..Budding adventurer Tom Evans answers a few questions we fired his way..
Tom Evans is an aspiring adventurer. He keeps an active blog on his website 'Exceed Possibility', and like ourselves enjoys publicising interviews with other like minded adventurers. Currently studying Geography, Tom hopes to make a living out of adventuring and aims to see as much of the world as possible. He's got Kilimanjaro and Everest Base Camp under his belt as well as 27 countries, all by the age of 21! Some fantastic photo's from the places he's been can be seen here and read on below for his answers about cycling Coast to Coast, camping on mountains and his future plans.
How do you find studying and adventuring, a match made in heaven or something which limits things?
Doing a degree means that a lot of time each week is spent reading,writing essays or sitting in lectures trying to stay awake, a lot of the rest of the time is spent socialising and sleeping. Time for adventures, challenges and sport is therefore fairly limited but I still manage to climb indoors a few times a week and weekends allow for adventures further afield; It's going alright but this year I'm looking to take more adventures and climb more whilst still getting work done! I've always got the holidays and endless time after my degree!
Seeing as much of the world as possible seems to be one of your goals, any favourite places and where would you recommend as a good place to start?
I've been lucky enough to turn 21 having travelled to 27 countries over 5 continents! I love going to new places, seeing new things and
experiencing different cultures. A lot of people choose to go backpacking in South East Asia but I enjoyed my times travelling in Africa far more interesting and enjoyable - Uganda is one of my favourite countries I've been to; beautiful scenery and friendly people. I'd also highly recommend Nepal having spent a month their last summer; breathtaking mountains! Travel doesn't suit everyone but for the adventurous type Africa is perfect; give Thailand's full moon party a miss and get over to Africa.
The English Coast to Coast - 60 miles off road cycling each day in the snow, did this put hairs on your chest? Recommended?
I did this a few months after doing my A-Levels and leaving school; I'd embarked on a gap year and had to work for a few months to raise some money - naturally I grew bored of work and needed a challenge; I decided fairly quickly to do the Coast to Coast alone and a couple of weeks later was pedalling over the Pennines! I found sections tough; my training wasn't really good enough and fitness was low at the time and the weather posed a bit of a problem but the scenery and experience was incredible! It was a starting point for many adventures to come! Highly recommended; I want to do it in 2 days next time!
You seem to be making a habbit of taking on some pretty big mountains (Mt Kili and Everest Base Camp), how frustrating is it having to camp on your way down a mountain? Did you need any specialist equipment for Kilimanjaro?
Great questions! It's something I always think about and I've never seen anyone mention it before; coming back from Everest Base Camp took
2-3 days and this was fairly irritating - I'd done what I was there to do! At least I had the Himalayas to look at, the fresh air and friends to talk to for hours on end! Kili was a different story for me; I left for the summit at midnight, reached it at 6:30 and was down at the bottom of the mountain, the Marangu gate, by mid afternoon. Our guide said it was possible to go top to bottom in that day as we summited early so we pushed through blisters and exhaustion to reach the gate! No specialist equipment was needed other than my sturdy walking boots; I'd probably take poles for the way down next time!
Where do you hope to be in 5 years time, got anything big up your sleeves planned?
5 years seems like a long time to me! I finish my degree in a year and a half and from there want to make a life of adventure. I'd love to take a few BIG expeditions in that time along with a load of smaller challenges, I'd also like to write a book in the next few years; I love writing and feel like I've got a good book idea up my sleeve! Everest is top on the to do list but that might more realistically come within 10 years as opposed to 5! Cycling Cairo to Cape Town has been my intended trip for the months after graduating but I'm not sure yet!
I'm always open to suggestions and would love to join others expeditions when possible; saves planning it all by myself too!!! I see myself being an adventurer who takes on challenges of all forms; cycling, walking, climbing, skiing, kayaking etc etc - there aren't many guys who've been to Everest and both the Poles, let alone a person who's done all three and cycled the length of Africa and rowed an Ocean - we need an ALL-ROUND adventurer to compete with the likes of Fiennes. Whatever I do I want to do it for the right reasons and not for fame or money!
Thanks to Tom for his answers, all the best to him along his path to adventure and I'm sure we'll see him on it at some point!