Why Greta Thunberg makes us so uncomfortable

A school-age climate activist has made us face some harsh home truths.

Greta Thunberg is a threat. She’s a threat to the multi-billion dollar livestock industry and the mighty fossil fuel lobby. In fact, she’s a threat to our very way of life. She calls into question the idea that we – as free-willed, self-determining individuals – should have the right to consume as much as we want, be it travel, food or leisure. 

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30 most beautiful mountains in the world

The most beautiful mountains in the world have captivated climbers for centuries. Here, we examine their lethal appeal.

“You are not in the mountains. The mountains are in you,” said John Muir, the renowned naturalist, author and environmental philosopher.

If our resident seven-summit hopeful is an apt barometer, Muir makes a valid point. Those who spend time in the mountains seem to be driven by a deeper force. These brave men and women will face vertiginous vertical falls, sub-zero temperatures and 8,000m death zones in pursuit of their summit dreams. It’s in ode to them that we present this list.

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As a traveller, not travelling

Kia takes stock of the past year and shares what it’s like to stay in one place.

The last 12 months have brought immense amounts of change for us here at Atlas & Boots. A year ago, Peter and I were living out of Airbnbs while house-hunting in the Yorkshire Dales. We viewed 22 properties, put half-hearted offers in for two of them and then saw our 23rd house which we fell in love with. It wasn’t perfect (no outdoor space and in need of a lot of work), but the 300-year-old stone cottage with its wooden beams and cobbled street seemed perfect for a writer. If you stick your head out of the skylight, you can even see a castle. 

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Tall stories: 25 best climbing documentaries

The best climbing documentaries showcase the world’s finest climbers pitting their skills against the world’s toughest climbs.

Recently, we watched two great climbing documentaries: the acclaimed Free Solo (2018) at our local cinema and then The Dawn Wall (2018) on Netflix.

Both films focus on attempts on Yosemite’s El Capitan via different routes and using different climbing styles. While Alex Honnold’s free solo of El Capitan was perhaps the most vertigo-inducing film we’ve ever seen, it was the human story behind Tommy Caldwell in The Dawn Wall that we found more compelling.

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How to choose a waterproof jacket: a buying guide

Our detailed guide on how to choose a waterproof jacket will help you find the gear that best suits your needs.

A waterproof jacket is an essential piece of outdoor kit and should be in everyone’s backpack whether you’re hiking, climbing or cycling. 

Knowing how to choose a waterproof jacket, however, can feel a bit like alchemy. With so many different fabrics, constructions and features used in outdoor clothing, selecting the right jacket has become a real test.

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Countries that eat the most meat

The countries that eat the most meat are causing significant damage to the planet. It’s time to take responsibility and change the habits of a lifetime.

There is very little left to debate on the subject. Simply put, the world must reduce the amount of meat it eats. In 2011, the world population reached seven billion and it’s now around 7.7 billion. As the global population continues to skyrocket, the planet simply cannot sustain its current levels of meat consumption.

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22 interesting facts about Nepal

We share the most interesting facts about Nepal gathered on a two-week trek in the Nepali Himalayas.

During my recent Everest base camp trek, the spectacular nation of Nepal immediately became my favourite country. In fact, I have vowed to return as soon as possible to complete the Annapurna Circuit and Langtang treks.

One day, I hope to go a step further and attempt Everest itself as part of my quest to climb the seven summits, the highest mountain on every continent.

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25 best mountaineering books ever written

We list the best mountaineering books ever written, drawing on accounts of world-class climbers in the harshest environments.

As I’ve mentioned before, my bookshelves are filled with tales of adventure travel, survival against the odds and obsessive searches. I’m an avid climber keen on winter mountaineering and wild camping so, naturally, mountaineering books take up a good chunk of space on my shelf.

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Happiest countries in the world 2019

The happiest countries in the world 2019 have been ranked in the latest World Happiness Report. This year, Finland holds on to the top spot.

Happiness is a nebulous thing; hard to grasp and harder to hold onto. Scientists, economists and philosophers have defined it through the ages as a combination of different things, among them health, wealth, companionship and security.

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17 interesting facts about Bolivia

A selection of the most interesting facts about Bolivia we picked up during our visit.

Before we went to Bolivia, my entire education on the country came from this scene from the 1969 film Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid.

Although our arrival in the country wasn’t quite as displeasing as Robert Redford’s, Bolivia did prove one of the more challenging countries we’ve visited. Cold showers, uninspiring cuisine and high altitude were just some of things we battled.

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Most dangerous countries in the world 2019 – ranked

The most dangerous countries in the world have been updated for 2019. Read our insights from the study and browse the rankings below.

The world has become slightly less dangerous for the first time in five years, according to the latest Global Peace Index (GPI) report. However, over the last 10 years the world has become more dangerous overall with the average level of global peacefulness deteriorating by 3.78%.

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The ultimate guide to packing light

Some would argue that overpacking is a rite of passage, but there is an easier way. Here are 12 tips for packing light.

I started our big trip across the South Pacific and South America with a 45-litre backpack weighing 13kg. Over the course of the trip, I managed to drop a fair bit of weight and get my bag down to 10kg. Evidently, I had failed in packing light from the start.

In some ways, overpacking is a rite of passage: you have to do it to learn how not to do it. Of course there is an easier way. By gleaning advice from other travellers and being strict with yourself, packing light will become far easier. Here’s where to start.

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Most useful travel gadgets of 2019

From practical solutions for everyday problems to highbrow electronics for luxury on the road, here are our favourite useful travel gadgets of 2019.

The modern traveller rarely leaves home home without a range of gadgets and accessories. Despite years of travel and streamlining my gear, I still pack a healthy number of gadgets.

Unless I’m going completely off-grid, there are certain (usually electronic) luxuries I don’t want to be without. I want to take thousands of photographs, listen to music, watch a movie, stay in touch with my family and most importantly of all, keep track of England’s latest batting collapse (a form of self-harm I’m sure).

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Canyoning in La Fortuna, Costa Rica

Canyoning in La Fortuna with its waterfall rappels and cavernous ‘falls’ proved to be Costa Rica’s biggest thrill of all.

Beneath the hulking slopes of Arenal Volcano in northwestern Costa Rica is the small town of La Fortuna. With a wealth of natural attractions nearby including lush rainforest, extensive hiking trails, myriad hot springs and two gargantuan volcanoes (Cerro Chato is also within easy reach), it’s not the town itself that draws visitors to this green district of Costa Rica.

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12 largest rainforests in the world

The largest rainforests in the world are some of the most vital ecosystems on our planet. We look at where they’re located and why they need protecting.

Home to over half the world’s plant and animal species, the largest rainforests in the world absorb vast amounts of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, helping maintain the balance of the air we breathe while simultaneously playing a critical role in curbing global warming.

Despite their immense value, the largest rainforests in the world are under constant threat. More than half of Earth’s trees have already been lost since humans first began cutting them down.

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A complete travel photography gear guide

We’re often asked about the gear we take on our travels. In response, we have written a detailed and complete travel photography gear guide.

I have been involved in film or photography throughout the course of my career: initially as a camera operator, video editor and AV engineer, later as a teacher in digital media, and now as a travel blogger.

I’ve sold stock images for several years on Shutterstock and iStock by Getty Images, and my photography plays a prominent role throughout our travel blog and social channels, particularly Instagram. Continue reading

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Photo backup: how to keep your memories safe

After learning the hard way, we share our tried and tested photo backup systems to help you keep your photographs safe.

It was in the Cotopaxi region of Ecuador that we met Michael, a fellow backpacker who had spent the previous weeks on a surfing trip of a lifetime. Earlier in the day, Michael’s GoPro had dislodged from its extender during a jump into a waterfall and sunk to the depths below.

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World’s most powerful passport 2019

Travelling can be a bureaucratic nightmare for those on restricted passports. Here we look at the best passport to have in 2019 based on the freedom it provides.

Ten years ago, in my first job after graduation, I shared an office with a researcher called Munir who I nicknamed Dr2 because he not only had a PhD but was also qualified as a medical doctor. (I recognise it’s not the wittiest name in the world but it was the best I could do at the time.)

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