Adventurer Tim Moss – Interview

An MSR tent pitched in the mountains of Patagonia
Tim Moss wild camping on an expedition to Patagonia

Opportunities for adventure can be found almost everywhere, if you know where to look. If you are stuck for inspiration, Adventurer and Expedition Manager, Tim Moss can help. There are lots of ideas on Tim’s The Next Challenge website, through which he also offers advice, research and support for expeditions. For example, Tim has helped some of the adventurers who we have previously interviewed on the CheapTents Outdoor Gear blog, such as Leon McCarron, Alastair Humphreys and Mikael Strandberg.

[Tim] has also supported over a hundred different individuals, expeditions and groups. Will you be next? The Next Challenge.

In order to become an expert expedition manager you need a bit of experience yourself. Tim has been on plenty of weird and wonderful adventures, including a record breaking cycle of 1000 Miles on a Rickshaw, travelling “Around the World in 80 Ways” and an 80 mile triathlon to Thom’s house.

Tim lives in London. Thom lives on the Isle of Wight.

Tim wanted to visit Thom but he doesn’t have a car (or a boat for that matter). He could have taken a train, a boat and a taxi but that would have cost a lot of money and left a big carbon footprint. Besides, it’s not much fun.

Instead, Tim got to Thom’s house by doing a triathlon. He cycled to Portsmouth, swum across the Solent and ran across the island. The Next Challenge.

Other adventures that Tim has undertaken include walking through Patagonia, climbing in the Bolivian Andes, cycling across Scandinavia and mountaineering in Kyrgyzstan and the Alti Republic.

Our track rose from the fjords and into the mountains where huge condors emerged from the trees to ward us off their nests. Vast lakes flanked us on both sides and wild glaciers ran off peaks to within spitting distance. It was beautiful and we had it to ourselves. The Next Challenge.

Tim Moss Interview

We wanted to know more about this exciting man who has dedicated his life to adventure…

CheapTents: What inspired you to become an Adventurer?

Tim Moss: I used to work in the Royal Geographical Society. Every day there would be a seasoned expeditioner coming into the British Schools Exploring Society offices, tales of adventure in the lecture theatre and explorer legends using the tea room. It was impossible not to be inspired.

CheapTents: Which of your adventures has been the most life changing?

Tim Moss: My first expedition was a mountaineering trip to Kyrgyzstan. We were way out of our depth. I’d never been outside of Europe before and had only worn crampons twice. It produced some of the most harrowing experiences of my life but changed my world view and gave me a new thirst and confidence, even if I didn’t realise it at the time.

On the edge of a glacier, the lowlands stretch into the distance
Approaching the edge of a glacier on a mountaineering expedition to Bolivia

CheapTents: What is your biggest weakness?

Tim Moss: This suddenly feels like a job interview. One thing of which I am guilty with my expeditions is putting the blinkers on and thinking about nothing other than the finish line. That tends to means I don’t always enjoy it whilst it’s happening, only in hindsight.

CheapTents: What is the toughest choice that you have had whilst out on an expedition?

Tim Moss: I turned back 50-metres from the top of a 5,500-metre peak in Bolivia because we just couldn’t find a safe way to the summit. It was a blow that still irks sometimes but, at the time, we made the decision quickly, no doubt encouraged by the onsetting chill.

CheapTents: Of all the places you’ve visited, which has left the most lasting impression?

Tim Moss: The Wahiba Sands desert in Oman. It was my first proper desert experience and it conformed perfectly to the stereotype. An endless sea of bright orange sand and stifling heat. It was so alien and the transition from the normal world so sudden.

Sand dunes stretching for miles ahead
Tim Moss and his wife Laura crossed the Wahiba desert in Oman

CheapTents:Do you have any expeditions planned for next year or further ahead?

Tim Moss: I’ve had some health problems and a shoulder operation which have taken me out of action since my last trip to Patagonia in January. We’ll carry on swimming the Thames when my shoulder’s up to it and a big cycling trip remains on the cards.

CheapTents: You advocate that adventure should be available to everyone. How do you help people to achieve this?

Tim Moss: I have written new articles for my website twice a week for the last three years with the specific aim of promulgating the merits of adventure, encouraging people to get outside, and trying to break down some of the perceived barriers such as fitness, money, time and expertise (none of which you need).

I’ve written a book – ‘How to Get to the North Pole and Other Iconic Adventures‘ – along these same lines, and I’ve given a number of talks.

I also offer free advice through my website and respond to every email I get.

CheapTents: What ideas do you have for adding adventure into our everyday lives?

Tim Moss: What a wonderfully pertinent question! Might I direct your readers towards my series of Everyday Adventure ideas.

Tim Moss camps out on an urban park bench
There are plenty of opportunities for adventure in our everyday lives!

CheapTents: What tips can you provide to help aspiring adventurers organise an expedition?

Tim Moss: Start, start, start. Planning an expedition can be daunting. People often spend a lot of time and energy searching for detailed answers to a multitude of questions before committing to a plan. In truth, even the most experienced travellers will come back from expeditions and still not have those answers.

Yes, research is important but don’t get bogged down in it. Unless you are planning the most cutting edge, dangerous venture then the minutiae won’t matter. Just get the project under way and you’ll learn as you go.

CheapTents: What are your favourite bits of gear, and why?

Tim Moss: My long sleeve Helly Hansen base layer has been with me for over a decade. I’ve used it climbing at 6,000-metres and pulk dragging in the high Arctic, as well across the UK and during foot races. It’s cheap, it stinks, it performs brilliantly and it’s just as good as the day I bought it.

I also love my Rab pertex layer too. It squashes to about the size of a golf ball and is the weight of a tiny cloud but it’s so good for windy conditions in when cycling, running and out in the mountains.

CheapTents: Any people or sponsors that you’d like thank?

Tim Moss: I’ll thank my wife for providing a lot of the ideas for my recent trips and tolerating my blinkered, objective-focused approached to challenges.

I don’t really have many sponsors for my trips but I’ll gladly plug the people that helped on my trip to Patagonia: Primus and Rosker for the OmniLite Titanium stove, Swoop Patagonia and Walk Patagonia for all the help, and the Fitzroy Adventure Camp (FRAC) for putting us up.

Tim Moss about to set out on his a £100 adventure
Adventure doesn’t need to be expensive
– Tim Moss about to set out on adventure with only £100!

CheapTents: Anything else you would like to say?

Tim Moss: I’ll just take the opportunity to emphasise that adventure is a state of mind. It needn’t require time, money or expertise. You can do it on your lunch break and manage it on a shoe-string. My website’s full of resources and motivational pieces, and there are many other great blogs out there for inspiration if you need it. But don’t spend too long at your computer. That rather defeats the purpose.

CheapTents: Many thanks, Tim, for answering our questions and inspiring us!

More Exciting Adventure Interviews

If you enjoyed this interview, why not read some of our interviews with other adventurers?

Photocredits: Tim Moss @NextChallenge


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