The man you know as Bear Grylls is no stranger to death-defying feats and extreme adventures. From Mount Everest to Antarctica, faced with beasts of all varieties, enduring debilitating injuries, Grylls dives head first into any adventure in his path. A TV host, motivational speaker, author, and Chief Scout of the United Kingdom’s Scouting Association, Grylls is the ultimate adventurer, the person other adventurists look to for inspiration. But what makes Bear Grylls the tops (besides having the coolest name)? Well it includes poisonous spiders, yak blood, and inflatable boats, for starters. If you’ve ever seen Man vs. Wild, Escape from Hell or Mission Survive, you have an idea of what this dude is capable of. So strap on your hiking boots, grab your compass, and leave fear behind as you embark on a journey to learn about the ultimate adventurer Bear Grylls.

1. Adventuring at an Early Age

Though he was born Edward Michael Grylls, the Irish adventurer earned the nickname Bear when he was only one week old from his older sister, Lara. Throughout his childhood, Bear was an adventurer. He began climbing and sailing with his father at an early age, became a Cub Scout when he was eight, started skydiving when he was a teenager, and eventually earned his second dan black belt in Shotokan karate. While attending Eton College, he founded the school’s first mountaineering club.

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