John Huston is a professional polar explorer and veteran of the first American unsupported expedition to the North Pole. He has completed major expeditions to the South Pole, on Greenland and to Canada’s fabled Ellesmere Island. He began his career as an instructor and sled dog trainer at the Voyageur Outward Bound School in northern Minnesota’s Boundary Waters, where he fell in love with winter expeditions. John is also a motivational speaker, safety and logistics consultant, and wilderness guide. He regularly speaks to companies and organizations, referencing his expeditions to discuss overcoming challenges. John and his family live in Evanston, Illinois where he works at Northwestern University overseeing a student outdoors program called Project Wildcat.
John sees his expeditions as mental and physical endeavors that require a singularity of focus and complete immersion in the wilderness that is extremely rare in today’s world. Goal oriented since childhood, he embraces all of the planning, training, toil, and adaptations that come with major expeditions. Whether it is navigating through a junkyard maze of sea ice rubble, skiing into the alpenglow of the midnight sun, or the camaraderie that comes with a team safely pitching a tent in a howling blizzard, he lives for moments in which effort and reward seamlessly flow together. Optimism – the unwavering belief in success through hard work and perseverance – and humility – the pragmatic ability to adapt and learn – are the core values he applies to his work as an explorer, educator, and speaker.
John has been guiding in one capacity or another since 1996. In the last several years, he has led major polar expeditions and guided television crews on the Arctic Ocean.
He is skilled at meeting his clients’ needs in challenging remote locations and ensuring a safe, fun, and productive experience.
John regularly consults with expedition teams and wilderness programs. He has served as advisor, expedition trainer, logistics manager, and 24/7 safety and communications manager. He has also conducted safety audits for wilderness programs. He brings his creative, thorough, team-focused expedition mentality to every project.