EATING grubs for dinner, making a bed out of leaves and building a fire in the pouring rain – Nick Slater is up for the Bear Grylls challenge.One of 10 people in the world to be hand picked from thousands, 21-year-old Nick, of Isaacs, will head to Scotland in August to join the Bear Grylls Survival Academy. Created last year by popular British adventurer, writer and television presenter Bear Grylls himself, the intensive, five-day course will see the team of 10 in one of the last true wilderness areas of the British Isles, Sutherland, learning techniques to survive in the wilderness.
Designed by Bear and his close team of highly trained experts, the academy will teach extreme survival techniques such as building emergency shelters, dealing with remote medical trauma, and hunting for dinner – all using materials from the wilderness surrounding them.
At the end of the course participants will spend a day on their own putting their new-found skills to the test, and Mr Grylls himself may even make an appearance.
“Depending on his schedule, he’ll come down and watch us in action,” says Nick.
“I’d love to meet him, I think he’s awesome, I’m a big fan of his show [‘Man vs Wild’].”
Nick says he applied for the academy online after reading Bear’s biography.
“I’m an outdoors person, too, so I wanted to try something different and extreme,” he says.
“I’m pretty sure I’m the only Australian who got picked, the organisers said they were getting thousands of applications every day from around the world so I’m very lucky. I got the email saying I’d made it at 5am and I was really excited.
“We have to pay for everything ourselves, so I’m hoping to get some sponsorship from outdoor stores or businesses.”
Nick believes his background as a volunteer in the State Emergency Service helped him make the cut.
“I’ve been volunteering there since November last year and there’s some awesome rescue skills I’ve learnt there, and everyone there is very into hiking and climbing,” he says.
And while the academy’s website warns: “It may hurt a little,” Nick isn’t worried.
“It will be a challenge, but I’m more excited than anything,” he says.
“The lessons I’ll be learning will be pretty invaluable for my future… I’m currently in the eligibility pool for the NSW police force, and one day I’d like to be in special forces or defence,” he says.
So, after chowing down on slugs and sleeping outside in the freezing cold, will Nick be dying to checkin to a cushy hotel?
“I’ve never been a fancy resort kind of person, camping is my leisure,” he laughs.
More information on The Bear Grylls Survival Academy at beargryllssurvivalacademy.com/, to sponsor Nick email email@example.com.