Tag Archives: outdoors

cooking in the woods

With no plans and the start of a week long heat wave cranking up I was at a bit of a loose end on Sunday. Keen to get out and moving I decided to go for a long walk to the woods and cook my lunch.

To make things a little more interesting I decided to take my little twig stove, to light a real fire and cook over the flames.

The walk was along local country roads with hedgerows still in good colour but a real sense that autumn was coming with flowers past their best and berries starting to show.

The walk over was a very pleasant and warm 3k. Mostly downhill which obviously meant an uphill return! The woods were green and full of life but again some early adopters were starting to show signs of leaves turning.

I soon headed off track and into a heavily wooded area where I would have space to setup and be undisturbed. A lunch menu of smoked sausage, peppers, red onion and baked beans flavoured with a dash of sweet chilli sauce went down a treat with myself and Rosie also. A cup of tea to use the last of the coals before relaxing to enjoy the woods and let the fire burn out and cool down.

I went home a slightly different route which took me up the steep hill past Gleneely school before gradually descending and arriving home with 11k done and in a sweaty, sticky mess in the humid afternoon heat.

Having not done much walking since our holiday in June I definitely felt the hill in my glute muscles the following morning!

Video of my afternoon mini adventure at the YouTube link below

wild winter

Wild Winter by John D Burns and read by Stewart Crank.

From Audible:

In Wild Winter, John D. Burns, best-selling author of The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, sets out to rediscover Scotland’s mountains, remote places and wildlife in the darkest and stormiest months. He traverses the country from the mouth of the River Ness to the Isle of Mull, from remote Sutherland to the Cairngorms, in search of rutting red deer, pupping seals, minke whales, beavers, pine martens, mountain hares, and otters. In the midst of the fierce weather, John’s travels reveal a habitat in crisis, and many of these wild creatures prove elusive as they cling on to life in the challenging Highland landscape.

As John heads deeper into the winter, he notices the land fighting back with signs of regeneration. He finds lost bothies, old friendships and innovative rewilding projects, and – as Covid locks down the nation – reflects on what the outdoors means to hillwalkers, naturalists and the folk who make their home in the Highlands.

Wild Winter is a reminder of the wonder of nature and the importance of caring for our environment. In his winter journey through the mountains and bothies of the Highlands, John finds adventure, humour and a deep sense of connection with this wild land.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is a beautifully written and really well narrated book. I absolutely loved listening to it and it felt way too short.

The author has an amazing talent for describing outdoor scenes and environments. His skill takes you away from your current location and firmly plants you in the spot he is describing. His love of the outdoor life and his passion for the Scottish Highlands is evident all the way through and is inspiring.

Not only does he take us to the Highlands but he allows us a glimpse of the strong friendships he has built since childhood and the struggle he had coping with the lockdown at the start of Covid.

This is a hugely positive and uplifting book and definitely my favourite audiobook so far.

Header image source: fossbytes.com

welcome break

With a big Sale event at work to launch the new store it’s been a pretty busy few weeks. Wednesday was my first day off after working nine straight through and nine very busy days at that. As you may imagine a day off was very welcome.

I’d been keeping an eye on the weather and with a dry and sunny forecast I decided it was a perfect day for a longer walk and wanting something different I decided to walk to a small wooded area approximately 6km from home and to cook some lunch while sitting and enjoying the woods.

I packed a bag with a frying pan, some bacon and eggs and my Trangia stove. Not preparing the evening before I ended up doing everything in a bit of a rush and managed to forget a few things. The biggest thing I forgot was my fuel bottle so I only had what was remaining from my last time out. This was only half what I needed so I had to make a choice between a full lunch or skipping a cup of tea. In the end the tea won out.

The frying pan was too big for the stove and with the ground being more uneven than expected it was quite unwieldy and cumbersome. The uneven ground also resulted in mishaps with my water boiling and I managed to spill it twice! Despite all the things that went wrong I still learned some valuable lessons, had a really good time and enjoyed a great day for a walk. I initially expected a 13km walk but coming home by a slightly different route it ended up as 16.5km.

click here to view on strava

I’ve recently upgraded my cheapo Akaso action camera to a fancy new GoPro Hero 10 and Wednesday was my first real opportunity to try that out too. I didn’t know what to expect so was very impressed with the quality of the video compared to the old one. The sound quality was also superb but this was more expected. I put together a video of the day and it’s live on YouTube if you want to have a look at the link below. I’m looking forward to seeing exactly what the GoPro is capable of on outings over the next few months.

Header image by Pixabay from Pexels

micro adventures

Micro Adventures by Alastair Humphreys

From Audible:

Adventure something that’s new and exhilarating, outside your comfort zone. Adventures change you and how you see the world, and all you need is an open mind, bags of enthusiasm and boundless curiosity.

So whats a microadventure? Its close to home, cheap, simple, short and 100 percent guaranteed to refresh your life. A microadventure takes the spirit of a big adventure and squeezes it into a day or even a few hours.

The point of a microadventure is that you don’t need lots of time and money to meet a new challenge. This practical guide is filled with ideas for microadventures for you to experience on your own or with friends and family, plus tips and advice on safety and kit.

Whether its sleeping on a hilltop or going for a wild swim, cycling a lap of the Isle of Wight or walking home for Christmas, it’s time you discovered something new about yourself and the world outside your window. Adventure is everywhere, every day, and it is up to us to find it.

My Rating: ⭐⭐⭐

Interesting concept but more aimed at someone who has little or no experience of the outdoors. It’s well enough written and the author narrates it with passion and enthusiasm but I did find it a bit repetitive on the “bivvy after work” theme. It definitely has encouraged me to make plans for the summer and not to let excuses get in the way though.

Some of the final resource and ideas chapters are very useful and I did find some good hints and tips there. Worth reading or listening to but maybe better from a library rather than buying.

Header image source: fossbytes.com