In February 2017 Tom and Alex left their home in France to spend two years travelling around the world, camping in the most spectacular places they can find along the way.
Whether they’re climbing mountains, sleeping on glaciers or battling through jungles, they’re using the ViewRanger app to navigate their entire World Wild Camp expedition, so we caught up with Tom to find out how it’s all going.
Can you explain the idea behind World Wild Camp?
The idea is simple. We’ve wanted to get away from our routine city life for a long time. In the past we’ve taken a lot of two or three week vacations but always had to go back to work, so now we’re taking our time and travelling slowly for two years. We are both nature and mountain lovers, so when we land somewhere we try to go wild as quickly as possible. Spending nights outside and meeting people in tiny villages free of mass tourism is for us the best way of discovering and enjoying the world. We’ve created a World Wild Camp website to give people information about the treks we do, which are often little-known.
How did you find time to travel around the world for two whole years?
We saved money for a few years and wanted to do this long trip before jumping into the “adult life” of having children, a house and bills. So once we had enough money we quit our jobs and freed ourselves from all our obligations, so now we have all the time we want for traveling!
Why did you choose ViewRanger to navigate your trip?
Simple reason: ViewRanger is by far the best navigation app out there. It’s intuitive and easy to use, we really love it. Also, we love ViewRanger topo maps and the app’s awesome worldwide coverage.
What’s the most spectacular place you’ve visited so far?
Hard question. We really loved the O’Higgins Peninsula in Chile because it’s very remote. You have to yell when you arrive at a river so a gaucho can take you to the peninsula in a tiny boat. It’s close to the biggest terrestrial glacier in the world: the Campo de Hielo Sur, so you’ll always have at least two or three huge glaciers in sight. Find out more here.
Another scenic area is the Huayhuash mountain range in Peru. Again it’s very remote, so if you love snow-covered vertical slopes this place is for you. It has something magical about it because in Europe slopes this steep couldn’t retain the snow and it would just fall down. If anyone could scientifically explain it we would love to hear the explanation for this magical sticking fresh snow! Find out more here.
Where’s the strangest place you’ve pitched your tent?
Probably on a glacier Inside a volcano in Chile. There is a dead volcano (Quetrupillan) located between two huge actives ones (Lanin and Villarica). The Inside of the volcano is filled with a glacier, making the landscape incredible up there. Read more here.
What’s the one piece of outdoor kit you couldn’t live without?
The answer isn’t very original: mattress and sleeping bag. When you spend your days hiking, climbing and basically getting tired, having a good sleep at night is essential. If we were to take only one thing (actually two things) it would always be a mattress and sleeping bag.
Which place are you still most excited about visiting?
Our finish line in Nepal. We always dreamed about going to this country and will finish our trip there. The huge mountains, the people, the culture – everything about Nepal is very appealing to us.
What advice would you give to someone planning a similar adventure?
Whatever the length of your trip, take a lot of time in each place, even if you must reduce the number of places you visit. Nothing is more frustrating than starting to like a place, its people, its landscape, and knowing you will have to leave it tomorrow. By travelling slowly you meet many more people and have time to go to places free of tourists. You also waste less money!
Tom and Alex recently touched down in New Zealand. Follow their adventures on the World Wild Camp website.