“Paddle, paddle, paddle!!!” comes the cry from Hollie in front of me as our yellow tandem kayak enters into what looks like the inside of a washing machine. Moments later, we’re engulfed by swirling glacial, water – water I could have sworn was blue just a moment ago… but now all I see is foaming white.


Five minutes before entering this mid-river washing machine, we had managed to get ourselves wedged on what are are dubbing a ‘surprise’ boulder, which ambushed our boat somewhere upstream (we swear it came out of nowhere). Naturally it took us some time to get ourselves free as we shifted micro-millimetres backwards and forwards, awkwardly wedged, with our rudder on the boulder and the front of our boat on the bank.


At one point, I gave in to the idea that we were going to head backwards down the rapids, such was the struggle to free ourselves from the boulder beaching, but lo! There we were, facing forwards, hurtling downstream, trying desperately to catch up the main group who were… oh look… over there… to our left… why were they to our left? If they were over there, and we were over here then… oh no! My head snapped forwards and I tried desperately not to focus on the fact that we appeared to be headlong into a steep, rocky bluff. Continue reading

A Marathon At Midnight

“You know what J, I might have a glass of wine with dinner tonight.” 🍷🙋🏼‍♀️
“You go for it my dear.” He replied
“I certainly wi… oh no, wait.”
“We’ve got to run a marathon after dinner.”
“Oh Yes, we have.” he smiled.

It was an easy thing to forget 🤦🏼‍♀️. 48 hours earlier Jamie McDonald had run into Palm Springs, California for a rendezvous with yours truly after almost three months apart. 🌵😍

He’d run 50 miles in two days to get to me, and was suffering a from a minor niggle in his knee as a result, so he decided to take a day off in 🌴Palm Springs🌴 to let it rest. And I decided that this was a nice excuse to be a ‘normal couple’ for 24 hours before hitting the road together. 🏃🏼‍♀️🏃‍♂️🇺🇸 Continue reading

So Long, Canada

As the sun sets on a 3 month journey across Canada, I’m just a little bit gutted to be going home. Usually I come to the end of an adventure and am clinging on for dear life – the longing for home having firmly overtaken the longing for the road. But when the person you miss most from home is sat in the a beat up Dodge Caravan beside you (and there’s a stuffed moose on the back seat), it’s a whole different ball game.


I have some exciting speaking engagements in the UK to honour, starting with tomorrow’s National Running Show and the Camping, Caravan and Motorhome Show at the end of February. I have a new book to begin editing (hurrah!), not to mention the fact that my passion project, Adventure Queens, is growing arms and legs and sprouting in new directions every day – and there’s work to be done getting women fired up and outdoors. So home I must go. But before then…

I would like to thank land land of moose and maple leaves for many things. Primarily for teaching me how to say ‘eh?’ at the end of every sentence, what a toque is (it’s a bobble hat) and at precisely which temperature my nostril hair and eyelashes begin to freeze (-25C)… Continue reading

A Day Out At Cheltenham Literature Festival

“Say Anna, what are you like at chairing events?”

A message popped through on my phone from a rather lovely lady who I knew was helping to organise the Cheltenham Literature Festival. As it turns out, after a last minute change of plans, the festival were in need of someone to chair The Times and Sunday Times panel on Microadventures – with Alastair Humphreys (Godfather of Microadventure) and Phoebe Smith (editor of Wanderlust Mag).

FullSizeRender 2

Of course, being invited to host a discussion at arguably the most famous literary festival in the world was no biggy. Who am I kidding?! This was a BIGGY! Like, if Mr Biggy had got jiggy with Mrs Biggy and made little Biggy babies, it couldn’t have been more of a biggy. Naturally, I styled it out.

I confirmed that I could indeed do chairing – because chairing is mostly talking and asking questions – and talking and asking questions is what I do best. I always find chairing events rather lovely, because I don’t have to talk about myself for a change. Instead I can just focus on making sure the audience are having a ruddy good time, and on bringing out the best in the stories that others have to share. How marvellous.

Plus, being a chair is like juggling cucumbers (have you ever tried juggling cucumbers? It’s more tricky than juggling balls). And every time I chair, I learn something new. So what better place to learn something new than at one of the greatest literary festivals in the world? Continue reading

10 Tips to Help You Feel Safe and at Ease When Wild Camping

Greetings Adventure Fans, here’s the third in a series of ‘how to’ blog posts, designed to equip you with all the knowledge you need to get out wild camping. You can catch up on the other posts in the series here.

On todays hit list – the legalities of wild camping, and tips on feeling safe and at ease when you’re having a slumber party with nature.

Today’s post is co-written by Chief Adventure Queen, Emma Frampton, otherwise known as ‘Framps’.


If we’re going to be totally honest (my mum always told me to tell the truth)… wild camping is ‘technically’ illegal in most of the the UK. It becomes legal when you ask the ‘land owners’ permission (whether the land owner is the government or it’s privately owned), you choose to wild camp in Scotland (totally legal and awesome), or in certain parts of Dartmoor.

That said, it’s not like we’re running around robbing banks (all whacked up on Scooby snacks) here. So there are ways to go about wild camping that will keeps things on the down-low, and make you feel a little bit more comfortable about it all.

The number of people sleeping Wild in the UK has grown massively over the past few years. The way I see it, so long as we operate on a ‘leave no trace’ policy – we’re doing no harm out there.

Continue reading


Sometimes the hardest thing in getting out there adventurin’ is not knowing quite where to begin. In a recent Adventure Queens survey we found that the second biggest thing from stopping people going wild camping, is not knowing how to find a good spot for a wild night out. So below are the five steps that I go through myself before heading out there.


No one likes too much choice – choice can be debilitating. We don’t want finding a wild camp spot to end up like a trip to the milk aisle in the supermarket (do I want almond, soya, skimmed, goats, semi-skimmed….. COCONUT?)

So here are a list of questions to ask yourself before even starting the search for a spot – they’ll help you home in on what’s going to make it is great night out on the forest-tiles. Continue reading

The 5 Things You Need To Go Wild Camping

This is the first in a series of ‘how to’ posts on wild camping. This summer, I’m ramping up the vibe with the Adventure Queens – encouraging as many women in the UK and abroad to get out wild camping. That’s not to say this post isn’t for you boys too however.

If you’d like to register for updates on all things Adventure Queens, you can do that here.

We’ve sat down at Adventure Queen HQ, eaten copious packets biscuits, drunk many cups of coffee and pulled together a recommended kit list based on favourites that have been tried and tested, as well as advice from other adventurers.

When it comes to outdoors kit, we definitely agree with what your mum says:  ‘you get what you pay for’ and the good old ‘buy cheap, by twice’. That said, you don’t want to be splashing all your hard earned spondoolies on something you’re not sure you enjoy yet. So we’ve giving options for ‘just giving it a bash’ and ‘keen for the long haul’ below. Don’t forget that borrowing is an option too – borrowing is very 2017 dahhlings.  Continue reading

Riding The Rollercoaster: 10 Tips To Cope With The Post-Adventure Blues

Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.

Simon and Garfunkel’s lyrics could not be more appropriate as I stare down the barrel at a period of confusion, frustration, sadness and anxiety that inevitably follows a large adventure.

Although this article focuses on the post-adventure blues, I’ll be quick to add that the topics discussed could quite easily relate to many other milestones in a person’s life. A big project at work. Writing your first book. Completing your first half-marathon. Getting married. Anything which you have worked tirelessly for, and focussed single-mindedly on for a significant period of time – only to find yourself on the other side of it and asking ‘Now what?’

To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble. (22)

As I write this I have been home from the Andes Mountains for almost three weeks. There I pedalled for 6 months – covering 9,000km through three countries and tackling over 100,000 metres of ascent. But I know full well that the challenges of the road pale in comparison to the challenge of returning home.

I’m rather proud of how I’ve done on the blues front so far. Alas, this week they have proudly announced their arrival. Characterised by a desire to lock myself away and not speak to anyone, bouts of frustration, teariness, feelings of hopelessness and an overwhelming sense that I am wriggling in a pool of quicksand, and could go under at any minute.

So let us start with where it all begins…. Continue reading

Book suggestions: A reading list to keep you sane for 6 months

Books, glorious books! One of the best things about adventure is the gift of time. Hours spent turning pedals on deserted trails means hours dedicated to listening to audiobooks, and long evenings in the tent means time to curl up with my Kindle.

I’m always looking for inspiration on what to read or what to listen to next – so I thought I’d share my reading list from the last six months with you all.

If you’ve read any of these titles and want to add your thoughts, or have a questions about a specific book – go buck wild and leave a comment at the bottom. Enjoy!


1. The War of Art: break through your blocks and win your inner creative battles – by Steven Pressfield

Pressfield is an absolute genius, with a fascinating personal story about his own journey to success. If you’re a creative soul – this book explains why sitting down to do your work is a real struggle, and offers tips on how to get your muse to ‘show up’ every day. Expect a gigantic kick up the bum.

The-War-of-Art_straight_1024x1024 Continue reading