7 December, 2023
Here are communities, concepts, businesses, and campaigns that are making waves in the Adventure world.
I have had an adventuretastic week at the Adventure Mind Conference. This week I have jumped off a 50ft pole, had breakfast with a future Atlantic rower, got a hug from a Neuroscientist, had lunch with an Everest climber, nipped to the supermarket with an event first aider, had dinner with an author, a glass of wine with a member of The Adventure Mind Research team, and grabbed a curry with a podcaster and business analyst – my mind is boggled!!
The conference explored the importance of adventure to well-being and mental health. This year’s theme is ‘Small Adventures, Big Impact’. Especially now with the cost of living crisis, we need outdoor pursuits that are not expensive have a local feel, and appeal to a broad range of participants.
The conference attendees were a self-selecting group, united by a love of the outdoors, an understanding of how adventure can benefit us all, and a vision to spread the message of how mother nature can positively affect mental and physical wellbeing.
Adventure leaders, practitioners, researchers, students, educators, and therapists all understand that what they do can make a difference in people’s lives through their adventure and outdoor activity programs. What we need to do now is spread the message far and wide #adventuremind. By spreading the word and enabling as many people as we can to get outside we can try and spark positive change in people who are struggling with their mental and physical health.
Here are communities, concepts, businesses, and campaigns that are making waves in the Adventure world.
Finding the right community for you can help improve your physical and mental well-being.
When you find your kindred crew it can also build confidence, forge friendships, create partnerships, and open doors to adventure shenanigans.
Here are a few communities to check out - reach out to these organisations and you will be welcomed and guided forward on your journey.
The language of adventure has traditionally been exclusive, catering
primarily to the thrill-seeking, adrenaline-pumping stereotype. However, the
landscape of adventure is evolving, recognizing the need for inclusivity, diversity,
and accessibility. Here are a few reasons why the language change can open adventure to a more diverse group of people.
Accessibility for All: The traditional language of adventure alienates individuals who may not align with the extreme, adrenaline-driven narrative. By shifting the language to embrace diversity, accessibility becomes a cornerstone. This ensures that adventure is not just for the privileged few but for everyone, regardless of physical ability, economic status, or personal preferences.
Inclusivity Breeds Connection: The new ideals of adventure, emphasizing slow, local, and neighborhood experiences can foster a sense of belonging and connection. When adventure isn't limited to extreme pursuits, it becomes more relatable and accessible to a broader range of people, encouraging them to explore and engage with their surroundings.
Mental and Physical Well-being: Adventure isn't solely about conquering the highest peaks or the most terrifying challenges. It's about the mental and physical benefits that everyone can enjoy. By broadening the definition of adventure, we open doors for individuals to find their paths to personal growth, resilience, and well-being.
Empowerment and Resilience: Adventure, in its essence, offers more than just thrills. It provides lasting memories, emotions, and beliefs that contribute to personal resilience. By encouraging diverse adventures, we empower individuals to say, "I can make this happen, I am resilient," regardless of the nature of their adventures.
Environmental Consciousness: Shifting away from the "highest, longest, hardest, most terrifying" mentality allows for a deeper connection with the environment. Embracing the journey, noticing nature, and feeling the adventure promotes a more sustainable approach that respects and preserves the natural world.
In essence, broadening the language of adventure isn't about diluting its essence but rather enriching it. It's about recognizing that adventure is a deeply personal experience, and everyone's journey is valid. By making the language more inclusive, we invite a wider audience to partake in the mental, physical, and emotional benefits that adventure offers.
Over the next few years we will see more and more adventure companies and campaigns tap into this developing adventure language.
A podcast about how to live more adventurously wherever you are. Host Nicki Bass - a psychologist and Army veteran - speaks to a range of guests who have found ways to weave adventure into their lives. She delves into the psychology behind adventure including building resilience, connecting with others, and gaining perspective. A key theme of the podcast is increasing visibility and accessibility in outdoor spaces.
How many times have you wanted to try something new, but that mean little voice in your head has held you back? How often do you really step out of your comfort zone? Come on, be honest. Have you ever explored what this feels like or is it simply too terrifying for words? This podcast looking at exactly this topic. You can expect conversations with resilient women who have stepped, jumped or dived headfirst out of their comfort zone.
Talk About Mental Health & Well-Being… Why Not? Mark ‘Charlie’ Valentine suffered life changing mental illness, before beginning a journey to recovery and wellness; the darkness of PTSD transformed by the light atop mountains and beyond. Mark is now joining forces with Seb Budniak, to make up the ‘White Fox Talking’ team. Through a series of Podcasts and Vlogs, ‘White Fox Talking’ will be bringing you a variety of guests, topics, and inspirational stories relating to improving mental well-being. Find your way back to you! Expect conversation, information, serious discussion and a healthy dose of Yorkshire humour!
The Autistic Guide to Adventure BY Allie Mason, published in 2023 Allie is an autistic author and micro adventurer. Outdoor adventuring can be life-changing - it makes you physically and mentally stronger, takes you to new places, and introduces you to new friends, as well as being an exhilarating challenge, but it can be stressful when there are unexpected social and sensory challenges involved. Allie is here to help!
Save me from the Waves – An adventure from sea to summit By Jessica Hepburn
Due out 7th March 2025 – you can pre-order
Save Me from the Waves is an inspirational story of physical and mental endurance that starts on the streets of London and culminates in a life-threatening event on top of the world. It explores the redemptive power of music and mountains. And encourages everyone to live big and bravely when life doesn’t go to plan. Moving, funny, and unique this book will inspire every reader to believe an adventure will always change your life for the better.
Wilder Journeys by Laurie King Wilder Journeys is an incredible collection of true adventure stories and poems on the human connection with the natural world. One of the stories features Miriam Lancewood (also the Co–Editor) Dutch-born Miriam Lancewood left civilization in 2010 and survived seven years with her husband Peter in the wilderness of New Zealand. They moved through the mountains like nomads, slept in a tent, and cooked on a fire and Miriam learned to hunt with bow and arrow. “To be able to hunt and gather your food gives confidence and strength,” Lots more stories in the book - read it and pick your favorite.
University of Central Lancashire - defines Social prescribing - Social prescribing is designed to support people with a wide range of social, emotional, or practical needs, and many schemes are focused on improving mental health and physical wellbeing. Those who could benefit from social prescribing schemes include people with mild or long-term mental health problems, people with complex needs, socially isolated people, and those with multiple long-term conditions who frequently attend either primary or secondary health care.
This concept will grow and grow as traditional practices embrace the benefits of outdoor interventions.
Both of these talks answer the challenge of ‘what can adventure do for us/give us’ AND challenge the perception of adventure needing to be a huge thing and the sort of person that does it. Adventure is open to all of us, create your Adventure and do it your way!
The Power of Everyday Adventures - Nicki Bass
Dave Gallagher is an Adventure Neuropsychologist who applies cutting edge neuroscientific research to help people overcome fear and mental blockers in workshops, talks and adventure activities (including out in the wild).
During the conference he ran the Leap of Faith sessions (climbing up a 50ft pole and jumping off to grab a trapeze swing). A perfect way to demonstrate what happens to your brain when you are put in a stressful situation. With training you can move from fight or flight response to your excite and delight response. Read his write up of the rationale behind managing the stress response and staying in 'Executive Control'
His research also seeks to understand more about PTSD and the brain mechanisms involved. In order to find adventure based ways to help people manage such debilitating conditions.
Not an adventure concept I had heard of before but it has a growing following.
Israh Goodhall is leading the way in Rites of Passage activities. Growing up in different cultural communities around the world showed Israh the importance of Rites of Passage in marking major transitions such as child to adult, menstruation, marriage, and birth. This led to study and research, working as a midwife within tribal communities, and designing new frameworks for supporting today's youth.
Youth specialists have evidenced that without community-sanctioned rites of passage, young people create them for themselves. Self-induced rites of passage include drug and alcohol use, gang membership, and bullying. The current increase in mental health issues, eating disorders, and crime, against a backdrop of increasing screen time and lack of free play, raises fundamental questions about how we can better help our young undertake a safe and supported passage into adulthood.
The Elemental Challenge Award I love this idea, think of it as the Duke Of Edinburgh Award for adults.
Institute of Outdoor Learning A great resource for Adventure practitioners; Statement of Good Practice for Outdoor Therapy and Outdoor Mental Health Interventions. This new version responds to requests for more information on planning and providing ethical outdoor therapy.
EQA Outdoors: Time to retrain in The Certificate in Advanced Wilderness Therapeutic Approaches
Adventure Mind Conference 2024 provisional dates 18/19th Nov (Booking not open)
My very first adventure was on a Tall Ship called The Sir Winston Churchill when I had just turned 18.
I have loved adventures ever since. Although I still get seasick 30 years on!
I would describe myself as an everyday adventurer. I try and squeeze adventure into my every day from walks, swims and runs to film, podcasts and books. I am always on the look out for communities to connect with and adventures to be found.
I have just hit 50 and my adventure journey has changed so many times over the years, from a 20-year-old canoeing and sailing instructor, to a Mum with young children teaching them to embrace the outdoors through camping, building dens and cooking on open fires, to a mum of young teens when we surfed, coast steered, climbed Ben Nevis and swam in the North Sea!
My boys are in their late teens now and are slowly flying the nest, it is here I find myself now, ready to embrace the next stage of my adventure journey.
Embracing my new found freedom and loving being outside, I am ready to do some exploring!
My adventure journey has included Moonwalks, marathon walks along Hadrians Wall and the South Coast, firewalks, abseiling down castles, coast steering, a cross country ski marathon in the Arctic Circle, a wing walk and training in an Environmental Cold Chamber at the University of Sussex at minus 20!
I have just come back from running a 1/2 marathon in Greenland - the biggest and most extreme event I have ever taken part in. This Arctic adventure has definitely left me with a fire in soul for more adventures.
This year I am off trekking in Peru, visiting the Amazon Rainforest, hiking around the Isle of Wight and organising a mega sea swim for over 500 "mermaids" to celebrate International Women's Day.
When I am not on an adventure I am working with my beautiful VW Camper Van called Daisy on photo shoots - if you want you or your business to stand out from the crowd then its time to book a branding shoot with Daisy.
Photo Shoot Dates: Private shoots also available on request
Check out The Big Mermaid Dip for International Women's Day in Brighton - March 11th - Watch out for March 2024 Dates
Nicky Chisholm aka #PinkNicky
Most recent articles by Nicky Chisholm
Embracing the winter chill is all about mastering the art of staying warm and cozy. As the cold season sets in, it's time to gear up and embrace the great outdoors with a collection of kit that'll keep you snug as a bug in a rug. Remember what the wise woman once said: "There is no such thing as bad weather, just bad equipment."
We have compiled a list of the Top 20 Adventure Christmas presents that will definitely add some WOW to your Christmas morning. We guarantee there are a few surprises on the list!
Arrived in Lima after 24 hours of travelling with 4 friends, 4 very large rucksacks and the address of a restaurant that serves the best Pisco Sours.
Most recent articles in ADVENTURE
By highlighting the value of the outdoors for our minds and bodies, the campaign captures a universal truth that applies to humanity: a deeper connection with nature makes us all better
Raccoon Media Group has today announced the launch of the first ever National Outdoor Expo Awards.
My key words of encouragement and inspiration to my 13-year-old son, Walter, is – freedom to explore! This is something I didn’t have when I was growing up but that’s ok as I’m fully making up for lost time now.