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Survive these off-road adventures, and you'll survive anything!

2nd February 2010 Print

Two "sink or swim" 4x4 expeditions planned by a Cumbrian adventure travel specialist will combine high-adrenaline activity with the low-down on how to survive in the wild.

Taking place in 2010, the two off-road challenges will be staged in Namibia and the Lake District - and both have the teaching of bushcraft and personal survival as their secondary themes.

The events will be led by expedition professional David Newell of Kendal who is head of Adventure Travel Solutions, and a seasoned organiser of trips for the intrepid all over the world.

In fact, one of David's most recent expeditions was a 300-mile trek along Namibia's remote Skeleton Coast - and which inspired him to set up this coming November's 4x4 challenge.

The eight-day adventure will see off-road enthusiasts take on some of Africa's most rugged and spectacularly beautiful terrain - whilst testing their driving skills to the limit.

Their itinerary will include the legendary coast's enormous sand dunes - with vistas ranging from shipwrecks to seals - before turning inland and into the wilderness to trek the elusive black rhino.

But whilst plenty of white-knuckle experiences are promised, expedition members will also learn first-hand the secrets of bushcraft and the techniques of surviving in a hostile environment.

The trip also has another survival motive, for those taking part will also be helping to raise much-needed funds for the Save the Rhino International charity.

Meanwhile, the less remote - but just as scenically dramatic - Lake District will form the backdrop for two inspirational long weekend challenges in September and November.

This time, participants will need their own 4x4s - and a willingness to get "down and dirty" during three days of full-on driving across some of England's most challenging and satisfying terrain.

Boulder-strewn mountain sides, riverbeds, forest tracks and mud-splattered trails will all have to be tackled - but under the leadership of experienced 4x4 guides, fully kitted out with rescue gear.

Once again, survival training will add an exciting element to the action-packed days, and to the equally entertaining nights spent in the expedition's woodland base-camp.

Using just flint and steel to start a fire, foraging for wild food, trapping, building your own shelter, water purification, knife skills and navigation are among the life-saving techniques on the agenda.

Although the bushcraft and survival programmes will be taught by experienced instructors, David Newell is himself no stranger to living at the sharp end in threatening environments.

On the Skeleton Coast last year, he and his team were stalked by hungry jackels and deadly hyenas - and skills such as shelter building and making sea-water drinkable became everyday necessities:

"It's the contrasting personal challenges which are going to make these two fantastic trips this year so memorable," said David.

"On the one hand, you're going to be learning how to tame some of the world's wildest terrain in a four-by-four, taking both you and your machine to their limits.

"Then, it's all about how to survive in conditions where all your support systems have suddenly been stripped away, and your life depends on knowing how to cope.

"I'm pretty confident in saying that both experiences are going to give our members a completely new take on what they are capable of!" added David.

More information about the 4x4 African and Lake District expeditions is available on the company's website at