Meet The Host
Austin is a true outdoorsman in every sense of the word. Not only does he own a successful landscaping business, but Austin's also a duck hunting and canoe guide, avid hiker, and third-generation whitewater rafting guide with 20 years of experience on the water. During the winter months, he can be found in Panama offshore kayak ﬁshing. Austin is a take charge kind of guy who believes guiding has helped shape him into the man he is today. He's been known to sleep under the stars in hammocks and was once surprised by a black bear licking the salt off of his backside. Not one to be intimidated, Austin has one goal to accomplish this year: to conquer the York Factory Express.
As a challenged teenager, Carley used the great outdoors as an outlet for her energy and hiked the West Coast Trail with her dad as a coming of age experience when she was 16 years- old. She soon realized expeditions and adventures could be beneﬁcial for other young people and in 2007, helped start a wilderness school for at-risk youth. Carly spent six years teaching kids wilderness, survival, leadership, and communication skills. Fueled by her love of adventure and her fear of complacency, Carley has hiked the Paciﬁc Crest Trail, North Coast Trail, and Mt. Kilimanjaro. When not in her hiking boots, Carley works as a registered nurse. With her compassion for others, medical training, and adventurous spirit, participating in a cooperative expedition is deﬁnitely in Carley's wheelhouse.
Don is the oldest team member on The Brigade, and he may also be the wisest. After 21 years as a Navy Seal Team Six Commando, a Seal medic, and leader of several military training missions, this lifetime adventurer has no plans to slow down. Alongside a distinguished military career, Don is one of the original IRONMAN athletes, and a world-class adventure competitor. When he's not outdoors, he is a motivational speaker and New York Times bestselling author who is currently working on his 16th book. An adventurer at heart, Don attempted the dangerous, sometimes deadly feat of climbing Mount Everest where he nearly lost his life. Having survived avalanches, hypothermia, frostbite and heatstroke, Don's "never quit" attitude always sees him to the ﬁnish line.
Dylan’s love of the outdoors started in his teens on summer canoe trips. He continued to hone his skills in navigation, whitewater paddling, and bush craft into his early 20s. He now shares his knowledge with others as a guide for various summer camps. Dylan credits working with kids for his strong group management acumen. Dylan knows how to leverage the strengths of his group members and how to use his risk assessment skills to remain safe in dangerous situations. For Dylan, being in the outdoors has always felt like a place where he can be himself. Recently, he graduated from the John Molson School of Business and is working towards a CPA degree. His penchant for numbers and navigation are an excellent addition to The Brigade.
As a self-proclaimed adventure adrenaline junkie, Kaleb seeks danger and obstacles that most people choose to avoid. In 2007, Kaleb headed off to Colorado on his ﬁrst mule deer hunt to gain mountain experience and has been back every season since. As an avid hunter, Kaleb’s specialties include archery hunting, steer wrestling and bulldogging. Having received a college scholarship for rodeo, Kaleb is an excellent horseman both in the wilderness and in the ring. But mastering the land just wasn’t enough for this thrill seeker, so Kaleb took to the water and became an expert noodler, winning his ﬁrst of many noodling championships in 2012. Kaleb earns a living as a self-employed subcontractor and considers his no nonsense, common sense approach to life one of his greatest assets.
Leroy was born in Fort McMurray, Alberta, and spent half of his life growing up outdoors on Chipewyan Prairie First Nation Reserve. Traditional skills of living off the land like hunting, ﬁshing, trapping, skinning and making shelter were ingrained in Leroy as a young boy. At the age of 14, he moved to the city to pursue education and athletics. Leroy earned two college diplomas and after entering the 2010 Canadian Football League draft, but not making a team, he settled into a career as a ﬁreﬁghter paramedic and an industrial safety guide. Leroy is a skilled swimmer and became a helicopter underwater egress trainer where he teaches people how to survive at sea in the event of a crash landing. Leroy's indigenous background is steeped in the fur brigade history, so retracing the footsteps of his ancestors is something he has always wanted to attempt.
Matt grew up a hyperactive kid whose parents directed his extra energy into sports and camping trips. The devastating loss of his father at the age of 12 left Matt directionless for most of his teenage years until he stumbled on the Outdoor Adventure Leadership Program at a local college. This course changed his life. Never looking back on those troubled days, Matt became a paramedic and has been guiding and leading whitewater expeditions for the past decade. Matt lives life on the edge but – after losing one of his fellow rafters on a dangerous expedition – he knows how risky the sport is. Matt’s athleticism doesn’t end on the water. He is an avid mountain biker, skier, archer, and swimmer.
Traci is a military veteran who served in the Navy and the Army National Guard for a total of 22 years. After retiring from the military Traci tried her hand at various careers including becoming a police ofﬁcer, a surgical assistant, and a death investigator, but it wasn't until she reconnected with the outdoors that she found her post-military calling. Backpacking, hiking, paddling, and rock climbing across the United States and abroad inspired Traci's newfound zest for life. As a sufferer of PTSD, the outdoors taught Traci many valuable lessons that she's put to good use by mentoring disabled veterans and children in various outdoor activities. Traci believes her purpose in life is service and sharing her adventure experiences with others. When not helping others, you can ﬁnd Traci on the trails with her two dogs.
Tracyn graduated from University of Colorado, School of Mines in Golden, CO with a degree in Geophysical Engineering. After a couple of years in the ﬁeld, she decided engineering wasn't for her. Tracyn jumped ship from offshore oil rigs and started working for a rafting company and never looked back. For most of her adult life, Tracyn has competed in Expedition Adventure races around the globe including: Eco Challenge, Expedition BVI, Primal Quest, Beast of the East and Raid the North Extreme, just to name a few. She believes a strong body and strong mindset is the key to accomplishing any adventure. When she's not paddling, hiking, rappelling, or cycling, Tracyn is a festival manager for Spartan Race. She is also the proud mom of two boys, aged 15 and 12. Tracyn is living by her family's motto: "It doesn't have to be fun, to be fun."
Vincent is a modern-day Voyageur canoe guide who loves paddling historical routes. He has paddled, hiked, hunted and ﬁshed almost every square inch of British Columbia. Vincent makes his living as a general contractor but his love for leading historical expeditions is where his heart lies. He has a passion for music and is an accomplished bagpiper. Vincent is a hardworking and determined guy who is looking to combine his three loves on the voyage of a lifetime: history, music and the great outdoors. Vincent knows his French-Canadian lineage makes him a natural to join the retracing of the fur brigades and is looking forward to putting his historical knowledge to the test.