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  • Writer's picturePhil Packer

Explorer, Expedition Leader and Survival Guide, Chaz Powell FRGS, joins the BRIT Ambassador family

We are delighted that Chaz has joined our BRIT Ambassador family.

After exploring and hiking the globe for over 16 years. Chaz now lives his life as an Explorer, Expedition Leader and Survival Guide. His ongoing project ‘The Wildest Journey’ is all about his wildest journeys by foot along Africa's wildest rivers with an aim to raise awareness for wildlife conservation and anti-poaching. In 2016/17, Chaz spent 137 days walking over 3000km from source to sea along the Zambezi River, and in 2019, spent 47 days walking 1120km from source to sea along the Gambia river and 29 days walking 800km from east to west across Madagascar whilst walking source to sea along the country's longest river, The Mangoky. Having recently returned to the UK from Zambia, Chaz is delivering Expedition Training opportunities throughout 2021, while preparing for his solo Sea to Source Orange Rising Expedition in 2022.

Chaz Powell FRGS - Explorer, Expedition Leader and Survival Guide

“Good mental health and fitness are vital for our wellbeing. When I was younger, life was challenging and not going the way I wanted it to. Although I completed a Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at school, it wasn’t until my early twenties that I knew that sometimes I just need to get away and be on my own. Exploring the outdoors has enabled me to fulfil my ambition to support conservation, travel throughout the world and live a life of adventure, contentment and happiness. As an Expedition Leader and Survival Guide, it is fulfilling to see more young adults explore the outdoors, challenge themselves and improve their mental health and fitness by setting out on their own journeys of exploration.

This past year has been a tough time for everyone; especially young adults. As restrictions are lifted, and we are able to venture into the outdoors, I am excited to be joining the BRIT Ambassador family and help to improve young adult mental health and fitness in Scotland by encouraging more colleges to take on the annual BRIT Challenge. In addition to their relationships with universities and colleges throughout Scotland, It is great to BRIT have forged relationships with Universities Scotland (through Universities UK), Colleges Scotland, sportscotland, Scottish Student Sport.

BRIT’s collaborative approach resonates with me and it’s great to see they have partnered this year with PAPYRUS – Prevention of Young Suicide, Nightline Association, Student Minds and the Charlie Waller Trust. This means that all donations raised by the BRIT 2021 Challenge will be shared equally between five mental health charities who support students and young adults. All BRIT’s charity partners are actively supporting students in Scotland.

I hope fellow Explorers and Adventurers will join me as BRIT Ambassadors and champion the BRIT Challenge. Along with Olympians, Paralympians and sports personalities, together we can encourage our chosen universities and colleges to take on the annual BRIT Challenge and support the mental health and fitness of students and young adults throughout the UK.

With the North of Scotland being my new home, I would be thrilled to support students and staff at the North Highland, Orkney and Shetland Colleges, University of the Highlands and Islands, should they take on the BRIT 2021 Challenge.”

Chaz Powell FRGS - BRIT Ambassador

Chaz has spent almost twenty years on expeditions and adventurers. In addition to his international trekking, mountaineering and travelling, he has embraced and experienced the beauty of the UK. Chaz has walked the length of Britain’s 1st, 2nd & 5th longest rivers, The Severn, The Thames & The Wye, Snowdonia National Park over 7 days whilst summiting it’s 40 highest mountains, the Lake District National Park whilst following the course of it’s great lakes, the Grand Union Canal from Birmingham to London and several different UK national trails, including Hadrian’s Wall, Offa’s Dyke Path, The West Highland Way and the Pembrokeshire Coastal path.

In 2016, Chaz walking and hitchhiked to the northern most point of mainland Europe (Nordkapp) on a £100 budget to film and admire the Northern Lights. That same year, he walked the length of the worlds steepest island, La Palma in the Canaries.

During 2016/17 Chaz walked from source to sea along the Zambezi River for a combined duration of 137 days, covering over 3000km by foot whilst walking the length of Africa’s wildest river.

From January to March 2019, Chaz and friend Tim Roberts walked from source to sea along the Gambia River in Western Africa. For 47 days they covered around 1200km by foot whilst walking through Guinea Conakry, Senegal and The Gambia. Becoming the first people in known history to do so.

From August to September 2019, Chaz led a small team for 800km walking east to west across Madagascar whilst following the course of the country’s longest river, ‘The Mangoky’ from source to sea. Alongside Ecologist Emilie Gorse, and Videographer Justin True, they became the first people in known history to walk The Mangoky.

Chaz has recently returned to the UK from Zambia, where he was able to spend some quality time in tranquil African based environments with an aim to write about his 2019 Madagascar Crossing/Mangoky River source to sea expedition.

In 2022, Chaz will embark on his Orange Rising Expedition; a solo endeavour to walk from Sea to Source along the Orange River in Southern Africa, following its 1400 mile course from the river’s Mouth at the Atlantic Ocean in Alexander Bay, South Africa, to its humble beginning in the Drakensberg Mountains, Lesotho. The aim of the expedition will also be to cross the African continent from West to East, walking through Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho. Starting at the Atlantic Ocean and finishing in Durban, South Africa at the Indian Ocean. With the expedition being a whole hiking distance of around 2000 miles in total. The expedition was originally planned for 2020, however has been postponed until 2022 due to worldwide COVID-19 restrictions.

Now that Chaz is back in the UK, he is offering unique training expeditions that are designed to provide the added skills and confidence required to inspire and create others to plan their own extreme worldwide adventures.

The journeys that Chaz delivers, focus on expedition and survival skills in mountain, river and forest-based environments, whilst also allowing those who join him to complete a unique Source to Sea trek or majestic national park crossing in the process.

During the training expedition, Chaz provides the opportunity to obtain essential expedition and survival skills that are designed to get others adventure ready, or simply to give the additional confidence and knowledge needed to get others out on the hills or wild camping in their local available green spaces.

The training expeditions that Chaz is delivering this year are;

  • Dartmoor Crossing - A North to South crossing by foot of Dartmoor National Park.

  • Crossing The Beacons - A wild crossing by foot of the Brecon Beacons National Park

  • Crossing The Peaks - A South to North crossing by foot of the Peak District National Park.

  • Crossing The Dales - A South to North crossing by foot of the Yorkshire Dales National Park.

  • Crossing The Cairngorms - A wild crossing by foot of the Cairngorms National Park.

  • River Spey – Sea2Source - A sea to source trek along Scotland’s wild River Spey.

To read more about Chaz, please visit the Wildest Journey website.


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