I’m sure most of you have heard of Bear Grylls as he’s one of the most recognized names for adventure and survival. His celebrity status is not just for adults as his popular interactive Netflix TV show called “You Vs Wild’ has been a great hit with the younger generation and its essential viewing for my kids.
Halfway up the majestic Jebel Jais mountain in Ras Al Khamiah the newly opened Bear Grylls Explorers Camp offers an amazing extreme survival program for kids and adults – this recent new attraction will certainly makes RAK the regions adventure capital.
The camp is run by Bear’s own team of highly trained instructors and experts in the field of outdoor survival. The programs have been designed by Bear Grylls and developed by the local team based on his unique survival experiences and his dynamic methods and techniques that are loved all over the world.
With thanks to Visit Ras Al Khamiah and the Bear Grylls team I surprised my kids who are 7,7 and 8 years old to test out the younger kids survival course, with Jake being their supremely capable and super friendly instructor. As huge lovers of nature and being outdoorsy and adventurous they were super excited for this new adventure (they were hoping that Bear may just show up!).
Jake started off by explaining the four main tenets and priorities of survival – the acronym
“PLEASE REMEMBER WHATS FIRST”
After the kids applied some military style make up to help get in the mood we started a small walk into the wadi.
First assignment: Protection
With a sheet of tarpaulin the kids had to attach it to a tree with ropes to provide shelter from all types of weather including in our case the strong Arabian sun.
Second assignment: Rescue
Create a fire to not only keep you warm but to signal for rescue – the kids were given a flint and steel sheet to create a spark onto cotton wool, also wire wool and a battery, Vaseline on cotton wool to help ignite the spark even quicker. We were surprised how quickly the kids got it. Then a proper fire was made with sticks and once finished we were taught how to safely put it out.
Each part was managed expertly by Jake and safety was always a priority (even masks and social distancing were adhered at all times).
Third assignment - Water
Jake had prepared water bottles to showcase how to filter unclean water, using a piece of tshirt, sand, rocks, palm fibers and charcoal.
We then played a game as a family carrying water from the river to our camp from one bucket to another while trying not to spill the precious water and me having to deal with really competitive husband and children!
All of the above showcased how to Improvise – Overcome and Adapt.
The kids loved it throughout, engaging with excitement, asking questions, listening to instructions and enjoying the moments.
The final challenge was back at base camp for the final priority of survival – Food
Firstly they were taught how to make bread – simply adding a little water to flour, rolling it onto a stick and cooking it on the fire – not the yummiest!
I was then in awe as I watched 2 out of the three kids crunch their way through a handful of meal worms – I mean I struggle to get them to eat veg, but give them meal worms and there’s no complaining!
Overall after 2 hours the kids had completed the course and thoroughly enjoyed it – so much so they gave it a 10/10
It’s a great family activity and I personally thought it was a great way to see how the children listened to instructors and put their own skills into action.
The adults courses are both physically and mentally challenging from survival skills to abseiling and navigating difficult terrains.
Check out their website for more information on all the courses (team building, families, overnight stays etc) along with prices https://www.beargryllscamp.ae/
Tip: To enjoy a full day at Jebal Jais, have lunch at 1484 by Puro restaurant which is officially the highest restaurant in the UAE at the top of the mountain. The food is excellent and the views are incredible.
For adults and older kids check out the e- bikes which are near the top of the mountain in one of the parking lots - a genius idea and hassle free, offering an easier way to tackle the mountain – an ingenious way to show that a RAK adventure is for everyone…
A fun loving and adventurous family can easily spend a weekend on Jebel Jais mountain creating a smorgasbord of active memories.
To find out more about Things to do in RAK, listen to my podcast interview with RAK Tourism CEO Raki Phillips:
Special thanks again to Visit Ras Al Khaimah.
For more information on things to do in RAK, please visit