These types travel light for good reason, they need to accomodate inflatable rafts, safety helmets, capons, ropes, chalk, gloves, a range of specialist footwear, sub zero appropriate clothing and sometimes even oxygen cylanders; as well as scuba gear, life jackets and other paraphanalia essential to participate in such travel adventures as white water raftring, bungee jumping, freestyle rock climbing, caving, scuba diving and walking on hot coals should the opportunity arise.
Adventure travellers are generally excellent at reading maps, and interpreting details like gradient, scale and details of latititude and longitude. Indeed they need to be as they like to traverse and "conquer" the uncharted. Their life may depend on map interpretation and wilderness survival skills, and they range over areas where there is no mobile phone reception or individuals to ask directions should they get lost.
Their historical icons have included gutsy individuals like Sir Edmund Hilary, Scott ,of the Antartic, David Livingstone and even Bourke and Wills and Australia's camel adventure treker Robyn Davidson. Indeed some of this catalogue of adventure travellers have died in their efforts to "break new ground". Clearly these types are prepared to test their metal and stake their lives on breaking either new ground or their necks, whichever might come first.
Whilst some like to go it solo, and steer camels across a desert, or sail their yacht single handedly around the world, others battling mountains or the cold, travel in highly organised teams.
Not only does this group of travellers risk life and limb, they also compromise their diets choosing to eat dehydrated, reconstituted and chemically preserved delights from costly specially prepared adventure traveller "de Light" meals, or for the more the budget concious, 3 minute noodles. They supplement this with dried fruit and nuts. If you fit the foodie traveller mould, this is not the sort of travel you will enjoy, unless you are pursuing an alternative to stomach stapling for weight loss!
The travel adventurers subject themselves to and survive water, insect and parasite bourne diseases like giardia, malaria, cholera as well as malnutrition in order to prove their super-human aspirations and achievements.
Adventure travellers achieve heights both literal and physical that other travellers usually only fear or envy, but seldom dare to emmulate. They are the adrenalin junkies of the travel world, the equivalent of travel olympians who run their personal life marathons striving to go higher, faster and stronger, than less risk-taking, pedestrian travellers who prefer to stay closer to both the ground and tourist meccas.
They flock to destinations in polar regions, New Zealand's South Island, The Rocky Mountains, Himalayas, cliff faces the world over, as well as cave systems that stretch into uncharted subterannean depths of the earth. Their favourite destinations are places that they can go up, under, below or attempt to soar over. Most, but not all are under forty, but some continue their adventure travel into their senior years!
Souvenirs adventure travellers sometimes collect include prosthetics to replace missing body parts lost to frost bite or accidents, Nepalese prayer flags and profiles of themselves in Adventure Travel specialist magazines.
Make sure you are physically and emotionally fit should you choose an adventure traveller as your travelling companion, with a penchant for fastidious planning, organisation and the capacity to spend, both months in preparatory training before you even set foot at your destination. Most importantly, make sure you have revised your will before you leave!