Bear Grylls - Bear Essentials App Poster Image

Bear Grylls - Bear Essentials



Wilderness handbook turns iPhone into a survival tool.

What parents need to know

Educational value

Kids can learn wilderness survival skills and tips that will make camping and hiking safer, easier, and more fun. Kids will learn how to dress appropriately for hiking or camping, how to use tools or knives, and how to tie knots. They'll learn how to find food and water, create a shelter, and build a fire. And they'll even learn some more advanced (yet hopefully never needed) skills like how to perform CPR and stalk and kill game for food in a survival situation. Bear Grylls - Bear Essentials is packed with useful information including how-to diagrams, video clips, and photographs.

Ease of play

The information is divided into chapters accessed through a table of contents. Users simply swipe the screen to scroll through the text, and can tap icons to open up supplemental material like photos and audio and video clips.


There are a handful of graphic photos that young kids will probably find disturbing, including dead skinned rabbits lying side by side, a close-up of frostbitten fingers, and various pictures of Grylls eating animal carcasses with blood on his face and hands. One chapter discusses different ways of trapping animals for food, including traps that trigger large rocks or branches to fall on the animal killing it. Grylls also makes passing references to gutting animals and cutting the head off of a rattlesnake.

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The app's host, Bear Grylls, is a TV personality and motivational speaker. Brand names are occasionally visible in photos. One of the chapters is devoted to the Scouts. A link from the main menu leads to a page with a variety of sponsor links including the Bear Grylls website, Scouts, some outdoor gear companies, and other apps from the same publisher.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
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Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Bear Grylls - Bear Essentials is a wilderness survival handbook presented by British celebrity adventurer Edward "Bear" Gryllis. The app's 18 chapters cover everything from how to start a fire and tie useful knots to choosing the right equipment, finding shelter, tracking, hunting and first aid. There are some references to peeing and defecating, and some graphic photos depicting wounds and slaughtered animals. The chapter on snaring animals for food emphasizes that this should only be done as a last resort when the person's survival is at stake.

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What's it about?

Bear Grylls, host of Man vs. Wild, is the star of this app, presenting content that is filled with tips for safe wilderness adventures and survival tips for emergency wilderness situations. The app is divided into 18 chapters, each with a video introduction. Kids will view video clips, read the short chapters, and complete interactive tasks or games, like Kim's Game, a scouting exercise. Kids can take a quiz over each chapter, but this app's learning value is in its content more than the assessment.

Is it any good?


BEAR GRYLLIS - BEAR ESSENTIALS contains a wealth of useful information for the layman should he ever find himself lost in the wild without obvious access to food, water, electricity, or phone reception. The information is presented in small and easy-to-digest morsels enhanced by photos, audio clips, diagrams, and video of Grylls himself explaining the app's key takeaways. Younger kids might be disturbed by some of the graphic first-aid photos and the idea of killing animals for food. The app also includes a compass tool, rescue light tool, and weather predictor.

Another note about this app: It's not cheap. App prices may fluctuate greatly, but at the time of this review the app was $6.99 -- a little steep for the amount of content. Still, it's an excellent app.

Families can talk about...

  • Practice some of the techniques together, like tying knots.

  • Use skills learned in the chapter on navigation to go geocaching (using navigational coordinates to find treasures left by other participants). Websites and apps, like Geocaching, plan the adventure for you.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Subjects:Hobbies: sports
Skills:Self-Direction: effort, motivation, working efficiently
Emotional Development: persevering
Thinking & Reasoning: strategy
Release date:December 15, 2010
Size:275.00 MB
Publisher:Chillingo Ltd.
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.0 or later

This review of Bear Grylls - Bear Essentials was written by

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