Down the Missippippi (Dave Cornthwaite)
Blog Words : Insider Secrets | 04 January

5 things every adventurer needs to know

Adventurer Dave Cornthwaite gives you the lowdown on making your expedition go as smoothly as possible.

Dave Cornthwaite is an adventurer, author and speaker who has completed eight journeys of Expedition1000: 25 journeys of 1,000 miles or more, each using a different form of non-motorised transport. Along the way he has picked up useful tips that make the life of an adventurer easier. He shares five of them below.

1. Take the right equipment 

Carry a dry bag EVERYWHERE. You don’t have to be paddling down a river to have your gear at risk from water-logging. I carry my laptop and electronics in an Aquapac Wet/Dry rucksack at all times. No longer do I fear unexpected storms!

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2. Be aware of your impact on the environment

Ever wondered about those big old fields of plastic in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Well, actually there are five of these ‘gyres’ in the oceans, and you can join a team of scientists and see it for yourself, as well as taking part in vital research, with a Miami-based company called Pangaea Explorations. The cool thing is that their 72ft yacht, Sea Dragon, was originally designed to sail around the world against the wind with a crew of inexperienced sailors, so well-practiced sea legs aren’t necessary.

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3. Seek out quirkiness

The vast Nullarbor Plain that spans the empty gap between Western and South Australia lays claim to an unlikely record: it’s the home of the world’s longest golf course. At each one of the 18 roadhouses (motel/ gas station and restaurant) that provide sustenance to travellers along one of the loneliest roads in the world, there is a golf hole. I skateboarded this road in 2006, perhaps a golf cart would have been wiser.

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4. Get a local perspective

Experience the Lower Mississippi River in all its glory, with a canoe tour by legendary riverman John Ruskey. Ruskey and his band of merry Quapaws (local interns who have been trained to be river guides) show you the big river, back creeks, wetlands and islands that you wouldn’t otherwise know existed.

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5. Travel slow

This is an all-round tip, but if you can afford the time, travel a great distance by your own steam. Exposure to the elements, unexpected meetings and satisfaction of reaching your destination that comes from powering yourself across a country or state makes for a real adventure that enclosure in a car or train can’t necessarily provide.

Get uncomfortable, get ambitious and get fit!

Dave CornthwaiteDave Cornthwaite will be at The Adventure Travel Show, on Saturday 25 January 2014; appearing in The Adventure Travel Auditorium at 14.00 till 14.30. He will also be talking in the Wanderlust Travel Writing Workshop on the Sunday afternoon.

Advance tickets to the show are now on sale. Get your tickets for only £5 (that’s saving £5 off the door price!) by quoting ‘WANDERLUST’ when booking tickets online at

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