Hey, I’m Tom and hiking, wild camping and backpacking is my jam!
My physical and mental health have dramatically improved over the last 4 years. In 2018 I was in my late 30s, had lived in London most of my life and was working long hours in a stressful desk job. I was inactive and exercise for me would be running after the 22 bus to get to the office on time. I had been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease almost a decade earlier and continued to suffer from discomfort and pain as it progressed. I accepted that repeat surgery was likely and that it was just how things were. I was not happy. Then something happened…
I changed my mindset and focussed on the positives, working on diet first and then fitness. I started to feel happier and, more importantly, my symptoms had been reduced significantly. I had finally turned a corner. The next challenge was how to make this new regime stick. The answer was hiking. I started getting up earlier on the weekends and headed to the hills. I researched kit, sticking with what worked for me. My hikes gradually built up from 2 to 12+ hours. I kept going to the gym but switched over to strength training, making the hiking my cardio.
In that time, I have hiked 4 national trails, National 3 Peaks, 214 Wainwrights, Yorkshire 3 Peaks, Welsh 3000s, some of the Munros and am now working through the Nuttalls. I have also developed a real passion for wild camping on mountain summits. The upshot of a positive mindset and addiction to hiking is that the last 3 years of MRI scans have shown that the progression of Crohn’s has halted altogether.
I joined Instagram as Weekend Hiker at the same time and started sharing my hikes to inspire others to get out and hike. Hike Britain launched the following year and it’s where the team and I love sharing your hikes – it has since flourished and become a 100,000-strong community of outdoor enthusiasts. Through social media, I’ve made great outdoor friends, connected with brilliant outdoor organisations and have fallen deeper in love with the UK outdoors. Here’s to more of the same in the future!