It’s snow week on Pocket-lint and we’re the unashamed masters of tenuous links, bringing you a selection of apps that may be useless, ill-conceived and not fit for purpose. You could never accuse Bear Grylls of being useless, having not only conquered Everest, but also prime time television airwaves globally and has found himself in the role of Chief Scout.

The Bear machine doesn’t just stop there. He has also written books, has his own clothing line with Craghoppers, his own knife with Gerber and, you guessed it, his own app with Chillingo on the iPhone. So roll-up ladies and gentleman, we’ve parted with cash to bring you The Bear Essentials as App of the Day.

The Bear Essentials

iPhone/iPad/iPod touch

Fortunately not called “The Bear Necessities”, which might have put a Disney ring on a survival app, Bear Gryll’s The Bear Essentials is a basic survival and outdoor guide.

The app is comprised of a number of sections (Clothing & Equipment, Tools & Knives, Be Prepared, etc), each with a video intro of about 15 seconds) from Bear himself, many of which seem to have been filmed in a stock room - although we imagine that the international man of action lives in such an place, itching to get out and do battle with the wild once again.

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Following the video intro, you are treated to a number of pages in information, which you can swipe through. Kept light, it gives you a brief nugget of advice, some backed up with additional info you can click through to, or small interactive pieces, like how to remember how long you can live without water.

There are also integrated videos as you delve deeper, along with plenty of extra photos. If you like to gaze a pictures of Bear looking dishevelled, you’ll find him covered in mud or drying his feet by the fires, as well, um, sitting in a stock room. The cynical might moan that some of the sections seem to be geared towards pushing his own product lines, but let’s give the man a break – his Gerber knife does look handy.

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Consumable is probably the best word for The Bear Essentials. This isn’t designed to keep you alive when the going gets tough so much as it is to entertain those who admire Bear’s exploits and want to soak up a little information. There are some great little tips in here however, like how to predict weather from different cloud types.

There are also survival lights, a watch and compass (for iPhone users), as well as a collection of links through to some of the other Bear websites. It’s nice to see a section on the Scouts, which hopefully should ignite interest for kids who want a little more adventure in their lives. 

You do have to pay £3.99 for the privilege of ownership, but it is a glossy as well presented app that has been well made by Chillingo. Is it worth the money? We want to say no, but we just can’t help liking this app. The final word is probably left to Bear himself.

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