Andy Torbet – The Natural World in a Mans Soul

Jun 2, 2020 | Vision, Visionary Men

Andy Torbet is a presenter, film maker, ex-serviceman, cave diver and skydiver. Not to mention a caver, kayaker, outdoorsman and naturalist.

Growing up in the Highlands of Scotland as the son of a Forester, Andy’s playground was the woods, rivers, lochs and wild landscape of the Scottish outdoors which is what shaped his fascination with the natural world.

He has served in the British Armed Forces as a Paratrooper, Diver and Underwater Bomb Disposal Officer all over the world including Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia and after this in the security, intelligence and surveillance sector in some of the most dangerous places on the planet.

Andy is also an experienced and highly qualified cave diver and sky diver, including a number of accolades as the latter including racing a peregrine falcon and competing in the World Speed Skydiving Championships.

He has a passion for the outdoor world and studied Zoology at University before joining the forces, he now continues his love of all things outdoors including Kayaking from his base in the Forest of Dean where he lives with his wife and two boys.

Andy has presented for the BBC, Discovery Channel and History Channel along with producing a number of documentary films as an actor and stuntman.

“fear is your mate, he is your thick mate, but he is your mate, his main concern is keeping you alive, he has no understanding of physics, reward or other things, fear has your best interests at heart”.

– andy torbet



andy and I discussed the following in this episode:

  • How Andy’s upbringing was always surrounded by nature and a fascination with diving, camp building, tree climbing.


  • Man’s deep connection with nature – Forest Bathing and how this effects your immune system. The same effect being in a coastal location has on peoples bodies

  • How we evolved not to live in large scale societies but smaller tribes and why the environment effects how we react to others. Tribe by Sebastian Junger

  • The soothing effect nature has had during lockdown whilst we cannot enjoy physical connection with others as we would usually do.

  • The cuddling and bonding hormone oxytocin and how this triggers a response in people.

“Deep in his heart, every man longs for a battle to fight, an adventure to live, and a beauty to rescue.”

― John Eldredge, Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man’s Soul

  • Why Andy believes that he has excelled in a battle situation (not necessarily a physical battle) over the years. The interesting observation that Andy has seen PTSD on return rather than not during battle periods i.e. whether the camaraderie, brotherhood and community lessens this effect.

  • The Lone Wolf fallacy and how this has effected men, why this has never been a feature in tribes over millennia and how it isn’t a feature in the military either.

  • Why people are having time to reflect during lockdown and have an appreciation for nature and the outdoors.

  • How Andy has spent a large amount of time during lockdown at home and during the 2 weeks of family he has done loads of activities , and his bond with his both his boys has strengthened as a result.

  • The different activities those with kids vs those without kids have done during lockdown.

    Andy’s main things to keep in mind around fear

    1. Fear is a natural and positive thing

    2.Fear is your mate (your thick mate), and all he cares about is keeping you alive

    3.Fear has your best intentions at heart

  • How Andy says he takes dangerous things and makes them safe, using the examples of skydiving and cavediving

  • Military Parachute School Motto = Knowledge Dispels Fear

  • The trick is to use the fear motivation in your preparation whether it be cave diving, public speaking, or bomb disposal.

  • The fun and games most middle aged men are having with parents over the lockdown and isolation period.

  • Andy’s view on mental health and how he doesn’t feel everyone should be talking about it if it doesn’t work for them. Why there isn’t any need to bow to pressure if you find it more healthy and productive to deal with it by themselves.

  • Why Andy feels the whole mental health discussion has become overly complicated particularly through social media and influencers.

  • The basic and simple things like seeing your mates, reading a book under a tree and other simple pursuits that simplify your life. How Andy is trying to use the mantra SIMPLIFY more and more.

  • The drama and indulgence side of the mental health battle as opposed to feeling the ups and downs of life as a normal emotional reaction to life.

  • Why some people have indulged in the melodrama of lockdown rather than the practical aspect of learning from it.



To find out more about andy and how to get in touch with him:

Andy’s Website – www.andytorbet.com

Andy’s Book – Extreme Adventures

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