As a girl, Megan Hine's family, led by her geologist father, spent holidays climbing, hiking, and exploring the forests of their homeland in the UK. Hine spent a year before college as a raft guide in New Zealand, got her degree in outdoor education, and has been working as a stunt tester for survival shows since, reports the Guardian in a profile of the woman it says helps keep Bear Grylls safe. "If we can't do it how the production team [wants] it, we have to find a way around it, and I love that creativity: trying never to say no, always trying to make it safe, but make it epic," she says. She's learned more than a few tricks along the way—not just rock climbing, abseiling, and rafting but how to catch fish with her bare hands, start a fire with a tampon, and, yes, go a whopping three months without a shower.
Hine, who keeps fans apprised of her many adventures through her website and Instagram, has quite the résumé when it comes to survival. She has been chased by opium farm guards with AK-47s ("I remember making sure my team [was] OK, and then having to wander away from them and having an emotional moment to myself"), encircled by three lions at her campfire in the Namibian desert ("it was almost like an out-of-body experience ... their muscles rippling"), and eaten fertilized eggs with Bear Grylls, which she says are far worse than maggots, which have the benefit of being "quite cheesy." As for breaking gender expectations, Hines says: "There isn't a place for macho style in survival because that sort of behavior gets you and other people killed or injured." (Grylls' kid saved a girl when he was just 7.)