Nathaniel and Nicole (Defender the Beast)

Today's Explorers

Nathaniel and Nicole (Defender the Beast)

January 17, 2022
min read
Charles Forman

Where are you from?

Hampshire, England

When did you start your interest in exploration?

We have both always been interested in adventure, and have been brought up that way both with active and outdoorsy childhoods.

What is a brief understanding of your background story up until you started seeking adventure?

As a child Nats dad has always had Land Rovers which developed his passion for Land Rovers and in particular Defenders. As a family they enjoyed many camping trips. Nat then took to sailing and did a lot of travelling with that. Nicole also spent summers camping and staying at a beach hut with her family. This influenced her passion for travel and adventure, leading her to go travelling with her best friend to Australia and Asia, at the age of 19. When we met 4 years ago we both loved the outdoors lifestyle and wanted to go on as many adventures together as possible, and over the years we have continued to add more and more overland equipment to The Beast, meaning we can go further and be more and more self sufficient.

What special skills do you have to help with your explorations?

Nat is a Mechanical Engineer and has a passion for breaking things and putting them back together again!! And Nicole LOVES planning trips and is always organising the routes and where we will stay, together we make a pretty great team.

Where have you explored so far?

Wales, Cornwall, Devon, New Forest, loads of Land Rover shows, New Zealand

What is a brief understanding of your adventures so far?

We have spent a lot of time in Wales and have enjoyed many trips to Snowdonia. We enjoy exploring, paddle-boarding, climbing and laning whilst we are away, and always make the most of getting everything we can out of the area we go to.

What are the top three destinations you hope to explore next, and why?

Scotland - The scenery is beautiful and we want to do the NC500

Norway - Imagine seeing the Northern Lights from the back of your Land Rover, now that's a dream.

Ireland - We have both always wanted to go to Ireland in the Land Rover, get the ferry over and do the Wild Atlantic Way

Where would you recommend others visit?

New Zealand 100%, it is unbelievable, every place you go is picture perfect and there are some awesome lanes and stunning secluded camping spots.

How do you primarily travel on your adventures today?

Defender 110 1994 300tdi

Top three modifications

- Camper set up in the back

- BF Goodrich Mud Terrains

- Winch

What are five pieces of equipment you always travel with?

Jet Boil, Tool Kit, Full Fridge, Beers, Each other

What inspires you to explore more?

To get out and enjoy being in the wild and the urge to explore the beautiful world we live in.

How do you engage with others?

Nicole talks to anyone and loves a chat with strangers!

Why is it important to embrace global cultures?

It's so important to fully immerse yourself within the culture of the place you are travelling, you get the most out of your experience that way.

What are your goals when you explore?

Making memories together.

What are some challenges you have experienced?

Owning a defender leads to LOTS of breakdowns, 8 hour recovery journeys home, Breaking down in NZ and having to spend a night sleeping in a scrap yard... To name a few!!

What has been your most meaningful moment so far?

Sleeping in a roof tent at the foot of Mount Cook in NZ.

How has exploration changed you?

It's made us storytellers and we hope to make many more stories.

What is the number one lesson that you have learnt through your exploration?

To not let the rainy days get you down, if you're freezing cold and can't get warm don't be a hero, just go if you can and get a warm shower and a hot meal somewhere.

How do you explore locally?

We are lucky enough to live in a stunning part of the country with the beach and the forest on our doorstep, we paddle board, we do local lanes and we set up the Land Rover and cook food on the back in beautiful locations.

What does the explmore mantra mean to you?

Embrace everything our world has to give, see beautiful places, meet beautiful people, travel, explore and live life to the fullest... One life live it

What advice would you give to others who are seeking life changing adventure?

Do it.

What are some comparisons you can make between exploration today, compared to what you know of exploration in the past?

For us navigation is a lot easier due to technology


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