This November sees the launch of BGSA’s latest course – Survival in the Lowlands! Run over a period of four days on Dartmoor in the South West of the UK, this is one of our toughest and most intense courses yet. Learning all of Bear’s survival tips from our expert instructors, you will make use of all of the natural features to navigate, climb, crawl, abseil, walk and run your way back to civilisation.
Dartmoor has to be one of the toughest environments in the UK, so tough in fact that the world renowned Royal Marine Commandos use this area as their extensive training area. It can be wet, cold, cloudy and miserable…and that’s just in the summer!
The Survival in the Lowlands course is really action packed from the word go, with an Alpine style dinner cooked by the participants using only the most fresh ingredients, followed by an intensive survival skills day where you will learn how to use a knife effectively and safely, start a fire (with no matches!), purify water and how to use snares and traps to catch your own dinner. With a little time to catch your breath, the third morning kicks straight off with a field PT session, then the team will move straight into an extreme mountain training day-learning how to climb, abseil and cross difficult ground in a safe environment.
The final survival challenge is something that we are really proud of here at BGSA, starting immediately after the mountain training day and finishing……well when you reach safety!! A helicopter pick up on top of one of Dartmoor’s most famous tors is a dramatic way to start (weather dependant), and is followed by an overnight stay at a wilderness location. No sleeping bags, no tents, no creature comforts – you will need to put all of your survival skills to the test to ensure the team gets through the night in one piece. Without wanting to give too much away, the final morning is fast paced, action packed and high adrenaline-everything that you would expect from Bear Grylls Survival Academy!
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Over the past few weeks we had the pleasure of having Harry with us to learn all about our company and to help out with any of the courses that we had running. With a full calendar for the fortnight that he was here, Harry really was a busy chap!
Helping out on recces, courses, corporate events and even spending a bit of time with Bear (see above) were on the agenda, with a few hidden surprises in there too (you never can tell when you are going to be chased by a herd of cows!!).
Harry said that his highlight was “The day that we recced a site for another course. This course was happening near a lake and to make sure there wasn’t anything dangerous in the lake, Don and I put our bodies on the line and jumped (pretty much fully clothed…) into this stinking, green, fish filled lake. We stepped into mud that came up to our thighs and really stunk. Nevertheless we waded/swam through triumphantly and took a victory picture once we had completed the treacherous crossing. The lake was safe to use…just!”
Bear Grylls Survival Academy is proud to announce that it has been nominated for the World Travel Awards 2014! In recognition of all the hard work that the team (seen above with Bear) have put in over the past 12 months, BGSA are up for selection in the ‘World’s Leading Extreme Adventure’ category alongside some other truly amazing experiences. You can vote for us by clicking the logo below…
Our Sales and Marketing manager Rach says, “This nomination is a fantastic achievement by all of the team for their hard work over the past year. Everyone from our instructors to the sales and bookings team has done a great job and it is always nice to be up for an award! The hard work never stops though; we are busy working away on making BGSA bigger and better for next year-so keep an eye on our website and Facebook page for all of the latest developments”
The award winners will not be announced until November, but we will keep you updated!
The time has come for our initial intake on the Level 1 instructor Academy to their all-important assessments to see if they have what it takes to lead. After the three day instructor training course, the intake have had a few months to go away and hone their practical, teaching and interpersonal skills before coming back to attempt to get their accreditation.
The day entails a series of both practical and theoretical tests, beginning in the classroom with a multiple choice survival exam. This covers all of the topics they are taught by Bear Grylls Survival Academy such as fire lighting, shelter building and traps and snares. After a brief pause for some lunch, the candidates will be straight out into the woods to see if they can put their theoretical knowledge into practice and actually perform these tasks themselves! Lighting a fire in the cold and wet of the English countryside isn’t as easy as you may think…
Do you think this sounds easy? Think again! With lead instructor Scott Heffield running the day with his usual strict approach, only those candidates who meet the required standard will be given the Level 1 Instructor Award. For those successful candidates, a career in the outdoor industry awaits as the BGSA Level 1 Instructor Award is accredited by the Institute for Outdoor Learning. For the very top candidates work with the Academy itself could await.
For more information about our instructor awards, see here
One of our partners, Jetlev-Flyer UK, met up with Bear recently and he tested out a few of their goodies. Here’s what they had to say about it! “When Jetlev-Flyer UK were asked by Boat International magazine to fly Bear Grylls we jumped at the chance. With only a few months after opening our doors we could not wait to fly our first celebrity.
As we drove north to meet Bear near his home we were slightly apprehensive as we passed the white horses of the North Wales coastline but were delighted to drop into Abersoch, a beautiful seaside town protected by the land to give us an uninterrupted piece of flat water with a shallow sloped sandy beach, perfect conditions for flying the jetlev.
Whilst setting up on the beach we were met by Bear who made a pretty cool entrance as he drove his 30ft rib up onto the beach and parked next to us. After a brief instruction from the Jetlev-Flyer Team BG strapped into the Jetpack and took to Jetlev like a duck to water. We always control the power via a remote control for our first time flyers but within minutes Bear was using the throttle on the jetpack and flying around with 260hp at his disposal.
After a short break we jumped on our Jetski whilst BG’s team along with the Boat International photographer jumped into Bears boat and ‘drove’ back into the sea. A few tips more for Bear on what to do whilst airborne proved all that was necessary to take the Jetlev-flyer to its limits. As we roared down the coast of Abersoch I saw an impressive 36mph on the Jet ski speedo as BG was next to me 3 meters in the air.
The Jetlev-Flyer is a real crowd puller and today was no exception. Pulling doughnuts, reaching 10 metres high and planing through the water at speed are what the Jetlev does best and with a pilot like Bear onboard, we were delighted to show what our water jetpacks can do.
If you want to experience flying one of these amazing £86,000 Jetlev-Flyers then we offer twin seat and solo flights in Bedford and London. Twin Flights start at £49 and solo flights are from £145. With a solo flight, we teach you how to take off and control the machine and fly like your favourite superhero. If you want to experience the Jetlev without the challenge of going solo, then strap in with a Jetlev Pilot and fly across the water and soar to 10m high”
If you would like to know more about Jetlev-Flyer then please give them a call on 0333 300 34023 or visit www.jetlevflyeruk.com.
Don Fletcher writes “As our 24 hour family courses go from strength to strength, participants are always asking if we run a residential course for kids only and until now the answer has always been “no”. However now we are pleased to announce that from the 26th of October the answer will be a resounding “YES!”
We are delighted to announce the launch of our newest course, the Young Survivors Level 1 award. Running specifically for children aged between 13-16 years old this Award will be running during the October half term for a strictly limited number of spaces. The Award will be run over 3 days at our stunning location in the Forrest of Dean in Gloucestershire and will incorporate activities including (but not limited to) fire lighting, crossing difficult ground, abseiling, caving, navigation and many more!”
The course is running from the 26th to the 28th of October and will cost £299 per person and for more information see our web page or give us a call in the office on 01483 424438
Don Fletcher writes ‘With BGSA expanding all over the country, this week I will take this chance to focus on one of our newest UK locations-Dartmoor!
Dartmoor was given National Park status in 1995 and covers over 950 square kilometres in Devon, which is located in the south west of the UK. Dartmoor is renowned as one of the most hostile environments in England and is the home of the Royal Marine Commandos who use the area to train recruits and officers in what is known as the longest and toughest military training in the world. The terrain is sparse and conditions can deteriorate rapidly even in the summer. Navigation is often hindered by dense fog, and the wind blows off both the north and south coast of Devon making this one of our toughest locations in the country!
BGSA have been running both family and adult 24 hour courses there this summer under the expert guidance of Rich and Matt, both former Royal Marine Commandos themselves, with great success. Rich and Matt both live locally and spend a lot of their time out on the Moors climbing, trekking and paddling in their spare time.
Our newest course, Survival in the Lowlands, is an extreme 4 day course that will be run over the winter and incorporates all that is great about the BGSA courses, plus an extreme 24 hour survival exercise culminating in a helicopter pick up…….if you make it! This course is probably as tough as being stranded on a desert island, but instead of palm trees and coconuts you will have to deal with strong winds and driving rain-do you have what it takes to survive?
For more information about the course please see the lowlands page on our website, or feel free to contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call on 01483 424438.
With the season in full swing here at BGSA we are also holding more and more corporate team building events. We can put on a tailor made event especially for you and your team with activities ranging from the classic raft building competitions (see above), to leadership and management tasks all the way to extreme days involving helicopters and high adrenaline events-we can put something together to suit you. With locations across the UK, USA and Africa we can make the event work for you.
If you would like a tailor made quote, please visit our webpage or drop us an email on email@example.com
Don Fletcher writes “Big News! We are pleased to announce the dates for our 2015 season! With an enhanced programme running in our 3 amazing locations around the USA with our 24 hour family, 24 hour adult and 5 day extreme courses giving everybody the opportunity to experience Bear’s extreme self-rescue techniques first hand.
Dates are also online for the re-vamped Survival in the Highlands Course based around Bear’s hit TV show the Island, do you have what it takes to survive?
For more information check out our USA page and our Highlands page
Don Fletcher writes; “Here at BGSA we have been making the most of the fantastic weather we have been experiencing in the UK. We have been lucky enough to have a Highlands Extreme course running, along with events in Surrey, Brecon Beacons and Shropshire basking in the sunshine. The only issues were when the thunderstorms hit on the Saturday morning on the Surrey event meant that the instructors were slightly concerned, but the clouds soon parted and the course enjoyed the best conditions of the year!
The course running in the Scottish Highlands were experiencing the hottest conditions on that course since its launch in 2012-with water proofs being replaced by sun cream and woolly hats replaced with sunglasses for the whole 5 days. The only drawback of this is the nemesis of each Highlands course- the midges! In their swarms at around dusk and anywhere out of the wind they manage to make the Highlands the only place in the UK that is more uncomfortable than the London Underground in this weather!
Finally, check out our updated website to meet all of the members of our team from around the world. If you have been on a course already you will be well acquainted with them, and if not then you will be able to see our friendly booking staff here at BGSA head office-don’t hesitate to give them a call to talk through any questions you may have about our courses!