Global Adventurer and Extreme Athlete Ash Dykes Talks to Rokman

March 05, 2020

Discover how Welsh extreme athlete, Ash Dykes, breaks-down the biggest challenges into achievable chunks, how he prepares his body and mind for 'worst-case scenario', and the mindset strategies that saved his life when he was dying of dehydration in the Gobi Desert.

At Rokman, our mission is to inspire a deep inner resilience within you to enable you to overcome the most intimidating challenges possible. Well, they don't get much bigger than the three 'world-first' expeditions undertaken by extreme global adventurer and local Welsh hero, Ash Dykes. Ash was the first person to walk across Mongolia in 2104, in 2016 he was the first person to traverse the mountain ranges of Madagascar whilst summiting the eight highest mountains along the way, and in 2018, Ash took a year to become the first person to cross 4,000 miles across China following the Yangtze River.

Ash talks to Rokman and shares his techniques and strategies he uses to prepare his body and mind to take on the most monumental expeditions on planet Earth.

How does a lad from North Wales come to be a worldwide extreme adventurer?

It all started when I was 16/17. I was always a kinesthetic learner, learning from hands-on experiences, so I came up with this idea to travel and learn from different people and different cultures. To save money to fund my trip I worked as a lifeguard, cycling to and from work every day, working 40-hours a week for two years. Once I saved enough, I set off at age 19 to China.

I started off mainly on the tourist route, which was fine as I met people from all over the world, but I wanted my sort of unique story and I wanted to experience life off the beaten track and more so to meet the locals. So, my friend and I bought a £10 bike and attempted to cycle the length of Cambodia and Vietnam with no string or puncture repair kit, just the bare necessities. It was pretty reckless, pretty dangerous, a lot of crazy stuff happened on that journey but we made it and it was great!

From Vietnam, I went out to live with and learn survival with a hill tribe in the Burmese jungle. I also lived in Thailand for two years as a master scuba diver and muay-Thai fighter. As great as that was, I started to miss those previous adventures, so that’s when Mongolia came into the mix. That was my first world-first expedition and that then spun off a 10-year career in adventure.

Why do you do it? What drives you forward each day?




Ash Dykes Extreme Adventurer

How did you prepare your body and mind for the expeditions?




Ash Dykes

How do you stay motivated? What mindset strategies do you utilize?

I knew that in Madagascar and Mongolia, there would be really dark times where I would really want to give up. So I recorded a motivational message to myself while I was at home, in the warm, with a full belly and a cup of tea, feeling really upbeat and positive. In the message, I reminded myself why I was there, why I was doing the mission, what would happen if I failed the mission and what would happen if I succeeded. I sent this to myself via voice message on my iPhone and I promised myself that I wouldn’t listen to that message until I was at my darkest point during the mission.



Ash Dykes

Words of advice would you give for any adventure wannabes out there?



Ash Dykes

What’s next for Ash Dykes?


Ash Dykes Adventurer

Finally, what’s your favourite motivational quote?




Ash Dykes Mission Possible

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