- Adventurer & Explorer.
- Cheerfulness Under Pressure.
- Motivation, Discipline and the difference between the two.
While most explorers have a military background or come from wealthy roots, Ash Dykes is a cheerful anomaly. In his tracksuit and trainers, he doesn’t look out of place in Old Colwyn. But from this small-town boy, who lists Floyd Mayweather and Sir David Attenborough as childhood inspirations, has emerged a world-class adventurer.
Dykes has always had energy to spare. He’s long been into fitness and ran cross-country for North Wales in his teens. Then, when he left school and started a further education course in Outdoor Education, he began to seriously consider channelling his talents into adventure. As his peers set off on their planned life paths, Dykes knew he needed his own plan of action – with an emphasis on action.
“Adventure had a hook in me,” he says. “I was fascinated by the skills tiny communities use to survive in harsh, remote environments. I’d hear people’s travel stories, see incredible footage on David Attenborough shows, and I wasn’t just satisfied watching and listening; I wanted to be out there doing it.”
To make ends meet, he washed potatoes in a chip shop, then worked as a lifeguard while saving obsessively to go travelling with friends – “there were certainly no nights out around that time” – most of which they blew in a few months on South East Asia’s backpacking trail.
Fed up with the beaten track, they bought £10 bikes – with pink baskets on the front – and proceeded to pedal out of Cambodia and almost 1,800km down the length of Vietnam. Then they rode into Thailand and sneaked into Myanmar under the cover of the jungle: “We didn’t have the money to buy permits,” says Dykes.
Luckily for the untrained trio, along the way they met a hill tribe and spent some time learning jungle survival skills using hand signals. Ash Dykes the adventurer was born.
Ash is now a three-time world-first record holder and motivational speaker. He uses his experience from the peaks of mountains to inspire audiences, encouraging them to embrace the challenges that were once standing in their way.
In 2014, Ash embarked on his first recorded mission. By the 5th of August, he was titled the first person to complete a solo, unsupported walk across Mongolia, a country renowned for its challenging terrain. Ash was even lauded by incredible adventurer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, who stated; "this young man’s completion of a ‘first’ solo trek across Mongolia, from the Altai to the Steppe, will have proved both physically and mentally challenging and is an example of great determination.” Spanning 1,500 miles, faced with storms and wolves, Ash kickstarted his career as an explorer.
What sets Ash apart from other adventurers is his connection with the online world. Ash takes his audience with him, whether through interactive maps or regular social media updates. In celebration of his 2014 achievement, Ash was awarded the Welsh Adventurer of the year award 2015 and The National Adventurer of the Year Award, though he wasn't done yet. Only two years later, Ash became the first recorded person ever to traverse Madagascar’s length, a whopping 1,600 miles.
As an advocate for sustainability, Ash used his mission as an opportunity to partner with the Lemur Network Conservation and raise awareness of deforestation.
In 2020, Ash completed his greatest challenge yet - walking the length of the longest river in the world. Over 4,000 miles, Ash became the first recorded person ever to walk the length of the Yangtze River, a challenge that took eight million steps and one whole year.
This esteemed author and incredible adventurer is also a popular motivational speaker. Sharing his story, Ash engages audiences of all kinds to inspire greatness.
To book Ash to appear at your next event, please call Prime Performers on 020 3500 3331 , email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in an enquiry form.