Changing Plans in the Caucasus, Part 1

Posted by on Oct 29, 2017 in Abroad, Climb, Georgia, Travel | No Comments
Changing Plans in the Caucasus, Part 1

Nothing went according to plan on this mountaineering trip to Georgia and Armenia.  Which is probably why it was so much fun. The Caucasus have rarely been more prominent in the British consciousness. Two recent TV series have featured the region, Levison Wood’s “From Russia to Iran: Crossing the Wild Frontier” and “Russia with Simon Reeve”. […]

The Bevvy Bivvy

Posted by on Jul 13, 2017 in Bivvy, Walk, West Highlands | No Comments
The Bevvy Bivvy

“Right,” I announced, swaying slightly in the near dark as I swirled the dregs of my can. “I’m going to crack open another beer for the final push to the summit”. My brother leant forward, bracing himself for a hearty guffaw. “You do realise that you said exactly the same thing, standing on exactly the […]

Packrafting the River Nairn OR Carlos Castaneda as Self Help for the Recently Redundant

Posted by on Jun 30, 2017 in East Highlands, Packraft | 2 Comments
Packrafting the River Nairn OR Carlos Castaneda as Self Help for the Recently Redundant

Before I left corporate work I experienced some anxiety that after 15 years my job may have become a larger part of my identity than I had acknowledged, that I might miss some aspect of it when it was gone. Two months out these fears seem to have been unfounded. It is incredibly liberating to […]

Tour de Cairngorms Bikepacking Trip

Posted by on Jun 21, 2017 in Bike, Camp, East Highlands | No Comments
Tour de Cairngorms Bikepacking Trip

In late May I spent four days cycling around the Cairngorms with my friend Donald. This ride has been on my radar for many years but I have never actually allocated the time to it. What better opportunity than now, as a redundant man? Conditions were perfect, warm, sunny and with river levels so low I was […]

National Cycle Route 78 and the Great Glen Way by MTB

Posted by on May 3, 2017 in Bike, Camp, Scotland, West Highlands | 5 Comments
National Cycle Route 78 and the Great Glen Way by MTB

Every working day for the last 12 years I have used my swipe card to raise the same striped barrier. No longer.  On April 7th I handed in my card, laptop and phone and left the protective umbrella of corporate work behind. Though I am excited about the future this change has inevitably left a hole in my life. My […]

Packraft Camp at Whiteness Head – March’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Mar 28, 2017 in Camp, Climate, Earth, East Highlands | No Comments
Packraft Camp at Whiteness Head – March’s Outdoor Sleep

I’m now at 25 months of sleeping outdoors at least once a month. One might imagine that it would get easier after two years, but I still experience an inbuilt resistance to leaving my warm house and comfortable bed for the dark unknown.  Even when my logical mind knows that I am bound for a pleasant […]

Fear of the Dark: February’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Feb 23, 2017 in Camp, East Highlands, Outdoor Sport, Scotland | No Comments
Fear of the Dark: February’s Outdoor Sleep

Fear of the dark is a fundamental part of the human condition, dating back millions of years to when we were hominids on the African savannah, sleeping alongside nocturnal hunters capable of snatching us from our nest and dragging us, screaming, into the night. The nature of our fear of the dark has evolved with us. […]

This Green Winter Bivvy is a Sign of Things To Come

Posted by on Feb 6, 2017 in Bivvy, Climate, Commentary, East Highlands | No Comments
This Green Winter Bivvy is a Sign of Things To Come

This month I have a bit of climate chat for you. As you can see from the accompanying photo of my ice-encrusted bivvy bag, my January sleep was chilly but not particularly wintery. Not only is there no snow at my bivvy spot, there is barely a scrap of the white stuff to be seen […]

Glen Feshie Hammock Camp: December’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Jan 2, 2017 in Bivvy, East Highlands | 2 Comments
Glen Feshie Hammock Camp: December’s Outdoor Sleep

Here we are at the start of another year. I have resolved to make 2017 a year of writing. This blog will be updated at least fortnightly and I am going to complete two longer projects, a non-fiction book that I started back in 2014 and a short e-book on my 2016 mountaineering trip to […]

Outdoor sleeping catchup: August to November

Posted by on Nov 20, 2016 in Camp, Canoe, Northwest Highlands, Walk, West Highlands | No Comments
Outdoor sleeping catchup: August to November

I’m now at 21 months straight on this monthly outdoor sleeping challenge and have a real mixed bag over the summer and autumn- from the enlightenment inducing Tien Shan mountains of Kazakhstan to a hungover doss in Strontian campsite. Going to make more of an effort to keep up to date from now on! Loch […]