100 Days of Adventure

I know what you’re thinking: superbly crafted logo. But there’s more to this project than 1990s wordart.

In 2020, I spent a total of 2,117 hours on my computer and my 100 Days of Adventure project began on 1 January 2021 with the firm ambition of spending a lot more of my time outdoors, adventuring.

In order to judge whether my vague ambition was working, I needed to develop a metric to measure my relative outdoorsy-adventureyness from year to year.

Introducing: Days Of Adventure (DOA)

DOA is simple to calculate. Every day of the year gets a binary Y/N score: did I spend a significant chunk of the day outside on an adventure?

Then you count the Ys and — voilà — you have your DOA score for that year.


‘Outside’ is deliberately wide open because I’m a firm believer that adventure can be found anywhere.

‘Significant chunk’ and ‘an adventure’ are both deliberately relative because DOA is a simple binary measure that should work for everyone.

‘An adventure’ for an experienced touring cyclist will look very different to ‘an adventure’ for someone who’s never camped before.

Likewise, ‘a significant chunk of the day’ could be a very different timespan for a freelancer with no dependents, compared to someone with a 9-5 job and two kids.

The point of DOA is not competition between adventurers, but a measure of outdoor adventure against your past and future selves.

Oh, and, yes, I am aware that DOA also stands for Dead On Arrival, a definition only metaphorically compatible with the very best adventures.

The project is now entering its fourth year and I like to think that its longevity is a measure of its success, rather than a symptom of addiction. In reverse chronological order, here’s a record of all my DOA going all the way back to 2020.

Current Score DOA 2024: 7

  • One pilgrimage to the largest oak in the New Forest, the five hundred year old Knightwood Oak.
  • Five days in the Lake District around Finsthwaite and Grasmere, including climbs of Coniston Old Man and around Rydal Fell.
  • One lovely winter sunshine walk in Moors Valley Country Park, including a tree top walk among the Scots Pine and Douglas Fir, the Earth Photo exhibition, and of course the Gruffalo.

See also: Winter Forest Sunsets

Final Score DOA 2023: 111

My 2023 adventures were severely hobbled by a pre-Christmas trauma to the knee and by the end of February I had only racked up five DOA. Given the slow start, I’m delighted that I managed to hit a century.


  • New Year’s night was spent sleeping in my car on the isle of Purbeck and 2023 began with a walk to see dinosaur footprints and Dancing Ledge.
  • Bikepacking Buds cycle ride at the end of January.
  • New Forest Off Road Club ride in February and another in the Purbecks in April.
  • Harvest Mice survey on Brownsea Island in February.
  • Two Thighs Cycle Club rides: from Redhill to Brighton in February and from Crystal Palace to Biggin Hill in March.
  • A jaunt up a big hill near Liss.
  • A walk up Cheesefoot Head near Winchester.
  • Two days’ tramping in the snow in the Peak District with friends from Thighs of Steel.
  • Ten days’ outdoor instructing in the New Forest and Buckinghamshire.
  • One Nature Connections day near Petersfield.
  • Two epic days of walking in Paris in March and November.
  • Two days’ walking in Chamonix in March.
  • Three days in Dartmoor in April.
  • One day kayak foraging around Old Harry Rocks in May.
  • Two days’ cycling from Cholsey to Bournemouth.
  • Six days’ cycling from Liverpool to Newcastle.
  • Two days’ tramping around Northumberland in June and November.
  • Twenty-nine days’ supporting the Thighs of Steel ride from Glasgow to Milan.
  • Ten days road-tripping through Italy in a van named Grace (AKA Shelly) and taking my first flight since 2018. Then one evening getting as lost as I could in the old town of Dubrovnik.
  • Fourteen days’ cycling from near Kotor to Athens with Thighs of Steel, plus another day cycling up a big hill near Athens with the core team.
  • One afternoon exploring some woods I thought about buying in Oxfordshire.
  • One day grape harvesting at Brightwell vineyard.
  • Two more days in Dartmoor and another two in Exmoor in October.
  • A day walking in the Peak District in November and two more days in December.
  • A night and a morning messing about on a yacht in Largs, Scotland. Dolphins!
  • Four days’ tracking down trig points in the New Forest in December.
  • A day tracking down yew trees on Box Hill.
  • New Year’s Eve at the Tar Bar’l fire festival in Northumberland.

Final Score DOA 2022: 127


Final Score DOA 2021: 102


Midterm Updates: Spring Equinox (1 DOA), Summer Solstice (28 DOA)

Baseline DOA 2020: 67


In 2020, the baseline year before this project began, my DOA score was 67. Not bad for a pandemic year.

To give you an idea of what qualifies as adventure for me, those 67 DOAs included:

This was about 18 percent of my days in the three months pre-Covid and, happily, about 18 percent of my days in the nine months post-Covid.

Hopefully that proves that days of adventure aren’t impossible to find, even in a pandemic world. We just have to choose our moments carefully.

67 days also compares favourably with 2019, when my DOA score was approximately 56. I say ‘approximately’ because these things are difficult to measure in retrospect and, depending on my definition, I could easily add many of the 50 days that I spent travelling in Italy and Greece.