10 Tips to Help You Feel Safe and at Ease When Wild Camping

Greetings Adventure Fans, here’s the third in a series of ‘how to’ blog posts, designed to equip you with all the knowledge you need to get out wild camping. You can catch up on the other posts in the series here.

On todays hit list – the legalities of wild camping, and tips on feeling safe and at ease when you’re having a slumber party with nature.

Today’s post is co-written by Chief Adventure Queen, Emma Frampton, otherwise known as ‘Framps’.


WHOOP WHOOP (IS THAT THE SOUND OF THE PO-LICE?)

If we’re going to be totally honest (my mum always told me to tell the truth)… wild camping is ‘technically’ illegal in most of the the UK. It becomes legal when you ask the ‘land owners’ permission (whether the land owner is the government or it’s privately owned), you choose to wild camp in Scotland (totally legal and awesome), or in certain parts of Dartmoor.

That said, it’s not like we’re running around robbing banks (all whacked up on Scooby snacks) here. So there are ways to go about wild camping that will keeps things on the down-low, and make you feel a little bit more comfortable about it all.

The number of people sleeping Wild in the UK has grown massively over the past few years. The way I see it, so long as we operate on a ‘leave no trace’ policy – we’re doing no harm out there.

Continue reading

5 STEPS TO FINDING A WILD CAMP SPOT

Sometimes the hardest thing in getting out there adventurin’ is not knowing quite where to begin. In a recent Adventure Queens survey we found that the second biggest thing from stopping people going wild camping, is not knowing how to find a good spot for a wild night out. So below are the five steps that I go through myself before heading out there.

ONE: THINGS TO ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU START

No one likes too much choice – choice can be debilitating. We don’t want finding a wild camp spot to end up like a trip to the milk aisle in the supermarket (do I want almond, soya, skimmed, goats, semi-skimmed….. COCONUT?)

So here are a list of questions to ask yourself before even starting the search for a spot – they’ll help you home in on what’s going to make it is great night out on the forest-tiles. Continue reading

The 5 Things You Need To Go Wild Camping

This is the first in a series of ‘how to’ posts on wild camping. This summer, I’m ramping up the vibe with the Adventure Queens – encouraging as many women in the UK and abroad to get out wild camping. That’s not to say this post isn’t for you boys too however.

If you’d like to register for updates on all things Adventure Queens, you can do that here.

We’ve sat down at Adventure Queen HQ, eaten copious packets biscuits, drunk many cups of coffee and pulled together a recommended kit list based on favourites that have been tried and tested, as well as advice from other adventurers.

When it comes to outdoors kit, we definitely agree with what your mum says:  ‘you get what you pay for’ and the good old ‘buy cheap, by twice’. That said, you don’t want to be splashing all your hard earned spondoolies on something you’re not sure you enjoy yet. So we’ve giving options for ‘just giving it a bash’ and ‘keen for the long haul’ below. Don’t forget that borrowing is an option too – borrowing is very 2017 dahhlings.  Continue reading

Riding The Rollercoaster: 10 Tips To Cope With The Post-Adventure Blues

Hello darkness my old friend, I’ve come to talk with you again.

Simon and Garfunkel’s lyrics could not be more appropriate as I stare down the barrel at a period of confusion, frustration, sadness and anxiety that inevitably follows a large adventure.

Although this article focuses on the post-adventure blues, I’ll be quick to add that the topics discussed could quite easily relate to many other milestones in a person’s life. A big project at work. Writing your first book. Completing your first half-marathon. Getting married. Anything which you have worked tirelessly for, and focussed single-mindedly on for a significant period of time – only to find yourself on the other side of it and asking ‘Now what?’

To invent your own life's meaning is not easy, but it's still allowed, and I think you'll be happier for the trouble. (22)

As I write this I have been home from the Andes Mountains for almost three weeks. There I pedalled for 6 months – covering 9,000km through three countries and tackling over 100,000 metres of ascent. But I know full well that the challenges of the road pale in comparison to the challenge of returning home.

I’m rather proud of how I’ve done on the blues front so far. Alas, this week they have proudly announced their arrival. Characterised by a desire to lock myself away and not speak to anyone, bouts of frustration, teariness, feelings of hopelessness and an overwhelming sense that I am wriggling in a pool of quicksand, and could go under at any minute.

So let us start with where it all begins…. Continue reading

Book suggestions: A reading list to keep you sane for 6 months

Books, glorious books! One of the best things about adventure is the gift of time. Hours spent turning pedals on deserted trails means hours dedicated to listening to audiobooks, and long evenings in the tent means time to curl up with my Kindle.

I’m always looking for inspiration on what to read or what to listen to next – so I thought I’d share my reading list from the last six months with you all.

If you’ve read any of these titles and want to add your thoughts, or have a questions about a specific book – go buck wild and leave a comment at the bottom. Enjoy!

THE TEN BOOKS I ENJOYED THE MOST

1. The War of Art: break through your blocks and win your inner creative battles – by Steven Pressfield

Pressfield is an absolute genius, with a fascinating personal story about his own journey to success. If you’re a creative soul – this book explains why sitting down to do your work is a real struggle, and offers tips on how to get your muse to ‘show up’ every day. Expect a gigantic kick up the bum.

The-War-of-Art_straight_1024x1024 Continue reading

A 6 month journey to ‘the end of the world’

Greetings from Ushuaia: ‘fin del mundo’ – the end of the world!

The next land mass from here is Antarctica, and we don’t fancy going there (not yet at least). After 9,000 kilometres travelled, three countries, ten border crossings and over 103,000 metres ascended through the Andes Mountains on bikes — now seems like as good a time as any to stop.

Where in the blazes do I begin with the summing up of a six month journey? I’m going to start where you should always start when feeling a little overwhelmed— where it is the most marvellous.

MY FRIEND FAYE, AND I 

Faye and I were putting up our tents for the final time last night when she paused, mid construction, a tent peg in one hand and her ground sheet in the other:

‘Anna…’ she said.

‘Yes mate?’ I stopped wrestling with my own pop-up-palace, and looked across at her.

‘I think we’ve done really well, you know. I don’t mean the cycling, I mean… well… us.’

I smiled. ’Well?! I think ‘well’ is an understatement Faye-bomb! It’s not normal, living the way we have. It’s enough to drive you bananas. And we still very much like bananas.’

There was a moment of silence.

‘I think it’s been the best thing, you know. Us two.’ Faye continued quietly.

‘Me too mate, me too.’ I replied. We smiled at one another, and then went back to putting up our tents, just as we have done almost every night for the past half a year. Continue reading

Playing Frozen Footsie With Mount Fitz Roy

‘Ummm, Faye. I’m worried I might have gone mental.’

‘Huh? Why?’ Says Faye absently mindedly from the bed adjacent to mine.

‘Well, my toes are itchy. They were itchy last night, and they’re itching now.’

‘What kind of itchy?’ Faye enquires.

‘Like a stingy, burny kind of itchy…’

‘Get your sock off then, let’s have a look.’

Sitting on a bed in a hostel, in the town of El Chaltén, I remove my left sock.

‘Woah!’ Says Faye, leaning in to get a closer look. ‘Mate – that is not good.’

Staring back at us from behind my recently removed left sock are four puffy, red, swollen toes. The skin on them has taken on a shiny quality, on account of it being stretched rather thin. Only my biggest toe seems to have escaped the plight.

I think back to the previous day’s events: wading through icy rivers, followed by six hours spent shivering at the dockside ferry shack. Evidently my toes took a battering. There was no hope of playing ‘this little piggy went to market’, because all of the piggies were ice blocks. Continue reading

The real secret to lighting a fire (it’s not what Ray Mears would say)

‘It’s going to go out, it’s going to go out, it’s going to… Oh bugger It’s gone out.’ I slouch backwards and sigh.

Faye and I are sat outside our tents around our MSR Whisperlite stove willing it not to die on us. Our green soup cups are half-filled with dried mashed potato flakes, cold cut up sausages lay dormant on the upturned soup cup lids, and a slab of cheese has been delicately carved into chunks – patiently waiting to be plunged into a steaming pile of mashed potato.

Alas, there sits the water in the pan, cold still, over a flame that simply will not stay lit. We unscrew the red petrol canister and peer inside. There seems to be rather a lot of ‘black stuff’ and so we conclude that the fuel will filled up with in Coyhaique must been of a less than ideal quality. Continue reading

Me, Robinson Crusoe and the O’Higgins Glacier

Today we went glacier hunting.

I am slumped over the railings on the top floor of the ‘Robinson Crusoe’. The boat is rolling from side to side, causing me to brace my legs against the slippery white deck. My stomach feels like a washing machine set to spin mode. Bile is mixing with this morning’s breakfast of eggs, cheese, bacon and orange juice. Each sideways lurch is mirrored in my stomach as the contents slosh back and forth.

I change tact and try to concentrate on my breathing. Inhale. Exhale. I focus on the feeling of the cold wind across the back of my neck and over my bare hands, but it’s no use. Peeling open my eyes, I lift my head to see if looking at the horizon will help. A wave of nausea soon hits the back of my throat, and so I quickly stuff my head back down between my arms. I swear that I am going to vomit any second now

‘Why, oh why, did you agree to come on this sodding boat, Anna?’ I ask myself. ‘You know you ALWAYS get sea sick.’ Continue reading