Introducing survival expert, survival consultant, author and our latest inspirational Wow Woman, the incredible Megan Hine.
Megan is a survival expert and wilderness guide to film crews and private clients globally in remote, wilderness locations. From rigging helicopters for camera operators to get the perfect shot, to resilience coaching for corporate companies, Megan and her team push the limits of adventure. Whether she is trekking through the rainforest, or exploring the vast Sahara desert, Megan is constantly pushing herself and proving that women can do anything.
What is your earliest memory of being in the wild?
My childhood is infused with outdoor memories. Being outdoors was such a huge part of my life growing up; camping with my father, playing on the Malvern hills I grew up on, exploring the mountains of the UK and daydreaming of exciting places.
Where is your favourite place to get lost in in the world?
Preferably somewhere where the wildlife doesn’t want to eat me, the locals don’t want to shoot me and where there is a water source and food to catch.
What’s the most important thing you have learnt from nature?
That I am pretty insignificant in the grand scale of things. This keeps my ego in check and helps me keep things in perspective.
Where did you learn your wilderness survival skills?
The majority of my wilderness survival skills come from experience. From hours, days, weeks, months and years spent on the ground putting in dirt time. From learning cause and effect (sometimes the hard way). This allows me to improvise when necessary. My knowledge comes from the years of formal training I have undertaken and the years of guiding and instructing others within these environments.
What are three skills all women should know?
Awareness, of the intentions of others and awareness of self.
How and who to ask for support.
How to pee outside, it’s totally liberating and makes outdoor adventures far less stressful.
What does ‘mind of a survivor’ mean to you?
The Mind of a Survivor is the collection of traits which makes someone resilient. These are all traits we are born with and have the potential to develop. Our upbringings have an influence on which traits develop more than others. Traits include adaptability, empathy and intuition. These traits are developed by exposure to lots of different experiences and therefore we grow stronger the more challenges we face.
What made you want to write your book ‘Mind Of A Survivor”?
Over the years of guiding clients to exciting environments, I have seen a definite rise in people who have been diagnosed with stress and anxiety related disorders. Often when they are on expedition they rarely display the symptoms and feel better. I wanted to explore why this was and break down the various traits which make someone resilient and a survivor. I was also keen to look at whether these traits were accessible to all and if so were they transferable from the wilderness, which offers a perfect arena for pushing people, in their everyday lives.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
To always close any pouch on my rucksack when taking anything out, this prevents sand, spindrift (fine windblown snow), insects, snakes and other beasties climbing in when open.
You are an ambassador for the scouts, how do you think we can help younger generations get back to nature and learn the basic survival skills?
I love that the Scout organization has recognized that young people need more support developing skills for life. All their activities, whether it be in nature or not are aimed at exposing young people to lots of different experiences to help build resilience for future life. Nature most definitely is a fantastic arena for pushing people out of their comfort zone and learning about themselves.
We think it’s amazing that you are pushing the boundaries for women how do you think we can inspire the younger generation to believe in themselves and do what they love?
By being visible and passionate and just doing your thing. This will show other women and men this is the norm and empower and sow the seed of change. It is tough being a trail blazer and this is a turbulent time as both female and male roles evolve. We must remember how exciting it is to be on the frontline of this!
If you were to describe your job in three words, what would they be?
Produce. Guide. Survivalist.
What’s been the highlight of your career so far?
Making my lifestyle work. When I started out I was living in the back of a van and raiding wheelie bins for food. Each month was a struggle to scrape enough together to pay for outdoor qualifications and to spend as much time outside in the mountains as possible climbing and skiing. I do not take where I am now for granted but looking back I am so proud of that resilient teen who followed her heart.
What has been the most hair-raising moment or your career so far?
Being caught in direct gun fire on a couple of occasions, encountering large predators and contracting Lyme disease…
What was your dream job when you were younger?
Totally what I am doing now! (although I had no idea it existed)
What do you love most about your job and why?
It pushes me physically and mentally. It forces me to continuously dynamically problem solve in often dangerous environments where the consequences of the wrong decision are severe. I love this, it makes me feel alive.
How do you ensure you always stay true to your core?
By questioning myself and assessing my happiness and stress levels. There should be elements of stress in life for personal growth but when stress is the overriding emotion it is time to question life’s choices.
Everyone practices yoga/Pilates for different reasons. When did you start and why?
I started pushing myself hard physically around the age of 10. I had no idea of training principles and the importance of rest and of stretching. Even when I fenced for the British sabre team in my teens I do not remember my coach ever explaining any of this. Around the age of 17 I started experiencing lower back pain. After seeing a chiropractor several times and being in excruciating pain after he had manipulated my spine I started researching and realised it was my muscles, ligaments and tendons that were tight and in manipulating my spine he had pulled my muscles. I found a yoga DVD for cyclists and started putting together my own routines to release the areas which were tight.
Has yoga/Pilates helped you on your adventures?
Most definitely! I carry heavy packs, often weighing around 25kg, over steep, rough and sometimes technical (rock climbing) terrain and I can be carrying out 12 plus hours of physically demanding exercise per day when I am prepping for and filming adventure TV shows. This puts stress on the body. First thing in the morning on these days I get up and do 10 – 15 minutes stretching to release tired and tight muscles. I would not call myself a yogi but yoga and stretching definitely plays a huge role in my lifestyle.
Favourite yoga/Pilates pose and why?
Currently the Fire log, I am working on releasing a tight Psoas and I find this in all its uncomfortable glory working for me.
Mindfulness or Meditation?
To me they are the one and the same. I find both in nature. I am currently training breath holding for spear fishing and I find this actually incredibly focusing and energising whilst requiring one to be present, particularly under water when there is the risk of passing out.
What do you do in your downtime?
Rock climb, spear fish, mountaineer, mountain bike with my dog and reading.
Where do you go to ground yourself?
What are three things you can’t live without?
The survival consultant in me wants to say ‘air, water and shelter’ as these are priorities of survival I have had to genuinely source and fight for at times. It puts everything else into perspective and makes me appreciate luxury. If I have to choose the three things I would like to prioritise in my life (work in progress). Relationships, balance and adventure.
What is your quote of the day every day?
‘Train as you fight’ from the US military.
What is your single piece of advice to the next generation of women?
Gender is only a barrier if you let it become a barrier.
Who is your ‘Wow Woman’?
My Nana. She is the most present and engaged 90-year-old I know.
If you could only live in one item of Asquith clothing what would it be?
I love the camouflage bra. Soft, supportive and flattering.
You can also see Megan on hr new show launching on Facebook very soon.