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Adam Shoalts

Adventurer, Explorer & 'Canada's Indiana Jones'

Named one of the greatest living explorers , Adam Shoalts is a professional adventurer who’s messaging about personal leadership, resilience and risk management compels audiences across the country.  

Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Presentations

How to Accomplish What Everyone Else Thinks is Impossible
In 2017, adventurer Adam Shoalts set off on a journey most said was impossible: a 4,000 km crossing of Canada’s Arctic alone in a canoe over an unprecedented route. Few believed it could be done: months alone in the wild, hundreds of miles from any sort of help, facing Polar Bears, gale-force storms, waves able to swallow a canoe and ice floes capable of crushing a boat. 

Shoalts didn’t just succeed—he did it under budget, ahead of schedule, and virtually without mishap. In this presentation, he shares the secrets to his success. These lessons can be applied to any daunting task, in any walk of life, and any line of work. Shoalts’s presentation will inspire and motivate audiences to tackle their own personal journeys, metaphorical or literal, and to take on challenges with newfound zeal and confidence. 

Key Takeaways:
• How to inspire confidence within yourself to tackle any massively daunting undertaking. 
• The mental toolkit needed to prepare for the worst possible outcomes.
• How to reframe a challenge to make progress more manageable. 

Resilience | Remain Unflappable in the Face of Anything: Lessons from a Professional Adventurer on Staying Cool Under Pressure
Staying cool under pressure is one of the most critical components of success in any walk of life—whether it’s when a snarling grizzly bear wakes you up in the night, or in a high-pressure career environment. Shoalts learned to handle pressure and stress somewhat differently than most do: by sleeping alone in polar bear territory, paddling a canoe through mazes of shifting arctic ice floes, trekking solo in mountains, and riding out countless storms and gales in his canoe and tent. He’s seen remarkable success with his adventures, having written bestselling books, making international TV appearances, and even meeting one-on-one with the Prime Minister of a G8 nation. None of this would have happened if he didn’t first learn how to dispel worry and remain cool under pressure.

In his keynote talk, Shoalts draws key lessons from some of his most epic adventures to show audiences how they can take what he’s accomplished in the wild and apply it to their high-pressure situation. With wit and humour, he shows us how we can move further than we ever thought possible and become unshakeable under pressure.

Key Takeaways:
• How to block out distractions and develop a positive mindset in the face of challenge.
• The mental tactics needed to successfully manage high-stress situations.
• The secrets of endurance to help overcome physical and mental challenges.

Stress Management | Rediscovering the Wild in our Digital World
Why are people today more stressed than ever before? Study after study, survey after survey, report a growing sense of unhappiness, anxiety and worry within our society, especially in large cities. Adam Shoalts has an answer— a tonic that can help destress, rejuvenate, and reawaken our sense of adventure and enthusiasm.  Living for months out of the year outdoors, off the grid with no electricity, has helped Shoalts better understand the effects our surroundings have on our lives. The great news is you don’t need to spend months trampling alone across the arctic to reap the rewards of his insights. 

In this keynote presentation, Shoalts explains how to appreciate the nature that’s all around us—even in our biggest cities— to make your life happier, calmer, less stressful, and more productive.

Key Takeaways:
• A new lens to apply to your environment that will help dispel stress.
• How to use nature to unlock your creativity.

  • Adam Shoalts is Canada’s Indiana Jones—portaging in the north, dodging scary rapids, plunging into darkness, and surviving to tell the tale.

    - The Toronto Star
  • ...thank you for your outstanding keynote address...responses rated your address “excellent” – our highest rated category! Many people also provided anecdotal comments about your address and noted that your presentation was, “amazing”, “incredible”, “inspiring” and “a wow”. - Eastern Regional Partnership for Adult Education
  • Adam Shoalts, 21st century explorer, calmly describes the things he has endured that would drive most people to despair, or even madness…Rare insight into the heart and mind of an explorer, and the insatiable hunger for the unknown that both inspires and drives one to the edge…A 1st-hand look into the heart of a truly brave man.

    - Col. Chris Hadfield, astronaut, International Space Station commander
  • One could be forgiven for not instantly realizing the true nature of Adam Shoalts while passing him on the street…His strength is not an overgrown beard or a hulking build; it is an ironclad constitution and a persistence some might describe as madness.

    - Niagara Life Magazine
  • His narrative is both humourous and honest, and at times intensely gripping.

    - St. Catharines Standard

Summary Profile

Adam Shoalts’ career has included mapping rivers, leading expeditions sponsored by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society and Mountain Equipment Co-op, numerous archaeological digs, photographing elusive and rare wildlife, and completing a nearly 4,000 km solo journey across Canada’s Arctic. His greatest love, however, is simply spending time in the outdoors. He shares his adventures in his speaking and in his bestselling books, including 2019’s instant bestseller and Indigo Pick of the Month:  Beyond the Trees – A Journey Alone Across Canada’s Arctic. 

Adam Shoalts grew up in rural Canada with a forest on his doorstep, and it was there that his father, a woodworker, taught him to love and appreciate trees and plants. Together, they built birch bark canoes, paddles, and anything else that could be crafted from the forest. Later, Shoalts worked as a nature writer and survival instructor, but his passion always remained for just being in the woods.

Shoalts has written about edible mushrooms, deforestation, and watershed pollution in northern Canada. His writing career began with his “Reflections of a Naturalist” column on wild animals and environmental issues, which later led to his #1 national best-seller Alone Against the North, the award-winning story of his adventures.

Next to the woods, Adam Shoalts’ second favourite place growing up was the library. If he wasn’t exploring woods he was exploring books, which led to him graduating from Brock University with an Honours B.A. and being named top student in the Humanities. He subsequently completed a Master’s degree and PhD at McMaster University, where his research combined an interest in wild animals, the natural world, history and geography. He has done archaeology in four countries and presented archaeological papers at academic conferences.

Adam Shoalts is a regular guest on television and radio, and his work has been featured in media around the world, including the BBC, CNN, CTV, CBC, and The Guardian. He was named one of the greatest living explorers by Canadian Geographic, and named a national champion of the Trans-Canada Trail and in 2018 Explorer-in-Residence of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society; although he keeps wandering the woods.

Shoalts has a particular concern for preserving wild places and has received the Niagara Region’s environmental award for his work on local watersheds. Shoalts is a popular guest speaker and has entertained a wide range of audiences at venues across Canada with his compelling stories on adventures where no human has personally mapped the lands and waters.