OTGathlete

Adventurers that inspire us at Outdoor Travel Gear

The adventure sports and travel community in India is still fairly small, but is very tight knit and is growing at a phenomenal speed! As adventurers in India, we’re lucky that wherever we are in the country, we have plenty to do and explore, always have a community we can draw on for help and support and to pursue our passion.

There are some crazy adrenaline junkies out there who’re expanding the boundaries of their sport and doing things that dreams are made of!

Here’s a list of adventurers that inspire us. We’re sure they’ll have the same effect on you too. Remember that while we’ve compiled this list with many parameters in mind, there are plenty of people out there who could possibly be on this but aren’t – mainly due to the fact that we simply didn’t have enough space for them all!

 Ishani Sawant (Mountaineer): OutdoorTravelGear.com had recently featured Ishani on our blog. For your daily dose of mountaineering, check out the Facebook page and website of Ishani Sawant – a 23 year old mountaineer from Pune. Her pictures faithfully record her daily moments, her mountaineering activities and her training, making it a fascinating and real portrayal of her life.

Ishani Sawant: FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Helmet Stories (Motorcycle Tourers): The dynamic duo of Harsh Man Rai and Vir Nakai has been inspiring riders for almost a generation through Helmet Stories. Started as a motorcycling touring company, their photos and videos of the mighty Himalayas are drool-worthy.

Helmet Stories: FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

 

Abhijeet Singh (Adventurer): Now what can’t Abhijeet Singh do? Mountaineer, adventure photographer, acro-yogi calisthenics athlete, and filmmaker. Follow him for guaranteed daily dose of thrills!

Abhijeet Singh: Instagram 

 

 

 

Sumitra Senapaty (Traveler): Sumitra Senapaty started the truly inspirational WOW (Women on Wanderlust). A platform for women to get together and travel, WOW has been steadily increasing in popularity over the last year with women travellers. Follow the WOW page to get a gist of some exotic Indian and international destinations.

Women on Wanderlust : Facebook – Instagram Twitter
Sumitra Senapaty: Facebook Instagram

 

 

 

Shubham Dharmsktu (Cyclist): Shubham is an #OTGAthlete who set out on The Great Himalyan Cycle Trip. OTG sponsored gear for him that would help him on his journey – AQUAPAC Wet and Dry Waterproof Backpack – 25 Ltrs, AQUAPAC Small Bike-Mounted Waterproof Phone Case, Gerber Compact Multi-tool, QuipCo Dune Tube Future, QuipCo Tundra Fleece Balaclava. He is an avid traveler and cyclist is currently working on his sustainable tourism venture – all about travel, cycling, home-stays, local food etc. Check out OutdoorTravelGear.com’s feature blog on Shubham to know more about him.

Shubham Dharmsktu : Facebook

 

 

 

 

Andy Pariat (Travel Photographer): For a taste of Meghalaya that will come close to making you swoon, check out Andy Pariat’s photography covering that magical and under explored part of India.

Andy Pariat :  Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

C S Santosh (Rally Raid Athlete): India’s Motocross Racing Champion. Unarguably India’s finest off-road racer. Enough said.

C S Santosh : Website– Facebook Instagram – Twitter 

 

 

 

H V Kumar (Explorer): With an encyclopedic knowledge of Indian roads, HV Kumar started up the HiVayKing Club, one of India’s most popular support groups on Facebook for travelers. His personal pages are also worth following simply for the number of people who are connected to him in some way or the other.

HiVayKing: Facebook
H V Kumar : Facebook Twitter


 

 

Abhinav Singhai (Travel Photographer): A travel photographer with a difference, Abhinav is intent on showing the world the beauty of the night sky.

Abhinav Singhai : Facebook Instagram –Twitter – Flickr

 

 

 

Shanu Babar (Travel Film-Maker): A film maker, editor and cinematographer -Shanu makes India come to life through a lens. His work is largely urban, and completely magical.

Shanu Babar : Facebook Instagram – Twitter

 

 

 

 

Swati Saxena (Explorer):If long distance walking is your thing, you can do no better than to follow Swati. An ex-accountant, she now ‘walks around the country’, and writes while she does it too. Her blog is full of helpful hints for those who want to explore on foot.

Swati Saxena : Blog – Instagram 

 

 

 

Jehan Driver (Kite surfer and Explorer)

Jehan is a kite-surfer – one of the few of his kind in India. He owns a travel and exploration brand – Quest Expeditions, which also undertakes training for water-sport activities like kite-surfing, kayaking, sailing and outdoors survival.

Jehan Driver : FacebookInstagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Rishad Bhumgara (Mad BawaMotorcyclist)

Rishad is a long distance rider who loves doing it the old school way. He successfully completed a solo ride from Mumbai to Myanmar and back; on his 30 years old Yezdi! Rishad has been a long standing customer with Outdoor Travel Gear and a dear friend. Recently, we had invited him to be a guest blogger for outdoortravelgearblog.wordpress.com. Check it out in our blog

Rishad Bhumgara : Website –Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

Kaustubh Khade (Kayaker)

Kaustubh is on a kayaking journey for life discovering bits about this own self along the way. He’s been literally making ‘waves’ at international kayaking circuit. Kaustubh maintains a blog showcasing his escapades. A must follow for any one who has an adventurous streak.

Sagar and Pritesh from Outdoor Travel Gear met with Kaustubh in summers of 2015 and amongst other things, they discussed kayaking, water-sports and adventure – #OTGathletes – Paddle Hard with Kaustubh Khade

Kaustubh Khade : Facebook –Instagram – Twitter

 

There’s also much inspiration outside our borders. Here’s another (very short) list of people you should follow if international travel and adventure is your thing.

 


 

Brad Ringstmeier (World Traveler): An aerospace mechanic turned travel photographer, Brad has been on the road for a year and half with his venture Perpetual-Moto-Discovery – collecting adventures, stories, memories, goodwill and friends as fast as he can ride.

Brad Ringstmeier – Facebook – Instagram

 

 

 

Pete Mc Bride (Explorer): Pete Mc Bride is a film-maker and Nat Geo photographer, in addition to being a writer and speaker on all things inspirational. You can follow Pete’s work on his website. His focus is largely on the travel and environment.

Pete Mc Bride – Facebook –  Instagram

 

 

 

Tiffany Coates (World Motorcycle Tourer): Tiffany Coates is an inspiration to women the world over. Regardless of the terrain, Tiffany rides her heart out in conditions that would daunt the most adventurous riders.

Tiffany Coates :-Website – Blog – Facebook –  Twitter

Tiffany Coates (World Motorcycle Tourer)

 

 

 

Ewan McGregor (World Motorcycle Tourer): The famous actor and television producer is also a motorcycle tourer. His two movies – Long Way Round and Long Way Down are audacious on their attempt to document some of the longest rides ever.

Ewan McGregor : Instagram – Twitter

 

 

 

Eric Cedeno (Cyclist): Eric Cedeno instituted Bicycle Nomad with the intention of pursuing not just cycling, but also a cultural immersion. Through his cafe store, merchandise and dedicated documentation of his journeys, he inspires thousands to join him in to being nomads.

Eric Cedeno : Website – Facebook –Instagram 

 

 

 

Hubert Kriegel (World Traveller on a Sidecar)

Hubert Kriegel has been travelling the world ‘horizontally’ and ‘vertically’. This is the 12th year of the 10 years on road! His website is a must read for understanding how colossal sounding dreams can be achieved – simply by getting on to it.

Team Outdoor Travel Gear had a unique opportunity to track down Hubert when he was in India and spend quality time talking to him about his globe-trotting experiences –A day with Hubert Kreigel – The Timeless Ride

Hubert Kriegel – Website

 

 

 

Anders and Petra Stridfeldt (Biker Couple)

When their three sons moved out to do their own thing, Anders and Petra knew it was time to do theirs. So they sold their house and everything they owned, hopped on to their BMWs and started an epic tour round the world. They are an inspiration to many bikers around the world.

Anders Stridfeldt : Facebook –Instagram
Petra Stridfeldt: Facebook – Instagram – Twitter
Two Bikers One World : Website – Facebook


As you can see, the list of travellers and adventurers is immense… and growing! So whose name would you like to see on our next list?

Mountaineer Ishani Sawant - Outdoor Travel Gear - 4

Outdoor Travel Gear meets Mountaineer Ishani Sawant

If you are a trekker, and are looking to take up the hobby more seriously, you’ve probably read up about Nehru Institute of Mountaineering, or the Himalayan Mountaineering Institute. In the course of your reading, you’ve also probably wondered at the level of fitness and skill it takes to take up this extreme sport as a hobby, not to mention as a profession!

Well, Ishani Sawant, aged 23, has chosen this particular path as her career. Not an easy path by any means, Ishani says that she chose it because once she’d seen the might, the grandeur and the vastness of the Himalayas, she knew that there was no other thing she’d rather do. Even to get started wasn’t easy, but Ishani persisted.

“My mother has always been a tremendous support. She used to pay for all gear and trips. Coming from a middle class family, this was huge amount which others may not be able to afford. So I am thankful to her for life”

Ishani Blog-01

Mind you, she made this decision at the age of 13! Over the last 10 years, she gradually pushed herself into taking on the most extreme challenges, and eventually turned what was a hobby, into her career.

Ishani’s career as a mountaineer has always been superlative. For example, she graduated with A grades in both the basic and advanced mountaineering courses in not one, but two of India’s top mountaineering schools – HMI and NIM. In 2014, she scaled the Stok Kangri Peak in Ladakh in a record 2 days (alpine style). However, she says that these accolades are not as important as being happy… and climbing makes her happy! They do, however, help bolster her career as an adventurer, though taking it up as a profession comes with its own set of challenges.

“Mountaineering”, she says, “is very different as a hobby and a profession. The risks you take on, the decisions you can take – whether to add a challenge, or extend your climb – is all on you, when you do it for recreation. But when you do it as a profession, you’ve to become an administrator. You’ve to maintain the quality of food, equipment etc. It’s very different”

Ishani Blog-05

Apart from the physical and technical aspects of the sport, she also faced 2 additional challenges in that she was one of the few females in a male dominated arena, and that she (and others like her) needs a fair amount of funding in order to equip herself for some of the world’s record breaking climbs. However, she says that mountaineering teaches you important life lessons, enough to make it completely worth the while even for someone who is only looking to do it once.

“Mountaineering teaches you values such as team work, sharing, caring, communications etc. It is an invaluable experience”

If all this wasn’t enough, Ishani actually graduated as a lawyer. She’s also done a further diploma in Forensic law, another niche field. When she decided to change paths and make mountaineering her life, she faced stiff opposition from everyone around her. She kept hearing that there was no money in adventure, that it would be hard for a girl to be taken seriously in this arena etc. 3 years later, she admits that while she would appreciate a more constant infusion of funds, the actual profession is picking up since the sport is developing in India, and there is a call for experts. In this light, she even teaches Naval cadets, teaching courses at the NDA!

Ishani Blog-03

We asked Ishani what the sport needed in India, and predictably, a lack of funds for serious mountaineers is the answer. There are plenty of people out there who have the skill, and will, to take on the mountains, but they don’t have the money or equipment to do so regularly. Ishani claims that her background, and support system actually makes her comfortable in the industry, whereas there are others who aren’t as lucky. She believes that the industry should work towards the model of many developed countries – like the United States – where corporate sponsorships are available to athletes, or where trusts have been established by mountaineer’s families to further boost the sport. She herself wishes to give back by establishing something similar.

Ishani muses “I am actually planning to start a Trust or a Foundation in future for Mountain Athletes where they will be assured of remuneration. Their work will be to explore, to climb new mountains, to train themselves in outdoor climbing skills, to just climb! The only thing stopping them right now is money. Talent, we have. So that’s the plan.”

It is rare to meet someone who is close to the top of their profession and yet expresses such humility. Ishani’s endeavor to ‘give back’ to the profession that has given her so much is creditable, and a lesson to many of us.

Ishani Blog-02

It’s this quality and promise that Ishani carries with her that we at Outdoor Travel Gear like and admire. We hope Ishani powers ahead to make her dreams come true, and we hope she continues to climb with everything she’s got!

www.OutdoorTravelGear.com