LISTEN LIVE KPR - On Air: Listen Live to classical, jazz and NPR news Schedule LATEST
KPR 2 - On Air: Listen live to KPR's all talk-radio service, KPR2 Recordings

Share this page              

5 Skills President Obama Will Need To Survive A Day With Bear Grylls

President Obama and Michelle Obama went a little <em>Troop Beverly Hills</em> at a Girl Scout campout on the South Lawn earlier this summer. We doubt survivalist Bear Grylls is going allow the president to bring those lanterns on their trek.

President Obama has slow-jammed the news on late-night TV and sat down with wacky YouTube celebrities. The show he's joining this week might just make those appearances look buttoned up and boring.

On Tuesday, President Obama will shoot an episode for the NBC show Running Wild with Bear Grylls. In each episode, Bear, a survivalist, takes a different celebrity into the wild.

According to NBC, the president will trek through the wilderness and "receive a crash course in survival techniques." The president will be in Alaska to meet with leaders from the Alaskan native communities and discuss climate change. NBC says the segment will air later this year.

We're not sure what Bear will make the president do (Will he go easy on him? Does the Secret Service have to trek, too?). Before he goes, will he call up Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, who has famously roughed it on deserted islands (on purpose) for some advice?

In any case, based on a sampling of recent episodes, here are five ways the president should prepare:

1. Learn how to cook a mouse

In one recent episode with actress Michelle Rodriguez, Bear made a "backcountry" soup from a dead mouse and ... urine. In another episode, actor Ed Helms tried some ants. "They go zing in your mouth," Bear said, to which Helms replied, trying to keep a straight face "Yeah, you're right." Sure.

2. Figure out how to get down the steepest cliff you've ever seen

Sometimes you reach the edge of a giant cliff and there's only one way down. Before rappelling off large, jagged rocks, Kate Winslet said: "If there's a God, watch over me now." Bear's advice: "Don't look down too much."

3. Learn how to light, and throw, dynamite

In the opening scene with Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Bear throws dynamite out of the side of their helicopter in the Italian Alps to trigger avalanches — "hopefully to minimize avalanche risk."

4. Learn how to tie a rope around a glacier

Another unsettling moment with Ferguson comes when they reach a snow-covered glacier they need to rappel down. Bear finds a piece of ice and says he's going to tie a rope around it to hold on to. Ferguson doesn't seem sure. He makes a face. "It looks like you're tying it to glass."

"Let's try it," Grylls replies. And if it doesn't work, we'll just plummet down the mountain and freeze to death.

5. Find a way to stab a glow stick

A glow stick is one of two things Bear says he won't leave home without (the other is a poncho). Apparently, the president can pierce a glow stick to mark his path using the liquid inside or use it to light his way into caves, tunnels, maybe even the White House basement.

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit

Tower Frequencies

91.5 FM KANU Lawrence, Topeka, Kansas City
89.7 FM KANH Emporia
99.5 FM K258BT Manhattan
97.9 FM K250AY Manhattan (KPR2)
91.3 FM  KANV Junction City, Olsburg
89.9 FM K210CR Atchison
90.3 FM KANQ Chanute
96.1 FM K241AR Lawrence (KPR2)

See the Coverage Map for more details

Contact Us

Kansas Public Radio
1120 West 11th Street
Lawrence, KS 66044
Download Map
785-864-4530 (Main Line)
888-577-5268 (Toll Free)