Camilla Hempleman - Adams

Camilla Hempleman-Adams

The young Arctic explorer discusses pulling sleds and pushing yourself.

Raise Your Game: Can you tell us about the expedition you're about to embark on?

Camilla Hempleman-Adams: I'm hoping to be the youngest female to ski to the North Pole. I'm trying to increase awareness of the melting ice packs to kids and teenagers my age. Hopefully we'll be making a documentary about it, so I can show people that the ice is melting and we need to do something about it.

RYG: What led to you taking on this challenge?

CHA: My dad has been going to the Arctic for as long as I can remember. He came home one night and asked me if I wanted to go to the Arctic with him. I said 'Yes, why not. I probably won't be able to do it again.' It's really nice that I can go and see where he's been going for a long time.

RYG: How have you gone about preparing for a challenge like this?

CHA: I've been pulling sledges around a field every day. I get more determined with every day it gets nearer. I just want to get on with it. It's an amazing opportunity. I keep telling myself 'There's no point in giving up.' I take munch bags with me to keep my energy up, with things like chocolate and dried fruit in. I've been trying on all the clothes, and walking in my big boots and wind suit, just to get used to what it's going to feel like.

RYG: Will you be dragging a lot of weight behind you in the sled?

CHA: Yeah. The sled I've been training with has got loads of logs in. I can hardly walk with it, but I've been pushing myself, so it's okay. It's really hard walking with the boots and wind suit on. Plus, you're not allowed to get sweaty. If you get sweaty, you get really cold and it's not very good. You just have to try your best.

RYG: How do you control how much you sweat?

Did you know?

In 2008, at 15-years-old, Camilla Hempleman-Adams was the youngest British woman to ski to the North Pole.

CHA: You just have to keep a constant temperature. When we stop we put big jackets and gloves on, so that we don't get too cold. We're still going to get really cold but hopefully it won't be too bad.

RYG: What sort of temperatures are you expecting?

CHA: About minus 45.

RYG: Do your preparations give you confidence?

CHA: It makes me feel better, but everyday I feel like I need to do a bit more. I try to fit in as much as I can.

RYG: You're taking on a very dangerous challenge - how do you control your nerves?

CHA: I think about the danger, but I try to put that to the back of my mind and just think of the positives. That way I don't get worked up about it.

If you get worked up, you get worried and you don't want to do it. I try not to think about it. I just get on with it.

RYG: Do you need to manage your time well when you're preparing for a challenge like this?

CHA: Yes. Normally I'm the worst organised person, but I've had to get better to balance school work, training and packing. You have to be completely ready when you go. You can't forget anything or else you could be in trouble. You have to get everything ready.

RYG: What sort of food will you be taking with you?

CHA: We've got dried, powdered food. We add water to it and it becomes edible. It's not very nice but it's high in energy. We're still going to lose a lot of weight compared to what we're eating, but hopefully we'll be alright.

RYG: Have you made allowances for that in your preparations?

CHA: Well I eat quite a lot normally (laughs). I don't think I could actually eat any more. I've just eaten my normal stuff. Maybe a bit more chocolate than normal (laughs).

RYG: What do you hope to learn from the challenge?

CHA: I think it's going to be a life changing experience. I hope to see what's happening due to global warming. When I get back I'm hoping to tell people my age that they need to recycle more.

My dad has been going to the Arctic for ages. By the time I'm his age, in the summer months, the ice will have melted. Instead of trekking to the North Pole, you'll have to sail a ship there, because greenhouse gases would have completely melted the ice. When I'm my dad's age, I won't be able to do any more expeditions.

RYG: How important is it for you to stay fit?

CHA: It's very important. I do loads of sport at school. You can make really good friends, so it's really good.

RYG: When you're feeling tired from pulling the sled for hours, how do you motivate yourself to keep going?

CHA: The sled is so heavy. Sometimes I need to run on the spot just to get it going. I just stay determined and tell myself to 'Keep going.'

RYG: What advice would you give to youngsters who are considering taking on a similar kind of challenge?

CHA: I'd say, if you want to do it, even if it's really hard, do your best and keep going. Push yourself as far as you can and never give up.


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