Blog #5 | Autumn of Adventure series | EXPLORE!



On Sunday 18th November, Adventure Carrick will be running an EXPLORER tour of Loch Trool by mode of Stand Up Paddleboard. To us, journeying and exploring is the next step from learning the basics on an INTRO session.

This months blog aims to dive deeper into the subject of exploration, challenge and adventuring outdoors.


Exploring somewhere new doesn’t usually disappoint. We gain a heightened sense of ourselves when we venture outdoors and into a place unknown to us. Better still, our curiosities -which are a behavioural trait engrained in us as humans-become a subconscious stimulus. Few outdoor enthusiasts will pass up the chance to spent as much of the day as possible under an open sky. Despite tiredness and at times discomfort, we just keep going. Why? Because we gain a deeper connection to ourselves and our environment. For moments we forget about every day processes, stresses and deadlines and we start to use our senses.  Unquestionably, we have become urbanised. Research shows that a night under the stars and canvas can help reset our circadian rhythms (our body clock) and offer us a de-stresser from the common modernities of urban life. The changing shadows and setting sun tells us the time. The prevailing wind becomes our sense of direction. The smells of autumn and pine cones on the forest floor trigger fond memories of childhood outdoor play. As we break free from our busy digital obsessed lives for a short while and wander semi aimlessly in search of something new, a SUP board becomes a vessel that provides the opportunity to wander in silence and with relative ease over the water surface. With human effort and endeavour, a connection with both water and land becomes an journey based adventure which not only connects us to the environment we are in but also reminds us of how small we really are in comparison to the landscape. Exploring is in our blood and journeying to a somewhere a little wild appeals in more ways than we realise.


The Oxford dictionary defines ‘Challenge’ as “A call to someone to participate in a competitive situation to decide who is superior…”.

A challenge is a call to prove or to justify something. Let’s think about that for a minute.

As humans we need challenge in our lives. It validates our here and now. It provides us with a sense of self as meeting a challenge head on provides augmented feedback. A challenge maybe to some simply getting the kids to school in time or meeting a deadline in work. To us, we design and provide challenges which call on people to sometimes prove themselves wrong as well as something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully.

There’s no such thing as a failure when taking on a new challenge. You either smash it or you learn.

I remember talking to a young person about this very point on the walk back from a gorge walking activity. As a nervous teen, I knew they were struggling with school, lacking confidence in self and needed a tool or cue to self check. I said “think about it. You have just jumped from 15ft, into a cold, dark river which 0.1% of the population has ever done. And your telling me a maths exam is hard”.  She thought about it for a moment and smiled. My point was; reflect and use the challenge as a cue for positivity.

Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your mind off your goals

Canoeing Loch trool


True adventure is very hard to find given our packed out lives and limited free time. We are more connected to others than ever before making exploring and true adventures hard to disconnect from routine. But there is something revitalising about adventuring. Doing something different than your friends creates stories and memories that last. Visiting a new place or a common place by a different mode of travel is exciting as it tests and pushes personal boundaries.

Never. Never. Never underestimate the power of true adventuring.  It can be life changing. 

Adventure Carrick EXPLORER products are built around the concepts of EXPLORING new places, CHALLENGING self and true ADVENTURING.



Adventure Carrick will be running a Loch Trool SUP Explorer on Sunday 18th November.

10 places available. See the Watersports link on the website for full itinerary and details.