Megan Hine, adventurer

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I spoke to the brilliant survival expert and adventurer Megan Hine, who works as a consultant on Bear Grylls’ shows, as well as leading her own expeditions. You can read it at the Guardian, but there were a few bits there wasn’t room for so I’m posting them here:

On keeping mentally alert: “In survival we talk about the rule of threes – you can go for three minutes without air, three days without water and three weeks without food. One I like to add in is three seconds without thinking can get you killed. I’m at fault at that at times as well, when you’re really tired and all you want to do is sit down and go to sleep it’s so easy to switch off, and that’s when accidents happen.”

On fear: “If I’m working with a team and something is happening to the team or is about to happen to the team then I instantly go into that guiding mode. When I’m on my own and pushing my own limits, sometimes I do feel fear. Even when I abseil, no matter how many thousands of times I do it, I still have that initial feeling, when I lean back, of wondering if it will hold. Fear is part of your survival instinct. Without it, we’d die.”

On the importance of reconnecting with nature: “We’ve taken ourselves away from nature. I think this adventure scene that’s taking off, I think this is where that comes from – that need to reconnect with nature and rediscover ourselves. In the outdoors, you do and you have to because you have to rely on yourself. We used to live in tribal systems, and I think we’ve lost communities. We’re very segregated now and in constant competition with other people, even when you’re working as part of a team. It’s very hard to feel supported. There is so much pressure put on kids in school, there is lack of creativity and initiative. I’ve seen this on youth expeditions that I’ve worked on. You give them the responsibility of the budget of sorting out food or accommodation and it’s the first time they’ve ever been given any responsibility. Another problem is risk management. We take away things like playing conkers, running around, and how are children going to understand risk if we don’t let them experiment?”


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