The life and adventures of Kate Jamieson

WE TALK to Kate Jamieson about her adventures, life working for a private maritime security company and what it meant to her to be selected as an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion.

Kate Jamieson

Kate Jamieson is an adventurer and writer who also run operations for a private maritime security company.

KATE JAMIESON’S passion for the outdoors began at an early age and was encouraged and nurtured by her parents. She travelled the world extensively as a teenager and joined the Sea Cadet Corps at 14. Her ambition to join the Royal Navy led her to study International Relations at university and although she didn’t end up in the Navy her career today is very much sea orientated.


Here Kate talks to us about her daily job which sees her run operations for a private maritime security company and how the role has enhanced her ability to plan trips and expeditions.


Read on to find out about more of her astonishing adventures, including her summit of Mount Kilimanjaro, as well as her work as a an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion visit. 


You can read Kate’s writings and follow her most recent adventures at www.adventuresofkate.co.uk. 


When did you realise your passion for adventure and what were some of the earliest adventures you ever went on?


I’ve always been a pretty adventurous person. I spent a lot of time outside as a child and we were always walking. At home, I used to tie a skipping rope around my waist and scale the mountains (the staircase) so perhaps that was a sign of things to come!


I’m fortunate to have been taken to a number of exciting places as a child and teenager, including the Pyramids at Giza, which was fascinating for me. I’ve always loved reading stories of expeditions and explorers, so I always try to tie my adventures in with some history where I can!


I think it really became a large part of my life when I joined the Sea Cadet Corps at 14. We were encouraged to get involved with so many adventurous activities… I completed assault courses with the Royal Marines, took part in my Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and Ten Tors, I flew a plane, learned to sail and to shoot, picked up my powerboat ticket and, most importantly, spent a lot of time on the moors learning navigation, fieldcraft and all the skills required for an expedition from some truly incredible people.



Kate pictured on Dartmoor, a place she often likes to enjoy adventures on.

Who encouraged your thirst to be outdoors and explore and did you take inspiration from any adventurers or athletes in the public eye?


My parents initially – my brother and I always spent a lot of time outdoors, shown by the fact I’m now on the moors and mountains most weekends and he’s a yacht skipper!


As a teenager it was definitely my Sea Cadet expedition staff but in truth? I’ve always been fascinated with explorers and as cliché as it may be, Sir Ranulph Fiennes is hugely inspiring to me, not least because he also struggles with heights! His advice to never look down and always focus on what’s ahead is not only good climbing advice, but good life advice too.


Now? Lindsey Vonn is one of the most inspiring athletes out there to me. Not because I want to become an Olympic level skier (I’m a long way off that) but because she has faced setback and injury after injury, and always got back up. She had one of the worst knee injuries going, something which would stop most people’s careers to becoming the most successful female skier in history.

On a more personal level, I have so many friends and acquaintances who are off on adventures, exploring both on and off the beaten path, but always pushing their limits and boundaries, that it’s hard to not be inspired by them. I think the people who inspire me the most are those who manage to fit in these adventures around full time careers and families.


Tell us about your career working for a maritime security company and the kind of adventures it leads you on?


I studied International Relations at university, with an aim of joining the Royal Navy, then decided that the full time armed forces wasn’t something that would fit with my lifestyle. I tailored my whole degree to maritime security, and so my dissertation on counter-piracy policy implementation helped me break in to the industry. I’m now Senior Operations Manager after only 3.5 years with the company.


I’d like to say my role has taken me on some amazing adventures, but in truth the most exotic location I’ve been is Norfolk! That being said, every day is an adventure, I am always very busy and no two days are the same. It has given me so many skills for life, many of which come in very handy when planning trips!


On a day to day basis, I am arranging for teams and firearms to get where they need to be around the globe, and then embarked on huge ships, with no delays, before monitoring team progress daily and ensuring that no piracy incidents have occurred overnight. Not only is this a huge logistical challenge which requires me to be on top of my game at all times, I’m frequently working in 3-4 time zones in my head! It’s a 24/7 job, 365 days of the year. Even Christmas Day!


A good thing I love what I do, definitely.


Kate Jamieson

Kate pictured sailing Cathay Clipper.

How far does your love for the sea go and could you tell us more about your work with sea cadets?


I’ve loved the sea from a young age, I think everyone in my family has. My brother is a Yacht Skipper and my mum is a keen sailor. I also had a relative who received an RNLI Bravery Medal, so I guess the sea runs in my veins! As a teenager I learned to sail, kayak, powerboat and windsurf with the Sea Cadets, at university I was part of the Kitesurfing club, and it’s a hobby I really want to get back in to this year.


I’m on the water every chance I get, and one day would love to circumnavigate the oceans… maybe I can convince my brother to be part of my expedition team! On top of this love of the sea in a sporty sense, I’m also very interested in naval history and was on Mastermind a few years ago with a specialist subject of The Life & career of Lord Nelson, something I’m currently in the process of writing a book on (but with an adventurous twist, naturally).


As for the Sea Cadets, I was a cadet from 2004-2008 and then I became a member of staff. Aside from a brief four-year break while at university I have been an adult instructor and I absolutely love it. It’s so great to be able to give back to the Corps, after getting so much out of it myself, and it’s wonderful to see cadets learn, grow and improve. It sounds cheesy, but some of the cadets are truly inspiring young people and they will go far, I have no doubts!


Tell us about your summit of Kilimanjaro and how hard was the climb to complete?


Ah Kilimanjaro… I took the 6 Day Machame Route, as I wanted to camp, instead of sleeping in a hut. It was an incredible experience, and one that I will never forget for a number of reasons… In terms of relative difficulty, it wasn’t that bad. Everyone is different, obviously, and I found the first day was a struggle as it was so warm, but then as I settled in to it and acclimatised, it became easier (she says).


I was very fortunate that I suffered with no altitude sickness symptoms at all, but I did manage to injure myself, well and truly! Day three, on the descent from the Lava Tower to the Barranco Camp, I ‘twisted my knee funny but strapped it up and took painkillers. At altitude it’s a case of climbing high and sleeping low… So on the uphill and flat sections, my knee seemed to be fine, but on every step downhill I was in tears. Thankfully by the time we reached summit night, I had managed to get used to the pain a little and it was all up from there! Of course, I was so focused on reaching the summit that I forgot that I’d have to descend at some point! My guide ended up taking my bag and we ran down through ash and scree to descend as quickly as possible, I was sobbing until we reached base camp. I continued to walk on it as far as I could but my knee eventually collapsed and I got stretchered the last few hours!


It turned out when I got home and the Dr sent me for an MRI that I’d dislocated my kneecap, ripped the tendon and torn the meniscus cartilage.


Despite that, I consider it one of the best experiences of my life and one that I would complete over and over again. If nothing else, it shows me that the human body is extraordinary and that anything can be achieved (perhaps not entirely sensibly) if you put your mind to it!




Kate pictured at the summit of Kilimanjaro.

How did it feel to be selected as a Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion and what will that role involve?


I was truly honoured to have been chosen as a GetOutside Champion, and still feel very fortunate to have been chosen now. I squealed a little when I found out, as I am in such super company… There are families, mountaineers, climbers, runners, hikers, people of all skill sets and ages. They are truly some of the most inspiring people I’ve had the privilege of meeting and everyone seems to have a new adventure planned every week.

Our main role as GetOutside Champions is to encourage people to get out and discover how beautiful the UK is. You don’t need to climb mountains (but you can if you want, the UK is full of them!), you don’t need to plan great expeditions even – it can be as simple as getting out for a walk or a bike ride after work, spending more time in the great outdoors and reaping the benefits, you may be inspired to learn a new skill!

The UK has so much to offer, and the great thing about the GetOutside Champions being from all over the country, is that you’ll never be short of ideas for adventures, walks or places to visit!


 Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion

Katie is currently an Ordnance Survey GetOutside Champion.

What adventures or expeditions do you have planned for the rest of the year and beyond?


I’m off to play in the mountains around Chamonix in August, axes and all, for just over a week. I’m then heading to Zermatt to learn to paraglide with the Matterhorn as a backdrop, which I’m very excited about.

Later this year I will be completing a bike ride of the Trafalgar Way (spot the naval history link again) which is a 271 mile route from Falmouth to the old Admiralty in London. This is to raise money as part of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Challenge!

I’m also currently in the early planning stages of a BIG trip around Africa in 2018… It’s somewhere that’s always fascinated me and Tanzania got me hooked!

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