Searching for a little adventure inspiration? I joined the awesome Jake Thompsett of JT Expeditions for an expedition training hike through the beautiful hills of the Brecon Beacons and asked him for his five top pieces of advice for multi-day hiking.
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.
Other girls may lust over Louboutins, but I like hiking boots. I really like hiking boots. Mainly because I can actually walk around in them without falling over. Here’s my review of how my latest pair, HiGear Snowdown women’s walking boots, £44.99 from Go Outdoors, have dealt with a Christmas full of hills, dales and healthy doses of mud.
A few weeks ago my favourite music website For Folk’s Sake asked me to have a chat with wandering folk minstrel, Johnny Flynn, about new album Country Mile. Here’s a snippet from the full interview on how Johnny finds inspiration in walking and the great outdoors (of course).
From bracing cliff hikes to autumn leaf-stomping riverside strolls, there’s no shortage of appealing places ramble about in this autumn. Lace up your boots, whack out the waterproofs and don’t forget some dosh for a well-deserved post-walk pub lunch.
While London may an awesome city to set up camp in, those living in the Big Smoke’s urban sprawl may sometimes find they yearn for the opportunity to escape to the country, if only for a hipster-free afternoon of mud and cheaper beer in country pubs. Here’s a quick guide to 10 walks that are easily accessible from the capital:
I like post. Especially when it’s a box containing a lovely new pair of Hi-Tec Lynx trail hiking boots (£54.00) from the very nice people at Go Outdoors. My new boots are a pretty dove grey and they are all soft and suedey. But are they as comfy as they look?
It doesn’t get much more authentically Finnish than waking up in Lapland in a cosy log cabin overlooking a misty lake in the middle of nowhere, having a breakfast of rye porridge, salmon and cheese and heading off for a walk along the attractively named Small Bear’s trail, the 12km Pieni Karhunkierros.
It doesn’t get much more beautiful than Finland’s Nuuksio National Park, which may be only an hour from central Helsinki but feels like a million miles away in both space and time. Unspoilt and untouched, the semi-wilderness stretches for miles – glassy lakes, springy moss, tiny log huts with open wooden fires, blueberries underfoot. The lovely Karina Kold, who ventured into the forest with me and 18 other student journalists, wrote this fantastic blog about our adventures and kindly said I could post it here.
The Girl Outdoors has been a bit quiet recently, mainly because the only downfall of actually being out and about outdoors is a lack of internet connection on remote beaches or in pineforests. Now that I am back in civilization and in posession of a laptop and WIFI I can actually start blogging about said beaches and forests, namely in Nova Scotia and Finland, starting with a review of the bit of equipment that actually got all my stuff from place to place – my gorgeous new Gelert 55l rucksack, courtesy of the friendly people at Outdoor Look (£48.15). The Gelert Wilderness is one of those backpacks that looks great and allows you to laugh at people with wheelie suitcases in a hardcore traveller kind of way, but does it do the job as well as look the part?
Last weekend a gang of 13 of us packed into some small, unreliable cars and drove from Cardiff to Snowdon. Watch out for a proper post on how much my buttocks ached after scaling the peak, coming soon! However the mountain was also the perfect place to give my pretty new Keen boots (which cost £76.49 on Web Togs) a real work out, and to see if they could go the distance without giving me blisters.
This is what happens when you take three mates (one of whom has IMovie and a great desire to avoid doing revision) and go on this walk to the waterfalls at Ystradfellte in the Brecon Beacons national park.
It is very very cold in our house, as we are poor students who skimp on electricity bills and we live in Wales, not best known for its sunshiney weather. For this reason, I spend most of my time in industrial-strength socks, and thus am a bit of a sock expert. So I was pretty excited to get my hands on a pair of fluffy black and silver Hiker Heavy Crew socks by Icebreaker. They sell for £14.95 so you’d expect toasty feet. As with all my journalistic endeavours, I did not approach my review half-heartedly.