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Trevor Frost Reports from the Batang Ai Forest in Malaysia
Posted on September 18, 2014

Trevor Frost on assignment in Malaysian Borneo

The last time we heard from our man in the field Trevor Frost, he was three months deep in the rainforests of Borneo on assignment for National Geographic tracking orangoutangs and reporting on the distinctness of the river experience. Since then Frost landed back in the states, unpacked and repacked, then headed back out for Tonga to swim with humpback whales and then on to a wildlife safari in Africa. But we tracked him down in transit for the final chapter dispatch on the Batang Ai Forest in Malaysia that reflects his perspective on the people who Live an Adventure on a daily basis. This is his report. —LYA Editor

Local Transit

Words by Trevor Frost, Images by Frost and Robert Rodriguez Suro

We always talk about the first ascent of that mountain, the first descent of that river, how many days someone survived at sea or in the jungle, and how hardcore and tough he or she or they are. But we forget there are people out there whose existence is tied to the places we call extreme. We forget that while it may be hard for us to last long in wild places, more often than not people call it home. They are born there and will die there, and will never leave.

For sure, they aren’t scaling 8,000-meter peaks or dropping 50-foot waterfalls in a kayak, but when adventurers from the West go, they remain. Their lives cannot be divided into adventure and non-adventure. They live adventure every minute of every day but don’t think of it like that, because for them, it’s just life. They are truly the toughest and most remarkable people I’ve had the privilege of meeting. You never hear them complain. They often wear simple rubber shoes or flip-flops on 15-hour treks, carry 80-pound bags with straps made of vines, and don’t seem to notice the mosquitoes and other biting insects that drive most of us mad.

I sleep in a tent on an inflatable pad and they sleep on the ground. I have 3 or 4 bags for a week in the forest and they have a woven basket, nothing more. I just returned from an expedition to Borneo, and my last week there I lived with the Iban people, who guided me through the Batang Ai forest area of Sarawak, Malaysia. I was not surprised to discover that they, too, are like so many of the other wonderful indigenous people I’ve met on my travels: kind, fiercely intelligent, funny, and more hardcore than almost any of us will ever be. Below are a few photos from my time with them.

Trevor Frost in Recline

Learn more about the collection of Eddie Bauer Travex gear that Trevor Frost packs for his travels and assignments at

Author: - Thursday, September 18th, 2014

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