Bear Grylls and Ed Stafford. They put Rambo to shame when it comes to the fine art of being a big, sweaty survivalist crazy guy. But while both can be counted on to cobble together temporary lodgings out of twigs and dung, which of them would REALLY come out on top in a face-off? Let’s see who’d win in our series of completely scientific and legitimate trials…
Eating disgusting stuff
The ultimate mark of a true survival expert is their willingness to desecrate their luckless mouths with horrible, horrible foodstuffs. Ed Stafford has never shied away from doing just that, chomping down on whatever Mother Nature smirkingly dangles in front of him. But the winner here has to be Bear, simply because his very name is synonymous with eating things that make us want to hurl. Speaking of which, there he is above, making us want to hurl.
Getting in with the locals
If you’re stranded in goodness-knows-where and down to your last grub worm, getting on with the locals may be your only chance of survival. Trouble is, they can have rather unusual initiation rituals, and cringing and going “Ewww” while flapping your hands isn’t the way to go. Not that Bear would do that, but this is an area where Ed definitely excels – check him out above, staying manfully stoic as the village elders “welcome” him with a fine shower of spit…
Bonding with fellow survivalists
When you’re trudging through squelchy wilderness with a pal by your side, you better try to get on with them. Otherwise you’ll end up bickering, shouting and stropping off to your doom, like it’s Blair Witch all over again. Bear Grylls comes across as a more affable, easy-going chap than the more grizzled and no-nonsense Ed Stafford, and as for male bonding… well, let’s just let this moment with Zac Efron speak for itself…
Using incredibly dodgy public transport
Survival isn’t just about being able to walk for miles through inhospitable terrain while muttering obscenities to yourself (although there probably is a lot of that). Sometimes you need to know when to hop on board a battered bus being driven by shifty blokes trying to transport bags of narcotics. While Bear rarely gets embedded in large communities, and strikes us a bit too much of a goody-goody to blag his way through dodgy situations, for Ed it’s clearly second nature. Another win for Mr Stafford…
Drinking dung juice
There comes a point in every survival expert’s life when he has to squeeze elephant dung and drink whatever comes out. Ed would probably go for it, but we’ll give this one to Bear simply because we have footage of him actually doing just that, and good god the man deserves credit for it.
Staying calm when your camel wanders off
Who’s better with animals, Bear or Ed? We’ll be honest, we just don’t know. But we do have film evidence of Ed Stafford staying marvellously unruffled as his camel – packed with essential supplies – goes AWOL in the middle of a parched desert. The very fact that Ed is able to calmly point it out and think about the situation rationally, rather than run around in a circle while screaming and shaking his fist at a cruel and uncaring God, means he wins this round.
Going frighteningly native
Sometimes, survival depends on casting aside your soft, civilised self and fully embracing your wild, man-of-the-mountains nature. We can’t really imagine the genteel Mr Grylls ever going full Deliverance, but as for Ed… Well here is, looking like the culprit in a backwoods slasher film, and ready to do battle with the actual trees themselves…
Having friends in high places
Ed may know all the tricks when he’s out there doing his survival thing, but you know what would REALLY help if you’re trapped in a jungle and about to get chomped on by wild beasts? Having the frickin’ President of the frickin’ United States right alongside you to call for immediate backup from a veritable army of Secret Service agents. This is where Bear very much wins.
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