Moroccan Zen: September’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Oct 29, 2015 in Abroad, Bivvy, Climb, Morocco, Travel | No Comments
Moroccan Zen: September’s Outdoor Sleep

I found myself reaching for the word ‘Zen’ to describe the state of mind induced during and following my recent mountaineering trip to Morocco. But what exactly is Zen?  And why did this single three letter word seem to be a more accurate summation of my experience than any I might aspire to craft from the 8000 words […]

2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: August

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Camp, East Highlands, Scotland | No Comments
2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: August

My last night of camping in Canada was the 31st of July. This left August’s outdoor sleep outstanding, and much as I enjoy the outdoors, after a fortnight straight of camping I was ready to spend a bit of time in my house. But time, as ever, was short. After two weekends of settled living, there […]

Canadian Toilet Blackout: July’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Sep 18, 2015 in Abroad, Camp, Lavatorial Prose | No Comments
Canadian Toilet Blackout: July’s Outdoor Sleep

When holidays stop being fun I first encountered those grey shadow men when entered the world of work, men for whom holidays were not fun but duty or ordeal. I looked into their hollow eyes and knew that I could never become one of them. Years later, having assumed many of their characteristics; the receding […]

2015 Outdoor Sleeping: June

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Bike, Camp, East Highlands, Northwest Highlands, Walk | No Comments
2015 Outdoor Sleeping: June

Bikepacking test run I’ve always been a big fan of combining mountain biking and overnight trips. At first I would suffer an uncomfortable time carrying a pack, then I graduated to panniers. Panniers are great when you’re moving, but they make the bike extremely unwieldy when pushing uphill, through bog or across rivers. I became […]

Another two May microadventures

Posted by on Jun 16, 2015 in Camp, East Highlands | No Comments
Another two May microadventures

We spend so much time indoors, engaged in abstract work, breathing the stale air of the open plan office, drawing the blinds to shield our computer screens from the sun, sitting in meeting rooms exchanging bizarre Dilbert-speak with our co-workers. I am uncomfortably aware that this corporate work is moulding me into something far removed from […]

Riverside Tarp Camp: Chicken Roasting, Beer and a Flyfishing Masterclass

Posted by on Jun 8, 2015 in Books, Camp, East Highlands | 2 Comments
Riverside Tarp Camp: Chicken Roasting, Beer and a Flyfishing Masterclass

Sometimes our literary and actual worlds collide, it is as if we become characters in the book that we are reading, as if the author is narrating our own lives. I experienced such a collision recently, when I went out for a Friday night tarp camp with a friend. He had selected a campspot by […]

2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: May

Posted by on May 12, 2015 in Camp, Northwest Highlands | No Comments
2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: May

A Family Backpacking Adventure The landscape of Coigach was placed out of bounds to car-based campers with the closure of the Achnahaird bay campsite in 2008. At the time I wrote a piece celebrating what it had been, and lamenting the loss of a national treasure. A new site opened up on the opposite side of the […]

Forget Peak Oil and Peak Beard, we should be talking about Peak Children.

Posted by on Apr 25, 2015 in Commentary | No Comments
Forget Peak Oil and Peak Beard, we should be talking about Peak Children.

Older people – not children – will drive population growth in the 21st century There can be no doubt that population growth is one of the greatest challenges of our time, but the recent piece in Wired Magazine, entitled ‘The Biggest Threat to the Earth? We Have Too Many Kids’, which argues that the only way […]

2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: April

Posted by on Apr 13, 2015 in Camp, Southern Highlands and Argyll | No Comments
2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: April

Save some money by refilling your gas canisters….. The price of gas (butane / propane rather than petrol / gasoline) is a constant pre-occupation for the budget conscious camper.  I can’t bring myself to buy a nice lightweight 125 g canister when I could buy a 250 g canister for about a pound more. And then […]

2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: March

Posted by on Mar 23, 2015 in Bivvy, East Highlands | No Comments
2015 Monthly Outdoor Sleeping: March

Nowadays we spend so little time outside in the environment. It’s all too easy to pass precious family time in the shaded indoors, shouting at the children to watch less TV and to clear up mounds of plastic crap that until a generation ago didn’t exist. Only in the outdoors, in the absence of such vile intrusions, […]