Welcome to the latest Arctic Ride 2014 blog. In May and June of this year I'm riding 6000 miles from Newcastle in the UK to Nordkapp in Norway, the most Northerly point in Europe.
***** 68 days to go *****
So a few weeks ago (sorry for the slow updates) I took part in an Adventure travel survival training weekend curiosity of the chaps at Nomad-Biker Ltd.
Nomad-Biker is an adventure travel consultancy set up by Stuart, a former British commando who has served in front line units and seen active service all over the world. The team is made up of paramedics, close protection operators, mechanics, and survival experts. With Stuart's passion for bikes and the team's military background Nomad-Biker give the best arduous environment training for adventure travel trips like mine to the Arctic.
|Gordon, Cameraman Ant, Steph, Stu (Nomad Biker)|
Stu from Nomad-Biker contacted me back in 2013 and offered me a free place on one of their courses to help me be prepared for everything the Arctic has to throw at me. Also on the course I attended was Steph who is about to undertake a round the world bike trip on a Honda CRF 250L, and my cameraman and bike buddy Ant.
|Map work with Stu|
Day 1 of the course started with some map work which took me back to my days with the URNU in the navy reserve. I won't be using any GPS on my phone and when I get further North I'll be coming off the main roads so being able to navigate using a map an compass is key. I also learned to use my watch and the sun to navigate (THIS ONLY WORKS WITH A ANALOG WATCH, not with a digital one or an iphone).
As I'll be doing as much 'wild camping' as possible on my trip, the second half of the day was all about shelter and fire building. Even though I'll be taking my little tent with me on my trip when I'm in the Norwegian woodland I want to make the most of the opportunity to camp Ray Mear's style and build my own shelter. I guess I'll see how sore my backside is and how tired I am as to whether this comes off in the Arctic but I really hope it does!
Also in this part of the course I learned how to use the bike as a survival tool such as building a fire using the airfilter as kindling. I REALLY hope I don't get into this position as I really like my bike.
Day 2 was all around the medical side of my trip and what I can do if I get myself into trouble or I come across anyone else who needs assistance. I was given a crash course on everything from broken bones and severe bleeds to getting a bad stomach and dehydration.
I feel confident that this part of the course has really sunk in as the other night I had a dream that some Russian militants took control of my office and injured one of my colleagues. However I stressed "do not fear! I've been on my Nomad-Biker course and that chap needs a tourniquet to stop him bleeding" if that's not proof it has been worth it then I'm not sure what will.
All in all it was a great and very informative weekend and that has given a great grounding in adventure trave; survival from the best in the business.
If you are interested in taking a course please visit www.nomad-biker.com
Also in the past few weeks my Arctic Ride merchandise has been flying off the shelves! Big thanks to everyone who has bought items so far. All the profits made from these items go to Cerebra and this week alone we're closing in on £50 for the charity. If you haven't bought already please take a look at the items on my merchandise page.
Thanks for reading and supporting my trip! If you can please donate to Cerebra using the link below.
Click on the Virgin Money image below to donate.