A woman’s instincts

Survival consultant says macho attitudes get people killed

Megan Hine (Facebook)

Megan Hine, an expedition guide and one of reality British TV star and outdoorsman Bear Grylls’ survival consultants, believes that being a woman isn’t a hindrance to being a survival expert. On the contrary, it’s an advantage. Hines, the daughter of a geologist, had been passionate about exploring the outdoors since childhood. She has worked on a number of Grylls’ shows as well as other survival TV programs, testing stunts beforehand to make sure they were safe. Not all were. Hines recounts one occasion in which she was awakened from a slumber in the Namibian desert only to realize she was circled by lions. Another time she recalls stumbling across an opium farm in the Thailand jungle. She and her crew ran for four hours before escaping from the farm’s guards, who, wielding AK-47s, chased them.

Some of her clients, Hine says, are suspicious of her skills. But if you ask her, her gender is an advantage. “It dials down the testosterone,” says Hine. “There isn’t a place for macho style in survival because that sort of behavior gets you and other people killed or injured.” Still, though, when working with cultures unaccustomed to dealing with women in leadership positions, she sometimes has to enlist male clients to deal with male officials. “It’s about putting your own ego aside,” she says, “in order to get the job done.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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