The primary purpose of President Obama’s official visit to Alaska, which begins Monday, is to highlight the effects of climate change on the region. But between a possible hike along the Exit Glacier and visits with salmon fishermen, he will also test his capacity to survive in the wilderness as he tapes a special episode of the NBC reality show Running Wild with Bear Grylls, set to air later this year.
The show, now in its second season, has brought celebrities like Kate Winslet and Channing Tatum face-to-face with the elements as Grylls, a survival expert, offers tips on how not to die from snake bites (kill and eat the snake before it eats you) and hunger (eat worms if need be). Past episodes have been filmed in places like Appalachia, Scotland and Yosemite, but Obama’s turn on the show will mark its first trip to Alaska, as well as its first appearance by a sitting president.
Obama, who has taken to exclaiming, “the bear is loose!” when leaving the White House for a coffee or a walk, can only hope that his catchphrase remains in the metaphorical realm.