Editor’s Note: Meet Tim Moss from The Next Challenge. There’s no real way around it other than to say that this guy is a badass. He’s circumnavigated the globe in 80 days, walked across Patagonia, climbed the Bolivian Andes – and the list goes on!
Most recently, he released his book How To Get To The North Pole: and Other Iconic Adventures, which takes you through the details of seven great challenges. If you’re rowing an ocean where do you sleep at night? How do you go to the loo at sea? If you’re cycling round the world precisely what difficulties will you face and how will you overcome them? His book will tell you how!
And so, without further ado, to compliment the recent release of his book, here’s Tim’s photo essay featuring 7 of his expeditions, and the lessons he’s learned along the way from each.
How not to pitch a tent
In the absence of any flat ground on the slopes of Peak Gorky in Kyrgyzstan, we dug a tiny ledge into the snow that was half the width of our tent. We took it in turns to sleep with our legs hanging over the abyss.
Look away from the popular areas
I got into the world of expeditions through mountaineering. And, in particular, by trying to climb mountains that had never been climbed before. I am not an expert mountaineer or a good climber, I just found quiet areas that were less often visited – the Kyrgyz Tien Shan, the Bolivian Quimsa-Cruz and the Russian Altai. The world is awash with opportunities if you just take the time to look around.
Take time to appreciate where you are
My wife, Laura, and I tried to walk across the width of Patagonia earlier this year. We followed the line of least resistance which meant we spent much of the time following roads. It was soul destroying to walk away from the stunning mountains and be frequently lapped by cars. We did eventually end up in Torres del Paine National Park.
Know your limits
Whilst attempting to accumulate eighty different methods of transport on a circumnavigation of the globe, Thom and I were desperate to find a yak we could ride. When the opportunity presented in Mongolia, we took one look at the beast and thought better of it.
Don’t underestimate adventure in your own back yard
Running the length of every London Underground train line might not sound like the most exciting or picturesque of adventures but it was brilliant. We ran through wheat fields, through farm yards and got chased by cars, as well as seeing all of the urban sprawl of our fine capital.
I thought I was being clever when I realised that I could fit my giant rickshaw through a narrow gate by turning it on it’s side and dragging it. When, moments later, a farmer arrived and opened the giant gate next to it.
Sometimes rest is the best option
My three weeks cycling alone through Scandinavia were some of the best of my life. But beforehand I had spent a month leading a group of teenagers on an expedition in Arctic Norway and I was knackered when I start riding. I tried to fight it, every day trying to cycle further than my body allowed. I eventually got sick, took a day off and re-started a new man.
Don’t think you need to quit your job to have an adventure
It’s all well and good reading those fascinating adventure books of people who’ve given up their jobs and lives to go off on amazing expeditions but that’s not feasible for many of us. Many of my recent expeditions have been done on weekends or using annual leave. I’ll admit to cheating a little on this one as I did happen to be already living in Oman, but crossing the small Wahiba Sands desert on foot only took three days and was a spectacular wilderness experience.