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Web Video / Breaking Trail

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Be brave, stay wild.
Breaking Trail is a Web Video Series hosted on the YouTube channel Brave Wilderness. It follows wildlife expert and adventurer Nathaniel "Coyote" Peterson as he goes around the world to show viewers the beauty and sometimes danger of nature, from baby bird saving to bullet ant bite enduring.

It has several spin-offs:

  • 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:

  • Ascended Meme: The “Are you ok?” meme explained below, gets referenced in the title of a compilation video consisting of highlights from the various “stung by” episodes, titled “Coyote R U OK?”.

  • 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!
    • Later invoked when he walks barefoot in a park in Georgia to let himself get stung by a swarm of fire ants.
  • 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. However, there are other stings that he's deemed even more painful, namely the Japanese giant hornet and the executioner wasp.
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  • Amusing Injuries: While the bee beard stunt going wrong verges on Nightmare Fuel, it's hard not to laugh at the aftermath when Coyote ends up with what can only be described as "Kylie Jenner lips." Even the camera guys laugh at his misfortune.
  • 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 McCoolname: His real name is Nathaniel, but everyone calls him Coyote.
  • 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.
  • Cactus Cushion: He accidentally runs into a cholla cactus, whose balls break off in the skin, while catching a tarantula hawk. Pulling them out hurts worse than getting stuck. Even the camera guy accidentally got stuck in the hand with one, and gives a silent scream while pulling it out. Coyote explains that cactus needles aren't as smooth as they look, but have tiny barbs that rip out the skin when they're removed.
  • 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: 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.
  • Groin Attack: When Mark goes through a cholla-infested maze blindfolded, he runs right into one that's level with his groin. Thankfully, he was wearing a cup...not that it helped much.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: The camera loves zooming in on Coyote's injuries and the ultra-high-definition video shows them off crystal clear.
  • 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.
    • The cicada killer subverts this with a case of Exact Words; it's certainly dangerous for cicadas, but for humans, the sting isn't much more painful than a common wasp's.
  • Never Bareheaded: Coyote without his Nice Hat is a very rare sight. This is particularly brought up when he gets covered in cactus balls while chasing a tarantula hawk. He says that they can be easily pulled off with hair combs, but he takes off his hat and reveals his shaved head, and thus he doesn't have a comb onhand.
  • Nice Hat: Coyote's fedora gives some Indiana Jones vibes.
  • Oh, Crap!: Any time he's accidentally bitten or stung by an animal, such as when he got too close to a Gila monster and got the worst bite of his life, or when he wore a bee beard and expected a few stings, but the stunt went awry and he got over forty.
  • 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 or even Nate. He's always "Coyote".
  • 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.
  • OOC 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 when he isn't sporting a full-on Badass Beard.
  • 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.
  • Road Apples: The crew has been pooped on by animals plenty. Invoked with an episode searching an African reserves for gradual sizes of poop.
  • Sadist Show: The "biting" parts of the series, where Coyote intentionally submits himself to unimaginable pain. And since life and nature are unpredictable, he also gets unintentionally injured, like the cactus attack or falling off a rock...all presented in glorious HD or 4k.
  • Scary Stinging Swarm:
    • 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.
  • 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 Crocodile Hunter and its host 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!"
  • Wham Shot: The Extreme Cactus Attack episode opens with Coyote spotting a tarantula hawk for its sting pain index video. He goes to catch it with Mark warning him to be careful. Sure enough, Coyote disappears over the rocks and screams out in pain, prompting Mark and Mario to follow him.
    Coyote: (his left side facing the camera) Oh no!
    Mark: What's wrong, did you catch it?
    Coyote: Yeah I caught it! But the bad news is... (turns around, revealing numerous cholla cactus balls stuck in his right side) ...I caught something else too.
  • 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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