Adventure Ramblings, September 2023
A journey through the borderlands where adventure meets social and environmental change
Curated by, Adventure Ramblings is how Adventure Uncovered shares thought-provoking adventure stories. It follows in the footsteps of the seventeen Editions we published between 2020 and 2023 (the seventeenth is in the works!). You can read more about why we’re transitioning here.
If you have something you think we should include, email Sam at firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
🎬 Submit a film to the Adventure Uncovered Film Festival 2024
Are you a ﬁlmmaker? Do you know any filmmakers? Or have you recently seen an awesome film connecting adventure and the outdoors with social or environmental issues? 2024 AUFF submissions are open until November 30th 2023. Get involved with the only adventure ﬁlm festival dedicated to stories with social and environmental narratives.
Perspectives and advice around adventuring on your period
Though half of us menstruate, menstruating while adventuring receives little attention. So in the March 2022 Emergence Edition, we published a two-part collection of advice and experiences from seven badass outdoor people, spearheaded by Rosie Watson and written by Emma Linford and Vedangi Kulkarni.
Cycling the Andes to explore biodiversity and oppose extractivism
In January 2017, we interviewed Kate Rawles before she embarked on The Life Cycle: a 8,288-mile ride along the Andes on a self-built bamboo bicycle, Woody, to learn about biodiversity projects. In this Dark Mountain Project essay, she reflects on her journey and the catastrophic impact of extractivism. The Life Cycle: 8000 Miles in the Andes by Bamboo Bike, is now available in all good bookshops.
Kate and Woody making their way through the Andes (image courtesy of Kate Rawles)
Climbing out of despair
“My soul needed to die to be reborn,” writes Colleen Tirtirian in this moving piece for The Climbing Zine. “It died when I was a new mom and thought suicide was the answer. It was renewed when I leaned into the climbing community and the camaraderie that surrounds it. The climbing community and the act of the ascent changed my entire outlook on life and pulled me out of the depths of disquiet. Climbing saved me.”
The Nan Shepherd Prize 2023 longlist
Looking for new nature writing this autumn? The Nan Shepherd Prize – named in honour of the legendary Scottish nature writer, and launched to platform and publish emerging nature writers from under-represented backgrounds – is back this year, and the 2023 longlist features seventeen writers you probably don’t know yet. Though their submissions are book proposals yet to be written, they’ve written plenty elsewhere. The winner will receive a book deal with Canongate.
What’s with all these lumberjacks?
Chances are, either on cabincore TikTok or in some American TV show, you’ve recently watched – I dare say enjoyed – a man heaving his axe into wood. In Big Swinging Axes, for Dirt, Jonny Diamond deconstructs the phenomenon, highlighting the different modes of masculinity contained within.
What we might learn from Norwegians
Friluftsliv – translated as “free-air life” – is a core tenet of Norwegian national identity. But it’s more than a passive nature-loving vibe among people drenched in natural riches. It’s babies sleeping in prams beneath winter skies, kids spending 80% of their nursery time outdoors, the right to roam anywhere, university degrees in friluftsliv, and government-sponsored kit libraries. Published one day before the felling of the Sycamore Gap Tree – the UK’s 2016 Tree of the Year – and the same day the 2023 State of Nature report confirmed the UK continues to lead the world in wretched biodiversity, this Guardian piece contains a few ideas that could help.
Is eco sabotage ethical? And is it about to be normalised?
In 2021, Andreas Malm’s book How to Blow Up a Pipeline argued that sabotage – what he considers a form of defensive violence – is a logical and necessary tool of climate activism. Last year, a surprisingly provocative film of the same name adapted the book for cinema, bringing the argument further into the mainstream. Now, Chris Packham is on Channel 4 stating his support for illegal property destruction. Are we at a cultural turning point?
Skiing in Indigenous reciprocity with the land
With ski season somewhere between ‘round the corner’ and ‘on the horizon’, is it too early to get stoked? Absolutely not. So with the year’s big-budget ski flicks starting to drop, let’s remember a couple of wicked films from last season. First up, Spirit of the Peaks: a beautiful depiction of Hunkpapa Lakota skier Connor Ryan’s approach to skiing in reciprocity with the land amidst ongoing colonisation.
An honest look at mental health in skiing
The Mountain in My Mind is a welcome break from the silky slick, big-budget production of much professional ski porn. Featuring a near equal gender split and every type of skiing, the film interviews skiers about a huge range of mental-health challenges. It’s a more raw, relatable portrayal of ski culture than most films, with a sequel coming online, for free, on October 23rd.
Robert Macfarlane crosses the Cuillin Mountains
To mark the twenty-year anniversary of his book Mountains of the Mind, which explores our fascination with mountains, this two-part series documents Robert Macfarlane’s expedition attempting to traverse Skye’s Cuillin Ridge. In trademark style Macfarlane interweaves music and poetry to convey a landscape physical and imaginative.
Following birds, illuminating humans
Birdwatching is having a moment, and we’re here for it. In this Emergence Magazine podcast, Natalie Rose Richardson traces a migration path across the eastern US, learning how birdwatching brings a powerful quality of attention to both nature and the social stories we tell ourselves.
An interview with the scientist surfer
Surfing has a particularly macho reputation, so surfing conversations that model more thoughtful modes of manhood are particularly valuable. This Looking Sideways conversation between Matt Barr and scientist, journalist, and surfer Cliff Kapono is one such conversation, situating surfing in a context of colonisation, environmental degradation, and the art of being a conscientious human.
Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2023
The Wildlife Photographer of the Year exhibition is always a delight. This year’s exhibition opens in London on 13th October, followed by a tour of the UK and beyond. This preview features some of the 100 images to be displayed.
Red Bull Illume photo contest
From 11th October, 250+ action and adventure photos from the 2023 edition of Red Bull’s photography competition will be available online. The comp shines the spotlight on the often-unsung heroes behind the camera. Inspiration guaranteed.
A multi-sensory exhibition exploring our kinship with nature
Another London opportunity this – sorry! – but it looks too good to omit. Emergence Magazine’s upcoming Shifting Landscapes exhibition is free, and features work from seven artists that “invites you to see, touch, hear, and breathe—to feel into and participate in the spaces of connection and kinship” with the natural world as it transforms. As adventurers, environmentalists, humans, how can we better connect?
Thanks for reading Adventure Ramblings! We’ll be back next month. Subscribe for free if you haven’t already, or forward this to a friend if you have.