BMF Brecon Beacons

Adventure Challenge Day

BMF and Secret Compass, the leaders in military fitness and experts in extreme expeditions, have joined forces to bring you the very first, one day adventure challenge, in the Brecon Beacons.

The Secret Compass Leaders operate in some of the world’s most hostile and extreme environments, where being “Gym Fit” just isn’t enough. They require a level of functional fitness that is second to none, bomb proof & pressure tested in extremes, underpinned with mental resilience and a will to succeed.



Key Facts

  • Date: 31st July
  • 6 – 12 people
  • Climb Pen Y Fan via the infantry battle schools seniors fan dance route.
  • Try packrafting, the new adventurer mode of transport!
  • Meet like-minded adventurous types
  • Experience adventure training
  • Learn from the Military and Expedition Industry Experts
  • Abseil a waterfall.

BMF and Secret Compass, the leaders in military fitness and experts in extreme expeditions,  have joined forces to bring you the very first, one day Adventure Challenge, in the Brecon Beacons.  

When operating in the world’s toughest and most extreme environments, where being “Gym Fit” or “Cosmetically Fit” just isn’t enough. The Secret Compass Guides lead expeditions into erupting volcanoes or deep into cartel held jungles, and require a level of functional fitness that is second to none, bomb proof and pressure tested in extremes, underpinned with mental resilience and a will to succeed. Whatever your fitness level, the aim of this one day Adventure Challenge in Wales is to build on your resilience, stamina and strength. It will give you an insight into the mental and physical fitness required to tackle extreme adventures and become ‘Expedition Fit’.

The physical aim of this Adventure Day is to trek to reach the summit of Pen y Fan, the highest peak in the Brecon Beacons National Park via the infantry battle schools seniors fan dance route, and to packraft the picturesque waterways en route – plus one or two extra surprises.

If you want to push yourself in one of the UK’s premier wilderness areas, look no further. Set against the dramatic ridges, peaks and mountain lakes of the Brecon Beacons National Park, the day will be challenging, memorable and spiced up with an element of the unknown, as this is the reality of life for Secret Compass expedition teams as they explore some of the world’s wildest places.

This Adventure day is run by BMF Military Fitness Experts & professional Secret Compass leaders, full of tales of adventure from their recent expedition exploits in countries from Sierra Leone to Burma, and from Sinai to Madagascar.

This adventure day is run by BMF military fitness experts & professional Secret Compass leaders, full of tales of adventure from their recent expedition exploits in countries from Sierra Leone to Burma, and from Sinai to Madagascar.

Secret Compass runs expeditions with framework itineraries, rather than guided tours with set daily plans. The following is the outline plan for this Adventure Challenge day to Wales – the ‘substance’ rather than the specifics. A fuller itinerary is provided on request.

  • Arrive at 9:00am at Nant Cwm-LLwch Car Park – meet the team. Brief and kit check from Expedition Leader
  • Set off in packrafts. 4km
  • Begin hike via summit Pen Y Fan. 17km
  • Abseil Waterfall
  • Final push to the finish 
  • Debrief 18:00 eta


  • Professional Secret Compass leader carrying full medical and communications kits.
  • Any specialist equipment (ropes, helmets, packrafts)
  • All food and soft drinks
  • Transport back to start.


  • Alcohol
  • Personal equipment (full kit list in the Handbook)


All our expeditions are achievable by people with an active and healthy lifestyle. However, this is a challenging day that will test you and at times you may be sore, tired, hungry and possibly wet! You must be prepared physically and mentally for the day. Please ensure that you train for the day and arrive fit and ready to go. You will be required to be fit enough for the following.

  • Trek: up to 20km per day.
  • Carry: up to 10kg per person in a rucksack.
  • Terrain: contend with grassy, rocky and potentially steep terrain plus canals.
  • Climate: this will depend on the time of year of your chosen weekend. It should never be too extreme and full details will be provided in your weekend Handbook.
  • Kit: your Handbook will contain a full kit list. It will cover eventualities from pleasant days to full downpour as the weather in Wales can be variable at any time of year.
  • Swim: as the weekend involves packrafting, you must be able to swim at least 100m. The waterways here are only a few feet deep so you don’t need to be a strong swimmer, but you need to be comfortable around water should you capsize (very unlikely indeed, but possible).
  • Age: 21+


Food: Lunch will be provided. There will be someone from Secret Compass at the start to greet you and have a welcoming brew and chat. The food will involve packed lunch style fresh and packaged foods and snacks. Give full details of any dietary requirements on your Booking Form.

Transport: Teammates will drive themselves to the start at Nant Cwm LLwch Car Park where they will park their cars for the day. Shuttles to the packraft entry point will be organised by Secret Compass from the car park. Nant Cwm LLwch Car Park is where the expedition finishes, therefore your cars will be there ready for you once you cross the finish line at the end of the day.

Kit list: Please refer to the comprehensive kit list . It is in your best interest to arrive suitably equipped and with worn-in, well-fitting footwear. Secret Compass will provide all group gear and specialist equipment. If you are short of any vital kit or clothing, Secret Compass has arranged discounts with a selection of outdoor retailers and kit hire companies, further details will be sent through on booking.


DAYSACK (~30litre): A comfortable, well-fitting rucksack which is large enough for your lunch, water, warm layers and waterproofs etc.

WATERPROOF RUCKSACK LINER (40ltr): Sealable “canoe” or “dry” bags made by Podsac or Ortlieb etc. This should line your daysa

1 x TREKKING SHIRT/TSHIRT: Not cotton. Consider long sleeves for sun/insect protection.

1 x TREKKING TROUSERS: Quick-drying trekking trousers. 

1 x MID LAYER: Fleece or similar.

1 x WARM LAYER: Synthetic or lightweight down insulated jacket. Bring a waterproof bag for it!

1 x WATERPROOF JACKET AND TROUSERS: Gore-tex or equivalent, with a hood and large enough to fit your warm layers underneath.

1 x WALKING BOOTS: Waterproof, with ankle support. Your boots should be well-fitting and worn in.

2 x HIKING SOCKS: That fit well with your boots.

1 x UNDERWEAR: Sport or Cycling shorts don’t chafe.

ck with enough room spare to roll the top over at least 3 times.

2 x WATER BOTTLE or WATER BLADDER: You need to carry at least 3 litres of water. Nalgene bottles or Camelbak-style systems are recommended.

1x THERMOFLASK if forecast cold





SANITARY PRODUCTS: Please bring nappy sacks and re-sealable plastic bags for disposal.

INSECT REPELLENT: Eg. Midge off, LifeSystems etc.

SUNCREAM: Factor 30+. Consider SPF lipbalm as well.

BASIC FIRST AID KIT: Secret Compass will carry a comprehensive first aid kit so you will only need personal supplies of painkillers, anti-inflammatories, blister care (Vaseline, blister plasters, foot powder), rehydration sachets. Any medication you normally use. Please inform Secret Compass of any pre-existing medical conditions and medication.



SUNGLASSES with UV- filter lenses. Consider a sports strap (croakies, chums etc).

Although this is a one day challenge, we’d like you to read about our ethos and the planning we undertake for any expedition, be that in the UK hills of the Pamir Mountains of Afghanistan.

Secret Compass organises expeditions, not sightseeing tours. Our expeditions are team-centred, flexible and dynamic. Teams are managed on the ground by Secret Compass staff: industry-leading professionals and guides of the highest calibre. They put the structure in place for your team to have an incredible experience while achieving your expedition’s aims.

Secret Compass teams often go to places that others don’t. This makes our expeditions truly different, taking you beneath the skin and beyond the headlines of the world’s most remote reaches. Inspired by history’s great explorers and challenges, you’ll be set ambitious goals and will overcome similar hardships to those experienced on the audacious journeys of the past.

Remember this is not an organised tour. It is an adventure. More often than not expeditions don’t run smoothly! The nature of the areas we operate in mean we will encounter a number of challenges that we expect everyone to meet and relish.

Risk management

Expeditions are inherently risky affairs, that is part of the appeal for participants. We do not make expeditions safe, as by definition that is impossible. We do construct and implement a risk management approach to reduce risk to what we perceive as a tolerable level. In doing so we:

Key risks.

Key risks encountered on this specific expedition include packrafting and abseiling. If you would like to see the full Risk Assessment for this expedition, please email info@secretcompass.com

  • Risk Assess. Conduct a thorough risk assessment of potential hazards and threats that may be encountered on the expedition and provide recommendations to reduce the likelihood of harm occurring and reduce the severity if it does occur.
  • Safety Plan. As part of our expedition plan, we detail actions to be taken to implement and resource the recommendations of the risk assessment. This includes a detailed medical and communications plan.
  • Deliver. The expedition leader is responsible for dynamic risk management on the expedition itself.

Incident management and medical

As part of the safety plan, Secret Compass has a full incident and emergency plan for medical and other emergencies. This will be discussed in full at the arrival brief, so everyone is aware what action will be taken. In summary, incidents are usually managed on the ground by the expedition leader in the first instance with remote support from Secret Compass’s 24 hour Operations Room before evacuation to the nearest appropriate medical centre.

Informed consent

It is your responsibility to understand the risks associated with adventure travel in remote areas. By joining this expedition, you accept the risks associated with the venture. If you require any more information on specific risk management for this adventure, or would like to speak to us about our medical planning prior to the trip, please get in touch.

The Journal