7 mins

5 random tips for the adventurous at heart

Explorer Levison Wood on where to hide your money and the value of a pot of vaseline. And no, they're not related

Lev Wood

Lev Wood is a full time explorer, guide and photographer. He has travelled in over 80 countries and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Below he shares five random tips on where to find adventure... and how to survive it.

1. Finding Nairobi's best cup of coffee

If you are passing through Nairobi and have a few hours layover, don’t hang around drinking bad coffee in the airport, give Ololo lodge a call. Chris Mahoney will come and pick you up from the airport in a 1974 Land Cruiser, drive you through the stunning city national park (eight minutes from the airport) to his beautiful lodge where breakfast will be served by the pool as you watch zebra and giraffe amble by. You can take a swim or sleep in one of the luxury cabins for a couple of hours before continuing your onward journey. Well worth it!

2. Having fun in the coldest inhabited place on earth

For something really different head to Oymyakon in the winter. It’s the coldest inhabited place on Earth and in the same time zone as Sydney. You can do a nine-day trip to this Siberian Narnia and combine a visit with reindeer, and husky sledding, ice fishing and skinny dipping in a frozen river.

3. Swap your Gortex boots for Vaseline

Never take Goretex boots to the jungle. Whenever I take people into humid hot jungles, often they turn up with a brand new set of waterproof boots because they have been told by a teenager in the gear shop that’s what they need. Bad idea – you get foot rot and anyway the chances are you’ll have to walk through rivers and Goretex boots take forever to dry. Instead take a big pot of Vaseline and lube up your feet every morning and wear some jungle boots!

4. Laminate your cash!

If you’re going to be carrying a large amount of cash in a place where you don’t feel particularly safe, or there's a chance of having it ‘confiscated’ by an opportunistic copper do the following: get large denomination notes – say 5 x 100 dollars. Put it in an envelope or wrap it in some plain paper. Then laminate it. Then laminate it again/ put it in a plastic bag. Then put it in your boots, underneath your insole. It’ll stay dry and no-body will think to look there. Just don’t forget!

5. Visit northern Madagascar

And in particular, the Tsaratanana National Park. It's totally unexplored pristine rainforest, one of the last wildernesses on the island and you can still see lemurs in the wild.

Secret CompassLev Wood helps run Secret Compass – a company that specialises in taking people on world-first expeditions to the world's wildest places. His next adventure will be a 'walk' following the Nile from source to sea.

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