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Talking Technology with Dave Cornthwaite, Global Adventurer and Filmmaker

We talk tech with adventurer and filmmaker Dave Cornthwaite to find out what gadgets he can’t live without, as well as his tips for budding filmmakers.

Dave Cornthwaite is a record-breaking endurance athlete, adventurer, author and filmmaker.

Not content with having skateboarded from John O’Groats to Landsend in January 2007 Dave completed his second skate-board journey, which took five months and a world-record 5823km to skate from Perth, in Western Australia, to Brisbane on Australia’s east coast.

In 2009 he kayaked the entire length of the Murray river, which he filmed and edited himself, concluding a 2476km journey from source to sea of Australia’s largest river.

We talk tech with Dave to see what gadgets he cannot live without.

What gadgets do you take on your trips?

I’m rarely seen without my Macbook Pro 13″. It’s my office. Books are written on it, films edited, website maintained, everything. Always keep one or two passport-sized 500gb hard drives with me too, usb/firewire powered, and these live in a different bag to my laptop and each other.

How do you manage to upload videos ‘on the road’ – what kit do you use?

It depends where I am. I’m yet to need a Sat phone for uploading but this will come with ocean crossings of the Pacific and Indian in coming years, and certainly at least one polar journey. In the middle of Australia when paddling the Murray I uploaded from my laptop via a NextG USB dongle, the connection was actually faster than most Wi-Fi networks I came across. Otherwise, the traditional way, log-on to wi-fi through my Macbook and the rest is history.

What camera(s) do you use?

I’ve got a Canon 500D with HD video that travels most places with me now. If I’m travelling light and have a separate video camera I’ll take a Nikon 40DX, nothing fancy but does the trick. I use a variety of video cameras depending on the situation. JVC HM100 for FullHD stuff, GoPro HD is invaluable, Sanyo WH1 for journeys with water around.

What piece of technology would you like to see invented to make your adventures easier?

I guess a laptop with the same attributes as the Macbook Pro, but as small and light as possible. Don’t say ‘Macbook Air’! It needs to have a firewire for video editing off a hard drive. And heck, if we’re playing fantasy, let’s pop a solar panel on the lid for journeys where power isn’t regular.

What tips do you have for any budding filmmakers and photographers?

Don’t be lazy or afraid to learn. Be creative according to your own skills and desires. Don’t capture something based on what you think other people want to see, push the boat out, challenge yourself, find a new way to tell a story.

Which do you prefer Facebook or Twitter?

Both have their uses. Twitter is handy for expedition updates when you don’t have time or energy to make big changes to your website, Facebook is better for sharing content.

Do you own an Apple iPad?

No, but I’m hoping someone will give me one soon! I do a lot of work with schools and during workshops an iPad would work wonders.

What are you favourite websites that you use when planning your trips?

The good old, tried and tested, what would we do without it: Google Earth!

What’s your next adventure?

In early April my buddy Seb Terry ( will join me in riding a tandem 1400 miles between Vancouver and Las Vegas. We’ve been asked to give a talk to a business in Vegas and decided cycling there would be fun.

Then between June and September I’ll be Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) the length of the Mississippi from source to sea, some 2400 miles. It’ll take between 90 and 100 days and will be the longest SUP journey to date. I really can’t wait for that one.

For more on Dave’s adventures visit: