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Man Vs. Wild – Recap & Review – Arctic Circle

Photo: Discovery
photo: discovery

Man Vs. Wild
Arctic Circle

Original Air Date: August 12, 2009

Jeff P. – Sr. Staff Writer

Bear Grylls has seen cold before… but he hasn’t seen Arctic cold yet! He will now as the new season opens up tonight. I have to ask… why did they have to air this one when it’s still Summer?

Bear drops a smoke grenade out of the helicopter to mark where he wants to land, and then makes a dramatic drop out into the barren, white landscape. He lands on a frozen lake and packs his chute for later. He finds some tiny crowberries to eat, but sees other things that he says are reindeer droppings! (I’m thankful that he didn’t eat those). He follows them until he runs into a herd of 50 reindeer. It’s hunting time!

He decides the best way to catch one is to set mini snare traps through the track highways hoping to snag one. He ends up catching one and ties it by its horns to a tree. He dispatches it and drinks its blood as it pours out of its lifeless body. (Ew). Bear tells us that reindeer blood is full of protein and is very warm, making it appealing to the indigenous people there. Bear cuts the heart out and… you guessed it… ate it like the Eskimos do… raw! He doesn’t want to leave the meat behind, so he builds a sled to bring it along with him.

He then runs into a frozen waterfall, and finds it difficult to move the carcass down below. As he makes his way across, the sled drops into the freezing river. He ends up being able to save only the hind leg of the reindeer and has to say goodbye to the rest because his legs being in the water are freezing. He gets out and now he has to make his way down the actual waterfall. He makes an ice hole through some ice jetting out and threads the parachute line through it to climb down. Later, he finds an abandoned hunting lodge. Inside he finds some good wood for fire, and some very old skis. He builds a fire outside the door and heats up some of the fat of the reindeer for a stew.

Bear ties some old cloth he found in the cabin to the skis with the hope to use them to make better ground. He finds that they’re great for cross-country, but not as good for downhill. At the bottom he decides to pee on the skis to get better traction, and it amazingly works! (Personally, I never think of how my pee can be useful). Later he gets to a frozen lake, and uses his parachute to help him glide across the huge, massive ice.

As dusk settles in, he finds a place near but above the lake to camp. He digs a hole in the snow and covers it with some branches and then makes a gutter for the cold air to flow out of the bottom. He uses some parachute cord and makes a small rod to hopefully catch some fish during the night. He uses an old Indian trick of setting up a torch near the bait hoping that the light will attract them to the bait. Then he goes to sleep in minus 30 degrees Fahrenheit.

The next morning he pulls the line up, but alas, no fish. He needs to move on and does. Unfortunately, it doesn’t take long for him to run into a river. And as he usually does for freezing water, Bear strips down to nothing to get across it. You need dry clothes to insulate after being in freezing water, so this is the best way to get across these obstacles. He gets to the other side and quickly lights a fire to warm back up.

Finally he makes it to the coast where he hopes to reach a shipping lane so he can be found. He uses some debris that he finds on shore to build himself a raft. He makes his way out to the outer islands with the hope of being spotted by a fishing boat. He finds a dead seal and cuts it open to take its blubber. He makes his way to an outer island, and goes to make a signal fire. He uses the blubber to help make the fire burn longer in the case it gets dark. But luckily, a fishing vessel is seen in the distance, so he knows that he will be fine.

I’m happy to have Bear Grylls back in my life! I am always amazed that this show finds a new place for him to go and it’s always interesting. Even though I have some favorite episodes, I can’t say that I’ve disliked one episode. Each time I see one in a cold environment, I always get cold sitting here in my comfy chair. How lame is that? And, what did you think of the debut? I think it’s a nice kick-off for the season. Your two cents is always appreciated.

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