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'Running Wild' Comes To Madera County

MADERA COUNTY – The Madera County Film Commission is pleased to announce they just finished filming an NBC TV series you may have seen the commercials “Running Wild With Bear Gylls.”

Survival expert/adventurer Bear Grylls and movie star Channing Tatum, of 22 Jump Street fame, spent last Monday night camped on top of Fresno Dome in the Sierra National Forest just north of Oakhurst.

Filming continued all week in various areas of Madera County as NBC produced one of six celebrity survival series programs, Running Wild with Bear Grylls. Grylls, best known for his Discovery Channel series, Man vs: Wild, is no stranger to Madera County, having spent a few weeks filming here in 2010.

The crew of 40 – 50 and a helicopter stayed in the Oakhurst area, employed some local labor, rented motor homes, trucks and trailers and provided a huge infusion of money into the local economy.

The NBC series will allow a rarely seen view of celebrities including Tatum, Zac Efron, Ben Stiller and Tom Arnold, football Hall of Famer Deion Sanders and “Today” anchor Tamron Hall.

The celebrities will be partnered one-on-one with Grylls in their own standalone episodes. The wild adventures will include, in addition to the Sierra episode, skydiving into the Catskill Mountains, rappelling down cliffs in Utah and hiking through rough Montana weather.

Running Wild allows viewers to see inside the hearts and minds of these guests in a very open, honest and vulnerable way, pushing them out of their comfort zones and seeing what they are like in real life when stripped of all the benefits of celebrity,” Grylls said in a statement. “Ultimately, this show is about taking these stars on the adventure of a lifetime and being alongside them when they discover something new and empowering about themselves and their world. For me, that is always a privilege.”

The series is set to premiere Monday, July 28 at 8 p.m. Eastern and Pacific on NBC.

Bear Grylls Survival Academy at Calvin CrestWhile Bear and his team were braving the elements on their remote “set,” 10 participants were preparing for a 24-hour course in survival at Calvin Crest.

Calvin Crest is a year-round Youth Camp, Adult Retreat Center and Outdoor School, situated on 340 acres surrounded by the Sierra National Forest between 4,800 and 6,000 ft. elevation. It is also the site of the latest Bear Grylls Survival Academy.

The Calvin Crest site will offer three courses: a 24-hour course geared to families that teaches survival skills to up to two kids at least 9 years old and one parent per family, a similar 24-hour course for adults only, and a five-day extreme course for adults, involving several days of training and three days in a difficult survival situation in the wild.

These are just some of the many activities participants will partake in during the 24-Hour Family Survival Course from the Bear Grylls Survival Academy:

  • River crossings
  • Water purification
  • Build emergency shelters and Fire Building
  • Navigate harsh terrain by day and night
  • Rope skills – crossing difficult terrain
  • Survival knife skills
  • Dynamic Self Rescue Techniques

For more information on courses from the world’s most recognizable face of survival and outdoor adventure, visit

One comment

  1. what lake did Bear Grylls jump into before climbing fresno dome?

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Sierra News Online

Sierra News Online