If there’s one question I get asked more than any other, it has to be how the hell does a Jersey boy become obsessed with the wild, and wind up with a job like yours? Shouldn’t you be from Colorado or something? 

I guess it’s a fair question. My home state is much more famous for bagels, blowout hair cuts, and sopranos than it is for churning out survivalists and adventurers.

Joshua Valentine mountain hiking Joshua Valentine gearing up Joshua Valentine backpacking adventure

I like to say that all this started as far back as having had my diaper changed at the bottom of a canoe on the Delaware River. I won’t pretend like I realized then and there that one day my profession would be leading, training, and keeping people safe in some of the wildest places on earth.

But I did know early on that I refused to settle for a life that was anything short of wild.

Embrace the Animal is all about connecting to that deep, primal part of ourselves that knows we are built for freedom, not captivity. The part of us that leads us to break rules and boundaries en route to living our greatest lives, and consistently evolving to find our greatest selves.

This is my animal. Hopefully it inspires a few of you to find your own as well.


My philosophy is that we are here to learn until the day we die, so while you’ll rarely hear me call myself an expert, I am proud to be able to say that I’ve developed a lot of specializations and a wide range of experience in the wild. What began as my own small company teaching survival and bush craft in my backyard of the Northeast lead to guiding, instructing, and expeditions in any terrain, all around the world.

Alongside survival, mountaineering, expedition paddling, and rigging, I’ve collected certifications and training as a Wilderness First Responder, in Swiftwater Rescue, Glacier Travel and Crevasse Rescue, and Avalanche Rescue.

​I’ve worked on teams providing scouting, safety, logistics, and stunt work for film crews in remote and often dangerous terrain, for platforms including Discovery, Netflix, NBC, Facebook Watch, and Freeform.
I’ve always been a writer, and after studying and practicing my photography and videography skills on the ground, in the air, and anywhere in between, the journey has come full circle to start creating some pieces of my own. Don’t hesitate to shoot me an email with ideas for stories, expeditions, or collaborations. There aren’t many places I won’t go.


Running Wild with Bear Grylls
Face the Wild
You Vs. Wild
Shark Week: Bear Vs. Shark
Hope on the Horizon: An Expedition for ALS
40 Days In


Perhaps the greatest aspect of all this is the blurred line between what is passion and profession. I don’t just teach and guide this stuff. I live it.

As modern humans, I’ve come to realize that we’ve fallen drastically out of touch with our natural patterns, settings, and surroundings in the age of technology. Most of us don’t realize it, but in many ways, we’re captives to our own conveniences.

The human animal is a resilient and social creature requiring constant movement, stimulation, social connection, and adversity to thrive. No matter how far we advance technologically, we can’t shake our deep need for connection with nature.

​This was the core foundation of Embrace the Animal: to reconnect to the more primitive parts of ourselves that allow us to excel mentally and physically in this world.

We are capable of vastly more than we allow ourselves to believe. We are not designed to simply survive in nature.
​We are designed to thrive there.


The wild has taught me a whole lot more than how to build a fire by rubbing sticks together. The world of the wild and primitive has much more to teach us about our life in the modern world than we often realize.

Some of my favorite topics include:

Leadership and Empowerment
With years of experience in unforgiving and sometimes hostile terrain comes a unique understanding of how we find our best selves under the strain of adversity. Hear the real life stories of survival and struggle from jungle to glacier all around the world, and what the lessons of excelling in the wild have to teach us about excelling in our own lives back here in civilization.
Unleash Your Captive Human
As our world grows increasingly dependent on technology, our lives have grown ever more sedentary and disconnected from our natural surroundings and more instinctual ways of moving and living. Much of our incredible resiliency as human beings has in turn given way to high rates of depression, anxiety, or disease. In many ways, we have essentially become captive humans. Discover the secrets to better health and longevity that lay within the lifestyles of our primitive our ancestors, via their day to day stimulation and activity while surviving and thriving in the wild.
​It’s no coincidence that helping others feels genuinely good: altruism is programmed into us on an evolutionary level. Our survival depended on it. For the bulk of our 200,000 years on earth we existed in small, tight-knit packs whose highest priority was the good of one another. Despite how far we’ve come from that reality in our modern world, those subconscious instincts and needs still exist within our programming. Find out just how much we can learn about ourselves by delving into our more primitive social sides, and how it can help the much needed move towards better community within today’s increasingly individualistic age.


more than one way to gut a bunny
Crossing the Hudson the Hard Way
paddleboarding In Antarctica
10 Tips for Wildfitness
Farce of Nature
How I survived


On the Line with a legend
Wilderness Survival
The majesty of the midge
​10 Essentials – Winter ice
Ten tips from Hurricane Sandy
The march of team martin
Gear Review: Sawyer Squeeze Mini
Holes to Hoops
Desert Survival