Three weeks have been and gone in a flash here at Dynamic Adventures and we have finally had a couple days off to sit back, recover and reflect on our experiences so far.
We have been kayaking, canoeing, climbing indoors and out, passed a 2 day outdoor first aid course and returned from a 10 day expedition in Scotland! It has been non stop and we truly have been thrown in at the deep end!
In true Scottish fashion, the weather decided to set us a real challenge for the duration of our trip. We encountered only 1 day of clear skies and sunshine over the whole 10 days! The rest of the time we were hit with severe weather warnings; 50-90 mph winds, horizontal walls of rain and flash floods! Wild camping was not ideal! With the weather being unhelpful we were left feeling like sheep, just following our instructors and being tested mentally and physically against the elements, it was not an environment conducive to learning. The long, cold days cramped in a canoe, the windy, sleepless nights in tents and the long slog up mountains over 1000m left the team’s morale at a low point. On the penultimate day a 9 hour hike in constant rain and wind turned into a survival mission which didn’t help the cause. The rain was so relentless that we couldn’t get back to base camp as the rivers had burst their banks and cut off our path. This resulted in a further 3 hour walk to reach a hostel, but not before we had to cross a fast flowing river, a situation which you do not want to find yourself in!! A gear retrieval mission was put in place the following day, which was all going well until we reached our camp to find our tent flat on the floor with all the poles bent or broken! Another blow! Our trip was made complete with; wrongly booked buses, waiting around for taxis and a delayed flight! Who doesn’t love the outdoors?!
However, it’s amazing how views and opinions can change once you have had time away from the chaos. In Scotland we were left with a feeling of doubt regarding our progression of learning new skills, but on reflection, that doubt was wrong. Without realising it, we learnt from the challenging experiences, developed our understanding towards positive people skills and appreciated the value of good management through empathising with a groups needs.
We haven’t had what we would call direct learning but passively we have learnt; how to pack efficiently for expeditions, how to improve our camp craft, what food to take while wild camping (not smelly mackerel!!) how to survive through severe weather warnings, how to push through our own personal battles, how to enjoy the simple things (dry clothes!) how to get kicked out of a Scottish restaurant before even setting foot in said restaurant, how to save a sinking canoe, how to cross a river safely and the value of enjoying the moment for what it is!
So after a few weeks of mixed feelings we have come away gaining more personal attributes and knowledge of the industry than we first thought. A defining moment came about on an evening canoe trip here in Dartington. We had the pleasure of joining a mother and her 9 year old daughter for a river journey. The little girl had a deformity in one arm, but this did not stop her one bit and the enthusiasm and laughter she brought to the whole trip was fantastic. After plenty of games and conversation with all of us the little girl stood up in the canoe, turned to her mum and said, “When I grow up I want to be an Outdoor Instructor!”. It hit home; the confidence, the ability to safely break comfort zones and the passion we can instil on young people is why we are entering this industry. What might have seemed like a difficult trip for us is only making us more knowledgeable and stronger in order to provide us with the skills to change peoples lives through experiencing the great outdoors.
This is when we realised, “Adventure is the best way to learn”
Yesterday was an inspiring kind of day, yesterday I gained my first qualification of the year so far. I am now first aid trained, now to some this may not seem exciting, as we have been harping on about our more exotic qualifications that we will be achieving; climbing, mountain leader, kayaking etc etc the list goes on, however, none of these would be possible without the underpinning of basic first aid.
Whether faced with a broken ankle on a mountain or the collapse of someone close to you, the majority of us don’t feel we could save a life in an emergency.
Research conducted by St Johns ambulance found that up to 150,000 people in the UK die each year in situations which first aid could have made the difference.
You may be reading this and thinking I could save a life, I am first aid trained. I, like many, have known the theory and the basics of how to put someone in the recovery position but I have been given the education and know how to perform first aid, correctly, calmly and effectively by the wonderful Emile Waite-Taylor of M Training and Consultancy and my soon to be colleague Nicky Yalland. Thanks to those two I COULD be the difference between a life lost and a life saved (which is more than a little comforting knowing the situations we are throwing ourselves into over the next year and beyond).
My homework for the next 4 weeks is to show at least 5 people how to put somebody in the recovery position and the steps we must go through to fulfil the 3 main principles of first aid.
• Preserve Life
• Prevent Conditions Worsening
• Promote Recovery
You are all over the place and I am in Devon, so this poses a problem, I would therefore like to invite you to learn and remember the basic steps of DR ABC outlined below when faced with a casualty. These steps will guide you through the fundamentals of how to check a casualty is breathing in a systemised easy to understand (and more importantly easy to remember) format.
Danger – check the area for hazards (make safe)
Response – check victim for response by use of command (open your eyes, squeeze my hand)
Airway – place two fingers under chin, palm on forehead and tilt head back to open airway and check for blockages (DO NOT put fingers in mouth to remove blockage)
Breathing – ear to mouth, look down at chest to feel breath / see chest rising (if casualty is not breathing CPR will be required)
Circulation – notice any bleeding, colour/tone of skin
I have also added a link below to a video outlining the basic steps for the recovery position technique, so you too can share the invaluable knowledge of how to save a life.
Now, I know there are further principles for how to manage a casualty and the details can be extensive, I could go on and on but below are some links to further your knowledge by those that are more qualified than myself to give first aid advice.
I would love to hear how you get on
Thanks for reading 🙂
Have you ever dreamed of a career change? To travel the world? To go on an adventure? Have you ever taken that risk?
Well, we have! And we are about to do it for the second time! Dreaming, planning and risking is exactly what we do!
Sea kayaking, climbing, trekking, rafting, mountain biking and backpacking are just some of the travel explorations, adventures and challenges we have been on. We have quit jobs, lived in more properties than most and worked in a wide array of jobs! All this, because we Take2Adventure! We seek the extra-ordinary, we live while we are able, we sacrifice, risk and push ourselves out of our comfort zones so that we have incredible memories, stories and pictures to share. Money will not fill the soul, adventure will!
Our blog purpose is to show you how we live our life, how we tackle the change and how we live a life full of adventure. For us, our aim is to inspire, to motivate and to be the catalyst that invokes change, by following us we hope you to are able to fulfil your dream too.
This is the second time we have quit our jobs and packed up all our belongings. After returning from our big New Zealand and Asian adventure we did what everybody else was doing; getting jobs, buying a house and settling down. However, deep down we were not content with being weekend warriors. It was 14 months before we had the courage once again to change our path. We had tried for a second time to live by “societal norms” and for a second time realised this wasn’t for us. People to this day keep telling us, “you need to settle down”,”when will you settle down?” but as far as I can see they are judging this through property, bank balances, job titles, cars, material possessions and marriage. Is this what society dictates as settled? If so, we’ll pass!
All I can say is this. We are settled. Home is where you are happy. Our happy is discovering new places, people and culture. Exploring nature. Climbing mountains. Testing our limits. Being together away from the stress of being stuck in the rat race. We know what we want to achieve with our lives and we are not afraid to make it happen. In the end, we would only regret the chances we did not take.
So, how are we making our dream come true? Our passions lie in adventure and the great outdoors, so it only makes sense that we spend more time doing that. Travel without working, we believe, can become limited. Therefore, after plenty of deliberating we decided that training as Outdoor Adventure Instructors would allow us to fulfil all the above and let us live our dream in a sustainable way. Our possibilities will be endless and there are different paths we can take once we are qualified, but they all lead to our end goal. To travel and work throughout the world, to experience life in different cultures, to share our adventures and inspire others to find their own.