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Web Video / Breaking Trail

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Be brave, stay wild.
Breaking Trail is a very popular web series hosted on the YouTube channel Brave Wilderness, following Nathaniel "Coyote" Peterson, a wildlife expert and adventurer who goes around the world to show viewers the beauty, and sometimes danger, of nature. From baby bird saving to bullet ant bite enduring, Coyote Peterson's Breaking Trail has it all.

Spin-offs on the Brave Wilderness channel, also hosted by Coyote:

  • On Location: Interesting tidbits about the current filming location, related to or supplementing the main Breaking Trail series. A bit more behind-the-scenes than the main series.
  • Behind the Adventure: Similar to On Location but more focused on the production while shooting Breaking Trail.
  • Beyond the Tide: Exploring tidepools along shorelines and examining the creatures that inhabit them.
  • Coyote's Backyard: Coyote is joined by some children and they go exploring wildlife near their homes.
  • Dragon Tails: Focusing on large reptiles and amphibians, mostly turtles and tortoises. Not to be confused with the cartoon.
  • Outtakes and bloopers: More behind-the-scenes, highlighting the things that happen while filming the other series.


The show provides examples of:

  • Agony of the Feet: Parodied in Coyote's advertisement for the Brave Wilderness Adventure Kit, where he's forced to acquire the item, which is treated as a coveted treasure, by walking barefoot through a gauntlet of...LEGO bricks!
  • Always a Bigger Fish: Even after Coyote completely undergoes the bullet ant challenge, which is considered the most painful sting in existence and the peak of the biting parts of the series. Justin Schmidt (creator of the Schmidt Sting Pain Index) claimed that the Warrior Wasp's sting is infinitely more painful than the bullet ant. Coyote disagreed, actually ranking the Warrior Wasp below the Tarantula Hawk. However, he admits that one would be better off getting stung by a bullet ant over a warrior wasp anyway considering that, unlike bullet ants, warrior wasps attack in swarms and actively chase you potentially leading to more than one sting. Then the Executioner Wasp played this straight, being in Coyote's opinion significantly worse than the Bullet Ant.
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  • Author Appeal: Snapping turtles are a favorite subject of Coyote's. The Dragon Tails series is in large part about him catching them all over the country.
  • "Awesome McCool" Name: His real name is Nathaniel, but everyone calls him Coyote.
  • Ascended Meme: Mark now has a T-shirt that has his most famous line on it. Unfortunately it's sold out.
  • Badass Beard: If he's not sporting one of these, he'll still have Perma-Stubble.
  • Bald of Awesome: Hard to see since he almost always has a nice hat, but yes, Coyote is completely bald.
  • Bee Afraid: In the aptly named 3000 BEES ATTACK MY FACE!, he wanted to show the audience that bees would not attack people for no reason. He ended up being stung over forty times, something which was not supposed to happen.
    • A later Youtube video explained that what happened was that bees from a different colony came unexpectedly and joined the gang on his face, picking a fight. Coyote's face became an unwitting battleground in a bee turf war. Had the foreign bees not mingled with the farm's bees, everything would have been fine.
  • Butt-Monkey: Not only does Coyote frequently subject himself to painful bites and stings, but he has also gone into violent vomiting fits after eating rancid-smelling fruits like the durian and noni.
  • Catchphrase:
    • "Be brave, stay wild."
    • "I'm Coyote Peterson, and I'm about to X."
    • "Oh my gosh!" When hurt or surprised.
  • Chromatic Arrangement: Subtle, but often Coyote is seen wearing blue, while Mark is wearing red and Mario is wearing green.
  • Creepy Centipedes: Centipedes are one of the few creatures Coyote is incredibly wary of. And one of the few things he really doesn't want to get bitten by. He eventually faced his fears and let himself get bitten by the Giant Desert Centipede, which blew anything on the sting pain index out of the water. The bite was so incredibly painful that it reduced him to tears, and forced him to cut the episode short to pull out the venom extractor.
  • Cute Kitten: While exploring in Costa Rica at night on a trail, a juvenile ocelot showed up and stole the show. Coyote spent quite an amount of time in his encounter with the wild cat, pointing out how it's cute play was also it practicing hunting techniques, and explaining that was only about 6 months old, and would be quite dangerous if full grown. An 'outtake' video of it involved 'Oco' interacting with a crab, and being spooked after getting pinched once.
  • Don't Try This at Home: Considering the stuff Coyote gets into and the animals he works with, much like the Mythbusters, he does it for education and entertainment. Almost every video starts with this disclaimer, and ends with him reminding viewers to "admire it from a safe distance".
  • Fingore: Coyote's fingers go through a decent amount of abuse.
    • While filming a Gila monster, he got too close, underestimated its speed, and got bitten on the thumb. He has said that this bite was the most painful thing he'd ever experienced, beating even the giant desert centipede.
    • In "The Legend of Lost Lake," a snapping turtle managed to bite a good chunk out of Coyote's thumb.
    • In another video, he let a Dungeness Crab pinch his finger. He intended to keep it locked in there for at least 60 seconds, but he had to cut it short because of how painful it was.
    • In "CRAZY ANT BITE!", Coyote lets a Leaf Cutter Ant take a bite of his finger. When he removes it, the ant has literally torn a piece of flesh from his finger.
  • For Science!: He lets animals attack him so he (and we) can learn more about them.
  • Friend to All Living Things / Nature Lover: There is absolutely no animal on the planet that Coyote doesn't love, even the creatures that have inflicted awful pain upon him.
  • Gosh Dang It to Heck!: Coyote's ability to never swear, even when he's enduring some of the most intense pains possible, leads to theories that they're well edited out.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: The camera loves zooming in on Coyote's injuries and the ultra-high-definition video shows them off crystal clear.
  • Large Ham: Coyote.
  • Meaningful Background Event: An unintentional example happens in "Night of the Deadly Creatures." While Coyote is handling a blunthead snake, an observant viewer can catch sight of another snake coiling up defensively just behind his leg. It's not until the middle of his speech about the blunthead when the camera crew finally notices the other snake, and everyone realizes that Coyote is in striking range of a very dangerous fer-de-lance.
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: Cow killer. Tarantula Hawk. Warrior Wasp. Bullet ant. Executioner Wasp. These insects earned their nicknames, because of how terrifying they are. Yet, Coyote puts his forearm on the line for all of them. He was even the first person to officially document the Executioner Wasp's sting.
  • Never Bareheaded: Coyote without his hat is a very rare sight.
  • Nice Hat / Fedora of Asskicking: Coyote's gives some Indiana Jones vibes.
  • Only in Florida: Wildlife biologist Mario (who is a Floridian himself) getting his camera eaten by an alligator while photographing them at the Everglades Alligator Farm.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: You're not gonna see anyone call him Nathaniel.
  • Only Sane Man: Mark frequently has to deal with Coyote's recklessness, and while wildlife biologist Mario may initially come off as just an average smart guy being dragged along for the ride, it turns out that his risk-taking is enough to make even Coyote uncomfortable.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business:
    • Coyote always does his best to power through any bites he gets on camera, which makes his request to cut the cameras after he's bitten by the giant desert centipede and the Executioner wasp very clearly indicative that the pain is on a whole other level.
    • Part of Coyote's persona is that he's always very cheerful and energetic, and almost never gets upset. However, in the "MONSTER River Shrimp!" episode, he is shown getting genuinely upset when he accidentally loses the blue claw Freshwater Prawn at 10:45. He then acts noticeably out of character until he snaps back into his screen persona at 12:20 to give an outro.
  • Perma-Stubble: Coyote always dons a thick, trademark 5 o'clock shadow.
  • Power Trio: While Coyote is the host and star of Breaking Trail, fellow crew members Mark Vins and Mario Aldecoa are also frequently featured in episodes.
  • Quantity vs. Quality: After getting stung by a bullet ant and a warrior wasp, Coyote concluded that the bullet ant’s sting is worse despite being placed lower on the sting pain index. However, warrior wasps attack in swarms and will chase after you, thus making them more dangerous than bullet ants.
  • Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Averted. Coyote loves reptiles, bears them no ill will when they bite him, and devotes a lot of his time to showing viewers just how cool they are.
  • Sadist Show: The "biting" parts of the series, where Coyote submits himself to unimaginable pain.
  • Scenery Porn: Every location Coyote goes to is ridiculously beautiful, and fortunately his crew are appreciative and advanced enough to capture plenty of gorgeous, HD footage of it every time.
  • Spiritual Successor: A lot of comparisons can be made to Steve Irwin - Coyote is also herpetologist, loves animals, loves exploring nature, goes on lots of adventures to find different animals around the world, and often injures himself for the sake of others' education (and entertainment).
  • This Is Gonna Suck: Coyote's general attitude every time he's about to subject himself to another bite or sting.
    "Now you've seen me stung by harvester ants, fire ants, and scorpions. But today, I'm moving a rung up on the insect sting pain index, and I'm going to be stung by the cow killer. I have a feeling that this one is going to hurt."
  • Wham Line: In the Giant Desert Centipede bite episode. "Cut the cameras!"
  • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Snakes aren't a problem for Coyote. It's giant water bugs and the giant desert centipede that make his skin crawl. The former because he got a nasty bite from one as a child, and the latter because, well, it's a giant centipede.
  • Wicked Wasps: Coyote has been stung by some truly scary wasps, including a warrior wasp and a Japanese giant hornet. The executioner wasp deserves special mention, since in Coyote's opinion, it dethroned the bullet ant as the "king of sting".
  • With a Friend and a Stranger: Coyote and Mark become friends in college and have been working together as business partners for over 14 years. Meanwhile, the two of them met Mario while making one of their earlier episodes and just decided they had to keep him.

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