Adventure books and podcasts

I’m walking 640km across Jordan, and the days are counting down remarkably fast. The point of the trek is not only to challenge myself but to raise funds for @MSF_UK as I’ve written about extensively, start at number one and work on through to ten. If you believe in MSF’s work around the world or simply like my blog please head over to my just giving page and donate a few Pounds, Euro, Shillings or dollars to the cause.

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A couple of days ago I wrote a post about fear: 5 Biggest Jordan trail fears and the strategies I’m trying to calm my fevered brain. In point 6 I talk about the fear of the unknown and that I’m reading and listening to adventure podcast so I thought I would share a few which I have read recently.


MTNMeister podcast:

Presenting stories from the outdoors to inspire, motivate and entertain.  Interviews are casual yet dig into the physche of the men and women who seem to complete the impossible. I’ve been going through the back catalog and one story which inspired me, because of the strength and vulnerability of the women being interviewed was Heather Anish, a record breaking hiker.

The first 40 miles:

A podcast for beginner backpackers or those who just want to pick up tips and hear a voice which could be your own. A lovely couple who specialise in de-stygmatising the outdoors. I actually got sucked in over a pancake episode the did a while ago. Yes I really like pancakes.

G.O Get Outside:

Interviews with adventurers from hiking to skydiving so ticks lots of my interest boxes, I found it when they interviewed Alex Staniforth – see below, of Everest fame and I’m still going through the back episodes

Do you listen to any inspiring podcasts? I’m always looking for new ones.


Everest genre

There are so many books detailing Everest adventures and I’ve read a good number of them. Some of my highlights were:

  1. For the love of it  – Cathy O’Dowd an inspirational, kick ass South African female climber setting records on Everest. Hear her story from the beginning of her first attempt and later the climbs from the Chinese side.
  2. Seven steps from Snowdon to Everest – from Mark Horrell a prolific writer and climber who pretends he is only a trekker and makes it all sound rather possible
  3.  Icefall: The True Story of a Teenager on a Mission to the Top of the World – A teenager who has achieved more than most even dream. I first bumped into him in twitter when he tweeted about a 20 mile run, impressed I asked how he stays motivated and he simply tweeted a picture of Everest. Considering he has gone on to attempt Everest twice and I still can’t run 20 miles I am truely impressed by Alex Staniforth
  4. Everest: it’s not about the summit – Similar to Alex, Ellis Stewart twice was caught up in Everest politics and the deadly earthquake in Nepal, but his story also focuses on how he fundraised to even reach his goal, which provided me with handy hints, for my efforts. He is also an amazingly helpful guy, not slow to share advice to a random stranger emailing him out of the blue
  5. Into thin air, Jon Krakauer and The Climb, Antoli Boukreev, as well as others about the 1996 disaster on Everest. These books now read like voyeurism, mistakes were made but the truth isn’t known and altitude, perception and time mean we will never know, but many brave, skilled and adventurous people died that day.

Adventure journeys:

Around Madagascar on my kayak: Riaan Manser, fascinating to read the ins and outs of kayaking and sponsorship as well as a beautiful, strenuous journey

Canoeing the Congo: Phil Harwood, Tough lessons learnt, what price is too much for an adventure?

Walking the Nile: Levinson Wood, full of interesting history from the Rwandan Genocide and reconciliation to war in the Sudan

Currently reading Walking the Amazon: Ed Stafford, I’m only a few chapters in but the conflict and MASSIVE packs make me feel that even supermen have their kryptonite.

Thru hiking:

Thru hiking will break your heart: Carrot Quin, a PCT story of fun on the trail, hardships, fears of the dark and working out how much water to carry.

Wild: Cheryl Strayed Read the book don’t watch the movie, might as well read the book which inspired so many

Antartic Tears: Aaron Linsdau, A polar adventure of 700 miles learning along the way

On my list: Out there, A voice from the wild, Chris Townsend

Disaster books:

Touching the void, Joe Simpson’s staggering survival which has become a colloquialism for a fucked up situation, as in “I don’t want to touch the void”

Into the wild, Jon Krakauers book which was made into the famous movie. I see this book as more of a cautionary tale than those who head out to the bus each year as homage, and some who don’t come back.

The summit, Pat Falvey, Pemba Gyalje Sherpa, the story of the deadliest disaster on K2 in 2008.

Fictional Journeys:

Hitchhikers guide to the galaxy, Douglas Adams – I know where my towel is and what I’ll order at the restaurant at the end of the Universe.

The colour of magic, Terry Pratchett, the Disc’s first tourist and the hapless Rincewind an almost magician

This list is in no way complete even of what I have read recently and with each book I discover another I have to read. So many people out their still finding ways to push limits, their own and of what is humanly possible.

What books make your list?



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