Hi Bear, thanks for taking time for the interview. Before we start, how are you?
All good thank you, keeping safe at home with my family and planning some great adventures for the new world we will hopefully all emerge into soon. What a time we are living through but we will prevail and we will come out stronger. There has been so much suffering and sacrifice and so many new heroes been born.
You have survived a lot of extreme situations. How do you deal with the current situation?
It’s definitely a tough time for so many out there during this lockdown, with homeschooling now the new normal and our previous life turned upside down. But it is all about how we weather these storms and doing the right thing in the big moments.
In my role as Chief Scout we’ve launched an online initiative called the Great Indoors, a series of challenges and activities designed to keep children aged 6 to 18 occupied during lockdown. You can learn how to make a catapult out of lolly sticks, create a hedgehog out of leaves or make a pinhole camera. For free educational kids’ activities see The Great Indoors. Routine is also really important, and taking care of your physical and mental health. All my family try and do one of the ‘BMF at home’ workouts from Be Military Fit every day. It’s a fun and tough workout, and the community of military veterans training with us is so inspiring Be Military Fit.
Basel World could not take place this year. But the watch manufacturers are still presenting their new collection. Announcing the partnership, Luminox has also released three models of new Bear Grylls watches that seem appropriately like survival equipment (each model is available in two variations). What were your guiding principles when you started the collaboration with Luminox?
We’re super happy with the partnership we’ve formed with Luminox. Obviously the ethos matches in terms of having that never give up spirit – Luminox’s light technology, for example, lasts up to 25 years without the need for an external light or power source. It’s what I say to my family, friends and team, time and time again, the most important thing in life and in survival is just to never give up, keep going. Resilience is king. Also in terms of these watches, in a survival situation, a second can be the difference between life and death, which is why we felt that there is no better motto to live by when your life is on the line than Every Second Counts.
Did you help design and develop the watches?
Yes every step of the way we discussed all the functions and design ideas. That was the fun part. We destroyed a lot of prototypes for sure. But the key for me is these watches had to be rugged and hard wearing. They had to be able to deal with getting scratched, things falling on them, or getting smashed against rock or whatever, they have to be able to withstand the reality and the battering that adventures often bring.
Do you remember your first Luminox watch?
I’ve always loved Luminox ever since I was a member of 21 SAS as a young soldier with the British Special Forces. Their association with the Navy Seals clearly shows how well made each and every Luminox is. Clear, accurate, tough. Good words to live by.
Do you remember the last time that a watch saved your life?
The worst thing in gear is having fancy gimmicks which have no use. This is why each and every item we’ve added to the Luminox collection definitely has a key function which has saved me more than once.
Whether it’s the ‘how to’ morse code guide hidden on the inside of the strap or the compass. I love these extra features as it means you have all you need right there, easy access on your wrist to keep you on track and get you home safe at the end of the day.
Right now, we’re also working on some very cool new additions which can be slipped onto any strap within the collection. It is all about keeping you even more equipped and prepared for whatever adventure life throws at you.
Let’s say you only have one last adventure left. What does your backpack look like and what are you taking with you?
Above all, the thing that will serve you the best on any journey is the mindset of a survivor and choosing a strong attitude. In the wild, positivity, resourcefulness, courage, determination and a sense of humour are kings. And when dealing with other people, know that kindness and humility are the heart of how to build strong relationships.
You are allowed to take 5 persons with you. Who is that?
My wife Shara, 3 boys and my best buddy Charlie Mackesy.
If you could honour a person with an award, to whom would you dedicate this award and why?
My late father encouraged me to go for my dreams in life and to not be scared of failure.