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How to Have an Outdoor Adventure Mindset and About Challenge Grants (Tim Moss)

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Tim Moss thought the key to having a life focused on outdoor challenges was to them his job. But instead the UK-based adventurer found that adventure work brought fewer adventures to his life, so he shifted his mindset to make adventure a part of regular life — and help others fund theirs through his Challenge Grants program.

Listen to Tim’s thoughts on leaving life as a professional adventurer and how to incorporate outdoor adventures into your normal, everyday life.

Some of the good stuff:

[1:28] Tim’s favorite outdoor space

[2:41] What is ‘Around the World in 80 Ways?’

[4:13] Psychological vs. physical adventure

[8:16] Why he left adventuring for a regular job

[11:45] Why adventuring doesn’t need to be full time

[16:04] How adventuring changes once you add kids

[20:31] All about Challenge Grants

[26:11] How to build an adventure during a pandemic

[27:52] Why our definition of “adventure” is too narrow

[33:00] Tim’s favorite and most essential outdoor gear

[36:07] Tim’s favorite outdoor moment

Connect with this episode:

Register for our newsletter to win a decal: https://humansoutside.com/newsletter

Follow us on Instagram and share your outdoor life with the hashtag #humansoutside365.

Here’s an edited transcript of our conversation on The Humans Outside Podcast.

Listen to the episode on iTunes, Google Podcasts, or wherever you find your favorite podcasts.

AB 0:06

Have you ever thought about what it would take to make adventure a lifestyle or earn the street cred adventure? Well, Tim Moss is a British adventurer with an impressive resume of really cool tracks under his belt with everything from mountain climbing and desert trekking to rickshaw record setting. He’s also an expert in helping other people take adventures too. Tim, welcome to the Humans Outside Podcast.

TM 1:17

Lovely to be here. Thank you for having me.

AB 1:19

So we like to start our episodes imagining ourselves chatting in our guest’s favorite outdoor space. Where are we with you today?

TM 1:28

I think I’m gonna take you to the Al Wahiba Sands Desert in Oman in the Middle East. I had the pleasure of living there for about five or six months. And my wife and I spent a long weekend crossing this desert. It is a tiny desert, but it’s prototypical – sand dunes and nothing else apart from the occasional camel. And I remember our second morning waking up on the top of a dune, outside our tent and looking around and seeing nothing but rolling dunes and not a single sign of life for miles around. So that’s that’s where I’m imagining myself right now.

AB 2:09

That’s really cool. We’ve never had a podcast episode in a desert before. I’m excited to be there. You’ve had a host of really incredible adventures that would make most people say like — Wait, what? You’ve cycled around the world with your wife, you’ve traversed that desert we just talked about by moonlight. And I love this one: you’ve circumnavigated the globe in around the world in 80 ways adventure – instead of around the world in 80 days – with a friend. So can you tell us about that one? What does it mean to go around the world in 80 ways?

TM 2:41

And in this instance, it meant using 80 different methods of transport, and try not to use any of them more than once. So the obvious hurdle that presents is you only get one one plane when you’re trying to get around the world. And once you get beyond plane, train, car, truck, bike, running, you start thinking — how am I going to make my way to 80? You have to start getting more creative and you find yourself on the back of a fire engine or on a big lorry or pedalo or catamaran. And the idea was we were doing it for a charity. And we wanted to travel around the world and see as many countries as we could on our travels, but use the challenge of finding obscure methods of transport as a way to interact with more people, which is often the joy of these trips like this. So you’d see someone going past on a bike with seven seats and steering wheel and you think — right, we need to get on that. Except the problem is you’re in Germany or you’re in some far flung country where you don’t speak the language. So you suddenly have this, you’re presented with this with a bit of a challenge of trying to communicate with people that you just want to hop on there, get a photograph, and it’s for charity.

AB 4:04

It’s like, how to say, “Can I have a ride?” in every language you can imagine.

TM 4:09

Exactly, exactly.

AB 4:12

Okay, so I love this because a lot of people think about adventure in terms of like, very physical, but this is more psychological, I guess. I don’t know how else to describe it. It’s not your typical adventure. Is that how you think about it?

TM 4:30

Yeah, and in truth, the vast majority of the adventures I’ve done have been physical to a large extent. And that one was reasonably unique in being a bit more of a sort of urging more towards a stunt I suppose. Or like a charity challenge. The only one I can think of that was similar was I did 100 pound adventure when I was starting out as a full time adventurer and not making any money. I was given 100 pounds for birthday or Christmas or something, and I though I didn’t have much money to spend, I thought — I’m supposed to be an adventurer. I should have an adventure. So I set myself this 100 pound budget for a week’s adventuring, see how far I could get and had different targets like sleep outside and swim in the sea and climb a mountain. And I hitchhiked around the UK on this tight budget, which again, not particularly physical, but a different kind of challenge. And I generally liked the physical elements of things. But once in a while it’s good to test yourself in different ways.

AB 5:33

Yeah, 100 pounds is like $120 USD.

TM 5:38

Depending on the day of the week, but more than $100 less than $200.

AB 5:42

Yeah, fair enough. Fair enough. And okay, so on your 80 ways, how long did that take you and what was your favorite and then maybe your most unexpected mode of transportation?

TM 6:00

It was a long time ago is the first thing I should say – we’re talking 15 years ago. So memories may be hazy. But the time limit was pretty tight. It was somewhere around two months, because it had to fit in between finishing University, my final exams, and we left within a couple of days, my friend and I. And then I was getting back for my brother’s wedding. So we had this not only did we have this tight thing with a limited budget, and all these methods of transport to do, but we had a really strict timeline, so we couldn’t really hang around. So it ended up being a real whirlwind. And some favorite methods include, we went up in a tiny little, I think it’s called a Cessna, which is like a sort of tiny world war two plane to we got to go to a trip, you know, get again for free using the fact that was for charity, and promotional in that sense, people were really generous with their time and assistance. And as I alluded to earlier, when we were in Germany, we found this thing called a conference bike, which is this huge orange bar trike, really with car size wheels on it. And it has seats for seven people sitting in a circle. And the idea is that you can have your, your annual conference or your meeting, team meeting, whilst pedaling up the road. And the seven sets of pedals are all facing each other. So you can have a chat while you ride along. So those were some of the highlights.

AB 7:33

I love that the Germans call that a conference bike. That’s very on theme for Germany – productivity. In the US, those are booze bikes, which is also very on theme. I’ve seen those in Nashville – people, you know, drinking and cycling, which may not be the best idea, but that’s what they do. So there you go. Okay, so for a period of time, you ran an adventure company, and you facilitated adventures for other people. And you made adventure a full time gig. So now you don’t do that. What made you leave that for a non adventure job?

TM 8:16

Um, a few different factors. Being a sort of full time adventurer sounds terribly glamorous, and there are loads of things about it that were great, you know, lots of sort of free time, but loads of interesting people and could go on some, some great trips. But the truth is, I did a lot of my most interesting adventures before I was a full time adventure, because I had some money. I was never in a high paid job. I worked for charity and as a trainee teacher and living in London, the capital where things are expensive. But at least I had a salary. Whereas being an adventurer, I didn’t have a great income at all. So that was, that was one of the big challenges. And, and I’m not a particularly financially driven person. But it was, it just made day to day life tricky. I couldn’t go out, go meet friends and they’d all be having a drink and I couldn’t afford to have one. I was supposed to be an adventurer, but I couldn’t afford to go from these ordinary adventures apart from the 100 pound budget ones. And so it didn’t really work out. I think not being motivated by money meant that I wasn’t doing the right things to professionalize and be more businesslike. I was doing the things that interested me. And if two people emailed one of them said –I’ve got a million dollars, and I’m planning a huge expedition, I need someone to project manager. Do you want to be my guy? And someone else would say — Look, I’ve never done an adventure before. I’d really like some help getting into it. I just don’t know where to start. I’m much more interested in the second person and let’s be honest, the first person never came along. So that was one element to it. And I think the other two things, that one element was just not using my brain too much, it was a good outlet for adventure stuff. And the physical side of things, is a great outlet for creativity, we are to write blog posts and articles, which I can still do now, in my free time. But I didn’t feel like I was using my gray matter very much. So I wanted to get a bit more of that. And then the final thing was mental health. I worked from home on my own, didn’t have colleagues or peers, and everything was online, or Twitter and blogs and Facebook. So even as a natural introvert who likes having a lot of time on their own, I found months and months of working alone on my own without someone else to sort of cooperate with or even someone else to go home and whine about a colleague that was annoying at work, just being on my own, the whole time just wasn’t good for my mental health, and just cause real problems. I had depression by the end of it. So that was the sort of the final straw to switch things around.

AB 11:06

You know, I love that you tried doing it full time and then you moved away from that, because one of the things we talk about a lot here is making spending time outside just part of your daily life. You know, so building that into your current lifestyle versus making it this well, you make it the center focus of your lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean you have to have going outside as your job. I guess that’s what I’m trying to say: that having adventures or spending time in nature or going outside can be a part of your life without it being your entire life.

TM 11:45

Absolutely, yeah, I think there’s a tendency, and I was one of these people to believe that if you want to go and do the adventures that you read books about and see those blogs that you need to quit your job, and then pursue that as a lifestyle. But to me, that’s a bit like saying — I’m hungry, I’m going to quit my job and be a chef. No, you can just go and buy a meal. In the same way, you can organize an expedition or an adventure, and then you can fit that around normal life. And for some people, of course, quitting your job and pursuing an adventurous lifestyle is the right thing. But I think that’s a tiny minority compared to the people who have normal lives like the rest of us and occasionally like to go off and do very different things.

AB 12:30

Yeah, you know, and I think you’re right. My family did something very dramatic, which was we moved from where we were living in the lower 48 of the US in Tennessee, and moved to Alaska, which is a, you know, comparatively very wild place. Because we wanted to really spend more time outside, but more so than that we needed a change to what we were doing. We just needed a mental health focus change to how we are spending our lives, time, and careers, and that kind of stuff. And we knew that moving somewhere else would provide that dramatic change. And if you’re already going to do that, why not move somewhere super wild, that fits your life focus. So that’s how we ended up here. But you’re absolutely right, that’s not right for everybody. And you can shift your focus to be more adventure driven without selling everything you have, packing the station wagon, and moving to Alaska, even though, you know, it was fun. And here we are.

TM 13:36

The time that I was busy trying to be a full time adventurer, I was living in London – a big city with no mountains and not many hills. And whereas now, I’m in the process of my next sort of adventure of sorts, is moving to the English Lake District, which is obviously no wilderness compared to Alaska. But for England, it’s as good as it gets. And we’re building a house in a rural setting with several acres of field and stream and woodland. But I’ll still have a normal job. So before it was living in a city but trying to be a full time adventurer, whereas now I’m going to be living in the mountains with a normal job. And I think that’s going to be a healthier balance. I’ll have regular income and colleagues to work with, but on my weekends and evenings and lunch breaks, I’ll have hills and woodlands on my doorstep.

AB 14:30

Yeah, so so good. You have kids now right?

TM 14:33

Yes. Yep. Two of them and one of them’s only two months old.

AB 14:38

Oh my, how has having kids changed your how you see or do adventure since your adventure, you know, full time or global adventure days?

TM 14:46

I think how I do adventures – the impact is immediate and obvious. And I’ll get to it, I suppose. I see adventures slightly differently from when I was perhaps 20, when I was younger, you’re perhaps more foolhardy, less risk averse, and more, you know, for want of a better phrase, selfish or indulgent, you can just you can just drop everything you can go off disappear. And you don’t mind taking a few more risks. And over time, before I had kids, that had changed. I quickly discovered that actually, anything dangerous, I’m not interested in. My first mountaineering trip, when I went to Kurdistan, was fascinating and brilliant, but we got into some real scrapes and took a few falls. And it just made me think that I don’t enjoy that. I’ve done mountaineering since. But I’ve been more organized, more prepared and less out of my comfort zone. But the problem is that becoming a parent is the final straw on that final step in that party. Like, it’s not responsible for me to go disappear for weeks and months. And it’s not responsible for me to be risking everything for the sake of an Instagram update, or whatever it is. There are other people to think about.

And then on the practical side of things, certainly things had to change with a kid in tow. In case it wasn’t clear, I do almost all of my adventuring with my wife, it’s not that I go off and she stays at home or vice versa, that sometimes happens. But most of the time we do things together. So there was never any question that that would change when we had kids. So it wouldn’t be me going off and her staying behind or vice versa. And also, it wouldn’t mean that we’d stop adventuring, it’s just changed. And since they’re very young, yeah, we’ve not got back to the same level of extreme trips. But we try as much as we can. And the two main things we’ve done: we did a long distance trail or long distance on UK terms, it was probably less than 100 miles. But walking from our old house to the land in the Lake District that I mentioned earlier, carrying our kid. And, again, that’s that same balance has to be struck between having the adventure and being a vaguely responsible parent in that you might have walked 20 miles plus in a day before. Not only is it harder with a kid on your back, but also you don’t want your – he was one at the time – you don’t want him to have his entire week where all he does is get carried in a rucksack, you’ve got to stop sometimes and give him some time to play. And then the other thing we did, we spent a month cycling up through the Baltic states in Northern Europe and up to Scandinavia, and to an archipelago up there between Finland and Sweden. So taking our kid, he was in a trailer with our camping kit, as I used to do. And what was great about that is that although the distances might have shrunk slightly, the experience is exactly the same. You always try and bite off more than you can chew. You arrive at the campsite or wherever it is later than you expected, tired and hungry. You’ve not got enough food in your panniers but you make do and you get up the next day and do the same thing. And it was exactly the same with the one year old as it was when we were just the two of us.

AB 18:06

Yeah, I love that. And by the way, I think 100 miles is plenty long for most people with or without a kid. Just for the record. And with the kid, it’s certainly quite long enough. Thank you very much. I mean, I have kids who walk themselves, they’re 8 and 11. And I don’t think they could fathom going 100 miles even though we regularly hike and we backpacked and, you know, that kind of thing. Good job starting them early. Because that stuff matters. You know, it’s building a lifestyle habit.

TM 18:46

Hopefully, and that’s that’s what we try to do. But the truth is when I’m hoping it’s just because they’re so young. And it’s so new. And there’s so little sleep to be had at the moment with a toddler and a newborn. And we don’t get out nearly as much as we used to, or we would hope to and I’m hoping we would got it got better when it was just the one of them and then you know a bit of a reset with a new one only two months old, but I’m hopeful and confident that it’ll pick up over time. Your spouse recognizing it’s not it’s never gonna be the same level as it was. But there is, the more and more you look online and more and more you see that people do get out there and do stuff for their kids. So it’s different and it can be harder, but I don’t think it’s an excuse to stop.

AB 19:35

So one of the things you do now is called Challenge Grants. It’s on hold until fall 2021. So don’t get too excited, everybody. But can you tell us about it and how it helps people who want to hand out head out on adventure?

TM 20:31

Absolutely. My website is called the Next Challenge. And I started it, partly to help other people have adventures. And for a while there was a tiny business element to it, in that I’d try and get people to pay me to organize trips for them. But in truth, for every one person that hired me professionally, there’ll be 100 who just sent me emails, and I replied to them, and was very happy to do so. And then once I stopped doing it full time, I stopped taking money for anyone, it’s just purely for fun and voluntary. And then once I had an income, I suddenly realized that the small amount of money that I was getting through my website, for example, for adverts made about 200 pounds – $300 in a year, I thought, well, I don’t need that to live on anymore. I’ll give that away as a grant. So I put that on my website — apply to me with an idea for this little adventure and I’ll give you this money. And then a few other adventurer friends emailed me and said — we’ll put in 200 pounds. And then I decided to open it up to the public to get 100 people to donate two pounds each, sort of $3. And they did that. And by the end of it, we had well over 1000 pounds or $1500. And so then I was able to help half a dozen or so different people. I can’t remember – we had 200 or 300 people apply for the grant. And I typically help between five and 10 or so each year with small grants, usually 100 pounds, $150, most I’ve given is 800 pounds, close to $1,000. And I’ve been running it every year since, apart from as you mentioned, I’ve paused it for COVID reasons this year. But now it’s just the best thing I do. I moved from when I was at university, people would give me money to go on adventures, to a period where I try and help people for free. And now to be in a position where I can give money back to people is fantastic. And it’s like I said, it’s usually small, so it’s not normally financially life changing. But as I found certainly, when I was younger, if someone gave me 100 pounds to go on an expedition the money was of course useful. But part of it was just someone else saying — we like your idea. We believe in you, we think you should do it. So seeing all these people from all around the world – I’ve had plenty of Americans, we’ve had people from Australia and in China, in India and all over Europe. And a whole range of different trips from little trips, like a guy who told me he wanted to walk to work and realized it was 25 miles each way. And he was going to do it in a day. And so he just got some money for some hiking boots. To someone who ran around the coast of the UK, which was, I think was gonna say, go ahead and say 5000 miles around the coast, to people walking across the Great Wall of China in winter, running over the Kirghiz mountain range, to all sorts of things. And it’s just, it’s just fantastic. It’s easily the best thing I do and easily the best thing I’ve ever done with my sort of adventure, adventure at life.

AB 23:51

Yeah, I love that the things you’re describing are not again, this goes back to our discussion earlier about adventure being open to interpretation. You know, walking to and from work would not, you know, when people are sitting in their houses being like — oh, man, I don’t know if I can handle going on adventures. That’s not what they’re thinking about. Right? But that totally counts. And it’s just a matter of changing how you see the world and your definition of things that are challenging, or worthy of being challenging. You know what I mean?

TM 24:26

Absolutely, yeah. And that’s what’s liberating about the grant is that it’s just my money or money from generous members of the public. And it’s about helping those individuals. I don’t need to tick a box. It doesn’t have to be over 10,000 feet or involve cutting edge physical exertion. It’s anything that’s going to be an adventurous experience to that individual. To some people it’s really tough stuff, like running across a mountain range, which is tougher than anything I’ve done. For other people, I had a mum and her five year old son go and stay in five mountain huts around Scotland, which you know, with a five year old is quite an undertaking. So just having that range of adventures, I just love it. It’s really good, really heartwarming every year.

AB 25:16

Yeah, it’s very on theme for what we talked about here, which is really developing that outdoor habit and that even changing your life to spend 20 minutes outside a day can be a challenging thing for a lot of people. And one, that’s okay. And two, that doesn’t make it any less worthy. That’s a worthy adventure in and of itself to build that habit into your life. When I read initially about your challenge grants program, before we connected, I thought it was just one of the greatest things I’ve ever seen. I loved it. So okay, you mentioned COVID. How do we have adventures in a pandemic conscious world? Because a lot of things we’re talking about are doing things across countries, going around the world, things that might be off the table right now. But how do you build an adventure life and be pandemic conscious?

TM 26:11

I think it’s absolutely possible.I really do. I think rules change, and the situations change. And there are times when it’s just the worst moments, it’s just not appropriate, and sometimes not not legal. So let’s get that out of the way, that it’s there. There are times when it’s just not right. But at the same time, a lot of adventure stuff tends to mean going off on your own or going off with a couple of friends or family and going to the mountain and often that the thrill of it is not seeing people or seeing people at the top of the mountain when you’re at the bottom, but getting away from from from the world and escaping it. So in that sense, it can be very, absolutely COVID safe and in many ways, good for you. When you’re trapped with restrictions and lockdowns and working from home, not going into the office and seeing people, then the opportunity to get outside and escape the four walls of your house I think is a little more important. And for the seeable future, it’s certainly going to mean more local adventures and less travel, which in some circumstances, that’s a limitation and a shame. And I hope within time, we’ll get back to be able to travel and expand our minds in that sense. But more local adventures, that is no bad thing at all. Because I think anyone who claims to have explored everywhere in their local area probably probably isn’t telling the truth or probably hasn’t tried hard enough. Because there is so much exploration, adventure to be had in your own back doorstep, when you put your mind to it. I think it’s a great opportunity to sort of reinvigorate your love for your local area.

AB 27:52

And it really opens the definition of adventure, just like we’ve been talking about, right? Like you don’t have to go far afield to live an adventure focused life. Do you have any advice for people who dream of heading out on adventure, but just can’t get to that point where they think they have maybe an adventure worthy enough of the title, or just can’t get out the front door for something like that? Any advice?

TM 28:21

I think it’s a really common problem, you know, not knowing where to start. And I’m sure there are loads of articles and blog posts and pieces of advice that you can read and by all means do and but at the same time, please do even take my next few comments with a pinch of salt. Because there’s so much information out there. The truth is that the best way to start is just to get out and start. Just just take the first step towards it. So if it’s a big trip you’re planning, then rather than just doing the research and trying to work out whether or not to go take the first step, which normally I would say is booking a flight or a train ticket at the moment that might not be appropriate. But booking the time off work ordering the guidebook off the internet, just something to get the ball rolling, or telling all your friends that you’re gonna do it. So you’re committed. And the other thing I think is sometimes it’s important to aim high, aim big and go for some amazing groundbreaking expedition. And hats off to those people out there that do do those things. But there’s a risk with going for that moon shot is that often it won’t happen, particularly if you’re relying on sponsorship. Perhaps every other email I get for advice is asking for sponsorship advice. How do I get money for an expedition and my usual response is, I’m never quite as blunt as this, but — if you’re wanting to go on holiday, you wouldn’t wait till someone sponsored you, you’d find something you could afford. I think the same has got to be true of expeditions there. Some trips, you just can’t pay for yourself, you’re going to Antarctica or you’re going around the world in some elaborate means. But generally speaking, expeditions and adventure shouldn’t cost money and they don’t need years of experience and training and expertise. You can, you can get out there and have an adventure with little more than a sleeping bag or a pair of running shoes. So I would say, keep it simple. Keep it within your means to start off with, you could build up to the big stuff, but far better to get on the road to planning something bigger to have done lots of small and fantastic adventures rather than holding out for that one moon shot of an expedition which may or may not happen, and you may end up just regretting that you never you never did something in the meantime.

AB 30:46

Yeah, that’s such good advice. One of the commonalities of your adventures seems to be like a lack of over planning, right, that kind of what you’re talking about just getting started. Was that on purpose? Or is that just sort of function of what you were talking about earlier, being younger and carefree without kids that you can just do stuff on a whim?

TM 31:09

I think it’s a balance of factors. I think some of it is just who I am. I don’t have the patience or the inclination to sort of micro plan every detail of an expedition. And that’s partly because I’m not usually trying to be the fastest or the toughest, or do something that’s really dangerous or groundbreaking, where some trips absolutely need to be planned meticulously. Like, when Mark Beaumont recently cycled around the world in 80 days, I remember him having to have support vans on either side of the international border, so didn’t get delayed by passport checks. And he’d have to factor in time zone changes and things like that. And if he didn’t do that, he wouldn’t have broken the record. But those aren’t the sort of things that tend to motivate me, I have cycled around the world. And it’s fantastic. But it took me a year and a half, not 80 days, it’s just a very different, different approach. And there was no need to plan that sort of a trip in detail, it would have taken ages and would have been pointless because I’m sure it would have changed my mind once I found that the route I planned on Google Maps wasn’t as nice as the one I saw when I got there. So any lack of planning is never really doing it to sort of prove a point or certainly not doing it to make it deliberately more difficult. It’s usually a function of either a lack of time or lack of motivation to do it in more detail, a lack of need to do so. And also a recognition that sometimes things are more interesting when you leave them a little bit to chance.

AB 32:50

Yeah, absolutely. Oh, I love it. Okay, we could talk about expeditions and adventures and all this stuff all day long. That’s a theme here. But I think I say that at the end of every podcast to my guests that — Man, I wish I could just talk to you for the rest of our lives. But we both have full time jobs to get back to as discussed. So let’s move on to our little leftovers round. I love to hear from my guests, just some of their favorites. So can you tell us maybe your favorite outdoor gear? And don’t feel like you have to be in a box, because I’ve definitely had guests who say their favorite gear is snacks, and I support that one. So what’s your favorite outdoor gear?

TM 33:31

It’s tough. I think one of my most reliable bits of kit is just a base layer made by Helly Hansen, do you get that brand in the States?

AB 33:40

Yeah.

TM 33:41

The long sleeve blue one with the white stripes down the sleeves. I mentioned that because one of the things I do on my website is review outdoor kit. Usually, whole groups have kits or review all types of multi fuel camping stoves, or all types of base layer material. So I’ve got all sorts of fabrics for my base layers. But that Helly Hansen is the sort of this one I’ve had for probably 15 years, and it’s the most basic, no bamboo in it, no merino wool, no coconut fibers, nothing like that. But it’s just absolutely foolproof. It’s as good now as it was 15 years ago, and it’s just hard to beat.

AB 34:26

I am chuckling at your description of the fibers and people who don’t use a lot of outdoor gear maybe like that those can’t be real, but they are.

TM 34:35

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah. Yeah.

AB 34:40

What’s your most essential thing? What don’t you leave home without?

TM 34:44

And I think it’s not an exciting one. But if people see my profile picture, though, they’ll realize I’ve not got a lot of hair. So regardless of the time of year, it’s got to be a hat, even if it’s vaguely chilly. I need something to keep my bald head warm. And then as soon as it warms up, I think I can take my hat off then and then I get sunburned. Remember what I have to wear. So, always got to pack a hat.

AB 35:09

Hey, do not underestimate the power of a hat or a pair of gloves because the gloves or mittens is how I roll. I’ve got those little chemical hand warmers in my car year round. And in case people think that’s because I live in Alaska, I think it’s probably how I roll anywhere. So there you go. I am cold of hand, as they say.

TM 35:29

I’m just exactly the same. Everyone else is wearing bare hands and I’m in extra thick mittens.

AB 35:39

And you and I can’t pick anything up because our hands are constantly in mittens. Just posable thumbs are not helpful. If you’re wearing mittens, guys, that’s how it goes. Okay, so very last but not least, describe for us your favorite outdoor moment. If you close your eyes and picture yourself somewhere that just gives you a lot of peace. It’s just something that comes to mind when you think about that, where are you? What are you doing?

TM 36:07

So the one that comes immediately to the mind is a top a Bolivian mountain, which I just climbed with other people in my team. And the reason it stands out so much is apart from the fact that it was the sort of perfect mountain peak, a real, narrow, tiny, conical snow cone right at the top, accessed by a hair raising Rocky Ridge with absolutely no one around for miles to be seen. And it was the previous year I’d been on an expedition to Kyrgyzstan, which I mentioned earlier, which was my first trip outside Europe. My first expedition was fascinating, another amazing time, but was far more dangerous than I would have liked and an absolute failure in terms of climbing in that we didn’t reach any top tops of any peaks. So the following year, I went to it with some friends to Bolivia. And this after all that sort of the heartache of Kyrgyzstan and all the build up to get into Bolivia and getting out into the mountains. We finally got off our first peak, and climbed up and just had this beautiful serene moment on top of this mountain that had never been climbed by Brits before. And often when I want to calm myself down in a stressful situation, I close my eyes and picture myself standing on top of that snowy mountain.

AB 37:32

What a great visual. People can find you on your website, which is the nextchallenge.org. You’ve got a couple of different books on there, and we’ll include those in the show notes. Tim, thank you so much for being on the Humans Outside Podcast today.

TM 37:48

Oh, absolute pleasure. Thank you very much for having me.

One Response

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    Mike

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