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 | 4 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. […]

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 […]

Outdoor sleeping catchup March to July

Outdoor sleeping catchup March to July

Back in February I completed a year of sleeping outdoors at least once per month. I have continued the habit and have now notched up 17 months straight. Here’s a quick catchup. March – otter watching at a small and secret loch Secret loch Re-reading Barry Lopez’s accounts in ‘Arctic Dreams’ of the Eskimo’s amazing […]

Glen Affric Hammock Camp: December’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Jan 1, 2016 in Bivvy, Camp, Northwest Highlands | No Comments
Glen Affric Hammock Camp: December’s Outdoor Sleep

Hammock camp by Loch Beinn A’Mheadhoin I woke in a swaying hammock, too scared to peep over the rim in case four hundred pounds of muscle, tooth and claw was staring back at me. When I first attempted to sleep in a hammock, 13 years ago in the Tolumne Meadows area of Yosemite, this fear […]

Fedden and Loch Arkaig Corbetts: November’s Outdoor Sleep

Posted by on Dec 30, 2015 in Books, Camp, Walk, West Highlands | No Comments
Fedden and Loch Arkaig Corbetts:  November’s Outdoor Sleep

Meall an Tagraidh from Gleann Cia-aig The ruined house of Fedden lies to the west of the Great Glen, behind the great peaks of Meall na Teanga and Sron a’Choire Garbh. These are hill that I see often as I drive up and down the Great Glen.  An intriguing track snakes up to the Cam […]

Free Will meets Zen on Jura: October’s Outdoor Sleep

Free Will meets Zen on Jura: October’s Outdoor Sleep

On the weekend straddling October and November I drove south to rendezvous with nine other men, two of whom were the captain and crew of a fast boat. We travelled to the Isle of Jura, where I pitched my tent outside a bothy and spent much of the weekend inside, eating steak and drinking beer. […]

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 […]