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Anna Blackwell - Green Ribbon Expedition 2019 - 1,000km solo trek across Arctic and Northern Scandin

Tough Girl - Meike Stones  “Powered By Me” - A year-long human-powered lifestyle adventure

Anna Blackwell is an adventurer, writer, photographer and speaker with a love of the outdoors and pushing her limits. This has led her to pursue numerous adventures, from kayaking across Europe, spending five weeks trekking across the wilderness of Arctic Sweden alone, to walking 1,000 miles solo across France and Spain, and even hitch-hiking to Morocco.

In Anna’s words

This July I set off on a 1,000km solo trek across Arctic and Northern Scandinavia. I started at the Treriksröset (the cairn signifying where Sweden, Norway and Finland meet) and made my way south, following the length of the mountains on the Swedish-Norwegian border.

The expedition was self-supported, solo, and crossed some of Europe's greatest wilderness areas. I carried everything I needed (weighing in at around 25kg) and wild camped most nights. Travelling through such remote areas, I was often going up to four or five days without seeing any other people.

Throughout this expedition I aimed to minimise my environmental footprint to the greatest extent possible, by working with with sustainability-focused organisations, choosing locally sourced food where possible, reducing my plastic waste and leaving no trace in the wilderness. I also opted to travel to my start point using trains and buses rather than taking an internal short-haul flight.


Listen to Anna as she share more about the Green Ribbon Expedition

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Listen to Anna as she shares more about Kayaking the Continent!

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We first spoke with Anna in November 2017 when she shared more about walking across Spain & France! You can listen to this episode here!

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Show notes

  • Who Anna is and what she does

  • What the Green Ribbon Expedition is and how it came about

  • Creating her own route

  • Committing to the challenge in May 2019

  • Learning more about the planning

  • Buying a big map of the area

  • Route planning and why it was so time consuming

  • Figuring out resupply while out on the trail

  • Posting packages ahead of time

  • Taking a few luxury items…

  • Doing very little physical preparation

  • The challenges of the weather

  • Dealing with the midnight sun, mosquitos and very cold weather

  • Being green on the expedition

  • Spending 50 hrs on buses and trains

  • Only working with specific companies who are trying to reduce their environmental footprint

  • The biggest challenges she would have to face

  • Why the first 10 days were going to be the toughest

  • Being stung by a hornet….

  • Having to call an ambulance

  • Dealing with a lot of rain over the final 3 weeks

  • Not knowing what to do

  • Daily routine while walking

  • Going with the flow

  • Getting up at 6am

  • How busy was it on the route

  • Navigation and making a few detours!

  • Problems with the bugs

  • Day dreaming!

  • The process of absorption

  • Getting through the final 3 weeks

  • Focusing on the small things

  • The biggest lesson learned from

  • Heading back to university to do a Masters in Environment and Human Health

  • Future plans

  • Committing to be in Falmouth for the next year

  • Final words of advice and wisdom


Instagram @annablackwell


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