There’s not much we humans haven’t done in the name of adventure.
We’ve scaled the highest mountains, crossed the wildest rivers and trekked the loneliest of deserts. We’ve walked on the moon and explored the deepest, darkest depths of the ocean. You’d be forgiven for thinking that there aren’t many adventures left to be had.
…But oh how wrong you’d be! Adventure is still very much alive and well (“long live adventure!”), it’s just the concept that’s changed a little bit. Whereas before adventure used to be about exploring the world and putting uncharted territory on the map, now it’s about exploring the world and testing our physical limits to see what we’re truly capable of. It’s about revisiting old adventures and doing them, well, better!
In our opinion, the following Brits epitomise what a modern-day adventurer should be – willing, courageous, committed, slightly crazy, etc. You may not have heard all of their names, but we guarantee you’ll be impressed (and perhaps inspired) by their stories.
The mighty Amazon Rainforest is around 4,000 miles long. It twists and turns through mountains, rainforests and miles upon miles of unexplored terrain. Back in 2008, ex-British Army captain Ed Stafford started walking down the river and didn’t stop – for over two years.
Stafford’s amazing feat landed him a spot in the Guinness World Record book as the first human ever to walk the length of the river. He met with anacondas and crocodiles, contracted severe illnesses and at one point was captured by a tribe, all in aid of raising global awareness about deforestation.
Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper
School friends Rob Gauntlett and James Hooper became the youngest Brits to climb Mount Everest in 2006, aged just 19 at the time. A couple of years later, the National Geographic Society crowned the duo ‘Adventurers of the Year’ after they completed a 22,000-mile journey from the North to South Pole using only human and natural power. They travelled by bike, dogsled and sailboat, and cycled parts of their journey. Rob Gauntlett sadly died after in 2009 after falling while ice climbing in Chamonix.
Back in May 2012, Mollie Hughes joined the likes of Gauntlett and Hooper to become one of the youngest Brits to summit Mount Everest, aged 21. Described by King Adventurer Sir Ranulph Fiennes as a ‘unique young lady with a genuine passion for adventure and achievement,’ Mollie is returning to Mount Everest next year when she will attempt to become the first British woman to climb the mountain from both sides.
Less than ten people in the world have completed the polar trilogy (the South Pole, North Pole and Greenland crossing), and Tom’s one of them. In 2002 and aged just 27, Tom became the youngest Brit to reach the South Pole on foot in a gruelling 700-mile journey that took him and his team 45 days and 6 hours to complete.
Since then, Tom has broken a number of world-records. In 2005 Tom and his team became the fastest team in history to reach the North Pole and in May this year, they set the record for the quickest coast-to-coast crossing of Greenland. They beat the previous record by a more than a week. Impressive stuff.
Reuben Wu is a British music producer and film-maker. Wondering why he made our list? Well, Reuben also travels the world taking photos; on his website he claims that he is driven by ‘a desire to explore new places as if they were unknown territory, constantly open to serendipity and with an eye for the unnoticed and the hidden.’ Sounds like the words of an explorer to us. Check out his ‘An Uncommon Place’ collection and prepare to be amazed.
Inspired? Ready for an adventure? Check out #ShareAdventure and discover more real-life adventures from people all over the UK. Plus, by simply sharing an adventure with your friends you will win a prize! We’ve got goodies from Cotswold Outdoors, Forest Holidays, Salomon, Sunnto and more to help prep you for your next great adventure.