British Exploring Society – The journey’s end

British Exploring Society

Young adventurers reflect on overcoming challenges and keeping warm in extreme conditions

They say that all good things come to an end; no matter the journey, it will eventually reach its conclusion. This is true of the British Exploring Society expedition in the Indian Himalayas. As supporters of the expedition, Patra has followed this journey of discovery since they first began training, and now we check in to see if the young people, and our donated base layers, rose to the challenge.

After intensive training during the spring, and five weeks around the Pensi Pass back in August, now is the time for reflection. The challenge was not only about having a great time, but also about sharing unique experiences with others, making scientific observation and learning useful skills.

Helping to shape the lives of young people

The Indian Himalayas expedition is one of the British Exploring Society’s most popular ones, this being the third consecutive year that it was organised.

The British Exploring Society is a personal development charity based in the Royal Geographical Society building in Kensington, London. It was originally founded in 1932 by the late Surgeon Commander George Murray Levick RN, with a vision of “adventure with purpose”. The British Exploring Society continues to follow that ethos, creating expeditions that test the limits of young explorers and leaders alike – helping to shape their lives.

Patra happily endorsed the Himalayan expedition by providing sets of silk base layers for the leaders and a bursary for a young explorer. Overall it was a successful mission and the young explorers gained precious experience for the future. As Rebecca (one of the young explorers that the bursary was awarded to) aptly put it “I myself can see the change I’ve undergone over the five weeks away. The experiences we underwent were fantastic, life changing, unbeatable.”

Mountain peaks

Expedition progress

The expedition took place in the Ladakh region of the Indian Himalayas. After the leaders and young explorers arrived in Delhi, they travelled to Leh (the capital of the region), where they set camp. The challenges posed by the high altitude were a struggle to overcome to begin with. It became easier though, and eventually the explorers were able to have a great time. They studied the nature, collected data, experimented with media projects and traversed glaciers. Claire, another young explorer, said “The expedition was special because it took a group of like-minded adventurous people into the wild where we could challenge ourselves and support each other towards extreme goals. This created a special community.”

As well as accomplishing extreme goals, the teams had also to overcome the extreme elements – dealing with the harsh, cold weather in conjunction with the altitude. High altitude means less oxygen and less oxygen leads to breathlessness, nausea, and other health problems associated with blood pressure.

patra baselayersPatra’s base layers in action

The team leaders needed effective base layers that weren’t restricting and allowed the body to breathe. Our pure silk base layers offered them necessary warmth without bulk. Because they are hypoallergenic, they do not irritate the skin. Instead, they allow it to breathe naturally and because they expel moisture, they feel very comfortable and dry quickly.

In addition, our bamboo-cotton base layers are well-known for their antibacterial properties. Even after wearing them for days, and without the use of a washing machine, they don’t smell. Warm, yet breathable, they were perfect during the expedition in the Himalayas. Both our pure silk and bamboo-cotton blend are completely natural fabrics, even suitable for people with sensitive skin.

Tested to the limit

“Having to climb mountains and traverse glaciers is not an easy task. Involving the body and mind, the extreme conditions also bring with it a health risk. The fact that we were so well protected in our base layers meant not having to worry about cold weather or a drop in oxygen levels, giving the leaders the opportunity to focus on the mission at hand and have a memorable adventure in the Himalayas.”

Our popular pure Silk and bamboo-cotton baselayers were an essential part of this expedition and were thoroughly appreciated in the harsh climate of the mountain range.


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