AdvENturers safely return from the Arctic
It all started 6 months ago when a colleague asked “Goffy – would you like to see the Northern lights” well who wouldn’t….. so I said YES along with three other naive colleagues from the Cisco UK Enterprise Networking specialist team.
From that moment the goal posts moved significantly, and last week this ragtag bunch completed an Arcticsurvival week in northern Sweden to raise funds for the Royal British Legion. The irony being that we never actually got to see the Northern Lights (they have a lot to answer for) but we managed to raise in excess of £12,000 which will provide invaluable support for the brave men and women who have served our country.
The expedition numbered 15 people in total from all parts of the country and we had nothing but our ignorance and questionable humour to keep us from the clutches of the Arctic chill. Having spent several days learning the vital lessons in fire lighting, foraging, fire signals, personal safety etc. we started the survival phase which required the team to spend three days and nights exposed to the elements with no water and only dried rations for food.
The experience will last long in the memory, as we naturally bonded as a group and supported each other whether it was collecting dead wood, keeping the fire lit, boiling snow for water or building our shelters. The highlight of which was the construction of a snow hole (below) which we slept in for the final night, it had a remarkable way of keeping you insulated whilst outside the temperatures plummeted to -20C, though making it was something of a physical challenge requiring you to pile tonnes of snow, wait for it to compact over several days and then carefully dig out tonnes of snow.
Incredibly you couldn’t completely get away from the always connected lifestyle we live today as Sweden’s forests are not just covered in snow but also plenty of 4G. But with a long list of simple chores to fill your day who has time for Facebook right! There is something beautiful about being dis-connected if only for a few days.
‘I’m incredibly grateful to Cisco for giving me the opportunity to not only raise funds for a great cause as part of our Cisco Corporate Social Responsibility program but also the opportunity to throw myself into a challenge I would never had otherwise embarked on. However, none of this would have been possible if it had not been for the generous platform afforded by Tech Data at their December Momentum ACES event and the incredible donations from the partners who attended. Thanks to all of you for your support – you’re the best.
The AdvENturer team comprised: David Goff, Peter Davis-Adkins, Alastair Tucker-Brown and Oliver Kenward.