Dave Cornthwaite | Adventurer - Author - Speaker -

When Dave was 25 he realised he was a pretty rubbish graphic designer, so he took up a skateboard and crossed Australia. He hasn't looked back, and now he's a record-breaking adventurer, author and motivational speaker, as well as the founder of SayYesMore, aka. don't waste opportunities.

Amongst other things he has paddleboarded the length of the Mississippi, swum 1001 miles, written three books, stayed awake for 72 hours without turning crazy, and for years has tried in vain to get Nutella to sponsor his adventures. But will he give up? Never!
Recent Tweets @DaveCorn

Leaving Sweden. Open water ahead. Next stop, Ă…land

Wondering how I get 3G in the outer Swedish archipelago? Here’s the answer!

View at 7:07am

Map at 7:07am

I’m sorry, but I’m totally in love with Sweden. Good luck matching this, Finland!

Dodging some big ferries out here in the Stockholm archipelago. Quite fun!

Ready to roll! See ya Stockholm, til the next time #pedalonwater @hobiekayakeu

A pedestrian crossing just begging for some skateboarders… Nacka Strand, Stockholm

Stockholm on a Sunday. Mighty pretty

Here’s a very kind email from a friend I met on my very first adventure in 2006, but one full of questions that many of you have asked already in recent weeks.

So as well as the original email and questions, I’ve tried to answer everything below to give an insight into how I approach an expedition and make everything happen before and during (let’s talk about after when I’m finished on this current mission!)

THE EMAIL
Hi Dave

Just wondering how you keep all your technology dry.? What laptop are you using for your edits and how long do u spend each day editing, updating the website, Facebook , tumblr etc …

It’s crazy to think that you had 2 weeks before this expedition. I would be thinking bills to pay, airfare expense, where do I sleep, what permissions do I need, will it be safe, hypothermia if I capsize, what if my laptop gets wet, how do I recharge all this equipment, how many back up drives will I need for all the video footage, blah blah.

Plus I have to store dry clothes somewhere (storage looks tiny to me), I mean this kayak was supposedly never supposed to go 1000 miles!

And there you are doing professional broadcasts, editing ads, daily video feeds…!!! It’s a feat more challenging than what you are already doing!!! I have Internet challenges daily and I am in one place and curse when my cell phone runs out of charge (which is all the time )!

And what are u doing for food? Do you stop along the way? How much bucks does one have to carry on a trip like this? And visas? It takes months to get a visa !!! You make this all seem like a piece of cake!!!

I wonder how I would sort all the stuff you have to have with you, even for a day trip on a lake, let alone months on choppy unknown waters!!!!

Truly remarkable … You had a team behind you on Aus so everything was in the van but here you are by yourself, in conditions not meant for technology!!!! And it’s fabulous viewing!! … You are revolutionising reality Facebook !!!

It is current, interesting, beyond anything any one of us normal people with bills would or could attempt, but you awaken the primal adventure bug in all of us.

National geographic and travel channel need to take heed. You embody the spirit of adventure…
Good on you Dave !!!! Thanks for the adventure!!!! Xx


MY ANSWER
I LOVE this type of feedback! I suppose my first trick is to simplify everything, so as to streamline what I want to do - which is to create an innovative ongoing ‘real time’ documentary.

All posts (except the pedal on water episodes) are created, edited and shared via iPhone 5s. I use iMovie on the phone to share the daily ‘good morning’ posts.

I navigate using google maps on iPad and iPhone. Often satellite mode.

I have a 13” MacBook Pro Retina laptop on which I use final cut x to edit the bigger episodes. Audio/narration is recorded on a Zoom H1.

All gear, clothes and electronics, has a place in an Aquapac drybag or pouch - they have a bunch of different styles.

I use mains power when possible but recharge my gear all night using a Power Gorilla battery (from powertraveller.com) which is charged by a Solar Gorilla solar panel.

2 x 2gb western digital MyPassport drives for data/content backup (each stored in different bag/part of kayak - I back up every two nights religiously).

I probably spend 60 minutes on average each day crediting and sharing the stories - really love this part of the adventure, engaging with people around the world and lighting a spark for some.

I guess the graphic designing helped a bit but back then ‘social media’ wasn’t yet around. I used Facebook and twitter for the first time on the Murray expedition in 2009 and my video editing was quite rudimentary at that point!

I guess as with anything, the more time one spends on something the better they get at it. I’m miles ahead of myself four years ago but the exciting thing is that I’m only scratching the surface.

This also goes for general logistics. I have a bite the bullet approach now: it doesn’t take too many things to sort to go on an adventure. Need a visa? Apply for one! Air fare? Book as early as possible and keep costs low (if you don’t book it the trip doesn’t happen). Bills to pay? The only monthly outgoing I have is for my UK phone, and that’s direct debit. Generally my costs are based on my immediate choices and I only but/pay for things I really need, because I carry my life on my back (kayak). Permissions? Usually I go, then work it out on the way. Sleep? There’s always somewhere quiet to pitch a tent. Capsize? Don’t! Always have an easy available grab bag with towel and dry change of warm clothes.

Food? I resupply when I can - usually in a small store or supermarket. I know before I go in when my next likely re supply point is so cater for this, and always have extra rations tucked away in case I get stuck somewhere.

Feel free to write to Nat Geo and Travel Channel and tell them what you think! Although I’m more than happy doing what I’m doing. In fact, couldn’t be happier

Dave xx