Explore 360

Gemma Tong

Team Leader

Gemma works as a specialist paramedic in urgent care in Oxfordshire and has worked for the ambulance service for over ten years. She has a specific interest in wilderness and altitude medicine and has training and experience in all types of pre-hospital medical provision from major incidents to minor injuries and illnesses.

Before joining the ambulance service, Gemma completed a BSc (hons) in Outdoor Adventure Management, which during this time she taught dinghy sailing and powerboating.  It wasn’t until Gemma assisted on an expedition to the Indian Himalayas in 2010 that she fell in love with the mountains. Since then she has continued to work in the outdoor/expedition world alongside the ambulance service.

Gemma has worked on expeditions to India, Malawi, Zambia, Botswana, Nepal, Morocco, Tanzania, Kenya and has also climbed Aconcagua. She works as either an expedition medic, assistant leader or leader, depending on the trip and its requirements.

Interview

What was your first adventure?

My mum shipped me off to Denmark when I was 10 for a judo tournament with my 7 year old brother.  That was quite an adventure!

What has been your most memorable adventure?

My most memorable adventure has got to be when I climbed Aconcagua in Argentina with Jo Bradshaw in 2015.

What item of travel kit you can't do without?

A sarong. I’m not a fan of travel towels and a sarong packs down very small, absorbs water, dries brilliantly and is big enough to cover everything when you’re coming out of a shower (if you’re lucky enough to have one!) . You can also use it as a spare top, skirt, dress or hat if necessary.

What three bits of advice would you give to people who are keen on adventures, trekking and climbing?

  1. Make sure you put sun cream on the top of your ears, the parting of your hair and on your thumbs if you’re using walking poles.
  2. Lip balm is ESSENTIAL.
  3. Make sure you have good comfortable boots and socks.

What is the best thing about your job?

The best thing about my job… well that has got to be meeting so many wonderful people.

Why did you choose to work for 360?

They look after their leaders, guides, clients and in-country staff. You’d be surprised as to how rare this is.

I had a fantastic week with Stuart and his colleague John Bracey. I have to say that the whole trip was just excellent. A lovely Chalet with great hosts Mike and Judy, a good 3 day acclimatisation trek and some good climbing days with the guides at the end. Everyone realised how well run the trip was and how good the guides were which made the trip great value for what we got.

Andrew Gardner, Mont Blanc
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