Why?…… men don’t do this? Meet up with a room full of men that you’ve never met before. I saw a post about this and The Living Project whilst in my camper van sitting on a campsite in the Lake District. I’m a very adventurous person and have a great love of the outdoors. lm also incredibly resilient. The problem is by being so resilient all the time you don’t always notice when a dark shadow starts creeping up on you.
"As a middle aged man absorbing the pressures of life and running a business, I was burning out mentally and physically, out of touch with my emotions (of course, more strong to brush them under the carpet) and ever more consciously feeling lost. I had hit a wall with quite some impact and had started realise it."
During this process I was searching for something and it took me a while to realise, that what I was searching for was me. So going back to the social media post “mens wild adventure” it seemed like the perfect time to set my self a challenge and do something out of my comfort zone. Summer solstice evening, I turned up to the meet point which was a camping barn in the heart of Dartmoor. With a little apprehension and a lot of enthusiasm, I was keen to meet some new people outside of my usual social circle (which usually involved the pub). There were about 8 guys there in total all arriving sporadically, together with Josh and Cormac - our guides for the adventure.
With a little nervous energy in the air, we all had a meet and introductions then networked the room for a bit. Within minutes Josh’s and Cormac’s welcoming and calm nature had eased any nervous energy, and you could just notice that this project was about to click.
The first night we had a great meal together and were briefed on the upcoming events.
The next morning we were gently awoken with a very mindful and empowering track from their Spotify playlist. We practiced some gentle yoga and participated in some thoughtful but fun activities to get our mindset working ready for the days events, not to mention the epic breakfast.
Kitted up we left for the moorland, the weather was perfect. We hiked, took in our environment, scrambled up a few Tors, swam in a wild river and waterfall; by now I was realising it was just the tonic I needed.
Genuine friendships were starting to form and great conversations were flowing.
We set up bivvy camps on top of a Tor, sourced water, ate dinner and played fun games which brought out fun from within which is something I felt I had been missing. I realised I hadn’t laughed like that from such simple things for such a long time.
"Then came the sunset! Wow! I’ve seen sunsets in the wild all over the world but that night for some reason it was something else.
The edge of the cloud had been lit by the sun and it trailed around the outline of the cloud like a golden glow that was slowly burning along a lit fuse."
A night under the magical stars completely wild in Dartmoor is something that will stay with me forever.
The next morning we meditated on top of the rocks facing the sun and I realised at that point, in the couple of days that I was there, I was starting to feel like me again.
We had breakfast and had an invigorating walk back to the camping barn.
We de briefed, and shared some moments that again I will never forget.
"This experience was one of the best things I have ever done and I know everybody felt the same. Josh and Cormac were so accommodating in every sense of the word. There are so many dynamics to this adventure….. from simple adventure to mindfulness and you can take from it as little or as much as you want."
I urge anybody that is slightly tempted, to absolutely embark on such a great experience. I have made some great friends and memories and for whatever ever reason it was the catalyst for me finding my inner peace again, which I am glad to say I have now done so for that I will be eternally grateful. So I won’t be the only one to express this sentiment, Thank you The Living Project!
We're running our men's wild adventure again in 2024, this time in the mountains of Eryri (Snowdonia) National Park. You can find out more and book your place here: