Tobias Mews: three minute interview

Tobias Mews is a former army officer and professional adventure journalist from London. It’s his job to inspire all types of people, from newbie runners to veteran athletes. Besides writing a weekly column in the Telegraph, he’s written about his adventures for almost every outdoor magazine in the UK.
Whatever he does has to have a performance/endurance element to it.

How does it feel to have been chosen as a #GetOutside Champion?

I’m totally thrilled. Ever since I was a child I’ve loved maps. I believe you can’t have a true adventure without them.

What does being a #GetOutside champion mean to you?

It’s an opportunity to pass on my passion to others. Maps are scary things, but they are the key to planning an adventure.

What are the benefits to you of being outside?

Too numerous to mention: Health, peace, fitness, stillness, nature, training, love, happiness.

What do you most enjoy about being outside?

My mind slows down and I feel a sense of mindfulness.

What’s your favourite terrain to get out in? (Mountain / coast / woodland etc)


What’s your best memory of being outside?

When the weather is shocking, the wind is about to knock you over, the rain is pouring down - and I’ve managed to keep going.

What’s your worst?

When I get cold to the point where I can’t even think. I had plenty of those when I was in the Army.

What do you like about Great Britain?

It’s a bundle of joy just waiting to be explored. It’s easy to look at continental Europe and places such as the Alps and think we’re inadequate by comparison. But what we lack in size or height, we make up in quality and beauty.

Where is your favourite place in Great Britain to be outside?

I think it has to be the Lakes.

What are your favourite outdoor pursuits?

Trail running, cycling, mountain biking, kayaking, skiing - in that order, with lots more after that.

In one line, how would you describe the feeling being outsidegives you?

I’ll give you one word. Happiness.

When you’re outside, how do you change as a person?

I can breathe. I relax. I smile.

Why should people #GetOutside more often?

For the above reasons.

What would you say to someone who never goes outsideto get them outside?

If you don’t try, you’ll never know what you’ve missed.

Why as a nation are we not getting outside as much as we could?

Because we’re afraid. And we lack inspiration.

How do you plan to inspire people now you’re a #GetOutside champion?

Over 15 days in December 2015 I fulfilled my #GetOutside pledge by visiting each of Great Britain’s National Parks in a Mini and having a mini adventure in each. Now, I’m hoping to promote the National Parks more as adventure playgrounds, particularly off-season.

What are the most important things a person should do or take when they #GetOutside?

A map, compass and a sense of humour.

What tips or pieces of advice would you give to someone who wants to get more out of being outside?

Start small and build up your confidence. Don’t go too big or difficult or you might scare yourself off.

Before you became a #GetOutside Champion, describe your relationship with Ordnance Survey.

I bought their maps. I used them extensively when I was in the Army and during my Mountain Leader training.

What are your backpack essentials?

Suunto Ambit 3 watch, waterproof, baselayer, hat, gloves, water, food.

What’s your favourite food when you are outside?

Natural food - nuts and raisins, or sandwiches.

Is there anything else you would like to add?

Despite living in London, I don’t let this stop me from being creative and staying in love with my hobby.

Tobias’s new book 50 Races to Run Before You Die: The Essential Guide to 50 Epic Foot-Races Across the Globe will be released in paperback on 3 March 2016.

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