John Huston

MYSTERY RANCH Brand Ambassador


Evanston, IL, grew up in Glen Ellyn, IL


Boulder, CO


Polar Explorer, Cold Weather Expert/Trainer/Guide, Outdoor Educator, Safety & Logistics Consultant. Public Speaker.

After a few misfires, my career really got going in 2000 in Ely, Minnesota the first time I got behind a dog sled. I was totally hooked. Pretty soon I was sprinting a quarter mile to the dog yard, which had 50 dogs, go scoop frozen poop. I guess that sprint in heavy winter boots pretty much sums it up, I love the hearty work of living and operating in the real deal cold.

“The cold is relentless and will hunt down lazy choices and macho tendencies. I love it.”

In Ely, MN I worked year-round at the Voyageur Outward Bound School for six years: Nordic skiing, running sled dogs and canoeing in the Boundary Waters and Canada. That led to a 72-day, 1400 mile dog sled and Nordic ski expedition on Greenland using 100% historic equipment. The team included a couple of Norwegian Navy SEALS who became my lifelong comrades on the ice. Following 10 years of lengthy Arctic expeditions annually, my work has moved into shorter stints of Arctic guiding and training as well as consulting with equipment companies on the side. Over the years I’ve trained everyone from teenagers to grandparents and from college students to SOF personnel. I now run a cold-weather expertise and training company, Skadi, that works with Special Operation Forces units.


  • Expeditions:
    • First American Unsupported Expedition to the North Pole – 55 days, 478 miles by ski, no resupplies, 100% human-powered
    • Modern Amundsen Expedition: re-staging of the 1911 race to the South Pole – 72, days, 1400 miles on Greenland by ski and dogsled using solely 1911-style equipment, clothing, and food. Ellesmere Island, Canada – 65 days, 600+ miles by skijoring, resupplied
    • South Pole – guide/leader for full-length expedition, 57 days, 720 miles by ski, 100% human-powered, resupplied
    • Baffin Island, Canada – many expeditions
  • Awards/Recognition:
  • Proud of:
    • Supporting youth and at-risk teens to take on challenges and have fun in the outdoors for over 25 years.
    • Being a husband and father.


What Mystery Ranch Packs do you Run?

Other Sponsors:

  • Backpacker’s Pantry 
  • MSR 
  • Åsnes 
  • Therm-a-res 
  • Oakley 
  • SealLine 
  • Steger Mukluks 
  • Wapiti Woolies

Favorite Quotes:

"I may say that this is the greatest factor: the way in which the expedition is equipped, the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order, luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time, this is called bad luck."
-Roald Amundsen

"You are what you eat."


Photo by: © Michael Martin