According to the 2019 World Happiness Report
8. New Zealand
The USA ranks 19th, down 5 spots since 2017. That’s a significant drop in just two years.
Something that I had to consider for my upcoming adventures is availability of fuel. I chose a multi-fuel stove over an alcohol or propane/butane stove as they offer me more flexibility.
In some areas of the world, denatured alcohol and ethanol are not available, at least not legally. And when you are in a foreign country, the last thing you want to do is disrespect the rules and regulations of that country.
The same thing applies to propane and butane. You might find yourself someplace that doesn’t have your brand of butane canister. Plus I’m not crazy about carrying around pressurized fuels in non-refillable canisters that I’ll have to dump into a landfill.
Unfortunately, the term ‘adventure’ has been coopted and diluted by large corporations looking to maximize profits.
The following is a snippet of an engaging rant written in 2014 by explorer, author, and filmmaker Tom Allen.
I don’t know Tom, but I do share his views on the subject and share his understanding of adventure. He’s the real deal. And his rant says it so much better than I ever could.
It’s pervasive. It’s hilarious! Adventure is the buzzword of the moment. Consumers, bored of safety and security in a nanny state, suddenly want excitement and adrenaline. Businesses large and small are using that desire to sell them more of the same old shite.
Par for the course, really; the marketers who keep these companies competitive are used to jumping on any up-and-coming trend and riding it until it collapses in the dust, knowing another bandwagon will have been long since tracked down by the time that happens. It’s comically tragic (or perhaps tragically comic?) that adventure has become the most recent high-street poster boy, that a concept so at odds with mass consumption is being hijacked for such ends.
When the dust settles, of course, the spirit of adventure will remain standing, because it is defined by what it inside of us, rather than going on around us. And so I am far less concerned about the temporary reappropriation of the word by outsiders as I am about the practices of the insiders we’ve previously seen.
Do read the whole blog post. And while you are there don’t miss the comments that follow.
H/T: Alastair Humphreys on Twitter, another true adventurer.
It is important to recognize how vulnerable our technology is and how over-dependent we have become to fragile systems, some of which was built during a more trusting era.
Many things we do today, and much of our economy, relies on global navigation satellite navigation and time keeping. Much of the western economy relies on the Global Positioning System (GPS), an aging, fragile, and vulnerable US military project. Turns out that it can be easily be jammed, hacked, and turned off. And has been. Sometimes unintentionally.
All this makes for a good argument to learn how to use an old-fashioned compass and read a map. Continue reading
The new restrictions are directed at regular tourists. Mountaineers, scientific researchers, and geological disaster researcher are still be allowed inside the reserve.
Karson Yiu, writing for ABC News:
Tourists will now no longer have access to the research base camp and can only reach as far as the Rongbuk Monastery at 16,400 feet above sea level. Only those with proper permits will be able to access base camp just over a mile away — and, with that, go beyond base camp onto the mountain.
Tibet Autonomous Region Sports Bureau said in a statement that during last year’s climbing season, they collected 8.4 metric tons of waste including garbage and human waste from the core area.
The People’s Daily reported that this year, authorities are restricting permits to only 300 climbers and the mountain is only open to climbing during the spring.
China will also now charge a $1,500 per climber rubbish collection fee and each climber will be required to bring down 8 kilograms (17.6 pounds) of garbage back down with them to hand over to authorities.
More at ABC News