Meet James Ketchell from – Interview

You will love this interview!

I’ll just let Bear Grylls introduce James Ketchell.

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

On 1st February 2014, I became the first and only person to have rowed across the Atlantic Ocean, successfully summited Mount Everest and cycled 18,000 miles around the world.

James Ketchell

Seven years prior to all this, I was recovering from a serious motorcycle accident that left me with broken legs as well as a severely broken and dislocated ankle.

The prognosis was that I was likely to suffer a permanent walking impairment and would certainly not be able to continue the active physical lifestyle I had enjoyed up to that point.

2. is about “Pushing limits”. Can you give us a little insight into that and what inspired it?

The term Pushing Limits is something that I’ve always loved talking about and trying to live by myself.

Even when I was racing motorcycles.

The term Pushing Limits really resinated more so after my bike accident eight years ago.

3. Your story is pure inspiration. After your motorcycle accident in 2007 you have recovered and then achieved goals that most of us only dream of. How can one develop such determination and what is your secret?

James Ketchell - rowing the AtlanticFor me I don’t think there is a real secret as such.

I believe it’s a case of really wanting something enough to do what you have to do to get it.

Taking the first step with anything that is putting you out of your comfort zone is always the hardest part.

Something that has always helped me is: breaking things down into manageable tasks.

Quite often i can’t get my head around cycling the world or rowing oceans but when I break them down into smaller steps they all of a sudden become manageable.


4. Cycling is a big part of your adventure. What is your preferred cycling gear?

Addicted to AdventureI used a secondhand Trek cyclocross that cost £300 to cycle around the world on.

I”m not one for having the most expensive kit and I liked the idea of not having the biggest, best and most expensive bike.

I would usually just wear a good quality pair of lycra shorts with leg warmers.

The leg warmers wold stop mosquito bites and help protect the skin in harsh environments.

A good rain jacket is also an essencial bit of kit.

5. What was the most challenging habitat you have encountered and what gear helped you cope?

I was caught out in some slightly out of season weather in Texas and the temperature fell to minus 20*.

Thankfully there was very little snow that day so the cycling wasn’t too bad. I had a pair of GORE gloves that were brilliant and stopped me from losing the feeling in my fingers.

6. How important is adrenaline and adventure to you? Can you give 5 tips for the aspirer adventurer?

  1. Don’t be afraid to take the first step and commit to going on an adventure.
  2. Break the project down into manageable tasks
  3. Put the effort in with the training. It will make things a lot easier and if you fail to prepare – prepare to fail! This is a very true saying!
  4. Don’t let other people rail road your plans if they don’t think its a good idea. Everyone is different – although do seek advise from people that have experience in your area of interest.
  5. Enjoy every minute of your adventure as it will be over before you low it!

James Ketchell adrenaline

7. Who is the one person that you admire the most, the hero that you look up to?

I admire my father as he has shown great patience with me and has always supported me.

I wouldn’t be where I am today without him.

8. What are your plans for the future concerning your adventures and website?

In 2015 i will be rowing 4000 miles across the Atlantic ocean with Scout leader Ash Wilson, who is epileptic.

More information can be found here.


9. A message to your fans.

Thank you so much for the support and I look forward to sharing more adventures with everyone next year.

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James Menta

Camping Gear Reviewer at
Three things you need to know about James - he holds a degree in Materials Technology from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, he is a zealot for the great outdoors and he can never find his glasses.       In brief intermissions between looking for his glasses, he is the Editor-in-chief of

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