Adventures love collecting adventure hacks! A useful bit of advice can help the process of putting together an expedition go that little bit smoother. It can prevent problems and injuries, save space in your pack and ultimately lead to a more stress-free adventure. These are my ultimate adventure tips…
Adventure tips: the planning stage
#1 Know why you are doing it
Before fine-tuning your adventure, work out why you are doing it. Is it to fundraise? Explore a new country? Raise your profile? Knowing the why will help you stay focused and make good decisions early on.
#2 Follow other adventurers
Find adventurers that you admire or who are doing similar things that you want to be doing and follow their blogs. As well as getting you excited for your own trip, you can pick up some great bits of advice. Check out 100+ adventure ideas to find new adventurers to follow.
#3 Treat your adventure like a project
Especially for larger expeditions, think about getting a spreadsheet together and a to-do list so you don’t miss something important.
#4 Have a budget
#5 Don’t be afraid to ask
If you are struggling to work something out or can’t find the answer, then use the internet to find someone who would know. Drop them an email and kindly ask them for advice….the worst they can do is ignore you.
#6 Make the most of funding available
There are lots of grants and scholarships available to fund adventures. Give them a go! Check out this extensive list for adventure funding.
#7 Set up a social media page
If you want to share your journey with others and want them to be involved then set up dedicated social media pages. This is great if you want to use your adventure fundraise or raise awarness.
#8 If you do set up a website make it nice
If you plan on blogging think about setting up a ‘proper’ website rather than just a free one. Having a nice website could help you down the line if you start giving talks or decide to look for
#9 Beg, borrow and steal
Start getting the gear you need for the trip in the earlier stages of your planning. If you don’t have a big budget you don’t need to buy everything new. Check out sites like
#10 Do a full test run on gear
Make sure you do a full test run with everything you will take for the adventure. You don’t want to discover on the adventure that your new kit isn’t suitable or is uncomfortable.
#11 Know what to invest in when it comes to gear
If you are hiking – good boots and bag
#12 Sign up to free accommodation platforms
Being on databases like WarmShowers and Couchsurfing gives you access to hundreds of free comfortable nights’ sleep around the world. They can be great Apps to have stored on your phone for your adventure.
#13 Don’t over plan
It’s a fine line between being prepared but not being so organised that it takes away the spontaneity and uncertainty that can make an adventure so fun.
#14 Add contingency days
Having a tight time schedule can put unnecessary pressure on yourself, give yourself a bit of leg room.
#15 Check the Foreign Office before leaving
If you are going abroad, it is always worth checking the Foreign Office website before leaving should there be any unrest or illnesses that you need to be aware of.
#16 Get yourself insured
I once had all my stuff stolen in Bangkok, losing hundreds of pounds in the process because I went with a cheap insurer…..I learnt
#17 Keep the week before you leave free
There will likely be some last-minute things you need to sort out plus it’s nice to have some headspace to mentally get ready and excited.
#18 Download music and podcasts
My iPod shuffle has been a saviour on every adventure! I only discovered podcasts last year but a good series can get you through the worst of days.
#19 Pack 2 days before you depart
I do this religiously now because it means I am not stressed the day before and can just enjoy the anxious/excited feeling. It also gives me time to remember what I have forgotten to pack…..there’s always something!
#20 Know your environment
Do some research ahead of time so you know what sort of weather to expect. This will help when deciding what to pack. It’s also good to know what dangers there are in your new environment – flash flooding, snake bites, malaria zones, etc.
#21 Pack super duper light
This is the biggest mistake people make when starting out with adventuring. You want to be as light as possible. You really don’t need more than 1 spare clothes, trust me. Really try and slim down your belongings to bare minimum.
#22 Do a first aid course
Being able to look after yourself or your teammate if something goes wrong could be a lifesaving skill. Doing a first aid course is a smart move to make and will help boost your confidence. I recommend checking out the Outdoor First Aid course.
#23 Get yourself different colour and size stuff sacks
Stuff sacks are great for keeping your kit organised and dry. I use Exped stuff sacks.
#24 If you are doing a big trip have a party
I think it’s great to get your friends and family together to celebrate your big journey, plus you will have some nice memories to get you through the tough times.
#25 Send your plans and documents to a loved one
This is good practice no matter where you go or what you do. Include your travel plans, insurance details, a copy of your passport and your intended route and timeframe.
#26 Plan a comfortable start
I like to have transport from the airport and a half-decent hotel organised for at least the first night. It makes all the difference settling into a new place as I hate those first few days when I ask myself ‘what the hell have you done’!
Adventure tips: on expedition
#27 Split your money
It’s good practice to have a decent amount of cash on you and to split them into different places so if your bag gets lost/stolen you have a backup. I use a Source belt, to discretely hide money.
#28 Take the first days easy
Your body will take a bit of time to adjust to whatever it is you are putting it through. Allow for some shorter distances to be travelled in the beginning.
#29 Blisters should be prevented not treated
There’s nothing that will make your trip more miserable than blisters. To prevent them on my feet I wear 2 pairs of socks and smother hot spots with vaseline.
#30 Get rid of your sleeping bag sack
I spent 2 months hiking the length of Israel. The first month I spent every morning trying to get my sleeping bag back in its carry bag and the same for my roll mat. Then I had a revelation. Instead, I got rid of the stuff sacks and just shoved both in the bottom of my bag (which has one big waterproof liner bag). Not only did it save me a ton of time and energy but it actually took up less space in my bag as it could then squash into all the corners.
#31 Keep a journal
It’s nice to have a journal to look back on. Be it a blog or even just a small notebook where you bullet-point highlights from the day (or even voice recordings!). 2 years down the line you’ll be really happy you had something to jog all those forgotten memories.
#32 Be wary positing in real time
Someone tried to track me down via my blog (without asking) which made me quite uncomfortable. If you are posting on a blog or social media it’s good to delay it by a day or 2…..unless you want people to come join you!
#33 Keep healthy
My diet is usually terrible on adventures. I take Vivo Life Thrive so I get all my minerals and vitamins and also use their Protein shake on longer trips. Whenever I have the opportunity to eat real food I make the most of it and get lots of fresh fruit and veg in me.
#34 Say yes to opportunities
I soon learnt to get over my distrust and shyness with strangers. Saying yes to offers of food, a bed and a hot tub (true story) leads to the most incredible encounters and memories.
#35 Little and often
It is easy to get so caught up in the mission that you forget to eat and drink. You won’t do yourself or your mood any favours. Aim for little and often. I find a hydration bladder pack helps plus a few easy to grab snacks in my pocket.
#36 Stretch daily
Every night do even just 10 minutes of stretching. Your body really will thank you for it!
#37 Get lots of sleep
It is so important that you sleep as much as you can so your body and mind can recover. I use a buff as an eye mask, stuff sack with a puffy jacket for a pillow and earplugs. It works a treat!
#38 Don’t count the miles
It can be easy to get so focused on the end that you spend your entire day calculating miles. How far you’ve come and how far you’ve got to go, rather than just being in the moment and enjoying your surroundings. You’ll wish your adventure away with this mindset.
#39 Follow leave no trace
Learn the leave no trace rules and stick to them. It can be easy to be complacent but as adventurers, it is vital for us to protect the wilderness that we love so much. Why not take that a step further and make your adventure eco-friendly.
#40 Take rest days
Rest days are important to make sure you don’t lose steam. As a general rule for longer trips, you will want to factor in a rest day once a week. There is nothing wrong with taking it easy and having more though.
#41 Snap plenty of pictures
I always regret not taking more photos of my expeditions, especially when it comes to putting together slides for talks or blogging about my trip afterwards. Try and get some so you are actually in the photos as well.
#42 Celebrate the end
You’ve completed your adventure…or maybe you didn’t!…but either way you deserve to celebrate for making that dream happen at all. Book a nice hotel, go to a fancy restaurant (make sure you shower first!) or have a massage. To celebrate hiking the length of Israel, I finished with a scuba diving course which I loved! It’s my rule now that every adventure has to end with a dash of luxury 🙂
Adventure tips; post adventure
#43 Expect the post adventure blues
Post-expedition blues are a real thing and it can take some time to adjust to real life. Be kind to yourself and take it easy.
#44 Plan some time off
If possible, give yourself a few days off before having to get straight back to work. It will give you that extra headspace to adjust and time to organise your kit and get yourself looking like a presentable person again.
#45 Don’t forget your thank you’s
There will no doubt be people who you need to thank following your adventure – kind strangers, donors or sponsors. Tired from your trip it can be a huge effort sending these out, but they are important! Get it done straight away so all your loose ends are tied up.
#46 Keep active
If you’ve done a physically demanding expedition it is good to keep the body moving a bit and stretching regularly to keep aches and pains at bay.
#47 Share your story
Think about signing up to give a talk. Even just a small one at a local club or at your work one lunch break. There’s something really
#48 Surround yourself with like-minded individuals
It’s great to connect with people who have done similar things and understands your tales. Check out Explorers Connect, Yes Tribe and Love Her Wild to find adventure buddies who can help you keep that contact with the adventure world.
#49 Get planning the next adventure
No doubt you’ve got the bug. Get your head stuck into the next one but keep it interesting – do something new, bigger or push yourself that little bit more. Having another adventure to look forward to is the best way to keep adventure blues at bay!
For more advice and help with putting together an adventure, check out my plan an adventure page.
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