A few weekends ago my boyfriend and I headed to the theatre for the much-anticipated The Revenant. We loved it! I was expecting a Western, but I got something more. Part artful, part heartfelt, the action never quits and the story is truly unbelievable – except it really happened (more or less).
Based on the novel, The Revenant: A Novel of Revenge by Michael Punke, the deputy U.S. trade representative and ambassador to the World Trade Organization, this is actually a true story (check out the trailer below).
As watched Leonardo DiCaprio as Hugh Glass overcome one obstacle after another, I couldn’t help but wonder, could he be even tougher than Bear Grylls? This article will put the semi-fictional Hugh Glass against Bear Grylls in a challenge of survival.
Coming Across a Bear
In the movie, Hugh Glass comes upon two bear cubs in the woods as he’s hunting for game. When the mother bear charges him, he shoots the bear further angering her until she constantly mauls him. He even attempts to give up a few times and grab his rifle before she’s back on top of him.
Grylls recommends keeping your distance and if charged run while dropping something behind you to distract the animal.
Infection in the Wilderness
Unfortunately, all Hugh’s compatriots can do is wrap him up snug in blankets and furs and keep him close to the fire while he burns through the fever and begins to heal. But tough as nails, Glass continues his journey as best as possible while taking advantage of the help of strangers along the way.
While Grylls gives a lot of advice on how to avoid infection, I can’t seem to find anything about fighting it once it’s set in.
While only partially buried in a shallow grave, Hugh has to take his severely sick and fatigued body and pull it out of the shallow hole and warm it back up.
Bear Grylls demonstrates what being buried alive in an avalanche can do, but he doesn’t tell us how to extract ourselves from the packed in snow.
Falling Off a Cliff
Hugh Glass is riding a horse trying to escape a group of Sioux that believe he may have possession of a Sioux princess. Unfortunately he doesn’t watch where he is going and drives his horse right off a cliff. Grabbing on to a pine just below the cliff, Glass is dropped to the floor below once branch at a time.
Bear Grylls is no stranger to accidentally falling. Here he slips off a 30-foot cliff in a glacial revine.
Using an Animal Carcass for Shelter
Glass is forced to use his dead horse as a shelter one night to escape sub-zero temperatures.
Grylls demonstrates how to gut a camel to make a temporary shelter in desert. (viewer discretion)
Fishing Without a Line
In order to find sustenance, Hugh Glass creates a make-shift trap in the stream that blocks fish from swimming downstream. Even in his weakened state he is easily able to grab fish for a meal.
Bear Grylls demonstrates another way to capture fish swimming downstream though it seems to take a little more effort.
The Ultimate Survivor
It’s no joke that both Hugh Glass and Bear Grylls are both die-heard survivalists. But there are a few differences. Bear works to prevent accidents in the wild, showing ways to prevent injury, dehydration and infection. Meanwhile, Hugh is surviving everything that comes his way including grief, infection, illness and starvation. So Bear is definitely the smarter survivalist, but Hugh is the toughest. Too bad they lived during such different times. I bet Bear Grylls would have loved to take Hugh Glass out in the wilderness for a weeklong survival trek through the Dakota hills and mountains.
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