The fear was real when I said this to my husband, about halfway through the first day of our mid-March walk along the South Downs Way. We’d spent the morning slogging through mud: the path from Lewes to the Way was well trodden (by horses) and churned into a messy graveyard of chalky, gooey muck.Read More
A few weeks ago I gave an assembly at my daughter’s school. On a few occasions I have spoken to rooms full of journalists and at conferences but nothing made me as nervous as a room full of primary school children.
What if I didn’t know the answer to their questions? Fortunately I was giving an assembly about 30 Days Wild and, fortunately, I was joined by Liz Carney from The Wildlife Trusts who did have all the answers to the children’s questionsRead More
My unhappiness reached such a low level, like many people, I began to feel I was ill with depression and I believed my only choice was to take antidepressant pills. Fortunately for me, I received a piece of direct mail that introduced me to the power of my mind and the importance of learning how to manage my thoughts. I was also introduced to the need for goals.Read More
Using valuable land as a waste management dumping zone is becoming a serious environmental problem. The build up and release of greenhouse gases from land waste poses a serious environmental impact risk that could lead to a dangerous shift in ecological balances and adversely effect human health. Changing our current course in waste management toward more practical, sustainable solutions is the only logical step forward if we hope to combat the effects our waste is having. The question is, how?Read More
In June 2016, I set out with my friend Alfy Weston to do something that nobody had ever done before: kayak the length of Angola's Kwanza River, from source to mouth. Over the next 33 days we kayaked, hiked and waded through some of last truly wilderness areas in Sub Saharan Africa. Starting high up on the Bié Plateau, which provides water to the Okavango Delta, we made our way down the river to the mouth at the Atlantic Ocean coast, just south of the capital Luanda. We transported over 100kg of expedition gear along 984km of kayaking and 300km of hiking. During our expedition we were attacked by hippos, sank in rapids and were even arrested and threatened with deportation by Angolan security forces.Read More
Lots of folks think that trail running is only for the badass, hardcore runners of the world, and that’s simply not true. Trail running - like running, in general - is open to everyone. You don’t have to be a pro mountain or trail runner; you could even consider yourself a “roads runner” but still run trails each week or month and benefit from it.
If you’re new to trail running and are stumped on where to get started, consider my recommendations below, a primer, if you will, for trail running. Taken together, I think my recommendations will help get you on the right foot, right away.Read More
Sweat is anxiety leaving the body. I don’t remember much about the drive along Loch Ness to the hills above the isolated white cottage that is the Cluanie Inn nestling in the depths of Glen Sheil the steep sided Highland glen. In the hour or so it took me to drive from my home in the Highland capital I took little notice of great expanse of water I drove beside, my mind spinning in turmoil.
Everyone is beset by some sort of struggle. It can be a myriad of things like family conflict, addiction, health or workplace stress. For me, on this spring day, it was the sense of being let down that persecuted me. I had applied to take my workplace pension two years early. At first, I’d been led to believe that it was a mere formality; that I’d simply have to apply to get my pension released.Read More
I spent four nights over the Easter weekend in Iceland with my family - a wonderful early birthday present from my impeccably brilliant genius of a wife. I have long wanted to go there.
But four days in Iceland is like dipping one crispy salted pretzel in Nutella and eating it. You can’t stop there. You need more...Read More
For me time spent in the hills, mountains and generally in the honest embrace of nature is an unquantifiable tonic. It has helped me to re-balance my life and to look after my mental health in the last couple if years.
Brought to you by Adventure Uncovered and led by the remarkable Alex Staniforth, Mind Over Mountains is an event which focuses on the connection between mental wellbeing and hillwalking...Read More
A storm had brewed through the night and was still releasing it’s menacing self on one memorable winter morning, it was 5am and dark outside. a comfortable pillow and a warm blanket tempted me to stay all snuggled up but a calling from the sea is a calling to which I can not say no.
I saddled up on my bike and made my way to the sea, the wind slowed me to almost a walking pace. I should have known at this point that danger was on the horizon, however a part of me knew I was going to dance with the thundering waves.Read More
Reluctant and scared has often been my default position. I am sure I have this in common with most of humanity as I stick to my "comfort zones”. It has prevented me doing things I want to do, developing business ideas and telling people what I really think.
It shaped my educational and early career path (I say “path" but it was more like a circular track caused by an adventurous sheep that has never left a field) and it definitely prevented me from having a much richer and more interesting social life when I was young (yes I also mean with girls).Read More
At 42 years old I find myself stuck in corporate life, chained to my desk for long hours in major cities around the UK. This makes my excursions into the great outdoors even more important, my medicine for the trappings of modern life and the frustrations of big business. I love nothing more than getting out running on the trails and Fells of Northern England, just me, my dog and nature. This is not the story of one individual event but more the repeated restorative powers my adventures exert on both my physical and mental health.Read More
It was mid-July, and my first experience of the French Alps bare of snow. Based in Morzine in the Haute Savoie for a spot of climbing, via ferrata and a substantial hike, it was a trip that I had been looking forward to with childlike enthusiasm.Read More
Every morning at 06:30 I stumble downstairs, sleepily flick the switch on the kettle and make myself a pot of tea. It might be green tea, it might be black. I quite often spill a bit on the sideboard. A few minutes after I have drunk it and perked up. At no time have I given a thought to how these dry fragrant leaves made their way to my pot.
This time last week I was deep in Sri Lankan hill country, hiking up steep mountainsides, rocky paths, stone staircases, through mahogany forests and the ubiquitous, far reaching tea estates that cover the mountains and provide this island nation’s major export.Read More
If you had told me 8 years ago that I would soon be exploring the wild outdoors, seeing places very few people ever get to experience, I would have scoffed. With no outdoor experience, having never wild camped or walked a trail, I was out of touch with the nature.Read More
This question is an opportunity to pause and understand ourselves better, otherwise life sort of runs away and our dreams can get left behind. Instead of striving through life and gasping for change we can discover a path where we are connected and follow our intuition. I see it as a stepping stone towards clarity and motivation.Read More
I took a sip from my water bottle. The warm breeze wafted against my face. My eyes met with the greenery of the valley between Monte Brento and Monte Bondone. In the distance, Lago di Garda was a blue canvas on which white dots of sailboats drew invisible lines against the surface of the lake.Read More
Last week I talked to Sarah Outen and spent three days on a little adventure in the wild, so we will be back again with a guest post next week. Enjoy!
Adventure is a word which is used very much these days to describe outdoor activities that, to those who have always done them, are simply what they are; hiking, camping or canoeing, for example. They need no greater moniker to attribute some magical quality to them...Read More
The now coined Andean Giant Expedition 2010, would have me cycling from sea level starting in Caldera, on the Pacific Coast, for five days, a total of 360km to an altitude of 4500m, and this was just the start. The bulk of the next ten days were spent in the Atacama Desert, acclimatising to at least 5800m in preparation for summit day.Read More
Sometimes it’s not about achieving great improbable feats – and I’ve had my share of those. But I am also learning that sometimes it’s about honouring yourself. Saying “no” can be just as important as saying “yes.”Read More