Aldo Kane embarks on a journey
In partnership with Canada Goose, the extreme adventurer and mountaineer explores Dartmoor with three young actors
Aldo Kane is the sort of man you’d want to get lost with. The adventurer and explorer hasn’t just been around the block — he’s been around the world. Multiple times — often alone; with nothing but his wits and expertise to see him safe. Nepal. Greenland. South Sudan. Borneo. Throw a dart at a map, and it’s likely Kane has climbed, hiked or ventured wherever it lands.
As we said; the sort of person you’d want to get lost with. Which brings us to Canada Goose. Because, if Kane is the man you’d want to get lost with, Canada Goose is the brand you’d want to get lost with. Over the years, the winter clothing brand has neatly, stylishly and thermally protected people including polar researchers, Arctic pilots and extreme endurance athletes. If someone needs shielding from the elements, Canada Goose is zipped-up and on-hand to help.
Aldo Kane is the sort of man you’d want to get lost with...
But 2020 has proved a problem for the adventurous. People like Aldo Kane and brands like Canada Goose have been left locked-down and fed-up during a particularly challenging year.
But, never to be dissuaded, the two have teamed up for a unique journey across the wilds of Dartmoor. Staying close to home — but scratching that adventurous itch together — Kane and Canada Goose struck out across the countryside, scaling mountains, traversing the rugged terrain and canoeing across wild Britain together.
And they didn’t go it alone. To inject some adventure into others’ locked-down lives, Kane also invited some of Britain’s most eminent emerging film talent to join him. First up was Arnold Oceng. The Brotherhood star has acted alongside some of the industry’s biggest names — but even he has been left a little adrift and cooped up thanks to the trials and tribulations of 2020.
“I’m such a city boy,” says Oceng. “So I don’t really get to do these things a lot. So the opportunity, when it came up, to do it with Aldo and Canada Goose — it’s amazing man.”
Indeed, what better way to cope with a tough year than by doubling down on challenging situations? As Aldo Kane says, “there is no mental health — no physical health or fitness — without being outside and interacting with the environment”.
Kane’s opinion is shared by Karla-Simone Spence. Today an actress, known for roles in BBC television show Gold Digger and acclaimed film Blue Story, Spence spent her school days as a member of the Army Cadet Force — so was more than equipped to join Kane on this open-air journey.
“I was scared, but I did it,” says Spence, despite her early outdoor experiences of orienteering, hiking and camping. “I wish I could do this once a month…”
Finally, rounding out the trio of adventurers, was Ben Hardy. The Bohemian Rhapsody star and keen marathon runner was more than ready for a rough, tough time exploring the wilderness. Hardy by both name and nature, the actor even trained in parkour for the Ryan Reynolds film Six Underground. But heights, as Kane and Hardy discovered abseiling down the craggy Foggin Tor, still proved a challenge.
“I’m always like this at a height,” says Hardy. “It takes me a second to calibrate. I’ve done it before with heights — but, with like filming and stuff, I would sometimes just get there and kneel down for a bit to acclimatise.”
But, equipped with his Canada Goose gear and Kane’s calm expertise, Hardy made his way safely and swiftly down Foggin Tor. It was perhaps the most challenging activity of the journey — but one of many organised by the adventurer to educate and broaden the horizons of the actors.
“I want to pass it on,” Kane explains of his skillset. “I want to pass on my knowledge and experience to Karla, Arney and Ben, and let them see first hand what it’s like to live in the open.”
From zip-lining to hiking, the journey was a literal breath of fresh air — and welcome proof that we can all still find ways to explore and live in the open during lockdown. It’s undoubtedly been a challenging year but, as Kane explains, even those of us who live in large cities escape to the peace and tranquility of the countryside with relative ease.
Yet it is imperative to be well-equipped. Like the actors in Aldo’s charge, Kane himself was tooled up with Canada Goose’s finest threads. Since 1957, the reliable, resourceful brand has been producing extreme outerwear; forever refining and redesigning everything from thermals and mid-layers to parkas and accessories.
And the brand are doing so increasingly sustainably. As President & CEO Dani Reiss explains, Canada Goose is “steadfast in [our] commitment to strengthening our communities, protecting our planet and working towards a future for generations to come.”
Because what use is great outdoor gear if there’s no wilderness left to explore? Canada Goose partnered with a sustainably-driven creative agency to make the film — charging all kit using solar energy, avoiding single-use plastics and keeping treatments digital. The team even used locations they already knew to avoid unnecessary travel for recce days.
And what locations they are. After travelling across rural Devonshire, Kane guided Hardy, Spence and Oceng down the beautiful Foggin Tor (where the Royal Marine recruits are taught about vertical assault), before further introducing the trio to the calm of the countryside by sending them out in Canadian canoes onto a reservoir.
In the early morning, with no distractions or detractions, Karla-Simone Spence acknowledged the importance of living in the open. “It’s just nice,” she says. “It’s peaceful. In London, it would just be noises. Smog. You wouldn’t even be able to see the stars.”
“So what do you think of just being outside, and in the fresh air?” asked Kane to his adventurers — at the end of a long day. They answered individually, but it’s a question as justifiably asked to all of us. With such a sedentary year almost over, perhaps now is the time to get up, get out and safely explore our surroundings.
As Kane emphasises, few things are better for our physical and mental healths. And, even if the colder days and wetter weather put you off, there are ways to ready yourself for the elements; Canada Goose clothing, for one. And then, once you’re tooled up to live in the open, nothing will stop you…
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