Ben Keen - Managing Director

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Your adventure in safe hands


 

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Ben Keen - Managing Director

‘The biggest adventure you can take is to live the life of your dreams.’


At the age of 17 I took on an instructor role in an outdoor centre. This was a voluntary post where I began to form my love for the outdoors, working with people and pushing limits and skills. Following a few years working in the UK I was lucky enough to be offered a post in France. This was really the beginning of a life long passion for travel and challenge. Since that time in France I have been lucky to travel and lead a variety of groups to some of the most beautiful areas in the world.

I continue to be passionate about world travel but in particular challenging my skills in new environments and learning from the people around me. The Adventure Element is culmination of these passions. Adventures do not have to be hard work, we can venture out from our doorsteps and have the most incredible experiences. The hardest part can be opening the door and stepping outside.

The Adventure Element is to help take that step outside. By delivering a personal and bespoke experience it is our aim that we can be the one to open the door, so all you have to do is walk through it.


 How did your career in the outdoors start?

At school I wanted to be outside and running around more than being in the classroom. My PE teacher ran a kayaking club which I got involved with and I found I was pretty good and really enjoyed it.

On leaving school I wanted to pursue a career where I could use my outdoor skills. I built up my qualifications and experienced and have been working in the industry ever since. Starting when I was 17 years old and now in my 40's, that's way over 20 years and I can happily say I have never done a true days work.

 What’s been your greatest outdoor experience?

The outdoor industry can take you off to some very special places so its hard to pin point the ‘greatest’. I’ve worked as an instructor and led expeditions across the world from Europe, North America, South America, and Africa. But India has to be the greatest and most crazy and inspiring place I have visited.

I had the pleasure of canoeing for a month down the Ganges, India's holy river. Every day held something new to explore and see. After the month we paddled in to Varanasi at sunrise, the holiest city in India. The trip was truly humbling with so many life changing experiences and will stay with me forever.

 Whats your one piece of ‘Can’t do with out’ kit?

Dry bags and stuff sacks - its possibly bordering on obsession. Life can be uncomfortable enough sometimes when working outdoors. By organising my kit in to different coloured bags I know where everything is, should I need it. I also know it will be dry at the end of the day. I try to make life as easy as possible for myself.

 Qualifications and Experience

Qualifications 

Winter Mountain Leader
Summer Mountain Leader
Rock Climbing Instructor 
BCU Level 4 canoe coach
BCU Level 3 Kayak coach
BC Level 2 mountain bike leader
National Standards Cycling Instructor
DofE Assessor
Wilderness Medical Training - Advanced Medicine

Notable Overseas Experience

CLIMB
Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
Mount Elbrus, Russia
Stok Kangri, India
Kang-Yatse, India
Jebel Toubkal, Morocco
Raz, Morocco
Ouanoukrim, Morocco
M'Goun, Morocco
Timesguida, Morocco
French Alps

TREK
Everest Base Camp, Nepal
Colca Canyon, Peru
Darwa Pass
Poon Hill, Nepal
Croatia
Norway
Italian Alps
French Alps

CANOE
River Ganges, India
Ardeche, Southern France
Northern Canada

CYCLE
Cycle to Yangon, Northern Burma
Anti-Atlas mountains, Morocco
French Alps
French Pyrenees