Adventure & Exploration

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Human culture has always reflected a strong observation of ritual, today the definition has broadened from spiritual and community expressions to encompass practices of success and performance. In this behind the scenes series ‘RITUALS” by HANAH, a lifestyle supplement brand, we shadow world-renowned climber, mountaineer, skier, filmmaker and photographer, Jimmy Chin as he goes about his morning ‘ritual’.

HANAH maintains ancient medical traditions and adapts them into products for modern living. The company is committed to locating and harvesting the highest quality natural ingredients and manufacturing them in a way that preserves their maximum health benefits to deliver noticeable results.

Its first product, HANAH ONE, is an Ayurvedic superfood taken daily to help strengthen the immune system as well as improves focus and mental clarity. Based on 5,000 years of Ayurvedic tradition, ONE contains 30 wild-harvested herbs and botanicals in a base of honey, ghee, and sesame oil. HANAH ONE is an artisanal product that is free of gluten, caffeine, lactose, and GMOs, and is handcrafted in India to create and preserve local traditions, jobs, and the community.

Jimmy Chin leads breakthrough explorations around the globe, working with the best adventurers, climbers, snowboarders and skiers on their most challenging expeditions. As a filmmaker, his documentary “Meru” chronicled the first ascent of Shark’s Fin in the Garwhal Himalayas—winning the prestigious Audience Award at Sundance. He has climbed Everest twice and was one of the first Americans, alongside Kit and Rob Deslauriers, to ski from its summit. Whether on the road or at home, Jimmy incorporates HANAH into his daily routine.

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The wild is a bridge to many disciplines, its untamed and unpredictable nature requires an adaptive mind and skill set to survive. Bestselling author and former SAS agent, Chris Ryan, explores the adaption of SAS Jungle Techniques to an Urban Environment in his new book SAFE (Cornett, 2017). Bear Grylls keenly displays how wilderness survival is a versatile asset with his books and popular Tv series. Obstacle races and other extreme sports also echo this equation, as we come to realise the virtues of survival make us fitter, stronger, and more resourceful in other fields.

Award-winning international stunt performer Ky Furneaux has appeared in over 50 films and TV productions. She is also an experienced outdoor guide, specialising in extreme survival and outdoor activities such as rock climbing, kayaking, sailing and mountaineering. In this guest piece, Ky reveals how nature-based skills give her the edge on set.

When I decided that I wanted a change of career at 26 years old I thought I had a ton of transferrable skills to take with me into my new career of choice. Having been an outdoor guide for six years I was a rock climbing and abseiling instructor, a kayaking and sailing instructor and had some mountaineering and snow experience. Surely those things were needed all the time in the stunt industry? They were active pursuits and the stunt industry was full of action. Little did I know at the time that it was the mental aspects of all the outdoor and survival activities I did that would stand me in the best stead for this new career choice.

In order to work in the stunt industry, I quickly realized I needed to retrain in order to be the most employable person I could be. Much like the outdoors, the more skills I had in my “bag of tricks” the more employable I would be. I was trying to crack the industry in Vancouver, Canada, and I did some research and saw that all the women my height there were gymnasts and you don’t get anywhere trying to be the same as your competition so I trained hard every day to become a fighter. I learnt kickboxing, tae kwon do and weapons ranging from swords to sticks and long staffs and eventually began to work as a stunt performer.

The biggest shock for me as I trained was the realization that stunts actually can hurt. I think I was under the whole misconception that most people have that there is some little magic trick stunt performers use so that hitting concrete from 15 feet up doesn’t hurt but let me tell you, hitting concrete is still hitting concrete. It bruises and breaks just like in “real life”. Yes there are techniques that we use to “break” our fall so that the impact doesn’t break us every time and there are pads that sometimes we can put on if our wardrobe allows but most days I would walk away with a minimum of bruises and rarely, but sometimes, breaks. This is where being an outdoor guide kicked in for me.

While guiding a group of people, they were my priority. This may be the only time that some of these people stepped out of the city and I was responsible for making it something they would remember for all the right reasons. This meant that no matter what was going on for me, I had to ignore it and make sure my job was done well. If I was cold or blistered or hurt, these things were not a priority while I was doing my job, I could deal with it later. And so I learnt that, as humans, we have a remarkable ability to compartmentalize our pain and discomfort and just deal with what is important. It’s a survival technique back from the cavemen times when people were fighting wild animals and may have to run for miles with a broken leg to get away from a sabre toothed tiger. The fight or flight adrenalin kicks in and floods our body with natural endorphins to get through the emergency. Many times with stunt days I wouldn’t even realize I was hurt until I was in the bath that night checking out the cuts and bruises from the day. My pain wasn’t important. What was important was that I had been employed for a job and I would finish that job professionally and deal with my own worries later.

In the outdoors discomfort also has to be ignored to get where you are going. So being outside in the rain, covered in mud, being thrown into freezing water for countless takes, wearing uncomfortable costumes and prosthetics, all these things were as easily ignored as pack blisters and leeches underneath my gators when I had to get to a designated trail hut for the night.

I also knew from years of horse riding that if you get bucked off your horse, you had to get back on and finish the ride or else the horse would realize that all it had to do to go home was to buck off the rider. It was this stubborn mentality that helped me get back up again and repeat a stunt as many times as necessary until the director was happy that they had the shot they required.

Both the outdoors and the stunt industry have been great to show me that the human body has such great potential that goes un-realized. I have rarely found a moment where I have reached my limits and can’t go any further. My mind has placed limitations on me that are way below what my body can actually achieve. We have such huge physical potential that is unexplored and I believe that everyone underestimates themselves and what they can achieve. Stunt work has proven to me time and time again I can do more than I believe and that my mind usually throws in the towel before my body does. The outdoors offers amazing opportunities to challenge yourself and prove to yourself that you are far more capable than you truly imagine. Try walking that extra kilometer or two and see how much you truly can do. I bet that it’s way more than you think.

Due to the physicality of both career choices, most of the lessons I have learnt along the way definitely relate to the mind/body connection but these can translate into every aspect of my life. Quite often the limits imposed on me are of my own creating. No one knows the full potential of what I can do except for me so don’t let other people put their limitations on you. I need to focus on the things that are important and don’t let the other niggling things distract me from where I want to go. But most importantly, I can do way more than I believe. And I have.

Ky runs team building events and leadership programs aimed at goal setting and triumphing over adversity. Connect with her via: or @kyfurneaux

Have you ever seen a heart beating on a glacier, in pitch-black arctic darkness?

This is exactly what commercial photographer Vaughan Brookfield brought to life, in the latest installment of his series titled The Nameless Project. Canon Australia is excited to launch Vaughan’s stunning series through its ‘Show Us What’s Possible’ platform that supports professional photographers in turning their ideas into reality.

Vaughan takes us on a journey through Tasman Glacier on New Zealand’s South Island where he seeks to raise awareness of man’s impact on the planet, evidenced by the drastically vanishing ice sheet.

The project consisted of a four-day expedition, where Brookfield and light projectionist Tom Lynch projected stunning visuals onto the glacier. The imagery was shot using the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II DSLR camera and EF 24-70mm f/2.8L II USM and EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM lenses, and was carefully chosen to highlight the dramatic reduction of Tasman Glacier over the past ten years.

To reinforce their message of environmental threat, the duo projected imagery, using the Canon XEED WUX6010 projector, of a heart beating onto the glacier, bringing it to life. The still projections were then captured by Brookfield and documented by filmmaker Heath Patterson using Canon’s EOS C300 Mark II cinema camera.

Vaughan’s images reflect a new creative frontier—integrative art installations which employ conceptual imagery as a tool for conservation. Projecting photos of nature in our cities is a popular form of urban art, but Vaughn’s concept reverses this on a much grander scale—casting a vision of human impact onto a melting glacier to capture a photograph which strongly evokes a connection and responsibility to nature.

The artists vision in his own words…

Why did you call this photographic series ‘The Nameless Project’, especially given the concepts strong environmental message?

We started projecting imagery a few years ago now, and at first we were just doing it to see what we could create with the projectors. People started to love our work and asked us what it was called. We didn’t have a name so we just called our work ‘The Nameless’ and it stuck.

What inspired the concept of integrating projected imagery onto a glacier?

We had been projecting on to natural landscapes for some time and a glacier had been in the back on my mind for a while. For projecting in the natural environment we need a flat vertical surface that’s dramatic to make it all work. I had done location work on the glaciers before and knew it was a perfect place to bring this project to life and send the right message.

What made the Tasman Glacier in New Zealand the perfect location to highlight our human footprint?

I visited the Tasman Glacier in New Zealand when I was a kid and I was astounded at how far back the glacier had receded. I hope in choosing the Tasman Glacier as the location for our adventure we can remind people of the effects humans are having on the environment.

What were the practicalities of bringing your concept to life?

I captured these images by projecting still images and moving animations onto the landscape, then once the light was perfect, I shot using a Canon 1DX Mark II and Canon 24-70 2.8mm and Canon 70-200 2.8mm. At an altitude of 2,200 metres, our campsite was ferociously cold. We were lucky to get a solid good weather window for 24 hours as it was constantly changing. Night time temperatures drop to below -13C, making it difficult to keep the water in our drink bottles from freezing, let alone trying to run projectors that were made to be used indoors. So many things could have gone wrong but we got extremely lucky. I’m pretty sure it’s the first time one of these large projectors would have been taken out onto a glacier at 2,200 meters altitude in -13 degrees C.

Have you pioneered an original form of photography with this method?

No, I don’t think so. People have been using projectors in photography for a while now. A big part of creating photographs is light, so a light projector is a great tool to have. I haven’t seen anyone use them the way we have and we are trying to be original with our work.

Which photo best reflects your vision, and embodies the story you hope to tell?

The best photo from this incredible adventure was capturing the projection of a beating heart. It conveys a strong direct message that the glacier is alive which ties back to exactly what we want to depict.

How do you foresee conceptual photography evolving?

I think in general there are more and more creatives out there doing amazing work. Who knows how conceptual photography will evolve, but I’m sure people will keep pushing the limits and creating more interesting and intriguing work.

The project is part of Canon’s ‘Show Us What’s Possible’, what possibilities does your project reveal?

This was quite a challenging project technically. We need really powerful projectors that are only just becoming available on the market, and cameras capable of operating in low light, to make this work. We have to push all the equipment to its limits in this environment. We are trying to extend the boundaries and create interesting works that are original.

What equipment and techniques did you use to produce the series?

I shot using a Canon 1DX Mark II and Canon 24-70 2.8mm and Canon 70-200 2.8mm. My friend and projectionist Tom used the Canon XEED WUX6010 projector. While we were shooting it took a lot of work to look after our gear; cameras were pushing really high ISO, meaning they were extremely sensitive to the light and projectors were running at ridiculously low temps.

How is Canon and this platform helping innovate conservation and visual-storytelling?

It is great having Canon back us on this project. They gave me complete creative freedom, they are not just in it to promote their brand. Chris and the team there have been very supportive and helpful. They let me tell my story in the way I wanted, and I feel that comes through in the short film we created.

What do you love about Canon (equipment, support, innovation)?

I have been using Canon equipment for a long time now. Their cameras are perfect for a lot of my work. The 1DX is amazing in low light and can handle the harsh conditions I shoot in. It’s a workhorse and performs so well, and you can capture those magic moments in low light without having to worry about quality loss.

Brookfield’s short documentary film on creating his installation can be viewed online on the Canon Stories website, along with a gallery of these breathtaking images.

Australia and New Zealand based professional image makers are urged to be part of ‘Show Us What’s Possible’ by submitting an idea to Chris Macleod, Pro Marketing Manager via For details, please visit:

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Courage lies outside our comfort zone.

Age is not a factor of Adventure, Fear is—but not a limiting one!

The human need to explore runs deep, it rises from a driving instinct to know what is possible, what we are made of, what undiscovered potential lies beyond our fears.

Exploration not only expands our understanding of the world but of ourselves.

Since 1905 The Explorers Club has served as a meeting point for adventurous spirits—from it’s origins in New York city the multidisciplinary society now includes international chapters, most recently hosting an event in Melbourne.

‘An Evening of Adventure’ representing the first of an ongoing series of Australia & New Zealand Chapter of the Explorers Club (ANZEC) meetings, especially for Victorian Members. The guest speakers included two pioneering circumnavigators, Jessica Watson and Michael Smith.

BE Journal caught-up with Jessica and asked her about how adventure and exploration helped her circumnavigate fear and achieve bold new heights.

What excites you most about the topics and initiatives the Explorers Club support?

There’s something special and a little tricky to explain about bringing together a group of like-minded explorers. Of course, all the explorers club members are really interesting people, so the club is a sort of treasure trove of great stories and fascinating people. It’s the supportive and inspiring environment that I love most.

How has exploration influenced your awareness for nature?

I don’t think I’ve ever met an explorer that doesn’t have a great appreciation for nature and conservation. It’s impossible not to appreciate and want to protect our environment. It probably comes as no surprise that the ocean will always have a special meaning for me. I spent some time last year travelling with a group of young ocean conservationists from around the world, and while the challenges are huge, it is heartening to see that is at least a growing focus on our oceans and an appreciation of their importance.

With hindsight what one thing would you take on your next adventure?

I was really happy with just about all of the technical equipment onboard my boat and my supplies of important things like chocolate lasted well! Looking back, I suppose I would have taken more camera equipment, while I thought I had plenty I learnt that on a voyage like that you can never have enough. I wish I’d captured more of the day to day life of the voyage.

Top characteristics of a great explorer?

Over the years, I’ve constantly been surprised to realize that explorers are not the adrenalin junky risk takers that many people think they are. So many of the explorers I know are carefully considered, planning obsessed types. One of my mentor’s Don McIntyre introduced me to the term ‘responsible risk taking’, and I think it’s an idea that does a great job of explaining the approach that most explorers take.

What’s your next great adventure?

These day’s I’ve taken on a few challenges that see me spending a lot of time behind my desk. I’m finishing an MBA this year and working on a book for young adults that will be published early next year. Other challenges like my role as a youth representative for the UN’s World Food Programme and as a partner in marine review website have also been keeping me busy. It’s been important for me to put myself out of my comfort zone and challenge myself in new ways.

I still love sailing as much as ever and enjoy sharing it with friends. Plan’s for my next voyage around the world, stopping at all the amazing places along the way this time, are also becoming clearer.

After 210 days at sea navigating some of the world’s most challenging oceans and surviving seven knockdowns, Jessica Watson sailed back into Sydney Harbour in May 2010. Age 16, she became the youngest person to sail solo non-stop and unassisted around the world. Watson sailed her vessel, Ella’s Pink Lady, across more than 20,000 nautical miles of ocean, including around Cape Horn and the Cape of Good Hope, surviving knockdowns, 10m high waves and winds of up to 70 knots.

She went from one adventure to the next, skippering the youngest crew ever to compete in the Sydney to Hobart yacht race in December 2011. They finished second in their category.

Watson was named the Australian Geographic Young Adventurer of the Year 2010, Young Australian of the Year 2011, and in 2012, she received an OAM (Order of Australia Medal).

Follow Jessica’s Adventures @

Discover what the Explorer’s Club is all about @

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Michael Smith is the first and only person to circumnavigate the world solo in an Amphibious class aeroplane. In his tiny amphibious flying boat, the Southern Sun, he retraced historical Qantas, Imperial and Pan Am airmail routes, in search of the glory days of 1930’s aviation. During his journey, at a leisurely 80 knots, Michael discovered the delights and perils of true adventure. Over 213 days flying from cities to forests; over deserts and rivers; mountains and volcanoes; he observed coral reefs, vast stretches of ocean, ice flows and glaciers… and giant rats. Michael’s journey captured the geographic splendour of the world and along the way he learnt a little about human kind and himself.

Michael Smith was awarded the Australian Geographic Adventurer of the Year 2016, Seaplane Pilots Association Award (Australia) Inaugural, Ross Vining Exceptional Achievement Award and the Royal Aero Club (UK) Silver Medal for exceptional aviation achievement.

The documentary ‘Voyage of the Southern Sun’ celebrates the highs and lows of an extraordinary adventure, with an array of spectacular imagery from around the world.

Screening at cinemas worldwide –

Visit for more details.