Meet the Explorer: Chris Burns


I am thoroughly impressed by the content Chris blesses us with on our feeds. He is based in Whistler, Canada and hits the slopes, trails, and craves adventure on the daily. Check out the Van Build highlight on his Instagram profile. Take it away, Chris!

What do you do for a living, how did you end up in that field?

I currently work as a ski instructor and part time social media consultant / photographer. I started as a skier instructor in the 2017/18 winter season when I first moved to Whistler and just love it. I started in social media around 2015 and I have always enjoyed photography and through my Instagram have developed that in to a few paid gigs.

When did you first start enjoying the outdoors?

I have always loved the outdoors, I grew up in Australia exploring the beaches and learnt to ski at the age of two. Spent a lot of time fishing and rock hopping in my late teens and I guess that’s when my love of the outdoors really expanded.

What is your favorite place to explore?

Depends on the weather! The mountains around Whistler are stunning and I wish I had more time to explore them this summer. I wish I’d spent more time in northern Norway hiking around there.

How many of the 50 United States have you visited? Favorite?

I have visited 10 states, my favorite will probably be Utah as it just offers so many different landscapes.

How many countries, where?

Cuba in May will by my 50th country visited. I have visited almost every country in Europe, a few of the Pacific Islands and Morocco, Egypt and Jordan.


Best hike you have ever had?

Either the Camino de Santiago, or the Laugavegurinn Trail in Iceland.

Essential items for summer hikes/winter hikes in your opinion.

Summer – Hat, sun glasses and a day pack that has some meshing on the back to allow for air flow.

Winter – Lightweight down jacket, merino base layers and two pairs of gloves.


Most comical hike/adventure story?

Our first night on the Laugavegurinn trail was certainly an experience, this was our first big hike in another country and I had convinced my girlfriend that it wouldn’t be that difficult. About halfway in to day one and a storm rolls in, and we end up completing the last part of the day hiking through a blizzard with 60 mph winds. Having to pitch the tent in that storm took a lot of patience.

Scariest hike/adventure story?

We were sleeping at a campsite in Montana and had a close encounter with a bear as I was walking sleepily to the toilet. Luckily it was a black bear rather than a grizzly and it scampered away.

Upcoming trips planned?

We are going on a four month tour from Cuba, through Central and South America and finishing in Patagonia, then back to Australia for two months before chasing the snow to Japan.

Favorite outdoors gear/lifestyle companies? Any local?

I’ve been skiing the last two seasons in Mountain Force gear and love how comfortable and stretchy the material is.


What does conservation mean to you?

Conservation for me means keeping something as close to untouched as it can be.

What can we do to make sure our parks and wild lands stay clean and pure forever?

Education and funding are what I believe to be the two key factors. Educating the public on what responsible camping is and how to leave as small an impact on an area as possible. So often you will see a campsite littered with garbage, rubbish left on trails and things like that. And then funding comes in to it, the more land that the national parks have and the more rangers and upkeep we can attain is key factors in keeping these areas clean and pure.

Thank you for providing a light into your interesting and exciting life. Keep seeking new horizons and I wish you the best. Looking forward to seeing your pictures from the four-month trip!

For more, follow me @Gtcarden

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