Ranking Bear Grylls’ 5 Near-Death Experiences

Before Man vs. Wild, Bear Grylls was much more than just a guy on reality TV. As fans of the show may know, he was in the military, but he wasn’t just a regular serviceman. In fact, Grylls was part of the British SAS, which means that he was one of the most elite soldiers in the British army.

Unsurprisingly, while in the SAS, he specialized in things like survival tactics, unarmed combat, and climbing. That said, after he suffered a major accident, he left the army and, eventually, became the host of the show that everyone knows and love. Here’s a look at that accident and a few other ones that almost took his life. 

Bear Grylls looking on while walking through an icy landscape
Bear Grylls | Ben Simms/NBCU Photo Bank/NBCUniversal via Getty Images

Almost cracking his skull

According to ScoopWhoop, while filming an episode of the show in Canada, Grylls almost had his skull split open. Due to the snowy conditions, he slipped during a segment of the show, and the cameraman following behind them slipped as well.

Once again, due to those same conditions, neither of them could see each other, and so, they collided. The camera broke apart, and the cameraman was sure that it had broke Grylls’ skull. However, it missed, and Grylls walked it off with just a broken femur. 

Almost drowning in a river

While filming the show in Sumatra, Grylls and his camera crew were going down a rough river while on a raft. Once again, due to the difficult conditions of the river, Grylls fell overboard and got stuck underwater.

If he was alone, he may have died, but fortunately, one of his crew members saw his arm and pulled him out of there.

Almost drowning in the ocean

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Before he started hosting the show, Grylls loved to go on adventures around the world. One of those adventures, in 2003, was an attempt to sail across the Atlantic while on a rigid inflatable boat, according to ScoopWhoop. Grylls and four other people attempted this, but soon, they realized how bad of an idea this was. 

A big storm hit them, and while it didn’t sink their boat, it did ruin all of their equipment. They had no way of communicating with the outside world, so they decided to scrap the adventure.

They ended up sailing their boat to Iceland, which was the nearest piece of land. ScoopWhoop wrote that Grylls thought that if they had continued on their journey, they would’ve definitely died as a result of it. 

Almost dying on Mt. Everest 

In 1998, a year after he left the British army, he tried his hand at climbing up Mt. Everest. ScoopWhoop said that, by this point in time, four of his teammates had already died on the mountain.

Then, before he was supposed to make the final climb to the top, he got dehydrated and hit by a migraine. This temporarily blinded him, but it also made him fear for his life. 

As Grylls said, 1 in 6 people were dying from the camp that he was resting at, and he feared that he’d be one of them. However, he didn’t die, and he managed to climb to the top and then back down. While this was a great feat, what happened two years earlier was even more daring.

Almost dying from a parachute accident

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In 1996, while he was in Africa, he had an accident where his parachute broke while he was skydiving. His parachute failed when he was about 16,000 feet in the air, and he miraculously survived the fall.

He broke his back though, and he spent over a year in rehab before he left the army. But of course, after recovering from this accident, he climbed Mt. Everest and the rest is history.