• Scottish Higlands is excellent for wild camping, and can really test the gear! Picture shows a footpath traveling into the distance, with mountains in the background with a light cover of snow.
    Hiking & Camping

    Essential Gear List for Successful Wild Camping and Backpacking

    What to pack for a successful wild camping or backpacking trip? The chances are that you have already found out that people get very passionate about their camping gear. The materials, weight, size, brands – everything goes. There are people out there that have made camping into an art form! If you are not quite at that point yet – and just want to build a good basic gear list for wild camping – this post is for you! I will go through my wild camping gear list and the items I would not camp without. My kit is by no means the lightest or the most technical – but…

  • A woman outdoor bouldering at Stanage Edge in the Peak District

    From the Wall to the Wild – How to Start Bouldering Outdoors

    Climbing has seen a huge boom in popularity over the recent years, with indoor bouldering gyms popping up in cities all over the world. What at one point was an esoteric pastime of a small minority, is now a popular and undeniably mainstream sport to be featured in the next two Olympic games. With so many new people getting into bouldering through indoor climbing walls – the transition to outdoor climbing is becoming more and more difficult. This article will walk through the most common questions people have about how to start bouldering outdoors.

  • Navigation practice in Glen Nevis with the footpath running along the river down the glen framed by hillsides on both sides.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 4 – How Create a Great Navigation Strategy

    All the term ‘navigation skills’ really means, is the ability to look at a map, plan a route and follow it. A good navigator will break these bigger tasks into smaller objectives. They will then create a solid strategy for how to approach these objectives methodically and work through them. Creating a good navigation strategy comes down to the 4 Ds of Navigation. Most commonly, these stand for distance, direction, description and duration. Read on for how to use these to create a navigation strategy which allows you to confidently navigate anywhere in the world.

  • A walker sitting down to take in the terrain around them.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 3 – Orientating Your Map to the Ground

    Orientating a map to the ground is a key skill and an important building block for developing your navigation skills. Orientating a map can be done using a compass and matching the map north with the compass north. However, this lesson will focus on how to orient your map without the help of a compass. This is important and will help you learn how to identify and match features on the map and the ground. Orientating a map means simply to line up the features on the map with those on the terrain in front of you. When doing this the map north will always match with the north on…

  • Grid references can be practiced anywhere. Here practicing navigation in the Peak District on a snowy day with a small country lane running to the distance along a fence, framed by snow covered fields.
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 2 – Why are Grid References so Important?

    I have decided to cover this important skill early into the series, as it is so crucial in an emergency situation. Knowing how to find out the grid reference of your location, either using a map or another tool, can make all the difference when things go wrong. It is especially important to know how grid references work, if you ever need to alert the Mountain Rescue, or another rescue service. The brilliant thing about grid references is that they will always accurately describe your location anywhere in the UK. Recently other services, such as the What3Words, have become popularised for the same purpose. However, there are reasons why these…

  • Mountain navigation in Torridon
    Navigation Lessons

    Compass Corner: Lesson 1 – How to Read a Map

    Are you interested in brushing up your navigation skills or learning how to read a map for the first time? This lesson will cover common maps used for outdoor activities in the UK, have a quick look at the common types of map symbols, and explain different map scales. The aim of this lesson is to help you to choose what type of map to use for your adventure and how to start using it for simple navigation and route planning. Learning to navigate in different circumstances will increase your confidence and allow you to move in the outdoors safely and independently! Learning how to read a map does not…

  • Map and compass are the key to learning navigation
    Navigation Lessons

    The Compass Corner – A New Series Of Free Navigation Lessons

    I am very excited to introduce you to my new series on navigation! I am an absolute map geek and love navigation in all its forms. The aim of this series is to teach a comprehensive range of navigation techniques. I firmly believe that anyone can learn navigation and the first 5 lessons are aimed at beginners! They cover how to learn navigation basics and start planning your own walks and hikes. The next 5 lessons build on these techniques and introduce navigating in more challenging terrain away from footpaths. The final 5 lessons cover advanced navigating techniques and navigating in poor visibility and dangerous terrain, as well as navigating…

  • Example of good layers for winter walking.
    Hiking & Camping

    Clothes for Cold: How to Layer for Autumn & Winter Walking

    With the temperatures quickly plummeting as the autumn approaches now is the time to think about your layers. Say goodbye to warm evening walks and no extra layers in your backpack. Instead it is time to prepare for anything the weather might throw at you. At this time of year, you can easily experience hailstorms and beautiful sunshine within the space of an hour. The effect of the wind on you will increase as the temperatures drop and it becomes ever more important to get your layers right. Getting caught out on the hills with the wrong clothing will not only make you have miserable time – it can also…

  • Wild camping by a loch in the Scottish Higlands
    Hiking & Camping

    Essential Guide: How to Wild Camp with Success

    Wild camping can be a magical experience. There is nothing better than waking up on a mountain and opening your tent door to the crisp morning air. And nothing makes me happier than rising up to make a steaming cup of coffee still wrapped up in the warmth of my sleeping bag. Cold crisp mornings when you can see your breath in the air are the best. Therefore, it is easy to understand the recent soaring popularity of camping and wild camping. However, frequently things are a little less idyllic and the morning starts with the dull sound of drizzle on your tent. And much too often people wake up…