Survival in the Highlands ‘The Island’

Location: The Highlands, Scotland, United Kingdom
Price: £1,399 per person
Duration: 5 days

Following the success of Bears latest TV show ‘The Island’, BGSA are pleased to announce the latest addition to the Bear Grylls Survival Academy-Survival on the Island which is an intensive 5 day survival skills course which culminates in a challenging 30 hour ‘Island drop’. Following the same format as the Channel 4 show, participants will receive 2 days of intensive survival training, Bear Grylls Style, before being dropped off by fast speed boat on a remote Island located in the North West of the Scottish Highlands. Participants will then have to put all of their new found skills to the ultimate test in order to not only survive, but also rescue themselves from the Island. This extreme course has been written and designed by Bear and his team of Survival Instructors who worked on the Channel 4 show. The course is also delivered by a range of handpicked instructors who have been selected by Bear and his team of highly trained experts who have worked behind the scenes on various shows including Man V Wild/Born Survivor, Escape from Hell, Wild Weekends, Get out Alive, Running Wild and of course, The Island.

“So many people have asked me over the years where they can learn extreme, practical survival skills – the type that requires spirit, determination and the skills to self-rescue against the odds, in some of the harshest terrain around. Following the launch of our academy’s globally, and the success of ‘The Island’, I thought it would be a great idea to be able to share some of these skills and experiences of what it really means to be able to look after yourself and survive when the chips are down,” says Bear Grylls. “Remember, this is the north West of Scotland, with some of the harshest terrain and weather in the world. So, it may hurt a little.”



Bear Grylls Survival Academy, ‘The Island’ initially takes place at Alladale Wilderness Reserve, Sutherland, deep in the Scottish Highlands. The reserve is a really tough, diverse location with rolling mountains and Glens. It is a super rugged terrain where it is likely you will experience four seasons in just one day, perfect for preparing participants for a worst case scenario. After 2 days training and following a rugged 4×4 wheel drive across harsh Scottish terrain, the participants board a speed boat at dawn and are transported out to our remote Island location.



Day 1

The adventure begins at 1500 with a chance to meet your course leaders and fellow participants, and to ensure you have all the items on the Kit List. We then move over rugged terrain by 4×4 vehicles to the Academy’s wilderness base camp situated in the heart of the Highlands. On arrival you will receive a safety brief, course brief and outline. You will then be issued with your personal training equipment and basic food rations. After that, there is no time to waste as we head straight in to some basic survival skills training. First up is a session on Bears priorities of survival followed by survival knife skills. The team will treat you day one to an Alpine style hut dinner and after that its heads down…..

Day 2

Day two starts with a field physical training session which we link to a lesson in self-defense, self-preservation and primal instinctive training. After that you will undertake wilderness navigation training, learning how to find cardinal points and move without a map and compass across difficult terrain. Once you’ve mastered this, you’re off down the Glenn on foot to a wilderness overnight location. On route learn to collect, filter and purify water, forage for wild food, make and put out fishing drop lines and various traps and snares in the hope of catching your first wilderness meal. Once you arrive at our remote overnight spot, you have a lesson in shelter building before given the opportunity to build your own survival shelter. Is it warm? Will you stay dry? Then it’s fast time lessons BG style in fire lighting, rescue signals, river crossings, stalking and a workshop on improvised harnesses and knots. Finally, we finish the day with a night exercise and a lesson on Asto navigation.

Day 3

Hopefully you’ll wake up dry and warm if you’ve built a good shelter! You’ll need to use your new skills to make a fire from scratch, check the snare and drop lines. . . . have you caught anything for a ‘wilderness’ breakfast? Now it’s time to learn how to cross difficult terrain BG style. The morning is the mountain training section, where we take you up on to the surrounding Munro’s and use a range of mountaineering skills to traverse, climb and descend mountainous terrain. Following mastering the easy stuff, it’s now time to cross extreme ground by use of ropes. Climbing, scrambling, tyrolean line traverse, classic abseil techniques, commando crawls, river runs and river bank jumps are all on the agenda. After returning to camp late in the day, your training concludes with a lecture on wilderness/improvised first aid linked in with a motivational survival story. The rest of the evening is yours, to prepare for your time on the Island.

Day 4

Final Exercise…Over the next 30 hours, you will move by foot, 4×4 land rover, speed boat and fishing trawler. You will climb, scramble, swim, wade, jump and crawl. Food and water? Who knows, let’s just say you’ll need to be putting all your new found skills to good use!

Day 5

Survival on the Island is one thing but, have you got what it takes to self rescue. Again you will need all your energy, courage and determination to get back to civilization. If you are successful then we have the final passing out parade and awarding of the BG Survival Academy certificates and knives.

Please note – all activities are weather dependent.

This overview of an average Highlands itinerary provides an insight into what you can expect from Bear Grylls Survival Academy. However, every course is different depending on the location, so this is just a guide!


As you would expect, the Bear Grylls Survival Academy is challenging both mentally and physically. So, in order to get the most out of the course, applicants should be fit and healthy.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I active?
  • Can I hike or trek for one hour in trekking boots carrying a 20lb daypack?
  • Am I a competent swimmer?
  • Am I determined?

If you have any questions about Health and Fitness for the course, please contact our BGSA team.


Please note, all of the clothing and equipment that you bring MUST be appropriate to the environment and the time of year; the items listed below are mandatory.

  • 2 pairs of robust mountain boot or similar with ankle support
  • Lightweight Trousers
  • Base layer, mid layer and outer
  • Thick Fleece or Duvet Jacket
  • Hat and Balaclava
  • 2 pairs of Gloves – 1 x waterproof & 1 x thin/active
  • Water and windproof trousers and jacket
  • Training shoes
  • Waterproof note book and pencil
  • Sunglasses
  • Sun Cream
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Casual clothes x 1 set
  • Wash bag/contents
  • Towel
  • Personal medication
  • Camera (in a waterproof case/bag)

…and a bag full of positive attitude!

The following kit will be issued to participants by the Academy for use for the duration of the course:

  • 4 seasons sleeping bag and liner
  • 40ltr ruck sack
  • Water proof ruck sack liner
  • Air mat
  • Head torch
  • Water Bottle, mug and spoon
  • Bear Grylls Gerber Knife


2015 Course Dates:

25 July – 29 July  (FULLY BOOKED)

31 July – 4 August (FULLY BOOKED)

22 August – 26 August

5 September – 9 September (FULLY BOOKED)

12 September – 16 September

This course is strictly limited to just 10 participants and costs £1,399 (approx U$ 2364.00) excluding flights and transfers. All meals and accommodation are included and a large amount of equipment is on loan for the duration of the course including: Knife, mug, sleeping bag and liner, sleeping mat, rucksack and liner, head torch, water bottle and all technical safety equipment. On completion of the course you will receive the coveted Bear Grylls Survival Academy badge and certificate, and your very own Bear Grylls Ultimate knife.

Survival in the Highlands takes place at Alladale Wilderness Reserve in Scotland.

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