Travel

Six extreme days in the Scottish Highlands

How many times have you watched Man Vs. Wild and thought to yourself, "You know, I too could totally catch a reindeer and drink its blood for survival. Or at least catch a reindeer and trick it into showing me Santa's village's location, then steal mad amounts of candy canes for survival"? Well even if you lied and said none, you still should consider hitting up Bear Grylls Survival Academy: a six-day, extreme remote land and sea survival course where 10 (un?)lucky outdoor enthusiasts and/or masochists head out to the Highlands in an attempt to learn the skills of self rescue. Assuming you can "maintain a steady jog for 25mins without stopping", read the answers to your most pressing questions, here:Am I even in good enough shape to do this thing? Depends. Can you swim? Trek for an hour while wearing boots? Do 90secs of pushups, situps, and burpees? Do you even know what a burpee is? If so, can you please tell the group? Do I need to bring my own "kit" or will it be provided? And do I have to continuously use British turns of phrase like "kit"? While they'll provide sleeping bags, ruck sacks, and head torches, you'll get a list of gear to bring that includes everything from trousers and two pairs of the aforementioned boots, to training shorts and a "bag full of positive attitude!". And please refrain from British colloquialisms, even if you're taking the lift from your flat to the pitch.What exactly am I going to learn? Not that much really. Only knots, ropes, white-water river crossings, ascending/descending cliffs, basic navigation, lighting fires in the pouring rain, foraging for wild grubs & rodents, purifying water, setting snares/traps, building emergency shelters, knife skills, and survival first aid. But that's about it. Will I get to meet Bear and ask for his autograph? Bear will be there for part of it, but he asks that you don't look at him, or he will cover you in meat and release wolves to attack you while you're not even wearing Degree antiperspirant. He may not have said that. Is there a final test? Yes. And it involves you spending 36 hours alone in the wilderness with nothing but your thoughts and newfound ability to tie complicated knots. If I don't perish during a knot-related accident, what do I win? Assuming you come out alive, consider yourself the proud owner of a brand-new badge, certificate, and a Bear Grylls Ultimate Gerber knife, so you'll no longer have to ask Santa.