You can hitchhike to India for less than 750 pounds (thanks, Lev), and one great thing about not having a beard is that you can’t wake up to maggots in it (thanks, Danny). Once you’ve had a taste for adventure (like surfing a 30-foot wave alongside a whale, as Ian did), it’s hard to return to mundane life. These were just some of the things I learned last night, as well as how vanilla my general existence is in juxtaposition to @Secret_Compass,  @Paul_K_Archer, @adventurehubltd and @dannybent.

The main takeaways

Judging from the live-tweeting that Rob did last night:

  • “Best way to fund an expedition? Pay for it yourself….!” (Paul Archer) Finding sponsorship can be tough. Really tough. So really, it can be smarter just to work at your existing job and save up as much as you can so that you can sponsor your own adventures.
  • If you are going to attempt the sponsorship route, “Be original without being contrived – you need to have a great angle for people to fund you. Big corporates won’t sponsor adventures unless you’ve got an amazing angle and a great contact, and you need to be able to provide them with fantastic content.”
  • Often, the smaller the company, the more likely they are to listen to you. That doesn’t mean they have budget to sponsor you. Medium to large sized companies are generally your best bet – not the big boys, who get pitched all the time.
  • You need a PDF that’s ready to go, with your pitch, your story, your map/planned route, what you’re asking for, and why you’re different.
  • Useful websites: Expedition Portal, The Hubb (for motorcycle trips – shipping, contacts, etc), RGS.
  • Ian: “Better to have a well-prepared pessimist for an expedition than an uninformed optimist!‘” A lot of people underestimate how gruelling the trip might be; and you need to pick your travel-mates carefully. You don’t want someone who’s going to turn around halfway through, because it’s tougher than they thought!

We asked the speakers questions from the attendees in preparation for the event: you can find their responses here.

More about the speakers:

  • Levison Wood was in the Army before setting up Secret Compass, an expedition service which provides incredible adventures in the most remote and wild places on earth. You can read his hero profile here.
  • Ian Couch was an Infantry Officer in the Army before setting up www.adventurehub.com – an expedition and endurance adventure company offering real life-changing challenges and expeditions. You can read his hero profile here.
  • Danny Bent is a adventure cyclist, world record holder, best-selling author, international athlete and bog snorkelling world champion. His motto? Live Your Dreams. Check out his site here.
  • Paul Archer drove around the world in a Black Cab on the ‘It’s on the Meter’ expedition and holds two World Records.  He has raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in sponsorship and for charity and advises expeditions on how to manage their PR and gain sponsorship.

Did you come last night? If so, what did you learn? 

And if you didn’t come last night… do you want me to upload the video? We just uploaded this startup video from another past event, but we’re trying to figure out if it’s worth us doing this for each event!