Gee Jackson
  • OS Champion

Gee Jackson

OS Champion

Meet Gee Jackson – a self-confessed weekend warrior accompanied by an adventure cat.

Tell us a bit about yourself:

I’m a weekday engineer and self-confessed weekend warrior! I love multi-sport days and try to remain as curious as I can be about the world around me. Exploring and experiences is what I am all about, and sometimes that looks like setting new challenges for myself, such as an English national trails coast to coast adventure triathlon! I am often barefoot, I have a cat named Kathmandu who sometimes joins me on my travels, and I’m a firm believer in adventure being whatever you want it to be, starting right from your doorstep.

Why do you love the outdoors?

The outdoors has helped me endlessly in terms of both my physical health and my mental health. As human beings we are designed and built for a life outside, and to me there is no better feeling than getting back to my roots and experiencing this incredible landscape of home. The world is so varied and so beautiful, and every day looks different. I love a long run, ride, swim, paddle or climb, really connecting with the world around me, to get my muscles firing and to clear my mind from the stressors of everyday modern living.

How do you get outside?

I love to get outside in any way I can! I’m a regular walker, runner, cyclist, swimmer, paddler, climber and yogi. If it’s a multi-sport adventure then even better. But I love to start from wherever I’m at, and supporting other people on their own journeys too.

What’s your favourite route?

I can’t resist a fun and flowy trail run. Chrome and Parkhouse hills – the English dragon’s back — never fail to disappoint and different conditions and different route options keep things interesting. It uses map OL24,

Have you got any adventures planned?

After my English national trails coast to coast adventure triathlon and bikepacking the Hebridean Way, I’ve fallen in love with British long distance routes! I have a few on my list in particular that I’m making a plan to try and tick off in the future, like fastpacking the Snowdonia Slate trail, riding the South Downs way, and paddling the Great Glen canoe trail. But I also know that I will have plenty of adventures throughout the year from my front door too!

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

Barefoot style shoes! If I’m not totally barefoot, I am in minimalist shoes, and the same pair of shoes often takes me from running on trails, to stand up paddleboarding the canals, and then straight into town to refuel ready for the next adventure. I’ve been wearing minimalist footwear pretty much exclusively for about the last ten years now, and I don’t think I could go back to anything else!

Who inspires you to get outside?

My friends and colleagues! I love sharing and celebrating the little things in life, as to me those are the things that are important and add meaning to the world. So every time a friend or colleague shares with me a cool new route they found, that they want some encouragement for their first Parkrun, or that they finally managed a technical section on a local mountain bike trail that they’ve been building up to for ages, I want in! I love bringing the psyche and seeing people grow and enjoy what they are doing, and it inspires me to do the same.

What do you prefer: Paper or digital map?

Digital! I know, I know, but I’m a massive convert since the OS Maps app has come along! I love following my nose on adventures as much as I can in a safe way, which of course includes taking a paper map and compass with me and knowing how to use it. But if I’m out exploring local trails I like trying to use my internal compass to better learn about my environment. In which case I find it much easier for a quick check on the OS maps app regarding access and linking up paths as opposed to all the micro-folding I would have to do to keep up on a paper map all the time!