What we're about

In 2009, Explorer & Campaigner Belinda Kirk (http://belindakirk.com/) established Explorers Connect as a not-for-profit organisation with the mission to help people live more adventurously. Belinda is the leading campaigner for an #AdventureRevolution (https://www.explorersconnect.com/adventurerevolution)

Set up originally as a way for explorers and adventurers to recruit new teammates for expeditions, people quickly let Belinda know that they would like to go on adventures with her, and so she started setting up adventures herself. Nowadays, every adventure that we run has been carefully crafted to reflect Belinda's original vision, standards, and ethos.

WHAT WE DO

1) We extend people's comfort zones

We run a variety of affordable adventures (https://www.explorersconnect.com/join-an-adventure) that are carefully curated and crafted to (safely) extend peoples' comfort zones, as we believe that is where the magic happens:

• People discover just what they are capable of, which has the power to transform lives and inspire others.

• People learn new skills that improve self sufficiency and increase their ability to appreciate the outdoors on their own

• People experience new locations and experiences that broaden their horizons, and make them more comfortable with uncertainty (e.g. cold weather / night experiences).

2) We are a strong and friendly community

We nurture a long-standing and inclusive community of outdoor enthusiasts (https://www.explorersconnect.com/members), where people quickly find new friends to do all the stuff they love with. We foster an environment wherein:

• You can be yourself: We actively celebrate individuality, and do not stand for 'cliqueyness' or coolness in any shape or form. Our hosts and partners actively ensure everyone is included in conversations who wants to be.

• Everyone is treated as adults and equals: It's a muck-in environment, where group decisions are actively encouraged. It's all about empowerment.

3) We are a thought-leader in adventure-for-wellbeing

We believe we spend too much time indoors, stifled by convenience and comfort, and it's killing us, impacting our auto-immune systems and causing numerous mental health problems. We actively raise awareness of, and conversation around, the positive impacts of adventure on mental, physical and emotional well being.

Alongside our adventures, we run a range of other initiatives to encourage people to live more adventurously:

• In 2016, we founded Wild Night Out (https://www.explorersconnect.com/wild-night-out) - Britain's National Night of Adventure - and now partner with the YHA, Ordnance Survey, and Ellis Brigham (amongst many others) to deliver it, in order to raise funds for the Youth Adventure Trust.

• We run a 'Join A Team (https://www.explorersconnect.com/join-a-team)' platform, for explorers and adventurers to find teammates to join them on expeditions around the world.

• We host regular Adventure Talks (https://www.explorersconnect.com/get-inspired) in Bristol and London, with a range of inspiring speakers, to ensure our community remains inspired during their city-bound workaday week.

• We also manage an Adventure Jobs Portal (http://www.adventureindustrypro.com/) where employers from across the globe advertise vacancies within the adventure industry.

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ADVENTURE REVOLUTION

At Explorers Connect we believe adventure is a necessity of the human spirit. The modern world has become too easy, too averse to challenge and too disconnected from nature. This is having a negative effect on our physical and mental health. What we need is an #AdventureRevolution

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We have groups all around Britain so all our events fill up and will run. We don't use Meetup much so don't be put off if there are small numbers here we get an average of 20 people on each weekend (max 24).

If you've not come on an Explorers Connect event yet, they're very informal and friendly. We've got singles, couples and sets of friends coming along, as well as adventure professionals and complete beginners - what we all share is the desire for more adventure.

Our main website www.explorersconnect.com (http://www.explorersconnect.com/) has lots more information on us and the adventures we offer!

You can also get to know us and our community on our social channels:

http://www.facebook.com/ExplorersConnect

@explorerstweet

belinda@explorersconnect.com

Upcoming events (5+)

Walk the West Coast of Gower

Worms Head

Walk the West Coast of Gower Peninsula in a weekend, from the iconic Worms Head in the south west all the way along the coast to the north west tip of Whiteford Sands. From £164 per person Find out more and book your space: www.explorersconnect.com/walk-the-west-coast-of-gower OVERVIEW There's nothing more refreshing, exciting and mindful as taking a long walk together. We'll work as a team towards a shared goal. This micro-expedition will journey along an iconic and amazingly varied coastline. The first morning is a challenging hike to the end of Worm's Head, a rocky craggy pensinsula jutting out into the Atlantic. Its exhilarating and hopefully we'll have the weather for a great view back along the coast and the walk ahead of us After Worms Head, the route will take in high ridges, huge sweeping empty beaches, quiet wooded headlands, and impressive sand dunes. For most part completely away from crowds. Our experienced guide - the one-and-only explorer and Explorers Connect founder Belinda Kirk - will help us to access more adventurous parts of the coast cut off by the tide.... accessible only for a few hours each day. This will be an adventurous challenge but anyone with good walking fitness can join. ITINERARY Day 1 (Friday): Arrival is from 6pm, when you'll be met by your friendly host - explorer and Explorers Connect founder Belinda Kirk. You’ll spend the evening getting to know each other over a hearty dinner, and we may venture out for an evening stroll along the beach, right outside the door of our lodge - a converted lifeboat station. Day 2 (Saturday): After a cooked breakfast that will set you up for the day, a taxi will take us to our start point at Rhossilli. We'll then journey along the west coast of the Gower peninsula, taking in the beautiful varied scenery on offer (approx 6 hrs walking), before returning to the lodge by taxi for a delicious home-cooked dinner. After dinner, we’ll gather around a beach campfire to toast marshmallows. Day 3 (Sunday): On Sunday morning, after a continental breakfast, we’ll travel in cars to where we left off, to complete our journey along the west coast of the peninsula, finishing our journey at Whiteford Sands with a celebratory cream tea and a most spectacular view (approx 4-5 hrs walking). WHAT'S INCLUDED Two night’s accommodation in our own beach side accommodation Two day’s guided hiking with a friendly, qualified and experienced walk leader Home cooked dinner on Friday and Saturday Home cooked breakfast on Saturday and continental breakfast on Sunday Explorer and Founder of Explorers Connect, Belinda Kirk as your host for the weekend Camaraderie of a friendly group Beach campfire and totally-optional beach-games-by-night DATES AND PRICE Dates: This adventure runs from 6pm on Friday 8th November to approx. 3pm on Sunday 10th November Price: £194 (members price: £179) Earlybird: Book before 1st September 2019 and get £15 off NB: If you would like to book your place with a deposit please call the office, we’re happy to arrange this for you. Tel[masked] Find out more and book your space: www.explorersconnect.com/walk-the-west-coast-of-gower

Adventure Talk, London: Rafting in Pakistan & ‘Kadoma’ Film Screening

This London social has two speakers for you to enjoy... Jon Rider and Edmund Le Brun will kick off proceedings with stories from travelling the Hunza River in Pakistan by raft and foot to discover the impact of China’s investment in the Karakoram Highway. We will then screen the film ‘Kadoma’ - winner of the best Adventure and Exploration film at Banff in 2011. "Kadoma" was a nickname for Hendri Coetzee, a legendary South African kayaker who had explored some of Africa’s wildest rivers. In December of 2010, on a trip into the Democratic Republic of Congo, tragedy struck and he was never seen again. From £4.40 per person Tickets must be bought in advance: www.explorersconnect.com/adventure-talk-london-rafting-in-pakistan-and-kadoma-film-screening Jon Rider and Edmund Le Brun Jonathan Rider and Edmund Le Brun travel down the Hunza River by raft and foot to discover how China’s recent investment in the Karakoram Highway is transforming this corner of Northern Pakistan. Moving slowly through the landscape, far from the beaten path, Jonathan and Edmund discover how China’s investment in the Karakoram Highway is provoking internal political unrest in Pakistan, and initiating dramatic economic, cultural and environmental change. They experience disaster and triumph as they raft through some of the most spectacular and fragile environments on earth, and bring back insights on regions rarely visited, and seldom understood. The talk will provide a lively account of their journey, combining stories from the people they met, with the excitement and adrenaline of pioneering new rivers. Jonathan and Edmund were the first people to raft the length of the Oxus River in Afghanistan. Jonathan currently runs a consulting firm, Aleph Strategies, specialising in overseas development and humanitarian aid. A Fellow of the RGS, Jonathan trained as an archaeologist before working in public affairs in Westminster. Later, in Afghanistan, he worked for the Aga Khan Foundation, before managing conservation activities for UNESCO at the Bamiyan World Heritage Site. Edmund is an Oxford graduate and a Forbes 30 under 30 social entrepreneur. He set up his business, ISHKAR, after living in Afghanistan for three years, and today works on projects in war-torn countries around the world. Alongside adventure talks, Edmund also regularly speaks about social entrepreneurship, and doing business in frontier markets. Kadoma We will show the film Kadoma winner of the best Adventure and Exploration film at Banff in 2011. "Kadoma" was a nickname for Hendri Coetzee, a legendary South African kayaker who had explored some of Africa’s wildest rivers. In December of 2010, American pro kayakers Chris Korbulic and Ben Stookesbury followed Coetzee into the Democratic Republic of Congo for a first descent of the dangerous Lukuga River. Seven weeks into the expedition, tragedy struck. Coetzee was paddling tip to tail in between the other two men when a fifteen-foot crocodile surfaced silently and swiftly pulled him underwater. He was never seen again. As well as showing the film we will talk about Self-publishing "Living The Best Day Ever" Hendris' dream book that was published by a talented team of friends and family who polished the final text left behind in the kayak he was paddling during the incident. We added photos that date back to his childhood and included maps hand-inked to illustrate his journeys. The memoir is full of humour, harrowing tales of African adventures, and whitewater poetry. Tickets must be bought in advance: www.explorersconnect.com/adventure-talk-london-rafting-in-pakistan-and-kadoma-film-screening

Remote First Aid Training

Bristol

If you're looking to be more confident in the outdoors, would like to know what to do in an emergency or simply looking to revalidate your first aid qualification for NGB awards, this hands-on training course delivering a 16hr Certificate in Outdoor First Aid is perfect for you. Find out more and book a space: www.explorersconnect.com/remote-first-aid-training OVERVIEW This practical, scenario based qualification is designed to meet the needs of those working away from immediate assistance (more than 30 mins) in the remote and rural regions of the UK and is externally regulated meeting the standards to appear upon the national qualifications frameworks of England and Wales. This course is recognised throughout the UK and is the course of choice for experienced practitioners who use the outdoors. It is suitable for workers in rural and remote settings and will maintain the license to practice for those with Outdoor National Governing Body Instructor awards. Topics include roles & responsibilities, dealing with collapse (with and without breathing), choking, bleeding, shock, torso and limb injuries, environmental effects, heat and cold injuries, using first aid kit, outdoor specific scenarios and outdoor incident management, answering queries such as when or how to remove boots, helmets and looking after a casualty for some hours. This qualification is designed to provide outdoor incident management skills. Typical delivery methods are predominantly practical, with elements occurring out of doors in outdoor clothing and on various terrains. The course is assessed by continual observation of candidate performance. The two-day (16 hour) course draws on the most recent peer-reviewed evidence for the initial treatment of injuries and illnesses in remote areas. As such, some protocols would not be appropriate in an urban setting. Course content is based on current guidelines published by: UK Resuscitation Council, American Heart Association, Wilderness Medical Society and currently accepted guidance and best-practice from advisory bodies and published evidence for the treatment of First Aid in a remote or wilderness context. Designed expressly for those who work or play off far from help, this course satisfies the criteria for First Aid training for all Outdoor NGB qualifications including MLT, British Canoeing, Canoe Wales, NCLA, and RYA. COURSE CONTENT Scene Management ABCDEFG - Incident Protocol Airway Opening & Safe Airway Position Choking, Heart Attack & Angina CPR - remote protocols Defibrillation in remote environments Serious Bleeding Hypovolaemic shock Management of Head Injuries, Spinal Injuries and Bone & Joint Injuries Monitoring Vital Signs Hypothermia & dehydration - remote protocols Hyperthermia - remote protocols Asthma - remote protocols Anaphylaxis - remote protocols Diabetes, Epilepsy, Drowning Triage Communication Find out more and book a space: www.explorersconnect.com/remote-first-aid-training

Adventure Writing Workshop

Bristol

On this bespoke two-day course, international adventure writer, broadcaster and media expert Belinda Dixon will show you how to use words to capture and communicate your adventure stories... whether big, small or anywhere in between. From £190 per person Find out more and book your space: www.explorersconnect.com/adventure-writing-workshop OVERVIEW Great adventures need great storytelling. Using words well helps convey the experience and helps people connect - with the writer, the cause, the activity, the place. These kinds of connections might prompt editors to commission your work, people to follow you, and brands to bring you on board. This hands-on workshop will see you distilling your adventures into sentences that sing, exploring adventure writing techniques and developing your craft - focusing on things like audience, emotive words, narrative structure, dialogue, jeopardy and more. It'll cover the techniques to harness your story and avoid editors' pet hates. It’ll consider what you want your words to do – whether you want brands to back you, to inspire people to join your tribe, or just evoke how utterly extraordinary your adventure is. Whether you're a newbie writer or creative professional, this course will help you find your style... and take the leap. WHAT YOU'LL LEARN Audience – who are you writing it for, on what platform and what do you want it to do? Power words – those that deliver emotion or convey sensory factors What adventure you're doing, why, and how can you capture it Different ways of telling a story – narrative, jeopardy, story arcs, where to start, how to end Characteristic fragments Dialogue / quotes Building up a series of sentences which convey powerfully your adventure experience Using photos and video snippets to accompany your words Different writing techniques - "I" or "you" Magazine and web editors' tips – how to pitch and pitfalls to avoid Practical application, such as documenting an adventure in real-time ITINERARY Saturday 23rd November 9am-11am - Theory, group work and exercises 11am-11:30am - Break 11:30am-12:30am - Preparation for the practical exercise 12:30pm-1:30pm - Lunch 1:30pm-5pm (approx) - Practical exercise and group recap 5pm onwards - Informal writing and social time Sunday 24th November 9am-11am - Group review of adventure stories 11am-11:30am - Break 11:30am-12:30pm - Pointers on how to progress 12:30pm-1:30pm - Lunch 1:30pm-3:30pm - Final summary and takeaway, Q&A session 3:30pm - Informal networking and wrap up COURSE LEADER Your course leader for this Adventure Writing Course is the brilliant Belinda Dixon - Lonely Planet Writer, Podcast Producer & BBC Broadcaster. Belinda Dixon is also an Ordnance Survey #GetOutside Champion and British Exploring Society Media Leader. Belinda uses inspiring, interactive, confidence-building sessions to help her students arrive at the right conclusions themselves and to produce lasting change. As with all Explorers Connect trips, every detail has been carefully considered to ensure everything runs as smoothly as possible, and to bring to life our ethos of gently encouraging people outside their comfort zone to discover just what they are capable of, whilst ensuring everyone is having a lovely time and making new friends. You can find out more about the core values that run through all our trips here. LOCATION, FOOD AND DRINK The course will be held at a venue in central Bristol - you will need to get to Narrow Quay near Queens Square Garden for 8:45am on Sat 23rd November. Further information will be sent out in joining instructions prior to the course. DATES & PRICE Dates: This adventure runs from 8:45am on Saturday 23rd to 4pm on Sunday 24th November 2019 Price: £205 (member price: £190) Find out more and book your space: www.explorersconnect.com/adventure-writing-workshop

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