Each month we feature one of our most valuable Explorers, the lifeblood of the We Are Explorers community. This month we’re featuring Victorian adventure-addict, ocean-enthusiast, and all-round frother, Pat Corden.
What’s your day job?
I’ve just graduated from uni and am working for a sustainable development and corporate social responsibility company. I’m only working for this mob for the next six months though, then it’s off to South America until the money runs out.
What got you involved/ inspired in the outdoors in the first place?
When I was just a little tacker we took three months off school and went camping around Oz. I absolutely frothed it, but didn’t really start doing stuff on my own or with mates until uni. Since then we’ve just been trying to up the ante each year, and it seems to be working.
What continues to get you out the door to explore?
I reckon a better question would be why I ever come back… Everything about the outdoors gets me going. I love being so tired you fall asleep in the car on the way home, the sunburn and sore muscles after a day at the beach, campfires which somehow make every conversation just better, and pushing yourself through a gruelling. It’s all just dandy.
What’s your essential piece of outdoor gear you never adventure without (and why?)
Well because my parents didn’t love me enough to bless me with good genetics, I’d have to say my glasses…
Where’s your favourite place to microadventure in Australia or NZ?
My favourite place is always the one I’ve just been to or where I’m about to go. And given I just got back from a month in Central Oz, it’s going to have to be Kakadu. For those who don’t know it, Kakadu’s a massive national park up in NT filled with waterholes, waterfalls, epic walks, aboriginal rock art and crocs. With an average of 35°C in winter, it’s also not a bad way to escape Melbourne’s bitter cold.
And what’s your favourite activity to sink your teeth into outdoors?
Anything to do with the ocean has me absolutely frothing – surfing, sailing, swimming, diving. And the mountains are pretty good, nothing like a long hike up some hills or zipping down them on a skateboard. Rock climbing has got to be up there too. Of course a night spent stargazing or sitting around the campfire also gets the tick of approval. I don’t think I answered this very well…
Do you prefer solo or with friends? Why?
Solos can be really rewarding, but I’m a team adventures man through and through. Nothing better than pulling some mates together for a quick weekend jaunt or spontaneous expedition. It’s best when friends of friends come along and you start slowly expanding your weekend warrior crew.
What camera gear do you use?
I use a Nikon D750 most of the time and we normally have a GoPro or two floating around on trips. A mate recently got a drone too, so that’s going to be a game changer.
Have you had any disasters on any of your trips? What happened?
Well there was the time just a few weeks ago that we almost bogged our 4WD in a river with saltwater crocs. And when we decided to learn to teleski and do our first snow-camping trip in a storm with whiteout conditions. Or my first time mountain-biking where we accidently went down the ‘extreme-downhill’ course. Oh and that time that we got massacred by leeches, utterly lost trying to summit a mountain in whiteout conditions and then attacked by wasps on the way down. I also did a multiday hike in just sandals after my boots broke. But as everyone knows, a trip that goes to plan doesn’t make for a very good story…
Why did you get involved in the Explorer Project?
I pretty much want to inspire as many people to get into the funky outdoors as possible, so when I saw what We Are Explorers were up to I was all over it like a rash.
What are you most digging about the Explorer Project?
I heard from a little birdy that some Wilderness Escapes might be making their way down to Victoria, which I’m pretty stoked about. That, along with anything that builds the community down here and gets people meeting each other and heading outdoors, has got me pretty stoked.
So you have to be stranded in a tent with 2 people for 2 days – who would you choose and why?
As much as I would love to pick a hero, we’ve all heard the quote about never meeting your hero because they’ll just let you down. So to be on the safe side, I’d have to pick two of my best mates, Lachie and Scotty. There ain’t much left that two days in a tent with them could surprise me with and we always have a laugh.
What Australian native animal were you in a past life?
Too easy, a joey. Not a kangaroo, just a joey. I recently saw a little one cruising around with his mum, and when he was tired, he bundled himself up in her pouch and had a nap. Sounds like a pretty good life to me.
Check out some of our favourite pieces by Pat…