Who we are
Hello, my name is James Eastwood (Jimmy), and I’m so excited that you’ve landed on this about page. Venchas (short for Adventures) has been a long time coming, and it’s something I’m genuinely passionate about.
Our goal here at Venchas is to provide practical articles so you can plan, research, and execute your next outdoor adventure.
We take pride in stating that our articles are unique because we encourage our writers to share a perspective that’s personal and candid. We understand that existing with the natural world is a skill in itself crafted in many ways, traditionally and practically.
Initially, Venchas was a means to share my experiences and tips on camping and travelling on an evergreen platform. It’s also evolved to be an outlet to interact with a community of adventurers and promote active, outgoing lifestyles.
Winter can sometimes be a wakeup call to buy warm outwear. Using my Tax Return funds, ive gone out, tried and tested some big Brand down jackets. Kathmandu, The North Face, Mountain Designs, Macpac and more. Check out the article for my surprise picks for this winter.
I can only describe my introduction to outdoor life as ‘harmonious.’ I’ve always felt that my impulse to travel was a trait passed down to me from my parents. My mother being a down to earth, Filipina Island native, and my Father, a well-traveled Australian Army Veteran.
Till the age of four, I lived on a small island near the City of Tacloban located 980kms south of Manila. It was in this town that my Father during his travels met my Mother and decided to put his plans on hold. Generations of my family have lived on this island, which is known to this day for being one of the country’s smallest and newest provinces.
Densely vegetated with coconut and banana trees, it is so petite that one can motorbike its circumference in under an hour. I still recall the lack of electricity, infrastructure, or public transport, which was nothing out of the ordinary in the ’80s.
I’m sure most of us today would find this scenario attractive, albeit in small doses. It was in this archipelago teeming with sounds and wildlife that I first learned about living off the land and living a simple lifestyle.
It seemed like we were always doing something different every day even though Island life moved at a relatively slow pace. Some days my elder cousins and I, would trek to the highest point on the Island to locate the best plot of coconut trees. Here we would drink and carve out coconuts while taking in a 360-degree view of the landmass.
Other days I would go with my uncles out onto the ocean on a rickety Bunka Boat. This was always fun as we would scout the neighboring islands for fish to bring back for dinner. I can’t recall a time when we ever returned empty handed.
My fondest memory was how each day concluded in a thatch home illuminated only by candlelight. It was here that we would share music, laughter, food, and stories as we waited out the humidity for the more refreshing tropical winds.
Australian camping culture
By the age of four, I was permanently living in my Fathers native continent of Australia. Up until then, I had never heard the term ‘Camping.’ But it wasn’t long before I started to look forward to this word. I quickly learned that camping meant we would be traveling somewhere new, driving far away from our brick home to live outside in a thin plastic home.
It is not a stretch to say that camping is a national pastime here. Much like Barbecuing, its an activity imparted early on from generation to generation. I observed that my Fathers siblings were ‘Geared up’ as much as him. They each had Four Wheel Drives which came with a campervan and a variety of tents and equipment.
It was also safe to assume that my Grandparents were the likely source of the family’s love of camping. Even today at age 75 they still rack up some hefty miles RV’ing throughout Australia on their way to the next camping ground.
As soon as I could earn money during my teens, I obsessed with buying the latest survival and tactical gear. My closest friends and I were always planning our next trip away from home. Our parents always granted permission. They understood it was our outlet, something we were getting good at, going away on camping trips.
What makes for great content
Today I still find myself a purist, but I also am a huge geek when it comes to travel and outdoor technology. I appreciate all outdoor lifestyles. I will happily glamp with the best of them just as much as I will go bare bones camping in the Australian outback or spend months on the road in a Campervan.
I’ve spent countless hours trying to ration my equipment to suit the next trip. I also know how overwhelming the planning process can be. This is why I have designed Venchas so you can easily navigate to content that is relevant and informative to your adventure.
All the articles and content on this website has been thought-out, edited, and reviewed by me. At times we may use guest’s or freelance writers to share their thoughts and experiences. We take pride in only using partners that are a great match and can provide in-depth knowledge and value to our readers.
What to expect
I consider myself a part-time blogger. I understand that the majority of us have to structure our holidays and trips around our everyday life. It’s incredible to know that we have such a diverse readership that ranges in experience and location.
Some are seasoned adventurists, while others are first-timers or families that want their kids to experience and appreciate nature.
Therefore, I have made sure only to provide helpful information, that is of the highest standards, inspirational, and easy to comprehend.
Venchas is all about promoting the best practices when it comes to our environment. We appreciate companies, equipment, and methods that take steps to minimize their impact on the natural world.
You may come across our ‘Eco-Rating’ on our product reviews along with the standard rating categories you’ve come to expect such as durability, price, and quality.
We wanted a way to acknowledge sustainable products, so with that in mind and after careful collaboration and thought we came up with our ‘Eco-Rating’.
This rating is exclusive to Venchas and is calculated on several variables such as the percentage of recyclable materials that make up the product, or the environmental mission statement of the manufacturer.
We hope that our further research to determine an Eco-Rating will encourage better purchasing decisions. If by any chance we are not able to confirm any sustainable concepts or materials of a product, we will state this within the article.
What you will find on our website
We hope you enjoy your time here at Venchas. Below is a list of what you can expect on the website.
If the above sounds appealing to you, then welcome home!
Let's get started
I have included a few links below to get you started.
James Eastwood (Jimmy)
Avid contributor and editor of Venchas