Getting up early for a reason
Ross grew up in the Caribbean and spent much of his childhood exploring the outdoors - experiences that built the foundations for his love for wild places. He likes to keep active, learn continuously and pass on his knowledge and hopefully, his enthusiasm to others and feels lucky to have made a career out of the outdoors. He teaches bushcraft, trains wilderness guides and provides support and consultancy for adventure TV shows. Even if he is away and outdoors most of the time, he admits that sometimes it’s an effort to drag himself away from the laptop, lace his walking boots and get outside. But… it’s always worth it!
It’s early dawn when I head to the woods. It’s cold and crisp, but the sky is blue so it will turn into a beautiful summer day in just a few hours. Being here before most people are even awake feels like an unbelievable privilege. Animals have learnt to get their business done before we start ours and it’s incredible how much more one can see when making the effort to get up early.
Nature is everything. So often people think they are separate to it and just drop in and out of it. I see it and experience it every day. Even if I’m just outside in our tiny garden, feeling the warmth of the spring sun on my face, seeing the jackdaws building a nest in the neighbors chimney or watching the plants break through the soil. I enjoy being out and so I don’t see any point in rushing to get back inside. I like to immerse myself in nature, walk with my head up and my eyes open. I love watching the sunrise or set in the woods, listening to birdsong and the crackle of the campfire, drinking coffee so strong it feels like you’ve been kicked by a mule and laughing with friends and loved ones.
As a kid I was always seeking adventures, building dens, lighting fires and making mistakes. Something that has really shaped me into who I am today. One of the biggest breakthroughs in my outdoor life was learning to embrace the cold, the wet, the heat rather than constantly try to shield myself from them. Also, spending so much time in the outdoors I don’t really get to choose the weather that I go out in. So I always make sure I have much warm clothing and water proofs with me. I also bring the Lite plus stove because it packs down small and it means that no matter what the weather is like, I can always get a hot coffee on.
- Ross Bowyer
TV Survival & Safety Consultant & Wilderness Guide, UK