Meet the Adventurer - Preet Chandi

Can you tell us a little bit about your expedition?

The aim is to complete a 700 mile solo, unsupported expedition to the South Pole. This involves me pulling all of my kit and equipment in a pulk (weighing 90-100kg) for approximately 45 days, battling temperatures of -50deg and wind speeds of up to 60mph. 

What inspired you to take on this huge challenge?

I wanted to do something that would inspire others to push their boundaries and believe in themselves. I wanted to do something I knew nothing about, everybody starts somewhere, it didn’t matter that I didn’t know anything about polar exploration. If I could do something so far out of my comfort zone, hopefully it would inspire others to step out of their comfort zone. 

How has your training been in the UK?

It has been good, I’ve been working with a coach (Jon Fearne) since the start of the year and my training programme is a mixture of strength and conditioning, cardio and hauling tyres (which simulates my pulling a pulk). The training has increased very gradually over the year to prepare me for Antarctica. 

What’s been the toughest part of your training?

Getting into a routine has always been the most difficult thing for me. My Army unit is based in Preston, I’m completing my MSc and clinical time in London and I live in the Midlands so I’m used to travelling a lot. I’m working with a great coach and we adapt my programme depending on where I will be in the country and what I have access to, luckily the Land Rover tyres fit in my car boot so they travel around with me! 

How many calories will you need to consume a day?

I’m working with a nutritionist at the moment to work this out but it will be in the region of 5000 calories per day. 

What’s your favourite Base Camp Food meal?

I really love the Real Turmat salmon pasta meal. During my 28 day expedition in Greenland (Aug 2020), I always ate this meal the quickest!

How important is nutrition for this expedition?

Very important, you need to be able to consume enough calories per day and this isn’t always easy, especially when you’re tired. This is why I’ve tested my food, I have tried a variety of breakfast and evening meals and have almost chosen everything I’m taking with me. 

What are your plans for training in Iceland?

The aim is to use all of the kit and equipment I will be using in Antarctica and go through the same routine or hauling the pulk for 10hrs a day. This gives me time to make any changes with my kit or food before leaving for Antarctica. 

What are you most nervous about for this expedition?

This will be my first time going to Antarctica and the weather is one of the biggest challenges. Preparation is so important and I experienced harsh weather and snow storms in Greenland which helped prepare me for what I could experience in Antarctica. The important thing for me is to take one day at a time. 

What do you hope to take away from this experience?

This would be a huge personal achievement for me but it has always been about so much more than that for me. I want to be able to inspire others with this journey. 50% of the funding from my go fund me page (on my website) will be used to set up an adventure grant, (when I get back from Antarctica in Jan 2022) to encourage women to go on unique adventures. This is something I’m really excited about and I hope this inspires people to go on whatever adventure they’ve been thinking about.

Where can people go to follow you on this incredible journey?

My Instagram page (@polarpreet) is updated regularly with my training and I also write blogs on my website under news. When I’m on the ice, I will be doing daily voice blogs which will be uploaded to my website. 

What advice would you give to people who want to take on a big challenge such as you have?

Take the first step, it doesn’t matter how small that step is. My first step was looking at polar expeditions on google! Also, remember that you are so much more capable than you believe. It is so easy to say 'believe in yourself' but it is so important, imagine how much you could achieve if you believed in yourself.

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