Wild Night Out…

We should all spend more time outdoors.  Its simple to say and easy to do, but still as a nation we struggle to get people outside.  Because of this, Belinda Kirk created ‘Wild Night Out’, to enthuse people to enjoy the wonderful world around us.  The Ordnance Survey teamed up with Belinda for 2017.  Some people choose to wild camp, others sleep in their garden.  Some camp with youngsters, others with their pets.  Whatever and wherever, example is better than talk, and I lead by example.  I decided to do more of a marathon than a wild night, and joined by fellow outdoor enthusiast Jo Elson, the adventure began…

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Walking into the New Year…

Around 25 years ago, I started leading a New Year’s Walk.  Initially it was for a small group of friends, brought together by shared experiences on expedition with Operation Raleigh, but it has grown to encompass so many more.  Adventurers from over 25 years of international travel, family, fellow speakers, school friends, neighbours, friends of friends etc. all turn up  to walk, eat, drink and talk.  I have never run the event as a route march, because to me, this is much more than a walk.  It’s an important occasion for people to meet socially and enjoy a day in the hills.

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The warm and wet autumn brought the risk of severe flooding in Kendal. Not good for the festival I thought, although it would bring the adventurous aspect of the weekend close to home..!

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Giving some of your time for free is a wonderfully rewarding experience. The world doesn’t have to be all money driven, and I regularly find that people are more committed to a cause when they work for the love of it. Many charities run on volunteers because of their dedication and generosity. If only all things in life could be worked purely for passion… Continue reading “Volunteering”

London Calling…


I’m a country boy.  I was brought up with dawns full of birdsong and church bells, and evenings surrounded by bats and owls, so I always find big cities crowded and overpowering places.  Miles of armour and concrete have always made me cringe, yet cities can have their charms too.  They hold many historical palaces, libraries, castles and society’s, and are useful places to meet friends and colleges.  London draws me occasionally, but there is always an adventure theme…

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Language is full of sayings and quotes about time. ‘Time is of the essence, ‘Time is money’, ‘Time marches on’ etc.  This unending continuum drives many people’s lives at a relentless pace and without respite.  For some, it rules their lives, but should it..?

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Is modern communication destroying adventure..?

Here’s the TEDx Derby presentation I gave asking the question “Is modern communication is destroying adventure..?”  Whats do you think..?

Is modern communication destroying adventure..?


Technology has entered our modern lives with a vengeance.  Whether we like it or not, the digital age has crossed the globe and there seems little escaping it.  I recently spoke at TEDx Derby, and challenged an audience of creative and technology driven people to think differently about the umbilical cord of the mobile phone, wi-fi and worldwide web…

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Safety 1st (aid..?)


Last month I sat my Outdoor First Aid qualification in the lovely Peak District village of Castleton.  It was an extremely enjoyable two-day course, which pushes the usual first aid at qualification further, due to the difficulties experienced in an outdoor environment.  Ok, so my hands make wearing the silicone gloves a bit challenging and removing some of the packaging painfully difficult, but that’s no excuse not to get a qualification.

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George Lowe CNZM OBE – The last of ’53…


It is with great sadness that the news of Georges death was announced.  My thoughts go to his wife Mary and to all the family.  The last of the John Hunt 1953 expedition has gone and with him a great mountaineering dynasty is over. I met George many times as we only lived a few miles apart in Derbyshire, and what I remember about him is a tall, quiet, unassuming gentleman, who never boasted about his adventures, but gladly shared them…

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The Kendal Mountain Festival – backflips, books, slacklines and grand prizes…

Well it was that time of year again.  Time to head to Kendal for the Mountain Festival and volunteer as a presenter.  Volunteer you say???  Well, I may be a professional speaker, but there are times when the outdoor community comes together and works together.  We all give our time for free for the good of the community, and work harder than any professionally paid staff.  Working in engineering, I hear a great deal that ‘Money is the greatest motivator’.  If only these people knew how wrong they were.  Passion drives people, love drives people, people drive people.  And it’s the people I meet at the festival who drive me…

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A weekend to remember…

To a Mountaineer like myself, a weekend away is nothing new.  I’m often off into the hills of Britain or even Europe for a day or two’s climbing, but this weekend was different and rather special.

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Chile 1994 – Raleigh International Expedition 94A

Traveling to Chile with Raleigh International gave me my first taste of expedition life. In the three months I spent there I learned a great deal about the country and it’s people. I worked on projects ranging from scientific and community work, to trekking in some of the remotest mountains in the world…

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Cross world communication…

During my past 20 years of world travel the way we communicate has changed beyond many peoples imagination. For centuries the handwritten letter, which had carried news of great empires, battles, decrees and Royal announcements was abandoned for the world of satellites and WiFi.

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