I get a ton of messages asking me all sorts of questions about my upcoming adventure to India. So I thought I would share some of the most common ones, along with some of the more random ones.
Are you still planning on completing your adventure after the recent terrorist attacks in Kashmir?
The simple answer is yes. I am in talks with Indian officials who are suggesting alternative routes and have been kind enough to offer guides for certain parts of my trip. But, I won’t let the actions of a gutless few dictate where or when I travel. It simply won’t happen. I’m open to logistical advice from locals in Kashmir, as I have been from the outset. My plan was to always be open to change as long as the main factors were adhered to. But I will join my Indian brothers and sisters and stand tall in the face of terrorism.
What footwear will you be wearing?
Oh man, this has been a time consuming task if ever there was one. I mean how many YouTube videos can a man watch on hiking boots. Trust me when I say too many! Well it may come as a surprise to many when I disclose that I’m not actually wearing hiking boots - WTF! No sireeee….I’m shunning the traditional garb in favour of a more technical approach. Trainers to be exact. More specifically, trail trainers. I am currently testing out the Salomon Spreedcross, so I’ll keep you posted!
How is your training going for the trip?
My training has been interesting to say the least. Firstly, I need to lose a couple of stone before I set off, so from an injury prevention perspective I haven’t been on the streets pounding the miles. Instead I have been doing strength training and circuits to help prepare my body for the impact such an expedition will inflict on my body, along with intervals and endurance training on low impact machines. There is a method to the madness though, as by the time I have shifted the weight my body will be used to the extra load and be ready (to an extent) for the additional weight of my backpack. With two months to go, as of the 27th February, I am now starting to add long walks into my training to get my body used to the stress it will be under.
How long will it take you to complete?
All being well, in the region of four months. Although, I never came up with that figure myself, my girlfriend did. I guess you could say I had visions of a leisurely pilgrimage made by Christian folks back in the day. Graciously wandering from village to village, taking in the beautiful scenery that India as to offer. Capturing amazing footage and leaving a positive footprint as I trek throughout this beautiful country - if only. I am regularly reminded by the GF, that her birthday is at the beginning of September and I need to be back in time for that. Like numerous times a week. Thirty miles a day is a target that I’m reminded of almost on a daily basis. So in answer to your question, hopefully about four months unless my girlfriend updates my plans for me.
Will you take transport at all during the expedition?
No, absolutely not. I don’t care how tired, emotionally drained or how much pain I’m suffering, I’ll complete this mission with the sole use of my two feet...although in the latter stages, I might be reliant on my hands and knees as well.
Were you really the most decorated Cub Scout back in the day?
Yes, I had so many badges and awards I had to use both arms to display all my badges. My Cubs jumper was plastered full of accolades. You name it I’ve completed it and got the badge. The fastest bag packer in the history of Sainsbury’s supermarket. Walked over 6,000 OAP’s across the road, and knots....don’t get me started on knots. I’d show those SAS guys a thing or two about survival. I’m not blowing my own trumpet, but imagine what a pearly Queen or Kings jacket looks like. Well my Cubs jumper looked like that, but with badges and awards plastered all over them, instead of pearls.
What/Who inspired you to take this adventure
Oh boy, that warrants a long answer. Too long for this Q&A that’s for sure. I’ll answer that question in detail in a blog post next week.
Now for a couple of the more random messages.
Are you gay?
Only on a Tuesday
How will you take a shit when you’re on the expedition?
Out my bum like normal folk do.
What will you do if you encounter any wild animals on the journey?
Kill them with my bare hands and eat them!
Do you find Indian woman attractive?
Yes, but not on Tuesdays
Is Ed Stafford your brother and who would win in a fight?
What a ridiculous question. Why, because we both shave our heads? Jesus Lord...whatever next? As for the fight; what type of fight are we talking? Sword fight? Conker fight? Fist fight? I’d fancy my chances though. Like I said, the training one goes through when you’re the most decorated Cub Scout of all time prepares you for any situation. If I recall, Ed only received training in the Military so the odds are stacked in my favour.