As a climber, I have completed several indoor climbing and winter mountaineering courses but my technical climbing skills still leave a lot to be desired. I have mastered basic rope, ice axe and crampon skills but don’t practise them as often as I’d like. All too often I only find time for some wilderness backpacking in Europe or low-altitude scrambling in the UK. Regardless, I still have high hopes of climbing the seven summits. One day…
I’m always looking for new outdoor challenges (to add to my current bucket list of climbing the seven summits and sailing the Pacific Ocean). Completing some epic long-distance hiking trails sounds like the perfect challenge for me. Traipsing along quiet hiking trails in the backcountry for weeks on end is my idea of heaven (and I dare say Kia would enjoy the time away from me too!). But, which one to choose?
Below, I list some of the best long-distance hiking trails from around the world. From trail hiking to trail blazing, these present perfect ways to enjoy the wilderness, nature and seclusion I so often yearn for. Continue reading
I set out on a hiking trip to Jotunheimen National Park in Norway intent on climbing Galdhøpiggen, the highest mountain in Norway, Scandinavia and northern Europe.
Before we started Atlas & Boots, I used to take a hiking trip every summer from our base in the UK. Usually, I would grab a couple of shorter trips on home soil throughout the year and then head off in the summer to find more challenging terrain.
Sometimes, it was an exotic destination like Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and other times it was closer to home in Europe. In one of my many trips to Scandinavia, I set my sights on Norway. Continue reading
Knowing how to pack a backpack for hiking and camping trips will make expeditions of any length easier and more enjoyable.
I’ve written before about how to choose a backpack and why getting it right is so important. It should be noted, however, that even the best backpack in the world – poorly packed – can make a hiking trip frustrating at best and disastrous at worst. Continue reading
A comprehensive network of Oslo hiking trails is accessible from the city metro system. All offer great access to the outdoors and are easy to reach from the city centre.
The hiking trails around Oslo are similar to those in the rest of the country: clearly signposted, well maintained and often bookended with cosy cabins serving hot drinks and hearty food.
Trails in Norway are maintained by the excellent Norway Trekking Association (DNT). Their crowdsourced route planning sister site UT.no is also a great online resource full of hiking ideas, tips and maps. Continue reading
The best way to see the world’s greatest natural wonders is to visit the best national parks in the world. Thankfully, governments around the world have taken steps to preserve their areas of outstanding natural beauty, their diverse animal and marine life, and tracts of pristine wilderness.
From the plains and deserts of Africa to the waterfalls and glaciers of South America, every continent has something different to offer. Here we list the best national parks in the world by continent.
An aurora husky hike in Norway is an essential Arctic experience for all animal lovers. Even the arresting scenery plays second fiddle to these beautiful animals.
While Kia does not describe herself as an animal lover, I most certainly do. I grew up in the countryside always in the company of animals. Over the course of my childhood we kept dogs, cats, rabbits, guinea pigs and hamsters. The presence of animals in my life has had a lasting effect on me. Continue reading
It’s not just dizzying heights that make these the most dangerous hikes in the world. Prepare to contend with extreme weather, erupting volcanoes and dangerous wildlife on these hair-raising hikes. Continue reading
We take a look at the best countries for hiking, what makes them great trekking destinations and, of course, their finest trails.
Best trails: Pacific Crest, Appalachian and Continental Divide
Known for: Great Plains, Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Yellowstone and the Redwood Forest Continue reading
Since I first started climbing, I must have spent hours typing “when is the best time to climb…” into search engines and then crawling through websites to find the key piece of information I needed. Only when I have a date in mind can I start to think about the practicalities of actually trying to climb a mountain (i.e. booking time off work, flights, budget, gear etc).
To solve this problem once and for all, Atlas & Boots has put together a mountaineering calendar of the world’s greatest mountains and the optimal time of year at which to climb them. Continue reading
The seven second summits are considered to be a much harder mountaineering challenge than the more popular seven summits
Previously, I’ve written about my dream of climbing the seven summits and laid out a realistic if not deeply challenging and expensive program of how to achieve that goal. This week I look at the seven second summits; the second-highest mountains on each continent. The highest summits are a dream of mine, but I draw the line at the second-highest – they’re simply too scary for an amateur enthusiast like me! Continue reading
Knowing how to charge your gadgets in the wild could be a matter of survival or (more likely) avoiding boredom during a rainy day spent huddled under canvas.
Let’s face it: even if you’re a hardcore survivalist, a compass and map simply doesn’t cut it anymore. Whether it’s tracking your route with a hiking app, triangulating your position using GPS or letting your loved ones know you’re safe, adventurers these days rarely leave home without at least one electronic device. Continue reading
The South West Coast path, Britain’s longest national trail, has long been on my hiking to-do list. It’s one of the finest long distance hiking trails in the world and showcases Britain at its best. Tent on back, I set off for a taste this summer.
I would love to spend a couple of months hiking the entire path but I didn’t have time for a thru-hike this summer, so decided to complete a section between Newquay and Penzance in Cornwall. Continue reading
Having visited all 15 national parks in Britain, we take a look at our favourite five.
It was tough whittling down the list to just five. I had to leave out the Broads, Britain’s largest protected wetland which also happens to be in my home county of Norfolk. Likewise, the mountains and moorland of the Brecon Beacons didn’t quite make the cut. All 10 of Britain’s national parks that I’ve excluded arguably deserve a place in this list as they all offer something unique in their outstanding natural beauty. Continue reading
Hiking around Cappadocia in Turkey is a unique experience offering some of the most surreal scenery in the world. There are numerous options available, from brief walks to full-day treks and beyond. Below, we take a look at some short but sweet Cappadocia hikes offering excellent vantage points with extraordinary views.
We hired a car and sought out the trails on our own. If you prefer, you can opt to book a Cappadocia hiking tour that will cover all the below. Voyager Balloons offer customised itineraries and are a good option if you don’t have transport. Continue reading
Knowing how to choose a backpack will make your outdoor trip more enjoyable. Whether you’re on a day hike through gently rolling hills or an extended expedition crossing an ice shelf, getting this right will ensure comfort and reliability day after day. With this in mind we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on how to choose a backpack. Continue reading
Peter and I have a running joke that I’ve fallen off my bike in the most beautiful places in the world, from Bora Bora to the Galápagos Islands. The worst fall happened when cycling through the quiet country lanes of our tiny French village.
I hit the ground first with a knee, then a hip, then my head. Stupidly, I put my dirtied fingers into my mouth to check if I had lost a tooth. I hadn’t but there was plenty of blood. Later, I paid the price for this mistake. I spent the afternoon not only shaken by the accident but throwing up whatever nasty substance I had drawn into my mouth.
Thankfully, I’ve managed to avoid similar incidents while hiking but it’s likely a matter of time given that we at Atlas & Boots enjoy things like climbing Nevis Peak unguided and trekking active volcanoes. As such, I’ve put aside my complacency and put together a hiking first aid kit, perfect for those who wander outdoors. Here’s what’s in it. Continue reading
In general I don’t tend to spend much money on clothing and non-photography related gadgets. I am comfortable enough loafing around in jeans and a t-shirt. Added to that, I hate shopping with a vengeance. If I really focus I can avoid shopping malls for most of the year, succumbing only during the lead up to Christmas.
I spent eight years living in London, riding the crowded tube to work, fighting for space with those around me and standing in queues at bus stops, supermarkets, anywhere really – I am British after all. Naturally, this inspired daydreams of escaping it all and running off to the wilderness with only my backpack, tent, camping stove and a handful of freeze-dried meals.
About twice a year I managed to briefly abscond the confines of London, usually fleeing to the mountains of Norway, Austria or Scotland. In the last year, I’ve discovered plenty of unknown treks in the South Pacific but I still while away hours daydreaming of getting even further off the grid. Continue reading
Glamping in Devon is the perfect compromise for a wild camper and his outdoorsy-ish girlfriend.
I’ve often said that I’m most content when wild camping with everything I need on my back. Kia asked me recently why I like it so much. I told her that I love the simple life. I love being cut off from the hectic, modern world and being close to nature. A bit of a cliché I know, but true all the same.
Unfortunately, Kia doesn’t share quite the same enthusiasm. She loves nature and dramatic landscapes, but would rather return to a warm hotel and tasty meal instead of a damp sleeping bag and freeze-dried couscous. When we first met and discussed our dreams of seeing the world together, her sole request was that I keep her fed and keep her warm. It’s a plea that’s simple enough but I have at times pushed the boundaries. Continue reading