Aldo’s feats include leading expeditions into the Congo’s 11,380ft Nyiragongo volcano when it was erupting, executing a four day abseil down the 3,212ft Angel Falls, and crossing the shifting sand dunes of north west China’s Taklamakan Desert.
In 2016 Aldo led first ascents up Venezuela’s ancient tepuis – sheer-sided, flat-topped mountains rising out of the jungle – and descents into the cave systems on their island summits. In the same year, he secured two world records for ocean rowing, after spending 50 days rowing 3,677 nautical miles across the Atlantic with teammate and Vollebak athlete Jason Fox. And together with Jason, Aldo was responsible for hiding our Extreme Discount Card somewhere in the world, in a modern-day treasure hunt that’s as hard as any in history.
When we started designing our Planet Earth Shirts, it was Aldo we turned to for advice on the features and performance he most wanted from a shirt when working in extreme environments from the jungle to the high mountains to the desert. The question we put to him was simple – ‘you’ve been thrown into the back of a truck, you don’t know where on earth you’re going to end up, or what your mission is when you get there, what’s the piece of kit you want to be wearing to help keep you alive?’
Two years in the making, the end result was a shirt that’s designed to work in all of the 510 million square kilometres on the surface of Earth – with a reinforced anti-mosquito collar for the jungle, 7 concealed air vents that work like in-built air-con for the desert, a hidden passport pocket for hostile environments, 9 gadget loops for the mountains, over 62 metres of stitching reinforced with welding, and shatterproof buttons made from the world’s toughest nuts. Water repellent, dirt repellent, bacteria resistant and fast drying, it’s built from advanced high-performance Swiss and Italian materials that stretch and breathe like sports gear.
Image: Aldo Kane at the start of a day’s rigging and derigging in Papua New Guinea’s Highlands, photographed by expedition kayaker David Bain.