Andy Dodd
  • OS Champion

Andy Dodd

OS Champion

Meet Andy Dodd – a van-dwelling outdoor enthusiast, with a passion for all things activity and adventure.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m Andy Dodd, a van-dwelling outdoor enthusiast, with a passion for all things activity and adventure! My current focus is on endurance cycling, both on and off-road, whilst also dabbling in running, climbing, swimming and some other activities too.

Why do you love the outdoors?

To me, the term ‘outdoors’ has such a wide scope of meaning and comprises both locations and activities, making it the perfect space to connect with myself, people and nature. From slow walks in local greenspaces with the grandparents to technical mountainous trails during ultra-endurance running or riding races. I think we all have an increased appreciation of spending time outside whether that be with others or independently since the pandemic. Personally, I strengthened my connection with nature this past year through watching every sunrise from winter to summer solstice. Every day, I felt more energized, focussed and connected.
Andy Dodd OS Champion

How do you get outside?

Living a nomadic lifestyle in a self-converted Citroen Relay, I meander around the country, taking part in some of the best outdoor events whilst remotely working during the week. Being able to easily explore what the UK has to offer, I’m able to get outside in a number of ways – the easiest being to walk or run from wherever I’ve parked the van. With a little extra effort the bikes can be reassembled or the paddleboard can be inflated to enjoy nature from a different perspective.

What’s your favourite route?

One route I’ll always go back to is a cycling challenge myself and a close friend attempted many years ago. It opened up my mind to so many possibilities as I started long-distance cycling and bikepacking.

Have you got any adventures planned?

My 2023 calendar already looks busy… I’ve signed up to a couple of UKs hardest and longest self-supported ultra-distance cycling events, the Highland Trail 550 (550 miles of excellent trails, quiet roads and very technical sections accumulating over 16000m of climbing) and the Pan Celtic Race (likely the most friendly and supportive self-supported road race at 1425 miles in length). Following on from these two endurance events, I’ve also signed onto the UK’s toughest triathlon, the Ironman-distance Brutal Triathlon. The weeks and weekends in between will no doubt comprise travelling around the UK and sleeping on the sides of hills, starting with a winter recce of some of Scotland’s finest mountain biking trails.

What’s the most essential thing on your kit list?

Some of my key items to pack depend on which activity I’m partaking, but they’ll all boil down to safety for the environment I’m in. Whether that be a warm set of clothes in case of needing to stop or changes in weather or a GPS tracker so that friends / family can follow my movement when I’m on adventures in difficult terrain or weather conditions, or both. Oh, and I love trail snacks.

Who inspires you to get outside?

I’m continually in awe of those who regularly get outside despite whatever barriers (big or small, temporary or permanent) are in their way. Over the years, I’ve shaped my online presence to be a window of outdoor and active lifestyle inspiration that drives me to continue pushing myself. I hope that the people looking back at me also see the same.

What do you prefer: Paper or digital map?

While I love a paper map, I’ve taken to the more convenient digital options which don’t require any additional space while travelling lightweight during my adventures. Often such devices double up as emergency beacons that can be tracked by others for my safety.