Long summer evenings were made for little adventures. It’s time to stop seeing the working week as something to get through, (‘Hump Day’: ICK) and learn to savour hours of balmy sunshine. Tick off some of my favourite outdoor escapes and I promise you you’ll see week days in a whole new light.
A few things have inspired me to put this post together. Firstly, lots of you are searching for topics like ‘how can I be more adventurous?’. Ah, the eternal question! Secondly, I had a lovely Facebook message from a reader, thus: “Hey! Inspired by your blog and want to do the same thing as you. I don’t know anyone who is like me and I’ve been too nervous to get out and travel alone. What would you suggest I do?”. I feel ya, sister. So I asked lots of adventurous women for you and thought up some of my own advice. Here we go!
Lucky enough to have a Glasto ticket? Planning on moshing at Reading or Leeds? Taking the sedate path at a family-friendly shindig? Wherever you are heading, take heed of my definitive festival packing guide which I have compiled from the front line (a muddy field).
There are plenty of ways to explore spotless winter landscapes that don’t involve hurtling downhill on skis or a snowboard. In my latest column for The Independent’s travel pages I’ve got some great ideas for adventuring in snow – how about elk-spotting safaris in Norway or snowshoeing in Whistler?
Bouldering, sport climbing and general scrabbling around on rock faces is great fun, but it’s not very kind on your mitts. You’ll have to say goodbye to nice fingernails, but you can still keep your hands in reasonable shape with a bit of care.
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.
It’s cold and miserable outside. It’s dark by the time you get home. You ate a whole herd of Lindt chocolate reindeers over the Christmas break. I feel your pain, but I also have five ways to help you get through the chilly winter and stay happy and healthy till spring.
Screw you, consumerist-driven, money-mad Black Friday! Avoid mental shoppers and, instead, show some love and save some dosh by making these delightful outdoorsy trinkets, the perfect Christmas presents for adventure lovers.
Think making movies takes time, experience or fancy software? Think again. If you own a DSLR, a tripod and a couple of lenses you already have everything you need to find your inner videographer. I headed to the Forest of Dean with mountain biker Jake Ireland to create this beginner-friendly guide for Digitalcameraworld.com
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.
Do you like to ride your bike? Are you a lady (or indeed a man) who enjoys wearing skirts? This video is about to change things forever. The best life hack ever, and all you need is a penny. Check out the awesome lasses behind the revolution at Penny In Yo Pants.
Glastonbury may be over but never fear! There are plenty more opportunities to dance in mud with strange things in your barnet. Here are four easy ways to hide the greasy disaster that is festival hair, and the best news is that they all work better on unwashed locks. Clever eh?
If you want to ride to work on your bike but find the idea dodging traffic, staying dry and negotiating roundabouts a little overwhelming, I’m here to help! Here are my top tips for zipping about safely and stylishly, gleaned from years of cycling in cities and shouting at bus drivers.
Itching to get out on your bike this weekend? I’ve put together this handy guide to getting into long distance rides with cycling charity Sustrans. Just tick off these ten steps and you’ll be pedal ready.
Taking portrait photos is one of my favourite things about my day job, so I had a very nice time writing this beginner’s guide to reportage-style people pictures for issue 26 of N-Photo magazine and for digitalcameraworld.com. These shots are of the lovely baristas at the Society Cafe in Bath, but environmental portraiture is perfect for the great outdoors too – try shooting surfers with their boards, climbers gearing up or just your mates on a country walk.
I’m off to the French Alps this weekend, and in the process of getting out my favourite ski gear for another snowy adventure I’ve made a guide to layering up properly for the pistes. Plus you get to see me in a bra, so everyone’s a winner.
A vibrant city may seem an unlikely place to go foraging, but if you know where to look, Dublin’s bursting with edible goodies. So Visit Dublin asked foraging expert and restaurateur Paul Quinn of Nádúr Collective to share his foraging secrets on how to find everything from scurvy grass to elderflower in the city, and then super-talented artist Katt Frank turned his advice into this beautiful illustrated guide.
Feeling a little bit saddle sore? Total Women’s Cycling have just finished a new video series of yoga moves specifically for biking that will show you how to keep flexible and strong – perfect for training during the chilly winter.
Squeeze the last out of the Indian Summer by using the golden light of the evenings to beautifully backlight outdoor portraits. I wrote this guide for issue 23 of N-Photo magazine and digitalcameraworld.com.
Get inspired by my new girl hero, the rather amazing Rebecca Cork of Honeywoods Camping. She chucked in her day job to set up a pop-up camping company, and just hosted her very own mini festival, Feast in the Woods. We had a lovely chat about cider barns, campfires and compostable bogs.
If you’ve ever fancied chalking up your fingers and teaching your body to defy gravity, watch inspiring UK champ Shauna Coxsey talk about her love of climbing, plus tips on warming up and improving your footwork, in these videos from Adidas’ All In campaign.
I started last year and am addicted, despite my constantly blistered fingers.
We spent last weekend at a cottage on the Dorset coast enjoying the sunshine, and gorgeous gift website www.dotcomgiftshop.com sent me the loveliest gardeny things to take – some dinky coloured jamjar tealights, fun spotty bunting and a recycled picnic mat – Just add cider and good company.
I am beyond excited about January. Four days in Verbier followed swiftly by a week in Val Thorens means I can finally stop pretending that riding my bike really fast down hills feels a bit like skiing and actually SKI!
Travelling will give you an incredible insight into new cultures and people. It’ll give you a tan, an open mind and permanent wanderlust. But it can also leave you in debt or stranded without money, if you aren’t careful. Here’s how to sort money, plan costs and figure out international money transfer so you can get on with the important things, like moonlit beach parties and turning a lovely shade of brown.