This week, ML talks to Mario Rigby, a self-described eco-explorer who simply comes up with an idea and goes for it. Whether he knows how to do it or not.
Rigby, a Torontonian, is a member of the prestigious Explorers Club and a fellow at The Royal Canadian Geographical Society. He has cycled across Canada and walked (and sometimes kayaked) the entire length of the African continent. He kayaked the length of Lake Ontario in 2020.
He’s not doing these things the fastest. He’s not the first to do them, nor does he pick the most difficult route, but as a Black explorer in a White-dominated outdoor space forging his own freewheeling path, Rigby’s adventures are getting attention.
In a wide-ranging conversation, Rigby opens up about the raw experience of his missions that often involve moments of self-teaching. When he kayaked the length of Lake Ontario, he says, “the first few days were pure hell. I capsized a couple of times. I didn’t know how to properly kayak. There were a few times when I thought I was about to lose my life … But I’m getting into these expeditions with enough knowledge to get myself out of danger. And that’s the key.”
Mario Rigby’s passion is to have BIPOC representation in the outdoors—while also advocating for the environment. Real change is not always easy but Mario’s resilience, patience and determination make him the perfect person for the job. Learn more on Mario’s website.