This weeks inspiration comes from Grant Draper and he offers a little something different to our normal interviews. Since leaving his home town in the West Midlands, Grant has never looked back. His new website aims to cut through the BS and give you simple, actionable tips, and advice on picking the right equipment. The beginners guide to wild camping has some excellent tips.
1. Tell us a little about yourself, like what is your name and where do you come from.
Hey, I’m Grant. I’m from the West Midlands, but my “currently living in” status changes from time to time. I work as a freelance writer. But, I also write about my interests on sites I own, like my Beginners Guide To Wild Camping. A general hiking, biking, camping, outdoorsy nut.
2. What sort of traveller are you?
A weekend warrior most of the time. But, I’ve been known to move away and travel for 3-9 months at a time inBulgaria, Spain and Wales.
3. When did you first start travelling and what inspired you to start?
My first real adventure was in 2012. I wanted to do something different, so I moved to Bulgaria. Originally, I planned to stay for 3 months and learn to snowboard in ski season – ended up staying for over 9 months!
The main reason for my travel is to tie it in with an activity. Learn to snowboard, watch a world championship race…something like that.
I like an end-game.
4. Tell us about your current travel arrangements and why you chose it?
I’m a camper, and not a fussy one. I’ve got a few tents, but I don’t always use them. The one that’s lasted the longest is my Vango 250. It’s been through storms and snow blizzards, and was a bargain at £50. I carry an ultralightweight sleeping bag in summer, and in winter I’ve got a Vango bag that’s graded to -21. I’ve been in -14 in it so far and was snug as a bug. For everything else, I wrote up a Wild Camping Kit List.
5. Where is the best place you have ever been and why?
I’m a huge fan of Wales. I think too many people do the Cliché “see the world” thing, but a lot of the best scenery is right here in the UK. And, most people haven’t even seen the best of it. The Gower has some great beaches for surfing, treks along the coast for hiking, and trails for mountain biking.It’s great for campervans and tents. There’s loads of info here.
6. Where is the worst place you have ever been and why?
Butlins. I don’t think I need a reason
7. What 3 places are on your bucket / wish list?
- Stelvio Pass in Northen Italy – I love motorcycles, and that road looks awesome.
- Whistler Blackcomb in Vancouver, Canada – I decided to go to Bulgaria over Whistler, but Whistler is home to potentially the best mountain bike park in the world.
- Anaheim, California – I’ve watched the AMA Supercross series for over 20 years. And, Anaheim hosts the opening round each year in January.
8. What things (apart from the obvious) do you always travel with?
If you’re wild camping, a water filter of any kind could be life-saving. A life-straw is a good example. And, I always carry a dry-bag with essentials (anything electrical, socks etc).
9. If you could share one handy wild camping hint or tip, what would it be?
Take a lighter. Sometimes keeping yourself warm isn’t as easy as it looks. Plan routes and spots beforehand. You might have internet now, but wild camping spots are not exactly known for signal strength.
10. Any finally, what’s your funniest travel moment?
I love Sevlievo, Bulgaria. I’m a motocross nut, and they host a round of the World Championship. Jumped on the coach from Sofia where I lived, with nothing but a spare set of clothes and a sleeping bag. Went straight to the local megastore to pick up a tent, only to find they’d sold out. And, the hotels had too. I ended getting completely lost and slept in a forest. It hammered it down with rain and was freezing cold. Worst of all, I didn’t even know where the track was. Luckily, I was only a few miles from the track and it’s a small town. So, a traffic jam in one direction told me which way to go. In fact, thinking about it. It wasn’t funny at the time…at all!
If you would like to check out Grant’s website then click here, Facebook or Twitter. Better still bob on over to beginners guide to wild camping article, have a read and say hi, he really is a genuinely nice guy.
Thanks to Grant for his interview and here’s hoping we have a mild winter. See you soon Grant.
If you would like to join in the fun then drop is an email at firstname.lastname@example.org