Jillian Brown is a wilderness wonder woman. This adventure photographer and storyteller is a kayaker, mountain climber, and all-out adventure nomad. She's also one of our brand ambassadors, a VSSL Voyager.
The checks on this 29-year-old’s bucket list include traveling solo coast to coast across Canada, kayaking in the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans and in all five Great Lakes, living in a tent on old farmland for seven months with only her trusty Norwegian Elkhound Roxy, and being part of the world’s first team to tandem sea kayak down the Colorado River. Oh yeah, and she used to rescue unwanted sled dogs from mushers to rehab them for her own dog sledding team.
Canadian-born, Jillian discovered her love for the outdoors and photography at a young age. As a girl growing up at her cabin on Lake of the Woods, Jillian and her family traveled all over Canada. After earning her diploma in Photography, Jillian became a professional photographer. Through the lens, she seeks a reconnection of people and nature. Her goal is to unite the majesty and awe of the wilderness with people through her photographs and written reflections. At its core, her work is both gritty and beautiful. Just like Jillian.
Jillian recalls getting her first camera at age 10, and taking it on a family road trip. Even then she was a chronicler, a storyteller. Jillian snapped off dozens of shots, but none of her pictures from that trip developed properly. One beautiful moment, in particular, is still etched into her memory, and Jillian vowed then as a girl that she would never let that happen again. She would be prepared, always.
These days, she is. Among the gear she always packs are the VSSL Shelter and VSSL First Aid Kit. She hasn’t had to break into her first aid kit, but she’s used the shelter. Once, while kayaking on the Salish Sea, the weather turned and Jillian had to take cover on a deserted island. She popped open her VSSL Shelter and remembers she was able to easily get warm. Now, she carries one with her wherever she goes. In a pinch, she says she can always just wrap herself in it for added warmth.
If you catch up with Jillian, you’ll learn that one of her favorite things about being out in the wild is the simple, palpable connection she feels with everything, from the landscape to the animals to the water. In it, she is present and has learned to push through pain and suffering to accomplish her heart’s desires. And, camera in tow, she documents all of it for the rest of us. For Jillian, John Muir said it best, “Going to the woods is going home.”