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The programme for the first Outside and Active Festival, taking place online from 27 March to 3 April 2021, has been announced. And while in person festivals are still a little way off, I’m very much looking forward to catching up with some of my favourite adventurers and fellow GetOutside Champions for a week of inspiration and motivation from the comfort of my own home.

The Outside & Active Festival 2021

The Outside and Active Festival was borne out of the inaugural National Outdoor Expo, for which I am an ambassador, being cancelled due to the pandemic. That is now being held next year, in March 2022. Instead, we are being invited to join in this brand-new online event instead – and it’s free.

The week-long digital festival will be packed full of inspirational sessions, how-to workshops, and introductions to the latest kit, tech and gear from a host of outdoor brands. There will be on-demand sessions available all through the day (and night…), along with a series of live sessions each evening.

Each day has a different theme, including walking, climbing, running, camping, eating outdoors and excursions.

Organisers really do seem to have found a fantastic bunch of inspirational speakers and outdoor experts to share their stories throughout the week, which means you could spend an awful lot of time looking at a screen… But much like any in person festival, you can dip in and out of the sessions that appeal to you, and relax and enjoy being outdoors in between.

In this post I thought I’d share a handful of the sessions I’m particularly looking forward to watching.

To book your free pass and find out more, visit the Outside and Active website.

The Outside & Active Festival 2021

Outside & Active Festival: Splodz Blogz Picks

Naturally I’m going to be drawn to the adventure and walking categories the most, although the other days also look fun. Here are five people I’ll be tuning in to watch over the week-long festival.

Elise Downing, Sunday 28 March (live)

Elise Downing once ran a lap of the UK coast. I mean, as far as running adventures go, that is a pretty epic one. I’ve always said I’d like to spend a year walking it, definitely a “some-day” adventure plan, but Elise just got on and did it. She’s speaking on Sunday evening.

Katie Tunn, Tuesday 30 March (live)

Fellow GetOutside Champion Katie Tunn is an artist, adventurer and marine conservationist. You might remember her from such reality television shows as Channel 4’s Eden, but I know her as being one of the most wholesome people I’ve ever met. She’ll be speaking to festival-goers about living off the grid.

The Outside & Active Festival 2021 - Katie Tunn

Becky the Traveller, Tuesday 30 March (on-demand)

Becky thrives on tough challenges and having fun in the outdoors. In 2019 she hiked 950 miles across the UK with another great outdoors friend The Barefoot Backpacker, and is currently writing a book on that experience. She’ll be talking about camping and hiking the West Highland Way, which you know is something I also love to chat about with anyone who’ll listen (read this post about my trip if you fancy).

Splodz Blogz | Outdoor Bloggers Spring Camp 2019, Cheddar
Becky taking photos on our Cheddar Gorge hike.

Jesse Dufton, Wednesday 31 March (live)

Jesse Dufton is a blind rock climber known for his award-winning documentary ‘Climbing Blind’. I feel fortunate every day that my sight is still strong, despite a somewhat wobbly start in life (which you can read about here), and am hugely inspired by those who make the most of life even with apparent setbacks.

Anna McNuff, Saturday 3 April (live)

The wonderfully amazing Anna McNuff never fails to inspire and motivate me to get out and do the thing. Not only does she take on huge adventures, things I could only dream of, but she also loves creating mischief and simply having a fun time. And is the most fantastic story teller. Did you know I once shared a speaking line up with Anna (read about the South West Outdoors Festival)? Still one of my proudest moments…!

The Outside & Active Festival 2021 - Anna McNuff

Outside & Active Festival: Full Agenda

So you can make your own mind up on what to watch during the first Outside & Active Festival, starting next weekend, here’s a quick rundown of the full agenda.

Live shows start at 6pm every day, and on-demand content is available all day. Let me know in the comments below who and what you are excited to see.

Saturday 27 March – Adventure

  • Ben Fogle, broadcaster, writer and adventurer.
  • Katie-Jane L’Herpiniere, adventure and blogger.
  • David Lindo, The Urban Birdwatcher.
  • Sean Conway, Endurance Athlete

On-demand films including a photography session with Ian Finch and Mindfulness in Nature with Chris Spray from Mind over Mountains.

Sunday 28 March – Walking

  • Dwayne Fields, adventurer and explorer.
  • Alex Roddie, outdoor adventurer, writer and photographer and Jenny Tough, adventurer and film maker.
  • Nicholas Crane, explorer and BBC Coast presenter.

On demand films including how to read a map with Steve Backshall, Julia Bradbury’s Guide to Walking, How to Hike with Summit Fit, Walking with your baby 101 with Blaze Trails, Wild Walks with Ian Finch and Jenny Tough and Britain’s favourite walks with Ordnance Survey.

Monday 29 March – Excursions

  • Elise Downing, adventurer and traveller.
  • Frit Tam, adventure filmmaker and photographer.
  • Calum Maclean, broadcaster, presenter and photographer.

On-demand films including demystifying footpaths, access land and rights of way with Mind over Mountains.

Tuesday 30 March – Camping

  • Zoe Holland from Juggling in Skates on how to plan a successful family camping trip.
  • Katie Tunn, artist, adventurer and marine conservationist on Living off the Grid.
  • Jamie Ramsay, serial adventurist.

On-demans films including how to set up a bivvy with Ben Turner, hiking and camping on the West Highland Way with Becky the Traveller, how to choose the right tent with the Camping and Caravanning Club.

Wednesday 31 March – Eating Outdoors

  • Kieran Creevy, expedition chef, will answer your every day, cooking questions.
  • Ben Turner, nutritionist and endurance athlete will give advice on what to eat for your adventure.
  • Fergus Drennan, wild food experimentalist and forager.

On-demand films including advice and cook-along videos from Kieran Creevy, Ben Turner, Harrison Ward the Fell Foodie, Ali Ray and the Adventure Queens.

Thursday 1 April – Climbing

  • Jesse Dufton, blind rock climber known for his award-winning documentary ‘Climbing Blind’.
  • Steve McClure, one of the UK’s best climbers.
  • Jack Williams, talking about how he got into mountaineering.

On-demand films including top tips and advice from Petzl, mountain skills advice with the Mountain Training Organisation and Jamie Ramsay’s mountain kit list.

Friday 2 April – Running

  • Roger Black, GB Olympic medallist.
  • Alex Staniforth, ultra-endurance adventurer.
  • Damian Hall, endurance runner and FKT record breaker.

On-demand films including how to get started in trail running with Jude Palmer, how to find a running group with Black Girls Run, strength training sessions with Ania Gabb, how to run injury free with Endure Stronger and a series of running documentaries.

Saturday 3 April – Adventure

  • Ed Stafford, adventurer and star of the Discovery Channel.
  • Nick Hollis, expedition leader and global mountaineer.
  • Anna McNuff, adventurer and author.

On-demand films including Untrailed by Jenny Tough and Kelvin Trautman.

The Outside & Active Festival 2021

To book your free pass and find out more, visit the Outside and Active website.

You can also follow the National Outdoor Expo on twitter for updates.

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