The Notepad is a monthly column written by @rubyclaireee exploring what it means to be a guest on this wild and abundant planet. Most of these thoughts have been scribbled, in some way, in the notepad she carries in her backpack (or pannier).


They’re the ones who always say yes, the ones who stay up with you late into the night, planning hikes, bikes and other escapades. They’re your adventure friends and Ruby tells us how hers make adventure worth it!

To the friend that clambers over rocks, who doesn’t hesitate to take huge gulps of questionably murky river water.

The friend that hikes barefoot and strolls up to lace monitors with confidence, to softly encourage them to move on their way. 

To the friend that always brings a rubbish bag with them, to carry out the VB cans and plastic wrappers left by selfish strangers. 

To the friend that jumps off the rock first and swims out to the centre of the lake, paving the way for the rest of us to follow suit. 


An Ode to Our Adventurous Friends, Ruby Claire


The friend we can call for the extra sleeping bag, mat, tent, cooker, and snow shoes. Thank you for investing in quality gear so that we can participate in an activity without forking out money we don’t have. 

To the friend who organises every hike, every campout, and always has a waterproof copy of the map strapped to their pack. You who keeps meticulous spreadsheets of meal lists and packing lists and even have columns assigned to the weight of each item. 

To you: my adventurous friend.

Sometimes all we want is for someone to say YES, loudly, clearly. We live in a world of perpetual ‘maybes’. We are ready at any moment for someone to bail, or to hover in the liminal space between yes and no until no better offer arrives.

An Ode to Our Adventurous Friends, Ruby Claire

Knowing that your yes is yes and that you’re not coming out of obligation instantly puts me at ease on the trail. You don’t baulk at a long drive and you always bring an energy that’s hard to match. 

Thank you for being an endless source of inspiration, a great motivator. Your passion is contagious, and you challenge me to take on life with a little more gusto.


An Ode to Our Adventurous Friends, Ruby Claire


To wipe the dirt from my knees and power on. To pop the blisters and wrap them in bandages. To walk past that bush despite seeing a snake slither into it. 

Without you, my fears would seem unmanageable. My laziness would trump. My Instagram feed would be bland. Without you, my time would be limited to cafes and parks and while I love those places, you inspire a change of terrain and a challenge that brings a real depth and breadth to my life. 

Today, I’m cracking a tinny for you. As I look back on our photos together, to the places we’ve been, I remind myself how lucky I am to share this life with you.

This article is dedicated to Damon, Jaime, Amy, Tim, Eva, Adam.


Photography by @tim_ashelford