STAFDA Taps Survivalist Bear Grylls for Convention Keynote Speaker

The former "Man vs. Wild" star will discussing resilience & overcoming obstacles at the association's Oct. 30-Nov. 1 event in San Diego.


ELM GROVE, WI — The Specialty Tools & Fasteners Distributors Association (STAFDA) is sailing ahead with plans for its 46th Annual Convention & Trade Show, Oct. 30 - Nov. 1, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA. British extreme adventurer and wilderness survivalist, Bear Grylls, has been announced as the keynote speaker for the Association’s General Session, Monday morning, Oct. 31, discussing resilience & overcoming obstacles.

Grylls first drew attention after embarking on a number of outdoor adventures then became widely known for his wilderness survival TV shows in the United Kingdom and America: The Island with Bear Grylls and Running Wild with Bear Grylls. For the latter, Grylls takes celebrities and professional athletes on a two-day trip into the wilderness where he pushes the boundaries on their physical capabilities and mental toughness.

The son of a British politician, Edward “Bear” Grylls got the nickname “Bear” from his sister a week after his birth. From an early age, he learned to climb and sail with his father. Then came skydiving and a second dan black belt in Shotokan karate. After college, Grylls briefly hiked in the Himalayan mountains of Sikkim and West Bengal. From 1994-1997, he served in the Territorial Army with 21 SAS as a trooper trained in, amongst other things, unarmed combat, desert and winter warfare, survival, climbing, parachuting, and explosives. Becoming a survival instructor, he was twice posted to North Africa. His time in the SAS ended as a result of a free fall parachuting accident in Kenya in 1996.

Some of Bear’s adventures include circumnavigating the British Isles on jet skis; climbing one of the most remote unclimbed peaks in Antarctica; setting a Parajet paramotor record in the Himalayas near Mount Everest where he looked down on the summit while coping with temperatures of -60 degree Celsius (-76 Fahrenheit) in addition to summiting Mount Everest at age 23, becoming one of the youngest Britons to have done so. Other adventures include the world’s longest indoor freefall, an open-air formal dinner party in a hot-air balloon at 25,000 ft., and a 5,700 nautical mile trek in an ice-breaking, rigid-inflatable boat in the ice strewn Northwest Passage. The most notable thing about his adventures are they are all attached to a charity. Whether it’s a children’s charity (Global Angels), raising awareness of global warming, or The Prince’s Trust, Bear always names a philanthropic organization to benefit from his extreme physical tests.

Bear will not put any STAFDA Convention attendee to the physical rigors he’s accustomed to, but his mental toughness tips in a COVID-laden environment should provide a refreshing and positive outlook on the world today.

STAFDA’s San Diego Convention Registration opens on Monday, June 27, at 8:00 a.m. Central from the members-only section of You must be a member to attend. 

For more information on the STAFDA Convention & Trade Show or membership, please contact Catherine Usher, [email protected], 262/784-4774 or 800/352-2981.

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