British adventurer and author of the new survival guide How to Stay Alive, discusses an inspiring airman, inflatable boats, and a jacket he won’t leave home without.
For years, I had a cloth Trinity Flat Cap that’d belonged to my father, and I took it on my expeditions. It was full of holes but had a lot of memories. Well, one night, I was bombing down a river in a boat and lost it. I spent ages looking for it, but it’d sunk. Maybe that was the best way for it to go. Now I mostly wear a baseball cap—a pale comparison.
I live in Wales on a small island, with no electricity or running water, that’s about five miles offshore. I’ve spent far too much money upgrading or replacing our RIB [rigid inflatable boat]. I just ordered a new Iguana RIB that has amphibious capabilities, so I can park it right on the beach, which is great when going back and forth to the mainland.
Last year, I read Unbroken, by Laura Hillenbrand, about a U.S. airman in WWII who survives a plane crash and becomes a Japanese POW. The raw courage and faith that it took to endure 47 days at sea, and then suffer torture in a prison camp, are incredible. The book will make you grateful for all the good things in your life.
Every guy should own a Chillcheater Pertex Windcheater Jacket. It’s windproof and scrunches down to the size of a fist, so it takes up almost no space in a bag. Mine has saved me in cold climates and protected me in hot ones, too. I don’t travel without it. —As told to J.R. Sullivan
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