November 09, 2020 4 min read

We caught up with Elissa Davies this week to chat about her UK women's outdoor community Roam The Wild. Elissa's day job involves exploring the skies as a pilot, and during her 'down time' she explores the best of what the south coast of the UK has to offer with her amazing community of outdoor women! 

Elissa Davies Head Shot

Image: Natasha Schofield

What is Roam The Wild? / Tell us a bit about your community?

Roam the Wild is a community aimed to inspire women to get outdoors and explore! It’s mission is to empower women to feel fearless in life through connection with adventure in nature. We have a SUP meetup group and a growing group of women who love to hike.

What Inspired you to start Roam The Wild? 

SUP with Roam the Wild

I have a passion for outdoor adventure and really wanted to share that with other women who maybe don’t feel so confident to go out on their own, or want to make like-minded friends doing activities they love. After such a long time in lockdown at the beginning of this year, I decided to setup Roam The Wild to bring those women together. I wanted to inspire and motivate them to get outside and see how awesome Mother Nature is!  

What’s the best adventure you have been on so far with your community?

The first organised hike was a memorable one! The weather was awful but that didn’t stop us as we set off on a 2 hour hike along the South West Coast Path near Chapman’s Pool. We huddled in caves for brunch and trudged along muddy pathways, but the rain eventually gave way and we had the most incredible views from the top of the hill. It was a proper little adventure and I can’t wait to do more!

Where are you based and what are your top 5 local adventure spots? 

Elissa Davies local hiking spots

I’m based on the South Coast of the UK, in a town called Bournemouth.
My top 5 local adventures spots are:
  1. Bournemouth Beach for cold water swims
  2. The Purbecks for hikes with amazing views
  3. Sandbanks for Stand Up Paddle boarding
  4. The New Forest for mountain biking
  5. Hengistbury Head – one of my other fave hiking spots

What’s the best adventure you have been on ever?

A mountain biking expedition in the Cairngorms, Scotland. We went wild camping for 2 days and rode through all terrain imaginable with the most incredible December views. We covered about 150km over some awesome trails and the whole trip left me with the most epic memories. I’d love to do that again!!

Tell us a little about cold water swimming? 

Elissa Davies Cold Water Swimming

Cold water swimming, or cold water immersion is an ever increasingly popular activity in the UK. It’s where you immerse yourself in a body of water that isn’t heated – in my case it’s the Sea! You can either swim around or float, usually for 2-3 minutes, depending on how well acclimatised you are. I started in March this year and am absolutely hooked, it makes me feel exhilarated! I’ve noticed some serious physical and mental health benefits from doing it, and fully intend to keep getting into the water as Winter edges nearer – just maybe with some slightly warmer kit on!

What would be your top tips for women wanting to get into cold water swimming?

  1. Find a local Facebook group or Instagram page to follow. There are loads out there that organise meetups and can give you advice.
  2. Go with a friend – it’s safer and you can enjoy the amazing experience together!
  3. Follow my page for more top tips and motivation to get you into the water!

What would be your dream adventure in the UK? 

Elissa Davies UK Hiking

Wild camping in Scotland! A long hike to somewhere really remote with nothing but the sights and sounds of nature.

What are your plans for Roam The Wild? How do you see it growing? 

At the moment, I want to continue to inspire women to get out on local adventures during lockdown, with a plan to resume hikes as soon as restrictions lift. In the long term, I’d love to run adventure retreats in the UK, where women can fully immerse themselves in nature and have epic adventures!

What does being in the outdoors and nature mean to you? 

It’s my therapy. It allows me to disconnect from the world and makes me feel amazing. I’m grateful to have so many beautiful places on my doorstep - Dorset is an amazing county with a lot on offer, whether it’s sea sports, mountain biking trails or hikes with the best views – it’s got it all!

Top 3 things you wouldn’t leave out of your pack for an adventure? 

Elissa Davies in her Dry Robe

  1. Water – always got to stay hydrated if I want to be adventuring all day long.
  2. Waterproof – because it’s the UK right??? The weather forecast can change quickly and I like to be prepared.
  3. And if it’s a sea Dryrobe– an absolute essential for warming up post cold water swimming. I wouldn’t be without it!

Make sure you follow Elissa through Roam The Wild on instagram for amazing adventure inspo and tips to get out and inspired in nature!

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