The Adrenalist

Powered By Degree Men

The Next Great Adventurer



These men wake every morning with a need to test themselves in ways that would petrify the average weekend warrior. Prepare to meet a crack squad of risk-takers who have carved out new paths under brutal conditions through sheer grit.

One might just get to be the next Bear Grylls – oddly, many of the top contenders come from the UK.

  • 1. Ed Stafford

    Ed Stafford

    Nobody has more potential to be the next Bear Grylls than Ed Stafford, the Brit who hacked his way through the heart of the Amazon. Stafford, a former British army captain, is the first man to walk from the source of the Amazon in the mountains of Peru to its mouth in Brazil.

    His regimen obliged him to rise at dawn and walk for eight hours, until 3pm. At that stage, he was lucky to have covered 7km. But he kept hacking, driven by a thirst for achievement in the face of threats including starvation, jaguars and pit vipers.

    “It's good to stand in the long and distinguished line of British nutters who think it’s clever to put themselves through hell to achieve something that no one else ever has,” he told Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper in December 2009.

  • 2. Donald Schultz

    Donald Schultz

    Already a legend, South African extreme adventurer Donald Schultz has been on-camera most of his life. In an early sign of his thirst for excellence, Schultz was certified the youngest Class II commercial diver in Africa.

    Now, on the Discovery Channel series Wild Recon he darts around the planet gathering venom and rare animal DNA vital to research. One day, his work may save countless lives. Meantime, move over Steve Irwin.

    Schultz’s feats range from harvesting venom from black mambas in Mozambique, to bringing down a 600-pound lion for a blood sample in South Africa. Fearless. He calls L.A. home, on sporadic returns from the jungle.

  • 3. Jock Wishart

    Jock Wishart

    Another Brit with grit, cold-climate explorer Jock Wishart plans to row to the North Pole with a team of bravehearts. At time of writing, the fresh air fiend is about to set off from Resolute Bay in Canada and 450 miles of biting chill await him.

    Already Wishart, nicknamed the Ice Warrior, has carried off some eye-popping exploits. He is the only man to have walked unsupported to a Pole and rowed across an ocean.

  • 4. Louis-Philippe Loncke

    Louis-Philippe Loncke

    Louis-Philippe Loncke is a Belgian adventurer and motivational speaker. In 2008, Loncke achieved the world’s first crossing on foot of the length of Australia’s Simpson Desert.

    Temperatures seesawed between 35C by day and -3C at night. But he continued unsupported, keen to immerse in the landscape and get close to nature. Once, a snarling camel herd charged him but backed off after he roared back.

    In July 2010, he trekked across Iceland along its extreme latitude from North to South.

    Loncke started out as a logistic manager. Since 1999, he has worked for over 10 corporations and now operates as a management consultant. Skills gained in the corporate sphere enable him to plan his expeditions efficiently.

  • 5. Mark Cockbain

    Mark Cockbain

    There’s running, and there are marathons, and then there are "ultra-marathons" that take endurance to the next level. Mark Cockbain is an ultra-marathon specialist, whose career began in humbling fashion.

    Cockbain started seriously running at the end of 1996 to train for the 1997 London marathon, but his entry was rejected. So, he ran the Paris marathon instead.

    As his career gathered steam, he competed in the Spartathlon, a 153-mile non-stop run from Athens to Sparta, finishing five consecutive times. He has also cantered across Death Valley.

    And he won the first edition of the Himalayas ultra-marathon race, The High, as the only finisher in the 138-mile race at heights of 18,000ft. Narrowly avoiding being swept away by an avalanche, he continued to his last-man-standing victory, gulping what air there was.

  • 6. Jim McNeill

    Jim McNeill

    If explorers were judged on stamina, Jim McNeill might well be deemed the most impressive of all.

    Imagine the guts it takes to explore the Arctic for 26 years. That speaks for itself.

    Next year, upping the ante, the second ice warrior in this list plans to be the first person to walk to the Arctic Pole - the farthest point from land on the Arctic Ocean.

  • 7. the next adventurer

    the next adventurer
    High Altitude Hiking
Previous Slide Next Slide

Add Your Voice To The Conversation: