stories about Discovery’s Man vs. Wild hosted by Bear Grylls teaching fans the skills to survive when they get lost in the woods. It’s usually something basic like how to stay warm as opposed to, say, giving yourself an enema for hydration, but one never knows what knowledge will come in handy. I’m impressed with people who retain this information. I’ve said it before, after watching a Man vs. Wild marathon, I find it impossible to walk by a puddle and not think about how I could make the water drinkable. But I couldn’t tell you how to do so now. (The advice that sticks most in my mind is if I ever need to cross a freezing river, it’s best to do it naked so I have dry clothes to put on afterwards. It’s logical, of course, but when faced with the prospect of entering icy water, I don’t think anyone’s first thought is less cover.) So, what will we learn when Man vs. Wild returns for its sixth season starting Feb. 17? Let’s see. Some teases from Discovery:We’ve all heard
• In Arizona, Bear transforms into a one-man high speed glider with a cutting edge wingsuit and flies into the Arizona Sky Islands. Bear shows viewers how to find water in the parched desert landscape, builds a sand-buggy from a wrecked aircraft and crosses heart-stopping rock drops.
• In Borneo, Bear heads directly into the wild jungles. Without a place to land his helicopter, he is forced to rappel into the treetops. As the heli peels away, Bear is 100 feet up in the canopy. After finding his way down to the jungle floor, Bear tackles raging waters, big mudslides and deep caves as he fights his way through this impenetrable place.
• In Scotland off the rugged coast of Cape Wrath, Bear is dropped into open ocean. After getting ashore, he realizes he’s on an island and must swim to the mainland. Bear fashions a wetsuit from a seal’s hide to withstand the frigid crossing. [Ah, no nudity?] Well into the trek, he is forced to turn back as an incoming estuary tide nearly cuts him off. After he makes it to dry land, Bear has a close call with the steep treacherous Scottish rock terrain.
• In Norway, Bear and his team create the harshest conditions possible combining Mother Nature with the latest technology. In this Man vs. Wild science special, sensors monitor Bear’s body as he demonstrates how to survive cutting away from a malfunctioning parachute, how to cross a fast flowing river after a dam is released on him, and how to endure a lethal trap that Bear sets against himself.
• In the South Pacific, Bear is left into the ocean near a deserted island. He must first fight his way up a steep cliff to get ashore. Once on dry land, his priority is food and water. In addition to knowing ingenious ways to collect and store rainwater, Bear dives deep into the reefs in search of fish and employs a local method using torches to catch octopus at night.
Will most of us ever need to catch octopus at night? No. But the torches make it sound pretty!