Balmy summer days call for sleeping out under the stars, so get your mitts on the fantastic Coleman Bering four-man tent from Outdoor World Direct. Easy to assemble and with plenty of room for all your mates, this is the perfect tent to take on your adventures, and I’ve got one worth £199 give away.
What are you up to this weekend? Can you squeeze in a last-minute adventure? Whatever you’ve got planned you can get kitted up at TK Maxx‘s fantastic Outdoor World event, which is filling stores with amazing kit at fantastic prices. They set me the challenge of popping in to a store and seeing what #RidiculousPossibilities I could create with what I found.
I’m trying to film more of my adventures this year, and while it’s hard to lug my D-SLR along on a bike packing trip or a gallop on horseback, I hope these iPhone video snaps make for a nice taste of how it feels to wake up and go walking in one of the most beautiful places in Britain.
In deepest darkest February I headed to Snowdonia to climb Crib Goch. My mountain-goat mates Gavin, Chris and I set up camp in the darkness and woke by the side of a tarn in a peaceful valley at the foot of Snowdon. Bleary-eyed, we packed up and set off along the Pyg track, past various ominous signs warning that the narrow grade 1 scramble we had in mind was ‘for expert climbers only’. Hmm. Whilst technically not difficult, the ridge definitely isn’t a walk in the park – I was glad of my years of bouldering and often had nothing but a wobbly grip on icy rocks with sheer drops to either side.
The wind buffeted us as we stopped for essential sustenance (pork pies) and then clambered up to the highest ridge. And there the wind suddenly dropped and all around us were silent, snow-clad peaks, green valleys and mirror-like lakes. I could have looked at the view forever but daylight was precious, so we strapped on crampons for the slick, icy path back down, where we promptly headed to Llanberis to thaw out in a warm pub. The perfect weekend.
Last Autumn I went on an epic walk with Exodus to the summit of Mount Kenya. It took five days to reach the top, where I had a little cry. Let’s blame that on the altitude.
Here’s my pretty much verbatim diary of a trek through some of the most beautiful scenery on the planet whilst wearing dodgy socks and eating ginger biscuits on a tactical basis.
Sunny meadows, secret coves, sleepy fishing villages, pasties to stuff in your face – Cornwall was made for proper summer camping adventures, just like the ones you went on as a little’un. Pack a tent and a surfboard and spend your days exploring Kernow’s loveliest places and your nights kipping under a sky full of stars at one of these brilliant campsites.
Crackling logs, the smell of canvas, charcoal-like marshmallows burning your fingers… camping is pretty great, isn’t it? If the weather’s looking on the clement side and you’re itching to run for the hills and set up a tent in the wilderness, here’s a handy camping packing list of all the essentials you need to stay warm and dry. Plus whisky. Don’t forget the whisky.
I’ve teamed up with wonder vegetable Tenderstem® and the lovely Josh of the Guyrope Gourmet to create a set of easy recipes that celebrate al fresco eating in the beautiful British countryside. If you’re after no-fuss, fresh and healthy food for camping trips and hiking adventures I reckon you’ll love making these.
A picture from our weekend under canvas on the Isle of Purbeck, taken by Gavin Kennard. Because home is where you pitch it (or something poncy like that).
Just FYI, I love it when people suggest ideas for new blog posts. So with thanks to Jessica Renz, here’s some tips on to look passably normal in the great outdoors, even if you’re spending a week under canvas in the wilds or throwing some shapes at a grungy festival.
It’s time for chilly autumn evenings! And cuddly knitted jumpers and leaves the colour of sunsets and crackly campfires and all the other lovely things that make poor old unappreciated autumn my favourite season. Celebrate by wandering into the woods this weekend, fixing up a crackling fire and cooking my five favourite zero-fuss camping recipes with some of your nice mates.
My brilliant friend Bobby Downs taught me how to make all-American s’mores when we went hiking in the Catskills, so I asked him to write down this extreme(ly delicious) way of toasting marshmallows over a fire.
My friend Matt has a little bit of woodland tucked away in the Wye valley, complete with tiny cabin kitted out with a stove and a sofa, a very sophisticated stick system for cooking over a campfire and lots of beer.
Off to a festival this month? There’s no need to slum it in a sea of sweaty tents – sleep in style in a bell tent, camper van or even a comfy lodge.
My guide to Bear Grylls-style skills for the next time you get lost in the woods. Because, you know, your iPhone might not have any signal. Just make sure you have a few matches on you…
Super chilled, lush green in hue and dotted with surf-friendly beaches, secret woodlands and cool camping spots, the Isle of Wight deserves its growing rep as a hip island getaway, and camping is the best way to experience its beauty. Here’s my little guide to the best places to stay and the nicest things to do on the IOW, from hanging out in Airwave trailers to making friends with alpacas named Wallace and Gromit.
My pick of the top camping titles just in time for a summer of sleeping under stars and canvas, including essential info on where to pitch your tent and what to cook up on the campfire.
Josh Sutton, aka the Guyrope Gourmet, is not a fan of baked beans. Instead, he likes nothing more than to haul fresh neck fillets of lamb and a bottle of red wine across the Howgills, start up a fire and have a very civilized al fresco feast. With camper van Nan the Van in tow, he’s on a mission to revolutionize camping cookery. He told The Girl Outdoors about buying local, essential gear and his favourite foodie festivals.
If you’re stranded in the dark, your best resource is the night sky above you. Rich Johnson explains how to use the stars to guide you home.
If you’re as much of a fan as I am of going off on adventures down rivers in wooden canoes, Famous Five Style (lashings of ginger beer optional), you may have used a storm kettle before. If you haven’t, it’s going to be your new best friend, and I’ve got one to give away, too!
Leaky tents, muddy fields and tepid baked beans do not a happy weekend of camping make, but tend to be the inevitable reality. Luckily, the discerningly stylish outdoorsy enthusiast can now enjoy the great outdoors without getting her designer Hunter wellies dirty via the genius of glamping.
No longer must Glastonbury festival involve babywipe showers, or communing in nature mean chilblains and nettle rash, opt instead for a cosy yurt, some posh picnic food and a gang of friends for the ultimate in hippy chic weekends away.
The lovely Elizabeth Grant rounds up some fun and easy ways to get outdoors this summer.
I’m heading to Glastonbury next week, and am so excited I’m a bit worried I’m going to burn out before I even get there. The amount of bands I want to see and muddy dancing I want to do means I’m going to need a mega-comfy sleeping bag to see me through the long weekend, so I was very excited when Tesco sent me a big squashy package in the post: a Gelert Lakeside Deluxe sleeping bag (£45.00). As I was off camping last weekend I thought I’d give it a test run and see if it was up to a hardcore week of moshing.
Missed out on Glastonbury tickets? Or feeling the pinch and want the outdoors experience for less? These beauties are the finest fests in the land, all for under 100 squids, chosen and (on the whole) personally experienced by me. Book tickets now and get ready for a very chilled out summer.
This is essential knowledge for the outdoorsy type as you never know when you could come across a Grizzly up a mountain. Unfortunately, opinions seem to vary on what to do when there’s a big bear snarling in front of you, quite possibly because some do not live explain their failed methods to pacify their fuzzy attacker. I have, however, compiled for you an extensive list of advice and know-how, so at least you’ll be spoiled for choice when faced with something that does not in any way act like Yogi Bear, Paddington Bear or, indeed, the Care Bears.