In collaboration with Vivobarefoot & Trash Free Trails.
Because spring is a time of emergence, our first 2022 Edition explores the excitements, uncertainties and complexities that come with moving into the light - as ever, at the intersection of adventure and social and environmental change. Fittingly, this is our first collaborative Edition, presented in partnership with two organisations rethinking our relationship with the outdoors.
The emergence of barefoot footwear isn’t just a running thing. Going barefoot is also a metaphor for living, adventuring and doing business in harmony with nature, not in conquest of it. We explore how Vivobarefoot, our presenting partner for Emergence, is championing a regenerative outdoor culture (including two exclusive deals for Adventure Uncovered readers).
We’re also presenting Emergence alongside Trash Free Trails. Their mission is to reduce litter on our trails, and the wild places they take us, by 75% by 2025. Just as importantly though, they’re building a stronger outdoor community in the process. We reflect on their model and encourage you to join their One Bag Challenge in April.
Something can exist long before it emerges. This is a theme throughout this Edition, and nowhere as strikingly as in our conversation with Caroline Treadway, director of LIGHT, which breaks the silence around eating disorders in climbing culture. How is the conversation evolving?
Another bodily taboo in outdoor culture is menstruation. This is why Emma Linford, Vedangi Kulkarni and Rosie Watson have collected period experiences and advice from a collection of badass adventurers. Part one focuses on experiences, part two on advice.
In Palestine, suppression takes a different shape, against which skateboarding has emerged as a form of subcultural resistance. Skater and photographer Maen Hammad, in collaboration with other local skaters, has been documenting life and resistance as a Palestinian skater with disposable cameras. Samia Qaiyum reports.
© Image courtesy of Maen Hammad, in Samia Qaiyum's piece
An alternative story is also emerging in Iraqi Kurdistan. Weaving through ancient civilisations and communities overshadowed by war, the new Zagros Mountain Trail aims to bring opportunities to, and change cultural perceptions of, the region. We spoke with trail developer Leon McCarron.
Telling stories about emerging outdoor cultures is not always simple. Sam Bleakley is a professional longboarder, geographer and storyteller passionate about championing overlooked surf cultures, many of them scarred and shaped by colonialism. We spoke about his role and the state of surf storytelling.
Rooted in Bristol also tells a new story, about the contribution of the Afro-Caribbean community to allotment culture in Bristol. We spoke with co-directors Manu Maunganidze and Annie Menter about this history amidst the shifting politics of land access.
© Image courtesy of Sam Bleakley
Najite Phoenix also writes against a colonial backdrop. Reflecting on her recent time in The Gambia as a Black British woman, she thinks about how travelling causes new parts of ourselves to emerge, and our political identities to shift. What is the potential of the liminal spaces travel provides?
Eileen McDougall also explores her heritage, in a different way. Having heard stories about a ‘Scotland of the East’ in northeastern India, she grew curious. Guided on foot from village to village in the forested valleys of Meghalaya, she searches for parallels. This piece is for Patreon supporters only. You can read it, and enjoy a range of other rewards, for as little as £2 per month.
© Image courtesy of Eileen McDougall
The place or landscape that emerges as we travel through it isn’t always as we expect, or desire. When Daniel Shailer paddled around the Arne Peninsula in south Dorset, he expected wildness. But he found a bomb-battered, human-scarred landscape. He writes about how a new understanding of our relationship with nature took shape.
We also spoke with Ellen Miles about our relationship with nature. Angered by the way closures of London’s green spaces exacerbated inequalities, Ellen launched a campaign to have nature access recognised as a human right. What are the arguments, and will it succeed?
We hope so. And, like always, we hope these pieces bring new curiosities into your own orbits.
The Adventure Uncovered Team.
Emergence explores the excitements, uncertainties and complexities that come with moving into the light - as ever, at the intersection of adventure and social and environmental change.
Read all of Edition 14 below...
Samia Qaiyum is a Dubai-based editor specialising in travel and culture, contributing to the likes of Monocle, Kinfolk, Condé Nast Traveller, and OutThere. A textbook third culture kid with a perpetual thirst for adventure, she has lived in five countries and travelled to 34 others, racking up all sorts of weird and wonderful experiences along the way – just don’t ask her to define the word ‘home’.
Caroline Treadway is an award-winning writer and filmmaker who has been climbing for over 20 years. With a background in journalism, Caroline seeks stories and meaning beyond the physicality of adventure, and can be found roaming the mountains surrounding Lake Tahoe.
Ellen Miles is an environmental justice activist and writer from London. She founded the Nature is a Human Right campaign and edited the recently released anthology of the same name. In her spare time, she's a guerrilla gardener, organising local action with her social enterprise, Dream Green.
Emma Linford is a professional expedition guide and educator for social change. She works in environments as diverse as the sea ice of the High Arctic, bush, jungle and high-alpine mountains. Her personal journeys have been multi-day adventure racing and endurance running.
Vedangi is an adventure traveller who loves spending time in the outdoors and pushing her comfort zone. She's always keen for a bike ride, hike, climb, run, swim or a wild camp! She's a passionate storyteller and loves to write. In 2018, she rode 29,000km around the world in 159/160 days, becoming the youngest woman to have circumnavigated the world on a bicycle (unverified). She was 19 when she started and 20 when she finished, mostly solo and unsupported.
Dr Sam Bleakley is a writer, geographer, adventure activist, associate lecturer (in sustainable tourism at Falmouth University), presenter, filmmaker, surf contest commentator and former multiple European Longboard Champion from Cornwall in the UK. He curates and delivers creative and intellectual work on surfing, sustainable tourism and geography through books, films, articles, workshops, lectures, events and educational programs. You can learn more about his books, his film series Brilliant Corners and his wide-ranging work at his website.
Leon McCarron is an award-winning writer, broadcaster and explorer from Northern Ireland. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and is known for long-distance expeditions and immersive multimedia storytelling. In the past decade he has travelled over 50,000km by human power, and is currently based in Iraq. His third book will be published later this year.
Manu is passionate about diversity in nature and the environment, nature-based education and growing bridges between diverse groups. One part of this is helping environmental organisations find ways in which they can look at diversity, or conversely working with different communities to find ways in which they can be meaningfully involved in environmental action. The other half is creative education for youth, often in natural spaces, and always with connection (to nature, materials, each other) at the core. This involves art, bushcraft, hiking, meditation, music-making, conservation work, appropriate use of technology, among other things.
Annie is an independent curator and creative producer. Previously Director of the WOMAD Foundation, the educational arm of WOMAD Festivals, she has been a key player in the field of music, arts and education, visioning and delivering high-quality multi-disciplinary programmes worldwide. As a Churchill Fellow she carried out extensive field trips in southwest Nigeria, collecting and curating a touring exhibition of ‘Adire textiles’, developing an educational resource for Oxfam and research papers for Ibaden University. She is currently Director of Afrika Eye Film Arts & Culture Festival, a week-long event celebrating the films, arts and artists of Africa and the diaspora.