Powered by RedCircle

Megan Hine (Survivalist)

On today’s Podcast, we have Megan Hine. Megan is a survival consultant, expedition leader, and producer. Her vast wealth of experience and knowledge, gained from leading hundreds of trips and expeditions, consulting for TV survival and adventure shows across the globe, enables her to organise unique experiences for clients in remote and wild places.
Today on the podcast, we talk about her life growing up and how she got into TV—working with different celebrities and the stories along the way. Megan Hine talks about her near-death experiences, from been shot at by tribesmen to being hunted by the Mexcian drugs cartel in the mountains.

Buy Mind of a Survivor by Megan Hine

Megan’s Website

Megan’s Instagram

Video Podcast

Latest Podcast Episodes

  • lucy-shepherd-podcast
  • mike-corey
  • elise-wortley-iran

Transcript of our Conversation

Megan Hine

[00:00:00] Megan Hine: And like, I was just, just taking a picture and suddenly this like bullet hit the sand right next to me and kind of exploded. I was, you know, first thing that goes through your head is like, shit, I’m being shot here. So it’s a kind of dived into this little cave. And it was bullets going off all over the cliff around me.

And yeah, it was pretty, pretty terrifying in the moment. My next guest is a survivalist and adventure consultant. She has done some incredible work over the year. Working with TV stars like bear Grylls or man versus the wild. Along with another host of stars. She has some incredible stories to tell on the podcast today, from working with Rangers in Kenya to be shut out by tradesman.

And today on the podcast, we talk about her life growing up and how she got into this amazing line of work. So I am delighted to introduce Megan Hein to the podcast. Thanks for having me only got back to you after ignoring your email. [00:01:00] Well, it’s very kind and I can’t thank you enough for coming on. I I’m really excited to sort of get into this because you’re a survival survivor.

And you probably have so many stories to cover, and I’m sure we can’t get quite three of them all on the podcast, but for people listening, who don’t know you, probably the best place to start is at the beginning and how you became a sort of survivor. Expert in the sort of growing up and what sort of, how you got into it.

Yeah. So, yeah, so I’m basically a wilderness guide, a survivalist and producer on some of the biggest adventure shows on TV, which basically means I get to look after the safety of high-profile individuals and film crews and make them look epic on TV, come up with the content. So it’s quite a, quite a mixed bag, really, of what I do.

I suppose. Yeah, it’s something that I’ve always done. [00:02:00] Like my I was very, very fortunate that all my family holidays, when I was growing up were into the mountains, my dad was a geologist originally. So we spent a lot of time when I was a kid looking for fossils and heading into the mountains to go and look at rocks and things, gap, place a personal with them.

So. Yeah. I had like an amazing childhood, really kind of quite a feral. Every, every summer we’d be off for like weeks on end in this little caravan. I’m one of four. So it was like six of us in this tiny little caravan having branches all over the UK. So I think it was very, very fortunate. I was very involved with like the military cadets as well.

And through that I was able to. Yeah, well, hands-on most loads and loads of adventurous training. So like winter climbing in Scotland, whitewater kayaking, all of these amazing experiences, which kind of really set me on my path to where I am today. Oh, amazing. So actually bear Grylls is a complete drip and it’s all year.

[00:03:00] Well, I suppose my career is based on discretion to be quite diplomatic about these things now, but I know I’ve been working with bear actually for wealth about 14 years now. I kind of, I think I kind of fell into the TV side of things. Picked up quite random array of qualifications and skills.

So like my career originally was very much focused on the mountains. I was like, absolutely obsessed with rock climbing and mountaineering and skiing and things. And that was where my focus of my career was on. And then I ended up doing a, like apprenticeship in bushcraft and survival. It just seemed like a, quite a cool thing to do.

And I spent three years doing that and then sort of leading expeditions, like very much anthropological based expeditions. And certainly I was going off to jungles and deserts and all of this and this, this was in my like late teens, early twenties. And I was working with like some of the most [00:04:00] amazing people, like jungle warfare specialists and mountain guides and all these apps and incredible people and kind of got this real random lately sort of load of experience of kind of like stunt rigging through to like expedition leading through to kind of the medical side of things.

And then at some point, I got contacted. I was working for a bushcraft company leading expeditions for them. And they would, they just been asked to do the survival consultancy for the original bad girls, man vs wild shows. And they wanted to build a team and they needed somebody who could rake the stunts.

So they invited me along to, to do that. And yeah, this was like 14 years ago now. And then I kind of stuck and I think they relate the TV production companies realized that it was actually cheaper to employ. One person who could do like the survival and the rigging and looking after people rather than employing one person for each.

Amazing. So I, what I, what I [00:05:00] think so interesting is the sort of why, and the sort of psychology, because you put yourself under enormous stress is in the wild and especially you who sort of well-trained in it. How do you think sort of the people adapt in those situations? So this is a really fascinating question.

And I spent the past 20 years, like looking after people in some pretty extreme remote wilderness environments. And I think we completely kind of underestimate the benefits and the effects of. Spending time in nature. And I think like the therapeutic benefits of spending time outside are absolutely massive.

And this is just, you know, this isn’t necessarily going and, you know, climbing Everest or, you know, going and surviving in the Amazon rainforest or wherever it is, it’s literally just going out into nature. But I think the extreme end of that is, you know, [00:06:00] is the. The effects that I’ve seen on the people that I’ve guided, because typically attend to be in very remote and what could be considered quite extreme environments.

And they it’s so powerful, like taking people into these environments and seeing it. I see it time and time again, like the hundreds, probably thousands of people that I’ve taken into into these places. And. I’ve literally at times dropped people into these environments and been dropped by myself as well with like, with very, very little with you.

So like a knife and a machete or, you know, medical pack or something just in case the shit hits the fan and things go downhill. And it’s just incredible. To see how people step up in those situations when the consequences are severe. It’s amazing. Like how strong and how resilient we really are.

And I think this is something like resilience has been kind of thrown around at the moment was a word we hear a lot and it kind of, it seems, sounds [00:07:00] like quite a happy place and all of this stuff, but like resilience is doing whatever it takes to survive. And we are all resilient. Like every single one of us, our bodies are fighting for survival all the time.

Every cell in our body is resilient. It wants to survive. We want to survive. And we put ourselves into these situations and it’s like, really at these extremes, it’s where I see people kind of step into their own or fall apart. And that is what I find incredibly fascinating is like, what is the difference between those that don’t just survive, but thrive.

Under pressure and in these environments and those that kind of fall apart and often those that fall apart are those that society wouldn’t expect to. And those that do really well and thrive are the ones that often like for like women and children, for example, that, you know, society’s kind of got used to assuming that are weaker emotionally.

And it’s just incredible seeing people come into their own. And I think that the power of [00:08:00] adventure, the power of actually going and spending time in these. Environments and pushing us. And this is I don’t encourage people just to randomly go off and step out of their comfort zone. You know, the way that I work and, you know, this is the way the power of being on like a guided adventure or having somebody with you.

She knows what they’re doing is that you can step outside of your comfort zone within freeze on my comfort zone. So my comfort zone, because just because I’ve spent so much time in these environments is going to be much bigger than the average person’s comfort zone in that environment. So within my comfort zone, they can step out of this.

And that is incredibly empowering for that person. And it boosts confidence. It brings people together again as well, because I think there’s so many things that we’ve lost in the way that we live today. I’m one of those being connection connection with other people. We live very isolated lives and we’ve definitely seen that throughout the pandemic connection with the [00:09:00] natural world, you know, we’ve become so removed from that and connection with ourselves.

We’ve created all these incredible ways to cope. B, our priorities of survival are basic human needs, like nutrition, water shelter, all of these things. I sleep as well by creating screens, by creating stimulants. All of these things were absolutely amazing. Being able to create these things to kind of beat our basic human needs, but.

By doing that we’ve become quite disconnected. So going back into these places and really kind of stripping away like the modern trappings and going back to the very vulnerable human beings that we are underneath, it all is, is incredibly powerful. Where do you think sort of resilience is taught?

Because I imagine some people. Listening to the podcast might think, oh, you’re just born with it. But I, I sort of feel it’s something that is very much easily sort of channeled over years of putting yourself into these harsh environment. [00:10:00] Yeah. So I think resilience is something that we’re all born with the potential for, for sure.

Resilience tends to come with exposure to challenge and overcoming that challenge. Which I think is why I’m an ambassador for the scout organization. And I think this is where, like, where, what we’ve seen, like with the Scouts coming out the back. Of a lockdown in the pandemic is actually really fascinating because they have a program called skills for life, which is about encouraging young people to have as many different experiences and different challenges as possible in their lives.

You know, from learning skills, with like music, from getting out there in the community and interacting sports, adventure, all of these different ways that we can challenge ourselves when we’re younger. It can also come from challenges such as traumatic experiences as well. But then, you know, in that term, it’s like we kind of have almost have breaking points with those experiences as well.

So when we experienced [00:11:00] traumatic. Trauma. We have to, you know, there can be a breaking point that, which then, you know, sometimes needs external help Dan, to kind of be able to manage that and then be able to use that experience as a growth into kind of stepping back into kind of into resilience. But there are different traits that make it resilience and.

I’ve been doing this sort of topic. I’m really fascinating and doing a lot of research into at the moment. And there’s a lot of there’s various traits that make up resilience and we may be operating with some of those traits being a higher level than others. And I think when they’re all imbalanced, that’s when we kind of find harmony in our lives.

Do you think sort of fare as well has something to do with it in terms of. In terms of resilience of sort of pushing yourself forward. If you don’t have the fear of what’s ahead, you sort of are more managed in these sort of situations. It’s more manageable, sorry. In these situations. Yeah, fear. Fear is a fascinating [00:12:00] topic.

And it’s a question. So a couple of years ago possibly as I suppose, been working on this project, it’s been working with like anti-poaching Rangers on those, like a long-term. So they go and do sort of six months train the trainer. If you like getting these anti-poaching units. Sort of the ranges from these anti-poaching units across Africa and training them up in various skills.

One of those skills that started being promoted a couple of years ago was was resilience training. And I went along with another guy to help out with that. And it was really fascinating taking people who are literally putting their lives on the line often on a weekly basis, they’re involved in firefights and things.

And. Talking to them about fear and what fear is, and then learning to manage it. Because fear is incredible. Like the way that I see it is in our brains have kind of got to creatures that kind of live in there. You’ve got [00:13:00] the human brain, which is logic and reasoning and. You’ve got like the, the animal brain in there as well.

Which is a very primal as the limbic system is very primal. It’s the hypothalamus, the amygdala. And it’s it, but it’s incredibly powerful. It’s like the oldest part of our brain and its primary role is to keep us safe. So it’s continually scanning the environment around us for any threats to us.

And as soon as it spots any threats, however, minor, it will trigger this flooding of chemicals and hormones through our system which readies us for the fight flight freeze response and the stress response that leads on from that. The human brain hovers is much, it’s a much newer. Part of our brain, but it’s much, it’s much, much slower because it’s so powerful.

It takes a huge amount of energy to run it. So it takes quite a long time to kind of get that part of our brain switched on. Whereas like, you know, [00:14:00] the the animal part is the bit that snatches the wine bot Luff out of the air as it’s falling down. Whereas before the human brain has been like, oh my wine and gone for that.

So it’s, it’s much, much slower. Without fear. And without that response triggering, like we wouldn’t survive very long as a species or we wouldn’t vary or as individuals because you wouldn’t understand risk. So stepping out in front of a car, you wouldn’t understand the danger and you’d get squashed.

So we need that fear, but then it’s what we do with it when it’s triggered is what counts. So it’s like, how can you control that? So you’ve got a split second that, to be able to get the human part of your brain, re-engaged. And this is what we were doing with the Rangers is we were using the perception of risk.

So we were using height you know, with rock climbing techniques and then for artists and things to trigger the fear response, and then get them to be able to. See in themselves, how it [00:15:00] worked, how it was triggered and then how to talk themselves back down again. And it’s a really powerful tool for kind of exploring your own resilience and fear and fear as a survival mechanism.

It’s absolutely amazing. But it shouldn’t be controlling. Yeah. I always, I mean, yeah, we sort of touched upon it very briefly earlier before the podcast started, but. I sort of feel like our brains are sort of designed to make us lazy, designed to make us comfortable. And you have to sort of really force yourself out of it because the, you know, about you, but I always consider myself one of the laziest people.

And I thought, I think that’s because comfort is so easy. And so you’re trying to sort of force it. And so you use sunny try and put yourself in difficult situations to sort of grow, to try and challenge us. Yeah, I would say just, just going back to like survive. So it’s not laziness. It’s like survival is all about conservation of energy.

So it’s like [00:16:00] all, all animals. You just don’t matter whether it’s an elephant, a human dog, cat, you know, whatever it is. It’s all of our life is all about like conservation of energy because. When going back to our kind of caveman cave women, ancestors, which is kind of where our evolution sort of kind of slowed down a lot For them, you know, food wasn’t readily available and energy sources weren’t readily available.

So everything we evolved to not expend more energy than we’re getting in. So over the winters, although we don’t hibernate as such, we do have chemical releases and stuff in our. Brains and in our bodies to cut, to slow us down. So that we’re not running around in a time, which for our ancestors would have been very sparse that kind of holds us in place.

So the way I see it is like, it’s not, it’s not laziness. It’s conservation of energy. And I see this, I’ve seen this in myself when I’ve been dropped into [00:17:00] situations where, you know, just a knife or a machete for like weeks on end into jungles and deserts to survive. Everything in you is trying to hold you still to conserve the energy.

This is why like real survival shows a boring, because people just want to sit and do nothing because they’re trying to conserve energy. But this is where that human part of the brain is so powerful because. In our everyday lives, because we’ve got all the resources we need on tap. We can override that with that human part of the brain and be like, yeah.

Okay, well, look, I have eaten. I have got my food here. I do need to go for a run now and actually burn some calories. Yeah, it is. So, so sort of fascinating. And also how years of evolution has sort of pushed us. I, you know, it’s like, why are we going to a restaurant? And we always want to be facing out because that’s a.

Human instinct that we like to sort of view our surroundings because we don’t want to have something jumpers, jump us. Oh, what [00:18:00] jumped from behind us? We always like to be against the wall looking out, whereas as you say, other animals are completely different. And but yeah. Sorry, going back to sort of the was it working in Africa?

Did you have sort of hostile situations when you were training these what do you call that? Not put ranges. So I’m supposed to say poachers, but completely wrong. Wrong. What training these ranges? Not on that one. No, no. So I didn’t have any negative. It was very. Although, I mean, we had the lots of, cause we out in the Bush on foot, so we are meeting elephant and like Buffalo, which kind of nicknamed the black death because they’re, they’re actually one of the most dangerous creatures in the Bush angry creature.

So you kind of having to look out for those all the time. But the very nature of the work that I do Well, since the age of [00:19:00] 17, it’s like I’ve kind of spent, you know, 10, 11 months of each year away in these remote kind of wilderness places. By the very nature of the work they do, they are inherently dangerous.

And I have run into various situations like I’ve been shot at a few times and held hostage and all sorts of exciting, exciting things, obviously. But a huge part of the work they do is to mitigate and to minimize the risk of any of this stuff happening. But you know, when you’re going into kind of politically unstable environments or environment like the environment, like exposure and weather and all of this kind of can play a part in it as well.

So. As much as I kind of try to mitigate, there’s always something that happens. So this is something that I would say to anybody who’s wanting to get into kind of expeditions or, you know, to go off and travel and things a lot. I know that on social media, it looks like you’ve got these you know, you’ve got you’re off on these incredible advances.

And, you know, it’s, [00:20:00] I think social media can be a little bit misleading. And so none of the trips or very, very few of the trips that I do are just disappearing off into the wilderness with no prior preparation, because it’s, for me, all those features, particularly because. Most of the trips and things that I do, I’m actually responsible for the lives of everybody else on that trip.

So it’s really, really important that I build like a safety net beneath the expedition, because just like life, like these expeditions never go fully to plan. And there’s always something that happens that where you need to change plans and having that safety net beneath you of communication with the outside world of.

Having evacuation plans for particularly like for the TV work I do as a lot of like risks. Like the more boring part of my job is to write these very comprehensive risk assessments which nobody ever reads. I have to do that anyway. Yeah, so there’s, there’s a lot [00:21:00] of preparation that goes into all of these sort of remote trips.

And I would advise that to anybody who’s going because, so, you know, if you do, and then. Frustrating event that you have to call out, help that somebody knows where you are and can actually find you. So yeah, anybody going off into these, these places, for sure. Do the preparation and the research beforehand?

Yeah. I think we’ve had a few people on a wave and a Blackwell who got into a bit of difficulty in Sweden and she had one of the sort of Garmin GPS trackers. So she just pulled it and, you know, Couple of hours, people are there, but you know, if she didn’t have that, she was stranded and it’s sort of very important with that too.

Yeah. As you say, be prepared, but also sort of adaptable because I imagine in your line of work, probably there’s a lot of conflict between, as you say, you’re the health and safety inspector on these, on these sort of trips. And [00:22:00] there are people who are wanting to go bigger and Wilder and sort of feel that they can do.

And you have to sort of reign it in. Yeah. It’s definitely this is like, this is a, a big thing that I come into. So on the expedition front then yeah. That if, you know, if I’m leading a trip somewhere and, and sometimes it can be like, Your sixth sense? That’s triggered. That’s like if I’ve got up in the morning and just been like, something feels off, like, I don’t think we should be going for this summit, or I don’t think we should be going further into the jungle, you know, wherever it is, wherever the trip is.

And there’s something inside me. That’s telling me that we shouldn’t carry on, but we need to stop. And I’ve learned to listen to that. And it’s really hard. It’s so, so hard to quantify that to clients, particularly if clients are paid a hell of a lot of money to achieve whatever it is that you’re trying to achieve and you telling them that they can’t go and do something because of a hunch [00:23:00] is can be.

Difficult to manage your, manage their expectations. But I’ve learned over the years, I’ve learned to listen to that. And this kind of, again goes back to that kind of evolution thing of like intuition and the way that I see intuition is that we’ve got this So we’ve got our subconscious and we’ve got a conscious and like 90%, maybe more of cognitive function is happening in our subconscious.

There’s only a tiny, tiny little bit. It’s like an iceberg. There’s only a tiny, tiny, little bit conscious above this huge, vast iceberg. And the subconscious role is to protect the conscious mind from all the different stimulations that are coming in. So whenever I get that sixth sense, I kind of like anxiety.

And like feeling of like shit something’s wrong is I wouldn’t stop and listen in because what I figured is that often that anxiety and that sixth sense feeling. Comes from like an UN [00:24:00] formed image coming through. So my mind, my body, you know, the senses have picked up on something that’s changed within the environment.

And it sent me through like a picture. Yeah. But it, hasn’t got the full picture and hasn’t sent it all through, so I will stop and I’ll listen to that and I’ll really assess. And it’s literally kept me alive and kept teams alive on quite a few occasions. So that’s like the execution side of things in the filming side because I work online.

Literally, they are like the biggest adventure shows on TV with huge budgets with mega mega stars involved in them as well. And there’s always the pressure to to go bigger, to do bigger stunts, to do bigger challenges, to go further a field. And this is, this is where my role is, can be quite difficult because I’m involved in the creative side.

Involved in like the story producing. So coming up with the journey. So I’ll be the first person out on the ground [00:25:00] scouting for locations or putting together the journeys. But I’m also in charge of the safety on these shoots as well. And that’s my number one priority and it’s whenever. You know, huge networks, huge presenters, huge stars who want to go bigger, bigger, bigger, but it becomes dangerous.

And we can’t manage it with the time constraints and the budget constraints. Yeah, you have to get very good at like you have to grow quite a thick skin because when you put in your foot down and saying, no it can be quite, yeah, you can get a lot of like shit thrown at you. And a lot of people hate to use, but like the way that over the years.

You know, like I’ve come to trust myself and my judgment with these things and it comes from experience. And in those situations I will, if I have to say no on a film job, I’ll always have a backup plan. It’d be like, no, we can’t go [00:26:00] and do whatever ridiculous thing that you want to do because often these things have been kind of dreamed up in some office in LA where the people there have never actually been into these environments.

So it’s like, well, no, we can’t actually do that, but we can do this instead. And it will look epic. So that, that Sonny takes the books and makes them happy. Yeah, well, yeah, to some extent it’s yeah, you have to get like a lot of the producers, particularly from Nike sort of America and things that it can be quite, quite volatile, like creative, creative, very creative people who can be.

All the talent and things. So yeah, I’ve kind of got quite good at having a, having a thick skin, not take it personally. And you know, like, you know, once we start filming and they actually see it, that, you know, you’ll be being their best mates. So they love it. I mean, you, you did sort of touch upon it earlier, but you sort of said you’ve been shot at, you’ve been held hostage.

I mean, on these trips, have there been moments of [00:27:00] trouble? Yeah, so yeah, I mean it does, it happens, happens from time to time. Yeah, I mean, some of it, we keep relatively quiet because of like the NDAs, because people are involved in all of this sort of stuff. But then there have been times so.

We did a job in Mexico. Like God probably be about 10 years ago now. And we had, we had several run-ins with like, with drug cartels and things like hunting us. Cause we were, we were filming like four by four show, like four by four survival shows. It was really cool to say three months in Mexico, just doing some really cool stuff with these with these four by fours.

And yeah, we, we were basically using some of the four by four routes that we were using were drug running routes. And. Oh, we had like a local fixer. So whenever [00:28:00] we do these film jobs, we have a local fixes and affects his job at waste effect stuff to make stuff happen for us to get permits.

They know the right people to talk to the right people who need to be kind of paid off and all of this sort of stuff. And. Help us and help keep us safe from those perspectives. But sometimes the message doesn’t always filter through. So yes, we ended up being kind of hunted by drug cartels. They were nights and nights.

I remember just hiding out in the bushes with these little, these guys with these semi automatic kind of getting out and looking for us in the bushes and stuff. It was quite quite exciting. And then, yeah. About three years ago it was around the time when the big drought was happening. And we were out there filming something.

Some big show and I’ve been rigging. So we’d been building this kind of big rope bridge thing across across a canyon which had like crocodiles and [00:29:00] stuff in the bottom of, and I was just finishing off one site and because we move so fast, when we fill my website, take a little videos or take pictures and I just finished rigging and I was just taking pictures of where all the rigging points were.

So when we ran through the following day, it would be like easily clipped stuff in and things. And like, I was just, just taking a picture and suddenly this like bullet hit the sand right next to me and kind of exploded. Obviously not the first thing that goes through your head is like, shit I’m being shot here.

So it’s a kind of dived into this little cave. And it was cool. Bullets going off all over the cliff around me. And yeah, it was pretty, pretty terrifying in the moment. But it’s amazing, like in those situations that kind of go into a kind of a moment, a place of calm. So it was just them waiting and it kind of, the firefight kind of swung around.

I’m actually get off slide down into this river, like sort of chesty with these crocodiles. We’ve been watching, popping up and down kind of swim run through this river and up the other side to kind of this [00:30:00] steep rock, I’m pretty sure rock face to get into like a bigger cave. The other side where the two guys that I’ve been working with were and we spent about 20 minutes in this cave with like, Bouncing off the roof of the cave above us before we were able to put, kind of died down a bit and we were able to get off down river and back to the land cruise that we’d got parked off in the bushes.

And it was just like moments like that. Cause we afterwards, you know, We’re kind of investigating what happens. It had got nothing to do with us. It was just one tribe had stolen a load of goats from another tribe and tracked the Trebek track. They said that one of the guys down there been following them and they’d sort of firefighting broken out between them.

And meanwhile, like a local ranger unit set up an ambush. So there’s like three parties, like all above where we were rigging shooting at each other was sort of up in the lucky Pierre. This [00:31:00] was what it was. I can’t remember the name of his newer big big lodge. It was quite remote. I’m sorry.

All right. I, yeah, cause I must be in sort of what, January, February, 2017 times. Yeah, it would have been, it was few years ago now. Yeah. I can’t remember. It’s like, this is the thing about like being wild time or kind of runs into one. Yeah, yeah. Yeah. I, I, I sort of knew Kenya quite well. So I do remember that.

Yeah, it was definitely like the whole area was like really unstable. And we had like a major star coming in the next day. And this is where I actually liked the way that it was handled by the production company that I was working for at the time was really terrible, really, because it was like, let’s keep it up.

Under under wraps. Otherwise, you know, this person isn’t gonna, isn’t going to turn up. And that was really [00:32:00] hard, you know, when, when my role is like the safety of people and yeah, it was definitely, it brought up a lot of questions in my, in my head over, you know, like the, the value of human life and things, because, you know, there’s obviously people have lost their lives in this area.

You know, the day before we’re supposed to be filming there and yeah. Morally how right is it that we’re kind of carrying on with, with what we’re doing and all of this sort of stuff? So yeah, that, that’s the darker side. I think of like if the film industry, yeah. I suppose as you say someone in a studio in the city, doesn’t quite.

This sort of, you know, the jungle or the desert or the planes or something say, yeah, no. Yeah. And there’s also there’s so there’s so much money tied up in all of these things and it’s so competitive now. I mean, it’s quite an exciting time with like, With filmmaking in that there’s in terms of like the, sort of [00:33:00] the normal, like sort of standard channels and stuff are slowly kind of disappearing as we go more into kind of streaming platforms and things.

So it’s quite an exciting time in like the evolution of TV and how we watch it and what’s going to be happening. But. This is so competitive because all these different networks will competing for for content, for stars, for budgets all of, all of their sort of status for night viewers and things, obviously.

So yeah, it can be an incredibly ruthless industry to be a part of. Yeah, it was quite interesting because as you say, the sort of. As you say, the sort of media on the media angle, it is changing. And now, you know, everyone has a camera that can record for 20 minutes or so they can make their own, they can upload it and then they can be the star of their own TV program.

And I think we have Benedict to Alanon quite a few episodes back and, you know, he was. You know, he used to go [00:34:00] with his camera record, which, you know, now everyone just associates with logging, but he was doing that way before way before anyone was sort of doing it on the sort of travel YouTube per se, CNA, as you say, is a really sort of interesting time probably to be in media as you.

Yeah, I think, I think give it a few more, a few years, because I think what we’ll probably see now is in terms of like the streaming platforms, things, as they try to set themselves up and establish themselves with them, we’re going to be making like a lot of Shopwindow content, like. Big names already recognize names to draw viewers in.

And then I think once they become established, hopefully there’ll be more budget than in like two or three years time to then start bringing on new talent start creating new content and new formats and things. [00:35:00] So I think it’s, yeah, we’ve got a bit of an evolution going on now, but it’s like you said, it’s like, this is, what’s so exciting about like social media and like the way the access that we’ve got to people doing really cool stuff, because you can kind of tune in to whatever really, and whatever your interests.

So yeah, like there’s some amazing people making great adventure content and, and streaming it themselves on YouTube and other platforms and things, which is, which is great. Yeah. No, I, I, and I suppose your plan now is to carry on, I mean, the world’s now opening up, so you’ve got sort of more, more media stuff coming in the coming years coming.

So. Yeah, so there’s, yeah, there’s been a lot of like shows that have been on on Holt through this, through this period. So yeah, it’s been great for being able to do like been doing remote consultancy. I’ve also sold a couple of my own show ideas. So actually seeing those [00:36:00] go into developments and hopefully be made is, is really, it’s very, very exciting.

Yeah. So hopefully in the next few months that those will actually get out on the ground. And I can oversee those projects being made, which would be super, are they local or around the world? Oh, they international. So one is gone to a U S network and the other one has gone to a Korean network.

Oh, amazing. Good. So you’ll be spending a bit of time out in Korea. You hope? I hope so. Yeah. Yeah. That w that, that one I’ll actually probably be filmed. That’ll be filmed around Asia. So that’s not just not just career. So that’ll be yeah. Filmed all over. But I like this, the whole kind of pandemic, the whole lockdown.

Period kind of made me realize, you know, like I’ve spent so much of my life on the road and I’ve spent apps that it makes [00:37:00] me but then that makes me realize that there are there’s this time actually kind of being in one place and actually. I suppose that getting out and back doing stuff for myself which is where, you know, my love for the outdoors and my passion for what I do CA originally came from and kind of going back into that, like having this time is actually kind of real life made me realize that, you know, that there, you also need time for yourself and time chasing your own passions as well.

So that’s, yeah, it’s kind of the next chapter kind of involves more of my own. Adventures I’m picking and choosing more cleverly, like the projects that I’m involved with. Do you do, do you do quite a lot of your own sort of X expeditions, like for your own personal growth and development? I used to, so that’s, that’s how I first got into the, into the outdoor industry.

Originally was because I wanted to spend more time climbing and being outside for myself. [00:38:00] And then, yeah, when I first started Guiding, like I was like 17, 18 at the time. And I, I really did enjoy it. I was like, I had to go really slowly and I had to look after these people who would just complain things.

And I really, I really didn’t enjoy it. I was like, what am I doing? Like and then I, then I realized, and I, it was like on an expedition, I was leading an expedition out to the pool and I just realized that. I had to change my mindset on this and it wasn’t about me. Like when I’m guiding, when I’m leading, it’s not about me.

It’s about the people that are in my care. And so I kind of, I have two personas. I’ve got my own self that when I’m in the mountains or when I’m, when I’m out, it’s like for me, it’s about pushing my own personal limits and seeing what I’m capable of. And then I’ve got my guiding persona, which is.

Pushing other people and going on a journey with [00:39:00] other people. And it’s the most incredible thing, helping somebody achieve something that they didn’t think that they were capable of and accompanying them on this kind of roller coaster of emotions to get them to that late literal and figurative. So it of the of them, their mountain or, you know, survival or whatever it might be.

And that’s just, it’s the most incredible thing being part of, part of that journey. So, yeah. Two ways of interacting with the, with the outdoors. Yeah, I suppose. What was your sort of first big adventure when you started? I think was, I was just, I was very, very fortunate that I ended up working for companies that that were, I suppose were kind of cutting edge at the time of light.

Taking people on these exhibitions. So my very first expedition that I co-lead with my boss at the time was to [00:40:00] Namibia. We went out on, we though it was a two week long exhibition with clients, but we had like three weeks, I think it was before the clients arrived and we went out and we spent two weeks with the sound Bushman.

And. We were working with them, kind of learning loads of notes from them. And then we went off for a week. Put their skills into practice in the, in the Bush and then move in Bush there. And then when we had clients come out, we then went with several Bushman families out into pretty remote and just had like two weeks totally off grid.

Just living off the land with these, with these Bushman families. So yeah, so that was like my first, I was the first expedition. I did. And then I did it. I did a lot of work for well challenge for adventure works, which used to be like Jackie Globes, like youth expeditions and stuff. Yeah.

And kind of, I suppose, just built it, [00:41:00] built it out from there until I kind of got more involved with the, with the TV side of things. Cause I think on, you know, on this podcast, One of my big aims is always to try and encourage people to sort of get out and explore their limits. And by having someone like you on, you know, who’s done such incredible stuff over the years.

Hopefully it, it sort of encourages them to be like, oh, I, I can at least try and do. Tiny thing that compared to what you’re doing, and that’s sort of one of the big aims of it. And then, you know, on so far, you know, we’ve covered fear and the why. Okay. Just getting out and why, how your brain just tells you.

Right. Don’t do that. Don’t do that.

I think in terms of like, you know, for people wanting to get out, because what has been drawn to my attention recently, and this is like the guide and like the safety management side of me talking and thinking about it is [00:42:00] that What I see on social media and stuff is there’s a lot of people going off on these adventures and on these challenges and things with very, very little prior training beforehand or not fully showing the fact that they’re actually being guided, that they’ve actually got a guide with them or that they’ve done all these training courses and stuff beforehand.

So. Yeah. So for anybody who’s wanting to, to kind of get into adventure and go off into these remote amazing places which I totally recommend is to go and do training courses. There’s like a whole industry of guides and leaders like myself who can take you and teach you the skills. You need for that exhibition, whether it’s a whitewater kayaking trip, or if it’s a survival trip or mountaineering trip, you know, there’s outdoor professionals in all fields, in all walks of adventure.

And you know, it won’t break the bank to go book yourself onto a course for a [00:43:00] weekend, for a week. Learn the basic skills of like navigation of. Wild camping of like how to dress yourself in these environments. These are like the foundation or fundamental skills that so many people don’t pick up and don’t realize that they don’t know until it’s too late.

So yeah, just go and get the training because it’s like, Behind every single focus on social media, there’s a whole backstory that you never see. So these pictures that people take in these beautiful remote environments, there’s been like a whole series of events and training and things that have got somebody to that point where they can go and take that photo.

So please do go and get training. Cause you know, I’m based here in Snowdonia and it’s like, you know, change the mountain rescue and it’s like, they’re out quite a lot at the moment just because people aren’t. Equipped with the very basic knowledge of, of how to dress appropriately or how to navigate or just how to look after themselves in that environment.

And it would just set you up for [00:44:00] your, a comfortable career and adventure. I think there was a thing the other day in the news about someone who got stuck up, either Ben Nevis or up in the Snowdonia wearing, you know, sort of shorts. Flip flops or something, you know, got caught short and the snow came in and they sort of rescued them with just like absolutely nothing on and could not understand, say, you know, I laugh and I still love now.

And I feel like last thing things it’s like, you don’t know what you don’t know until you’re in that situation. But this is where like going and doing the training beforehand kind of gives you some skills, but it’s also like, I do think as well, we’ve got a lot of transferable skills as well from, from all walks of life.

So it’s like actually kind of really thinking through like what your actions are, what, what you’re actually doing. It may be easier said than done. Yeah. [00:45:00] As you say it, you know, it’s something probably. You know myself and you just take for granted, you know, growing up and knowing this stuff or learning it from a young age, it’s just almost second nature.

But yeah. So on social media, which is, as you say puts always, you always show the very sort of glamorous or very beautiful side to every feta and don’t show you the sort of background and the story behind the face. Say. Yeah. Well, Megan, there’s a part of the show where we ask the same five questions to each guest each week with the first beam.

What gadget do you always take with you? On your trips. So I always take a satellite phone with me or some means of communicating. I usually have a satellite phone and like an inReach or something with me as well. So I usually try to have like two methods of communicating with the outside world. Yeah, just [00:46:00] because.

To look after myself, but also because, you know, I’m, I’m actually looking after the people in these environments and it’d be irresponsible of me when that technology exists. Not to take it with me. Yeah. What about your favorite adventure or travel? Does like the, does the Lord of the rings couch if we’ve had it a few times?

Yeah. Where’s the, so I think because I work in adventure and because it’s like reading, I’m like, there’s some people doing amazing things, writing some amazing books, but I actually really struggled to read. Adventure books just because it’s like being at work and it’s like, I need the escape. Certainly like if they’re hope it’s it’s a little bit, there’ll be different.

I mean, I think as we’ve always said, that was quite the adventure. It was, but I think it’s like, it also, like, it makes you realize like what I always thought, because when I was a kid, when I first read it, I was just like, oh, I really want to be like one of these little hobbits off on [00:47:00] an adventure. And then I was thinking about it, like as an adult and thank you about it.

It’d be like, God, it’d be super shit. It’d be like a Hobbit because it’s like, you you’ve got, everything is trying to kill you. And it’s like, you’ve got no the fear like that. They must be experiencing like the intolerant tire. Why way round. I mean, I’m sure once they dropped it ring up. Okay know that they probably needed treatment for like PTSD or something.

It must’ve been really traumatized. Why are adventures important to you? I guess it’s more the question of why the, why they wouldn’t be. I think it’s something that’s, it’s, it’s always been a huge, huge part of my life from a very young age. Like it was a huge part of my childhood. Through to now, I guess it’s just, it’s, it’s who I am.

And without it, without being able to step out of my comfort zone to be able to push myself, it’s like, I get a real like anxiety. I also have [00:48:00] add which is something that I’ve suspected for a long time, but sort of been diagnosed more recently. And it’s like the inability to kind of sit still.

So I think that the work that I do is fantastic for me because my brain. Works a million miles an hour. And with the work I do, it’s like I’m over so many different things. It’s like my brain can focus. Whereas outside of adventure, it’s like, I couldn’t, yeah, I couldn’t just sit here in front of my computer, like all day.

So it’s, it’s really important for my mental health as well as my physical health. Amazing. FA what is your favorite color? Well motivational quotes. Yeah. So this, this is from sucker punch, the film, which I think is a really weird film and I didn’t really get it, but it’s the quote is you have all the weapons you need now.

Fight. And it’s like, for me, that’s what I remember. Like when the shit hits the fan on a trip, it’s like, I’ve got all the skills I need to deal with [00:49:00] this. I may not have been in this exact situation before, but I’ve been in similar situations or I can draw on experience from elsewhere and you know, I’m not going to fight.

I’m going to make this happen.

There’s a whole like poem thing. I’ve actually got stuck on the wall here. Like that kind of goes with it. It’s it’s amazing. Amazing. And people listening are always keen to travel and go on these sort of grand adventures. What’s the one thing you would recommend for people wanting to get stuck? I think, like I said in earlier in an interview is like, is to go and get some training in what you want to do.

Like I said, there’s like a whole industry of guides, instructors, leaders in whatever discipline that you’re wanting to travel to do. And I cannot recommend it enough going and booking yourself on with somebody who can help you push your limits and teach you a lot. Is it, [00:50:00] it don’t, it won’t doesn’t if you’ve got a group of you as well, it really doesn’t cost very much to do that and it’ll just set you up and it means that the next adventure that you go on.

Yeah. You’ll be able to do it with a lot more confidence and it’ll be a much more comfortable experience as well. Well, yeah, I, as I was reading that one, I was like, yeah, yeah, we have Jessica literally just before the five questions. Finally, what are you doing now? And how can people follow you in the future?

So the moments are because we had just kind of coming out at the end of the pandemic. I ha just I’ve been using this time. I’m actually kind of using the time at moments. I’m away in September on another film job. And to that point up until then, it’s like I’m working on remotely consulting for physicians.

There’s some pretty exciting new shows being made. So I’m remote doing remote consultancy for them and I’m [00:51:00] rebalancing body, your mind, and actually. Yeah, old injuries that kind of started niggling. I’ve actually had time now to kind of really kind of focus on like rebalancing and getting my energy level as well, because you know, when, when you’re away so much for so much of the year and responsible for.

Well for multimillion dollar shoots and people it’s yeah, I totally underestimated like the, the draining effect that that has. So it’s actually, it’s been really, really good and I hugely appreciated this time, actually just being in one place, getting into a bit of routine. To kind of re rebalance their body.

That is a rebalance, like body, body, mind, and actually kind of, you know, kind of ready for the, for the next chapter. And it’s yeah. Super exciting. One thing we haven’t touched on is that you actually have a, an amazing book. I, if you’ve probably best, you sort of tell the people, [00:52:00] because I sort of, we haven’t actually, you sort of touched upon it, but it was sort of talking about your life and this sort of skills that you’ve sort of acquired.

Yeah. So a minder for survivor was Booker room a few years ago now. And basically came from the question of like like w why are some people able to walk out of survival situations and others aren’t and like, what are the traits that make up resilience and make that possible for somebody mixed in with, with some of my own kind of stories from that time?

Yeah. So it’s on Amazon. Well, we’ll leave a link in the description. No worries. Well Megan, it’s been an absolute pleasure listening to your stories and I cannot thank you enough for coming on today. No worries. Thanks for having me for today. Thank you so much for listening and I hope you got something out of it.

If you did hit that like [00:53:00] button and subscribe, if you haven’t already, and I will see you in the next video.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Consent to display content from Youtube
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google