Fancy a £500 adventure grant? Sure you do!

If you’re like us, 9 times out of 10 it’s the finances that put a spanner in the works when trying to figure out that next big adventure; and also if you’re like us you then wonder what the hell you did with  all your money in your early 20s (and why did spending £100s every month on tequila shots seem like a valid use of money!!)

The usual ‘adventure blockers’ seem to be finances, time, and skill. Well here’s an opportunity which will wipe one of those blockers of the list…no it’s not a time machine, but what it is, is a pretty awesome £500 Adventure Grant from Intrepid Magazine.

 

 

This is an Adventure Grant with a difference; as Intrepid Magazine editor, and all round adventure junkie, Emily Woodhouse explained –

“…[She] wanted to go on an adventure. Specifically, she wanted to climb unnamed mountains in Kyrgyzstan… 

She didn’t think it was safe to do that on her own, because she wasn’t an experience mountaineer. Trouble was, she also didn’t have enough money going spare to afford to be on a trip with a guide. She looked into grants, but time after time they said that commercial tours weren’t eligible.

Then she remembered a story about a man who couldn’t sell his stately home…

No one would give him the full price for the house – it was too expensive for most people who wanted to live there. Instead, he sold £2 raffle tickets until he raised the value of the house and then picked a winner. Your dream home for £2?! Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Why can’t the same thing happen for adventure grants…?”

Well now thanks to Emily, the same thing can happen for adventure grants; the set up is pretty straight forward, in a nutshell, the total Adventure Grant fund needs to reach £1000 – and it is made up from budding adventurers ‘buying’ a raffle ticket – so £1 = 1 Raffle Ticket (although you can enter as many times as you like to boost your chances!)

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What is an Adventure Anyway?

There’s no selection criteria, no entry forms. It really is as simple as throwing in a quid (or more!) for your chance to win the £500 grant! Of course there are a few PR bits to go along with it, which is no biggie, and the details are in the FAQ section on the CrowdFunder page.

So what the heck are you waiting for?

No seriously why are you still reading this?

Go already!

 

 

Down2Earth & doah_adventures

We’re pleased to announce our first collaboration of 2018; and it’s with UK based clothing start-up down2earth. Their thirst for adventure was an instant pull for us and after some initial chit-chats it was clear that doah_adventures and Down2Earth were two peas in a pod.

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So what’s in store for Down2Earth and doah_adventures? Well as proud ambassadors we will be promoting, using, and abusing some of the products Down2Earth has to offer; and sharing the occasional promotion too! So don’t worry, this isn’t a pre-curser to us becoming a spambot sales page, we’re not into all that. We’re not working on commission, we’re just working on love – because like The Beatles said, all you need is love.

d2e

What we WILL be doing however is helping this adventurous UK brand get out of the starting blocks. In fact, you can too (and get yourself a cheeky treat from as little at £1) by taking a look at their Kickstarter page >

http://kck.st/2CZUViJ

So keep a look out on our social media to see some Down2Earth products in action, and our follow up blog posts! We’re delighted to be working with the guys at D2E; so go check them out, and then get to the check out.

 

 

In Review: The Primal Pantry – Almond & Cashew Raw Paleo Bar

If you’re like me, you must be a pretty awesome,  you’ll find the ever saturated nutritional snack isle more a source of confusion than convenience. It literally feels like there’s a new brand on the shelf every week, and for me anyway, it’s getting to the point where I’ve begun to just think ‘oh forget it’.

So for that reason, I am taking it upon myself, in the name of ‘the outdoor and adventure’ community, to snack like I have never snacked before and review a product plucked from the nutritional snack isle each week. I will be marking each (out of 7 summits) on taste & texturecost, and bang-for-your-buck (nutrition).

So without further ado – first up I have the Almond & Cashew Raw Paleo Bar – from The Primal Pantry.

 

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TASTE & TEXTURE: 

(6/7) Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ 
Spot on. (that was easy)…but honestly the blend of flavours is great – and due to the ‘basic’ nature of the ingredients there’s really not much else to unpack on this point. I did find the bar a touch on the small side, but larger 45g bars are also available.
Something that often bugs the hell out of me is getting bits stuck in my teeth, especially if I’m on the side of a mountain without a tooth pick, or possibly with a tooth pick, but with huge gloves on! I’m pleased to report a zero, on the ‘stuck in the teeth’ scale, and I gave it a really good chew too.

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COST:

(6/7) Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ 
When The Primal Pantry Founder; Suzie Walker, is quoted on the Primal Pantry website saying “We should stop asking why real food is so expensive and instead question why processed food is so cheap”  you might expect to be digging deep into your pockets. But with an average cost per bar of 62p well…that’s cheaper than a Kit-Kat.
I’m sure the cost will vary, but I managed to get that on offer in a supermarket; even at the normal list price it works out at 75p per bar.

 

 

 

BANG-FOR-YOUR-BUCK:

(4/7)  Δ Δ Δ Δ
Despite tasting superb, and being really relatively cheap, I was found wanting after just a short time, perhaps the larger bar would do the trick, but I can’t help but think I would be a little disappointed after one of these out on the trail. I could easily scoff the whole packet in one, paleofest, sitting.

Typical Values Typical Values per 100g Per Bar
Energy (kJ/kcal) 1909/458 573/138
Fat 27.0g 8.0g
(of which saturates) 3.4g 1.0g
Carbohydrate 39.2g 11.8g
(of which sugars) 35.7g 10.7g
Fibre 4.8g 1.5g
Protein 12.1g 3.6g
Salt 0.02g 0.01g

 

FINAL WORD:

(5/7) Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ 
Certainly a decent enough snack bar, would it make it into my hiking backpack? In honesty no. But I see this more as a straight-swap bar for those impulse snacks (I mentioned a Kit-Kat earlier, and my god am I a sucker for a Kit-Kat) well I’ve found my new go-to bar for those ‘at the counter’ impulse buys.

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Small Steps to Big Results

I’ve recently been looking into incremental training and micro routines as a way to generate big results; and I just wanted to share a few thought on it, and hopefully give you some ideas too for your own training, although it totally can apply to any aspect of life, from saving money, to reading more, to getting in shape, I think there’s a lot of merit in incremental training, or as I’ like to put it simply.
Getting one bit better, at one thing, everyday.

It really got me thinking about how just a few years ago, if you had said that I would be making the summit of Mt. Toubkal in 3 years time, I would have laughed! Especially because at that point I had just been up and down Snowdon and thought it was hard work! So how did I get there? Well, through just small improvements over a long period of time…

Oftentimes when we set a new training regime, we go all in and expect the world from ourselves; especially even with dieting; and obviously not everyone, but usually we might stick at it for what, a month, a week, a day even?
The idea behind this philosophy of training is you set yourself a routine, which is so simple, and so achievable you really cant say no to it. So here’s an example from Peter Schroeder:

“The first habit I started with was reading. I have never been a big reader but decided I wanted to start reading more to learn new things. Initially, I began reading one page a night before bed. Just one page, that’s it!

Anyone can read a single page of a book. No matter what, I would read before bed every single night. What I found was reading the page of the book wasn’t what was important, but rather forming the habit. It’s nearly impossible to make an excuse not to take a minute for reading a page of a book. Thus, the habit begins to form.

Photo Credit — https://unsplash.com/search/read?photo=OMXPrCAhxrE

Sometimes it was a struggle (especially after long days), but remember — it’s only one page. Eventually, I was slowly able to increase the volume in five-minute increments to get to forty-five minutes of reading a night.

Another micro-habit I was able to entrench in my life was meditation. I have always had a cluttered mind and wanted to start doing something to clear my thoughts. After some time, I landed on meditation and breathing exercises as my path to a clear mind.

I decided it would be helpful to do this every morning to clear my mind at the beginning of the day, as well as a perfect way to cap off the day when I’m winding down at night.

To kick off the meditation process, I started by meditating for a minute in the morning and at night. Establishing the process helped me to make meditation part of my routine. Now, I meditate for fifteen minutes in the morning and a half an hour at night.

The micro-habit process has also helped me esablish the routine of going to bed at 10 pm every night (with exceptions), wake up at 6 am every morning (no exceptions), not use any electronics after 8 pm, and begin to learn French.

All of these things have become baked into my daily routine through micro-habits.”

 

So when we’re looking at micro routines its not that we can’t do more, because we can, and probably do. But its that forming the routine in such a way that you can’t avoid it…well that’s a lifestyle change!

The point is, that its very easy to shy away from a commitment like exercise if it’s hugely time consuming; or if its ‘just one of those days’…even on those days as Peter said, even the 1 page of reading can be done!
But here’s some really cool things about this method:

1. You have no idea how efficient you can get! Over time you’re going to be getting so efficient at the task in hand that your results will be exponentially.

2. These micro routines will become daily habits that you soon won’t even think about.

3. You will literally be making a lifestyle change, that will last, and is actually pretty easy to fall into.

A good way to demonstrate how one small thing each day can have such a huge impact, is to look at the reverse of a positive health decision, like smoking for example:

So sure, smoke 5 cigarettes a day for a month, and you’ll probably be in okay shape.
15 a day for a year, you’re getting chesty and short of breath by now.
20 a day for 10 years, well you’re already short of breath, so chances are you’re not exercising, so also likely you’re out of shape. Also the accumulation of all those ‘one small things’ has filled your lungs with tar, chemicals, and countless cell mutations.
20 a day for 40 years? Well you know where we’re going by now, so one health condition predisposes you to the next; and this where we see the results growing exponentially.

So whether its a diet, a work-out, a new language, or to read, or to talk to old friends more, literally anything (even blogging!) it can be achieved with huge results, just taking one small incremental change each and every day.

From Snowdon, to now making plans for our first of the 7 Summits; just one small step at a time…where we will get to? Who know! We’ll let you know though for sure.

 

 

 

If you would like to check out Peter Schroeders full article, and for more on setting effective micro routines click here.

 

What is an Adventure anyway?

Adventure


[Ad-ven-cher] 
noun
1. an exciting or very unusual experience.
2. participation in exciting undertakings or enterprises: the spirit of adventure.
3. a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.
4. a commercial or financial speculation of any kind; venture.

5. Obsolete.

  1. peril; danger; risk.
  2. chance; fortune; luck.
verb (used with object)adventured, adventuring.
6. to risk or hazard.
7. to take the chance of; dare.
8. to venture to say or utter: to adventure an opinion.

verb
 (used without object)
adventured, adventuring.
9. to take the risk involved.

I came across the questions “what is an adventure” recently thanks to the guys at Outdoor Bloggers  and it really got me thinking; because the word gets thrown about a lot these days – I think probably because having ‘an adventure holiday’ sounds way cooler than ‘a walking holiday’, which in most cases is probably the case…not all the time of course, for me I’d plump for definition 3 from the dictionary, it seems to be the most fitting:

“a bold, usually risky undertaking; hazardous action of uncertain outcome.”

My reason for this, is that it’s so subjective, and of course an adventure has  to be subjective right? Like you can’t say to someone “Go do that thing because its an adventure.” Can you? maybe you can, but I mean in the way I see adventure, it’s a completely personal experience…this is why my 4 year old daughter can have an adventure in my local woods, while I’m just plodding along experiencing the exact same objective world, yet my heads probably wandering in 15 different directions, whens my car tax due, did I pay that bill yet, I wonder if I will finish that blog post today…etc  – or probably ideally, just making sure my daughter doesn’t come to any great harm during her adventure in the woods!

So; point A: it’s a personal experience.
my immediate question…so what makes it so?

Well to answer that, I’m going to lay out what I think are the elements that add up to what we would categorise as an adventure, and not merely ‘a walk in the woods’; and then I’ll illustrate what my own personal ‘greatest adventure’ has been to date – I guess then we can see where we’re at.

A good start point, so I’ve been told, is the start, so we’ll go for that – so let’s determine the type of adventure…and in these circles we’re usually talking about a planned activity that we think will be a challenge, have some risks involved, that ideally won’t kill us, and that we can tell an interesting story about – that seems to sum up ‘adventure trips’ i.e to make a summit of a mountain, to swim the Channel Crossing, to run a marathon in the Sahara desert etc etc.

That description seemed to come very naturally, so let’s pick it apart to get to the bottom of what it truly means: so –  why a challenge? why risk? why stories?

Challenge.
The challenge element I think is a key part, and with planned adventures, the handy thing is you can kinda guess at what the challenge is going to be – so you can prepare your best for it, because of course a surprise adventure would be a pretty terrifying ordeal.
So the yearning for a challenge is in there, why? So perhaps the element isn’t ‘challenge’ so much as it’s ‘to learn something about yourself.’
I can obviously only speak on my own experience, but to overcome a challenge, involves learning something new about yourself, or indeed, letting go of a part of yourself.

Risk. 
What does it mean to take a risk? Well it means that whatever you are doing has consequences. Do thing well = you’re all good. Do thing bad = you’re not so good. Again just like all of these experiences it’s a subjective feeling; coming down the icy ridge of Toubkal felt like a pretty damn big risk to me…fall that side…probably die right…so death was a loose footing away – and I’m not being over dramatic here, that’s just the obvious truth.
Luckily there’s a number of things to minimise that risk – having a guide, having decent kit (I did just make a typo there and type ket…let me confirm that having decent ket on the side of Toubkal would not minimise risks at all).
Again, if I go back to my 4 year old in the woods adventure…well woah I mean, there’s SO much risk in the woods for a 4 year old it’s untrue…from evil witches living in gingerbread houses, to foxes dressed up as an elderly relative…jeez that’s one risky place…that’s not the place I’M in when I’m in the woods, but for sure that’s where she is…

The Unknown.
Meeting the unknown; is not too dissimilar to over coming the challenge – on a personal level – to be pushed to a place you’ve never been emotionally / physically can be an enlightening experience – for me, this parts easy, because I’m a complete wimp, I freeze if I’m exposed to sheer drops (or tackling scrambles etc), I’m not athletic at all, and I generally struggle about inside my awkward flabby body. For these reasons, I’m constantly pushing myself beyond my perceived limits, it’s happened on almost all the summits I’ve achieved.

Snowdon: froze due to vertigo on a scramble nearing the top.
Scafell Pike: we (hands up stupidly) descended down an un-routed gully, in thick fog, I was sure we would need the rescue team
Ben Nevis: by far the most emotionally depleting summit, so cold, so wet, and at that point we thought so high!
Mt. Toubkal: I’m still unsure how I made it, I’ve never been so physically pushed; to the point my sole concern was breathing to not pass out (contrast that to my jolly in the woods and you can see what I’m getting at).

So it can be the unknown, in terms of meeting unknown aspects of our character or capabilities, or it can be a literal unknown…situations, places etc. I guess the unknown element from Scafell Pike was the literal unknown of being down a scree gully in about 2M visibility.

Stories.
It took me a while to process my story from Toubkal, to the point where if people asked me within the first week or so of returning home, my response was – “yeah, so hard, but it was awesome”…that was it! I just hadn’t figured how to articulate the whole experience – maybe that’s a common thing for adventurers? Let me know!
But why do people care, and why do we like, LOVE, the stories? Well it’s occured to me during writing this, that all of those elements that create what we call ‘Adventure’ occur not just on the mountain side, but in almost every day of every year.

It’s the story of our lives.

So…what’s my ‘Greatest Adventure? Well it’s the adventure that I’m still in, every day, and although at the top of the article I did say that ideally our adventures wouldn’t kill us, well, this one will inevitably end that way. So, yeah, my greatest adventure is the one where I’ve learned not just something new about myself, but the one where I even learned that I had a self, that I had a self, and that I would bring other little humans into the world, so they too can have adventures in the woods, and I’ll know to keep the witches and foxes at bay, because they’re the same adventures I had, that we all had, and forever will have.

Our trips to conquer mountains, swim rivers, and run marathons, well, that’s when we’re living out the very essence of life itself, and that my friends, is one hell of awesome adventure.