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Backpacker Radio

Aug 12, 2021

In today's episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by Scott Carney.  Scott's early career as an investigative journalist had him debunking fake gurus and charlatans.  When he was put on assignment by Playboy Magazine more than a decade ago to do the same with a Dutch daredevil- named Wim Hof- Scott assumed this would be more of the same.  What ensued was Scott being enthralled by Wim, his famous breathing and cold exposure techniques, as well as the circus that surrounded the Wim Hof experience.  We talk all about Scott's time with Wim, what it was like to summit Kilimanjaro with him in just 28 hours (when it typically takes closer to 5 days), how Wim is potentially becoming more of a charlatan today, and much more.  I found this conversation to be fascinating, I hope you do too.

We wrap the show with Chaunce having an undesirable virus, a debate on the proper number of times to knot your shoelaces, a triple crown of toys from when we were young, and much more.

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Interview with Scott Carney:

00:07:05 - QOTD: What’s the coldest you’ve ever been?

00:16:00 - How did you get into investigative journalism? 

00:20:33 - You mentioned trekking around Nepal — what kind of trekking were you doing?

Content warning: Discussion of suicide.

00:21:13 - So can you talk about how you specifically became involved with debunking fake gurus and charlatains? 

00:24:09 - Is it mostly westerners that the effects you were studying impacted? 

End content warning.

00:25:08 - Were people literally watching a corpse rot? 

00:28:42 - Is Tantra tied to psychotropic breathing at all?

00:29:27 - Is there anything else you want to add about your career of debunking gurus? Would you say it’s more so tied to philosophy or the people? 

00:32:22 - Why is there a theme of gurus having sex with people? 

00:35:48 - How did you get set up on the assignment to debunk Wim Hof? 

00:37:13 - Have people ever died of hypothermia trying to do this? 

00:38:31 - Did you keep an open mind at all? Or were you sure Wim Hof was a fake? 

00:39:00 - Is drinking part of the retreats?

00:40:52 - Can you pinpoint what opened your mind to him when you were learning about Wim’s methods? 

00:45:00 - Read Scott’s book — ”What Doesn’t Kill You”

00:48:50 - What about Wim Hof is so compelling? 

00:51:50 - Did the results of the study on Wim Hof’s techniques surprise you or catch you off guard? 

00:53:44 - Can you explain the physiological response that happens when you do the breathing? 

00:57:55 - How important would you say the meditation process is after doing a few rounds of the Wim Hof method?

01:00:00 - Do you still practice daily?

01:02:20 - Do you do the breathing and cold in conjuncture?

01:02:50 - What’s the name of your fancy ice bath?

01:05:20 - Are you supposed to try to visualize something warm? Or do you just take the cold head on?

01:05:50 - Do you think it’s a physical adaptation or a mental adaptation? 

01:09:14 - What is that line in terms of finding your limits?
01:10:33 - Is brown fat more activated by bare skin exposure? Rather than when clothed? 

01:11:05 - Can you accumulate more brown fat via cold exposure? And how does that relate to the wedge? 

01:13:00 - Wim Hof has a twin brother — do they have similar amounts of brown fat?

01:16:07 - Is there a performance benefit to these methods? 

01:19:31 - What is the application of the breathing technique and cold exposure for people doing long distance hikes? 

01:23:51 - Take us through the story of how you eventually went back to Europe and then Africa to hike Kilimanjaro with Wim Hof? 

01:25:27 - And you guys were going for a record? 

01:26:39 - What is the average time for a summit of Mt.Kilimanjaro?

01:26:51 - Were you doing the breathing technique the whole time you were hiking or during breaks?

01:27:04 - When you do the practice at home do you do it the same way each time? Do you ever use nostril breathing?

01:28:00 - Wim likes your book even though there’s a chapter that doesn’t look at him in the most favorable way? 

01:34:16 - Have you ever thought about approaching Wim about how people are taking his methods out of context?

01:36:24 - Is there a book in the intertwined nature of social media and putting people on pedestals?

01:36:58 - Can you talk about your books? 

01:38:53 - So you do a macro dose of MDMA with psychiatrists? 

01:39:45 - Is your book an audio book?

01:40:00 - If you had to pick one element from The Wedge as very beneficial, what would it be? 

01:41:01 - You also posted recently about The Vortex? 



Trek Propaganda

One Simple Trick to Keep Your Shoelaces Tied on Your Next Hike by Owen Eigenbrot

Triple Crown of Toys From When You Were Young

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