Your Choices Regarding Fasting at Outward Bound

Your Choices Regarding Fasting

Religion is a vital part of many of our participant's lives, and we are committed to respecting individual beliefs. We have sought advice externally to provide some guidance for participants who are due to come to Outward Bound during Ramadan.

The holy month of Ramadan can be quite physically taxing when travelling away from home to take part in an Outward Bound course, so some of our Muslim course participants choose to postpone their fast until they return, but this is of course your choice.

There are several passages in the Quran (2:184-185) that offer guidance on fasting during Ramadan. There are valid reasons to postpone your fast, including:

Distance from home: Anyone travelling 48 miles or more from home does not need to fast. This mileage stems from the distance covered by three day’s walk at 16 miles per day. More information can be found here.

Duration of stay away from home: Most Outward Bound courses are five days in duration, however some can last up to three weeks. This is still permissible as travelling as we will be spending time in a variety of local areas taking part in a range of activities (often including nights away sleeping in tents).

Doing no harm to health: At Outward Bound, we aim to spend our time having adventures in wild places. During these activities, keeping yourself hydrated and well fed throughout the day can be key for your wellbeing. This is especially true when operating in remote places where there may be limited options to seek shelter and rest if you run low on energy late in the day. The Quran also insists on your fast being broken if you have specific health concerns e.g. are diabetic (type 1), menstruating, or if you vomit or pass out. If you require medical treatment, this takes precedence over your fast.

Those who choose not to fast while travelling will not be judged by those who are fasting, following the example of early Muslims.

If you do want to fast while at Outward Bound, please talk to the staff at the centre you will be visiting.

Below is some information you may find useful:

Food: Our kitchens can make sure that food is ready and available at suitable times before and after each day of fasting.

Energy levels: We understand the toll that fasting can exert on the body, especially during full days of physical activity. You are welcome to talk to our staff about the day/course so that we can effectively plan breaks/periods of rest/etc. This may involve shorter, less arduous days for those who are fasting.

Prayer: Talk to us about your needs throughout the time you are with us. We can help with finding the direction of Mecca, finding a quiet place to pray and a suitable way to wash. We also have prayer mats at the centres and expedition prayer mats which can be taken out and about. Given the adventurous nature of our courses, many choose to combine prayers when they are back onsite or at camp in the evening. If you wish to pray during the day please talk to our staff and/or add the information to your Participant Information Form (which you will receive as part of your booking).

Microsoft Teams image 185

We want Outward Bound to be a safe, positive and enjoyable experience for everyone. If you have any questions or concerns before your course, please don't hesitate to get in touch.