solo adventure

Annie Londonderry Lessons: Prepping for Your First Solo Extreme Adventure

Ah, the joy of traveling on your own. You need not argue with anyone where to go. You need not worry about the rest of the gang. You are the gang. It can be a true expression of the American dream. You get to go wherever, whenever you want. You’re free. And certainly, it gives you a lot of speed. When you wait for the others to be up to speed, you ultimately slow down in your quest for extreme adventure. Solo cuts the adrenaline best.

But before you ever set out to lands where no one has set foot before, be warned. Being solo comes with a host of disadvantages that you wouldn’t bump into when traveling with peers. For starters, you are your own responsibility, which means you can’t lean upon anyone else to lend you a hand should the going get rough. Thus, in case if you get cut or bruised along the way, you can call a friend. Ultimately, you’ll have to suffer alone.

And yet, pain is temporary and glory is forever, right? If you want to follow in the footsteps of Annie Londonderry who circle the globe within 15 months with a bike at the turn of the 20th century, here’s how you should get started.


Her real name is Annie Cohen Kopchovsky, a Latvian immigrant and mother of three. Equipped with a 42-pound cheap Columbia bike, this young wife set off to conquer the world before a crowd of 500 on June 27, 1894. Weeks later, Londonderry became the first woman to bicycle around the world.

Well, you might think she’s stupid but she’s not. Before she pedaled for history, she raised money and attention to her global stint. Truth be told, she was an accomplished saleswoman.

She earned the moniker Londonderry as her major sponsor (among many) of the ride was New Hampshire’s Londonderry Lithia Spring Water Company, carrying the company’s placard on her bike.

When you gun for a solo adventure, you need to prepare. In military terms, you need to know who you’re up to, or in this case what you’re up to. Reconnoiter. Know about the place of your destination before you ever make your first step.

Of course, Londonderry’s adventure was really extreme — and to think she just learned to bike days before the event. But she carried ample clothing for her to change. And ample cash for her to go around. She was prepared.

a traveling man with back pack

Equip Yourself

Know the terrain and think of your needs. You might need painkillers and medicines along the way. For safety, Annie Londonderry carried a pistol with her.

You might not feel like carrying a gun, but a knife would be most useful in any outdoor adventure. Even better, making use of personalized survival knives should bid you well. Not only will it bear your name, but it will also ensure your meals are as prepared as you want them to be.

In hindsight, don’t forget insurance. It’s a must for daring adventures. And so is looking into how other people who went before you on a solo adventure fared.

In this line, you need to advance test your equipment. In Annie’s world, she rode her bike days before the journey. Know that equipment must fit the demands of the trip. If you’re walking a hundred miles, make sure your boots are comfortable enough to not cause you blisters.

Get Fit

Extreme adventure means extreme demand on your body. Annie was a young woman in her 20s. Know that there were times she wanted to quit facing the challenges of the weather. But she moved forward instead.

You might need to lose some pounds if you’re facing an extreme adventure. Additionally, get some cardio exercise factored in such as running.

A good way for you to achieve this is to do HIIT or high-intensity interval training. Build your body. If your body is prepared well, you’d be in a better position to accomplish the task.

Consider an Expert Guide

As daring as your solo adventure is, you don’t have to be alone. Take note that accidents in extremely inaccessible places are common. To give yourself a distinct advantage, have someone show you the ropes. Getting expert knowledge can be a great way for you to survive the task.

Plus, a local guide can help you with all the red tape. He knows a workaround or two. Once you make your extreme adventure stick, your glory is worth the wait. Then, you realize that chance always favors the prepared mind.

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