Plans

Wild Camping in Scotland

Camping in Scotland

I’ve got a big case of super itchy feet. No, I don’t mean a case of atheletes foot I’m talking about needing to get out into the open, ditch the job and housework for a bit and get away from it all.

With several successful camping/mountain biking trips to Scotland, the Peak District and Wales under our belt we’ve been scheming for some time about taking it up a notch and doing a fly/bike/camp trip to the Sierra Nevada range in Spain. Obviously without our usual accompaniment of the car we’ll have to travel lighter and smarter so we plan to give this a couple of trial runs during August.

First we’re going to buy a new lighter weight 2 man tent. Our existing tent, albeit fairly new and only used several times is very heavy with a medium sized porch on the front. Great when we drive somewhere and have the luxury of dragging it out of the back of the car but about 6kgs heavier than you need on your back while biking a sweet piece of singletrack.

We also need some sleeping mats since the mechanically self inflating airbed we usually drag along for comfort again would be akin to having Cameron piggyback us the entire journey. While searching around the net this morning I found www.alpkit.com who have an excellent site, well priced stuff and very favourable reviews around the net from users of their stuff. They have sleeping mats which will be just what we need and they offer a cheaper deal when you buy 2! What more could I ask for? Well, that they’re comfy to sleep on – so I’ll report back on that when I’ve tried and tested them.

Before Wil and I go away mid August, I’m off on a camping trip with my little brother. I think the plan is to head to the Brecon Beacons in Wales to check out a route with the potential for biking/hiking and wild camping. Although we’re driving to this area we’ll have some distance to go via bike/foot so I intend to pack as though I’d travelled there without the car. This is when I’ll be giving the new tent and sleeping mat the maiden voyage.

Mid August Wil and I are planning to bike the South Downs Way. Starting in Winchester and ending in Beachy Head where we’ll throw ourselves off the cliff. Yeah, not likely…if I make it the entire 100 miles in two days I shall be hanging around for many years to remind Cameron of that achievement when he’s a lazy teenager slobbed out on the sofa playing his 9th hour on the Xbox.. “In my day”….

If these trips go well, we’ll pick through the things we learnt and pack them in a small bag to try the Spain trip.

On the topic of camping, biking and walking and being environmentally friendly I’m pleased to report I have only used the car once in the last week when Cameron and I needed to go to the shop and had minimal time to get there and back, the rest of the time I’ve biked or scootered to where I needed to be. The new purchase of the Astravan (Arsetra) is proving to be a good trade for the 4×4 we had since at last check Wil said it’d done 500 miles to less than 3/4 of a tank of diesel. Numbers we like to hear.

If you haven’t ditched your car yet – what are you waiting for? If you work within 5 miles you really have no excuses not to try biking. Even if you only bike or walk to replace one potential car trip per week it’s making a small difference to the world and a great benefit for yourself and your ever expanding arse.

If I can’t convince you let the guys at www.alpkit.com try…

“Luckily we have a reasonably interesting trail to and from work at around 11km each way, mixing road, single track, up-hills and down-hills. With the majority of it avoiding the main roads, it was actually nice to leave the car keys at home and get the legs pumping. While it might not be as convenient and quick as the car, it certainly helps clear any cobwebs before or after work. It’s not always fun, if I’m tired, the weathers not so good, need to get home quickly or I have to carry lots of stuff, so I’ll still drive in sometimes, but the hard parts been done, breaking the self imposed reliance on the car”.

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2 Comments »

  1. I love how passionate you are about this. Luckily I’m not on your hit list because I walk to work.

    How are the push ups going? I have stopped this week!! aaargh

    Must get back into it tonight – have got sidetracked by accident….

  2. foxsden said

    Thank you.. and no, you’re not on the list.. it’s reserved for lazy buggers!

    Pushups are going ok but I’ve arrived at the realisation that I just can not do proper pushups so I’m sticking with the girly ones. Get back on it girl… I love it when I glance down at my arms when I’m sat at my desk and notice tone that I didn’t have before, same goes for the abs I’ve got from doing the plank exercise. Definately keep it up at least until you see the results and then it won’t be so hard to stick to.

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