To Inspire and Equip the Modern Pioneer

The Shackleton Company

The Shackleton Company is built on the powerful shoulders of Sir Ernest Shackleton with the invaluable support of his granddaughter The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton.

The Company believes the modern world needs Shackleton’s inspiration today as much today as his men did a century ago. That’s why our purpose is To Inspire and Equip the Modern Pioneer to great endeavours. All over the world, we see outstanding people performing with great courage at the very limits of human endurance in extreme or hostile environments. Many of these people are working for the good of us all, be they advancing scientific understanding of our planet, providing relief in disaster zones, reporting from wars, filming the incredible or exploring new and unseen places. We believe that if Shackleton was alive today he would be planning the most audacious adventures and overcoming the greatest odds on our planet and beyond; our job is to use his outstanding example to inspire the modern generation to achieve similarly great things.

 

The Boss

Shackleton is one of the trio of great names from the ‘Heroic Age of Polar Exploration’, alongside Scott (UK) and Amundsen (Norway).

Sir Ernest was distinct from each. He was born in Ireland and educated in England. He was a romantic, surviving on his wits and incredible personal charisma. Thoroughly non-establishment, and with no real Polar training, he nevertheless had a remarkably human touch and earthy personality which made him extraordinarily popular and managed to impress backers for his vision of achievement and endeavour.

The achievements and magnetic personality of “The Boss” are legendary. He had a unique ability to inspire others to achieve the apparently impossible. 100 years after his greatest endeavours, the world still marvels at Shackleton’s life and character. New books are still written about him; academics from the world's best universities decode his techniques; his well-documented style of inspirational leadership is still taught today at Harvard Business School.

The Nine Pointed Star

The Shackleton Company’s emblem (The Hon. Alexandra Shackleton writes) will already be familiar to the many people around the world who are interested in the life and achievements of my Grandfather, Sir Ernest Shackleton.

On the evening before his death on board Quest in frozen South Georgia, Shackleton wrote in his diary ‘In the darkening twilight I saw a lone star hover, gem-like above the bay.’ The next morning, 5th January 1922, he died of a heart attack, aged 48. Shackleton's gravestone in the whalers’ cemetery at Griytviken bears a nine-pointed star - a personal motif that Sir Ernest used throughout his life as a guide and inspiration.

On the reverse of the stone is perhaps the clearest summation of how Sir Ernest thought about life.

‘I hold that a man should strive to the uttermost for his life’s set prize.’

This is the message carved on the headstone in that wild and lonely place that I have visited so many times. The words offer us clear direction: we must all seek and find our own prize; we must follow our own star. For my Grandfather this was Antarctic exploration; for the rest of us, these words are an inspiration to strive and strive again for whatever is our own personal Antarctic.

 

The Product

The world of exploration equipment has moved on, but the impulse that drove Shackleton abides. A life lived with purpose is still the noblest aim; a leader who acts as if the safety of his charges outweighs personal considerations is still to be admired. And for each of us, there are still worlds to conquer.

Critically, the spirit of adventure burns as bright as ever and is ever more within our grasp. So we stand for his continuing relevance rather than his historical achievements. We stand for tomorrow – and provide the gear you need to live it well.

We call our products High Performance Classics. We set out to create products that are stylish and desirable, yet utterly fit for the climatic zone for which they’re destined.

We work closely with the inspiring people in our Pioneer Programme to test our gear in the most challenging environments; recent examples include overnighting outside in Antarctica and abseiling into an erupting volcano in the Congo. We learn from this rigorous testing and expert feedback to continually develop our products to be as good as possible.

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