Front cover.
courtesy Tim Moss, SOURCE
Chapter illustration.
courtesy Tim Moss, SOURCE
Armchair travel: "How to get to the North Pole… and other iconic adventures” by Tim Moss

Posted: Oct 04, 2012 01:07 pm EDT
(Correne Coetzer) British all-rounder adventurer Tim Moss has put his knowledge about the poles, deserts, mountains, and cycling roads in a book; How to get to the North Pole… and other iconic adventures

He talked to ExplorersWeb about the book and his own adventures, what he wants the readers to get from the book, and gives his three best tips.

ExplorersWeb: How did your adventure career start?

Tim: I first got into adventures after seeing a poster at my university offering grants for student expeditions and I promptly concocted a plan to climb some new mountains in Kyrgyzstan. I went on two more student expeditions before finding a job in the Royal Geographical Society organizing Arctic and Himalayan expeditions for the British Schools Exploring Society. At that point, I found that people were approaching me for help with their own adventures and charity challenges so I started my website, The Next Challenge

ExplorersWeb: How did you decide on the topics in the book?

Tim: They are partly based on the destinations that people email me about for help and partly just on places I thought would be interesting.

I wanted the chapters to be aspirational and cover topics that would immediately grab people's attention. I tried to cover a range of environments - like polar, desert, ocean, mountain - and I wanted them to be broad rather than specific, hence a chapter on 'How to Climb an Unclimbed Mountain' rather than, say, 'How to Climb Mount Everest'.

If I'd had more time and space then I would have liked to include a chapter about river journeys and something jungle-based.

ExplorersWeb: What do you want the readers to get from your book?

Tim: The ideal result from my book is that someone reads it, gets inspired and then uses the information to go off and undertake an expedition of their own. But even if the inspiration doesn't get the reader as far as an expedition, it would be nice if it even just made them consider living a little more adventurously.

Equally, I tried to write the book so that it would be interesting to the lay-person and the curious too so I would be happy even if it just piques people's interest to learn a little more about how expeditions function in different environments.

ExplorersWeb: What is your personal favorite expedition? Why?

Tim: My own favorite expeditions are probably my first: climbing in Kyrgyzstan because, despite being a dismal failure, it was a real eye opener for me and set me on a new course in life. A cycle trip I did on my own, pedaling back towards the UK from the top of Arctic Norway was a great learning experience for me, just operating on my own for that long. And finally, crossing the tiny Wahiba Sands desert on foot with my wife, Laura, carrying all our water was a fantastic experience and felt like another world.

ExplorersWeb: Your three best tips to adventurers?

Tim: 1. Don't get overwhelmed by thinking your expedition plans are too big and you don't know where to start. No one knows all of the answers, even after they've been there and come back. Just start somewhere, anywhere, and you'll find the momentum will carry you.

2. The most common question I get asked is: How can I get my expedition sponsored? My answer usually is: Why would you want to? It's a long, dull, heart-breaking task begging other people for money and it means your plans are contingent on someone else. Consider a lower budget expedition.

3. The vast majority of my trips have cost less than £1000 (~$1500), usually much less, and that includes first ascents, desert crossings, walking across countries and long-distance cycle tours.
Tell your story afterwards but do so honestly and don't succumb to the temptations of hyperbole.

ExplorersWeb: Your next challenge?

Cycling to Australia (from the UK)... or maybe Cape Town. Either way, it'll be a big cycling trip!

ExplorersWeb: Anything else?

Tim: I'll just say the same thing I always say: adventure is a state of mind. You don't need time, money or expertise, just the right attitude. So don't be put off by testosterone-ridden tales, just start. (And if anyone would like a helping hand then please just take a look at my website or email me).

Tim Moss did some climbing in the Russian Altai Mountains, ran the length of every London Underground train line, attempted to hike coast-to-coast across the narrow bit of South America, completed a 1000 mile journey across the UK by rickshaw, walked across the small Wahiba Sands desert of Oman by moonlight, circumnavigated the Northern Hemisphere using as many different methods of transport as possible, and more.

Book Contents:
- General Notes on Expeditions
- Common Equipment
- Raising the Funds for an Expedition
- Final Notes
1. How to Cross a Desert
2. How to get to the North Pole
3. How to Row an Ocean
4. How to Cycle Around the World
5. How to Sail the Seven Seas
6. How to Get to the South Pole
7. How to Climb an Unclimbed Mountain
Did I miss something?

Read free samples and browse individual chapters here

Look inside the book on Amazon

The book can be purchased here

Tim Moss’ flickr photos