Aircalin September 2018
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Author: Naomi Dunbar

If you’re anything like me, then you’ve definitely shouted ‘c’mon you ninnies, that’s so easy!’ at the telly, while watching The Island on Channel 4, with that Bear Grylls guy we all know and love (okay, I know some of you more despise than love him, but anyway…). And it was probably while lying down in the horizontal position on your sofa, gorging on one too many evening snacks. I’m hoping it’s not just me that does that.

The Island with Bear GryllsThe Island with Bear Grylls: Series 2 (photo by: Lwp Kommunikáció)

I’ve always wanted to apply for the show and give survival in the wild my best shot, but in reality, I like my job too much to warrant leaving for a five-week career gap, and to be honest, the thought of being on television doesn’t particularly appeal to me either. I’m far too much of a novice to maroon myself somewhere and give true survival a go on my own, so I’ve been on the lookout for something which could potentially scratch my survival itch… and I do believe I have found it. It’s called the Island Challenge.

Wood drill fire starting method

Could you spare three days and two nights on an uninhabited Scottish island? Equipped with nothing but the most basic tools, the Island Challenge will test your resilience and determination, and you’ll have to battle the harsh elements and take on everything that wild Scotland will throw at you.

Survival is one of those things where I’ve always assumed, if it were to come to it, I’ve definitely got what it takes to make it. However, in reality, I know that somewhat cocky opinion is probably extremely far from the truth. I’d probably flake out within the first hour because, well, I’m the type of person that is hungry about 10 minutes after finishing breakfast and I spend the rest of my morning looking forward to lunch. I digress.

>>> Related: how to survive when lost in the wilderness.

Wild Scottish island

The fantastic thing about this challenge is that not only will you be able to put yourself through the ultimate survival paces, but you’ll also be able to help make a positive impact to the lives of other people too. The challenge is run by Peace Direct, a charity that works with the people within communities seriously affected by war, to help bring peace and solve conflict.

Scrambling in Scotland

As part of your challenge and with the help of a dedicated fundraising team every step of the way, you will raise £2,160 to support the people living in these war torn places, which will make such an incredible difference to their lives. Why £2,160? I hear you ask. Well, that’s what it costs to equip and train 10 peace builders.

>>> See: Ray Mears’ top tips on how to survive in the wild.

Peace builders are trained to help communities stop the conflict and violence that tears them apart. They are equipped with the knowledge and skills to meet the challenges their community face, whatever they may be. Your fundraising money could go towards training someone to rescue child soldiers, or it could help women buy land and start a business to bring their families out of devastating poverty for good, and teach other women how to do the same. All these actions help bring lasting peace to communities.

Peace Direct the island challenge

When you think about it, the people in these communities have to fight for their lives and use methods to ensure their survival every day. Yet here we are in the West, fortunate enough to have the option to take a few days out of our comfortable lives to go and give survival a go for fun – kind of puts things in perspective doesn’t it?

>>> Check out: how to purify water in the wild.

So, if you fancy taking on the ultimate survival experience of a lifetime and having the chance to make an incredibly positive impact to the lives of others at the same time, then The Island Challenge is a fantastic opportunity for you to do just that.

Adventure Travel magazine issue 135