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There’s an interesting story on The Independent website today. It reveals survey findings by an outdoor equipment company called GO Outdoors (their capitals, not mine). And what the survey suggests is that we Brits aren’t particularly adventurous when it comes to taking part in outdoor activities, with 10 percent of us saying we spend most of our time indoors on the sofa. What, only 10 percent? Methinks this survey is seriously skewed. But let’s look at it a bit closer.

So half of the people in this country have never been horse riding (which means half of us have, which is a bit of a result if you ask me), and 41 percent of us have never swum in’natural’ water. And when asked why we don’t indulge in thrilling activities like rock climbing and white-water rafting, 33 percent say they have been too scared to try. Well the health and safety killjoys are forever telling us how risky just about everything we do is, so no wonder. Interestingly, however, the biggest scaredicats, where outdoor pursuits are involved, are Londoners (so says the survey, I must add). If they mean walking through the dodgier neighbourhoods after closing time, then I think that’s perfectly well justified.

So I wondered, given my liking for my own sofa and an occasional box-set of CSI, how well would I fare against the rest of the nation when it comes to being adventurous in the great outdoors? Here’s a list of the 10 most common activities Brits have taken part in (with notes from my couch-potato self)…

1. Seventy percent have spent a night outdoors (Er, hello, what do they mean exactly? Does camping with your family when you were little count? If so, I can tick this one off – but if it means sleeping in the woods in a shelter you made yourself out of twigs, forget it)

2. Sixty-seven percent have flown in an aeroplane (Well this is hardly an outdoor pursuit is it? I mean, given the number of Brits who go abroad for their holidays, I’m surprised this ‘pursuit’ didn’t score a higher percentage. Another tick for me)

3. Sixty-one percent have stood on a mountain (Well, that’s a bit vague, isn’t it? You can stand near the bottom of a mountain, you don’t have to necessarily climb to the top… So yes, I’ll have this one too)

4. Fifty-nine percent have swum in natural water (Yes, yes, childhoods spent by the seaside… though I’d think twice about venturing in the sea  nowadays, a victim of the Jaws effect, I’m afraid)

5. Fifty-four percent have hill walked (Again, it’s a question of what you call a hill – does Parliament Hill count, because I’ve been there?)

6. Fifty-three percent have used a compass (Ah, now, this is one delight I can’t say I have experienced, but a friend of mine who’s into psychic stuff says she’s seen people move a compass needle with the power of their mind… I wonder if any of them took part in this survey?)

7. Fifty percent have ridden a horse (My brother used to have a horse, he was called Cobby, so does that count? The next best thing must be to ride on the back of a motorcycle so fast that you think your head is going to come off… I think I should get points for that)

8. Forty-one percent have started a campfire (See my comment on question one, though to be fair it was probably my dad who started the fires – oh hang on, I’m probably thinking of the camping stove)

9. Thirty-eight percent have gone fishing (Only once, when I was a kid, again during a family holiday on the Norfolk Broads – we fished for two weeks and didn’t catch a blooming thing, my dad said it was because our fishing rods came from Woolworths)

10. Thirty-four percent have gone abseiling (Oh, now, come on – 34 percent? You’ve got to be kidding. Out of all the people I know and have met in my entire life, I have never come across a single person who has been abseiling – though maybe that says a lot about me and the people I know. But really, some of the people quizzed in this survey have been telling massive porkies, if you ask me).

So despite a fondness for my sofa (and my only regular outdoor activity these days being walking the dog), I don’t think I’ve done too badly. How did you fare?