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Winner Experience: Bear Grylls

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Have you ever wondered if you could survive a night in the wilderness? Well, our winner E.J. found out when he was chosen to experience an official Bear Grylls Survival Course and meet the adventureman himself. Read on—if you’re tough enough—to find out more about E.J.’s time in the wild.

What was the survival camp like?

It was fun! I’m not really a camper, this was actually only the second time I’ve been camping in my life, but I brought my girlfriend who is a very experienced camper and she was very comfortable with it.

What did you eat? Where did you sleep?

Dinner was rabbit. The guide showed us how to skin a rabbit and then cut it into pieces, and that went into a stew for dinner, along with vegetables and stuff like that. There were threats of rain all day, but luckily we didn’t get any rain. Thank goodness, because we slept in a tent that was just an open-ended triangle, and there’s no floor, so you’re basically on the ground. It was uncomfortable, but it was also kind of nice, because we were next to a river and we could hear the river running. So I got to sleep listening to that, which was really nice. And then they got us up around 5am and we had breakfast, which was porridge, and we learned how to debone and clean some trout.

When did Bear arrive?

We had to wait a bit for Bear… because he was parachuting in with a motor. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised by that since he’s the extreme guy! Of course that’s how he gets around! Once he showed up, he talked to everybody and took pictures and shook hands with everyone. Then he and a couple of his people took us back into the woods to a little place where there was a fire going, and we sat down and he heated up some tea, and we talked for like 45 minutes!

What was the most surprising part about meeting Bear?

At the end of our conversation, he took out a tupperware thing that had maggots in it! And we had a “maggot toast” and we each ate some live maggots. They were surprisingly easy to eat, you just have to chomp down on them really quick to kill them so they stop squirming around. So mentally it was worse than how it actually was!

Let’s move on. What did you talk to Bear about?

We talked about my eye disease (I’m legally blind) and all the marathons I’ve run. And we talked about how he was in the military and how he broke his back when his parachute didn’t open all the way. He was a nice guy. I was surprised he was able to spend so much time with us.

What was the highlight of the whole experience?

Meeting Bear and talking to him, because I’ve been a fan for so long. And trying my hand at camping again. And spending time with my lady in another country, in a really beautiful environment. So lots of good things there!

Rabbit and maggots and parachutes, oh my! Thanks to E.J. and to all of you for supporting the Royal Navy and Royal Marines Charity and their mission to support sailors, marines and their families for life.

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