When nature calls: why going to the toilet in the outdoors may be about to change

A toilet roll hanging on a branch in the wild

Burying your waste may no longer be the most sustainable way to go to the toilet in the outdoors, according to new research

The number of people using public lands in the US has been steadily increasing for years. The pandemic accelerated the trend as lockdown-weary Americans flocked to outdoor spaces in record numbers. The increase in visitors saw several parks and landmarks introduce reservation systems to counteract the unsustainable rise in visitor numbers.

Antarctica: why my seventh continent was more than just an ego trip

Kia looks out across Paradise BayAtlas & Boots

Kia explains why a voyage to Antarctica finally gave her a sense of peace

I am one of six sisters, which has always earned me a certain cachet; a sort of second-hand, useless celebrity like that of air hostesses and identical twins. The last time I mentioned “all my sisters” in public, a stranger cut in to ask how many. People are often keen to know if we all get along, how often we see each other and what it was like growing up. 

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2021

Peter in the Lake District during the Coast to Coast

As we come to the end of another difficult year, we reflect on our highs and lows – on and off the blog

I thought that things would be different this year. We ended 2020 on a low but hopeful note and I really thought the world would be back to normal this year. 

Instead, travel continues to limp on. Here in the UK, lockdown hangs like the sword of Damocles, yet again threatening our trip to Antarctica. There is a sense of time ticking by, especially for Peter who has lost two years of climbing in his prime, which has impacted his lifelong dream to climb the seven summits. 

Ice work: 10 first ascents by female mountaineers

Norwegian adventurer Cecilie SkogFair Use

In a world dominated by men, a select group of women have shattered the ice ceiling. Here we review some daring first ascents by female mountaineers

I’ll be honest: it rankles to write the words ‘the first female’ to do such and such. It feels patronising, as if to say you weren’t good enough to play with the big boys but I’ll pat you on the head anyway. 

Cold shoulder: 10 dramatic climbing controversies

From dubious first ascents to tense clashes at high altitude, we chart 10 dramatic climbing controversies – some resolved and others less so

There was a time when climbing controversies were sportingly confined to the slopes. The petty trivialities, the robust exchanges and the heated clashes were just part of the cut and thrust of the mountaineering world. 

The travel that changed me: Amit Patel

interview with amit patelRiyas.net/Shutterstock

Author Amit Patel tells us about his favourite trip, what remains on his bucket list and how travel changed for him after his sight loss

Amit Patel was born to be a boy racer. In his teens, he nearly rode himself (and two of his friends) into a pond on a clapped-out motorbike. Around the same time, he joined his local squadron of the Air Training Corps and took to the skies every chance he got. When he finished his GCSEs, he celebrated by jumping out of a plane at 13,000 feet.

Mapped: 20 best trees in Britain

Best trees in Britain: The Survivor Tree in the Southern Uplands of ScotlandCC BY-SA 2.0

Take a vicarious breath of fresh air by touring the best trees in Britain

Over the course of the last year, many of us have remembered just how much we depend on nature for quiet, everyday relief. Although some of us joke that when the pandemic is over, we’re “never going for a walk in the park again”, it’s undeniable that these walks have kept us sane.

As an ode to nature, we share below the 20 best trees in Britain. 

Adventure travel books 2021: our top 10 picks

We share the best adventure travel books 2021 and explain why each should be on your reading list

From a cross-country road trip in a hostile America to boundless sand dunes in remote China, our crop of adventure travel books 2021 have one thing in common: their journeys are more than just physical. 

Atlas & Boots’ top 10 posts of 2020

Mam Tor in the Peak DistrictDaniel_Kay/Shutterstock

As a difficult year draws to a close, we reflect on the top 10 posts that our readers most enjoyed

Well, what can we say about 2020 that hasn’t been said already? As a writer, I feel that I should be able to say something grand and stirring about the global pandemic, but to be honest, I can’t. I don’t know how to aptly describe the hopelessness and inertia that so many of us have experienced this year.

Top three hiking trails in every US state according to hikers

best hiking trails in every US state

We share the three best hiking trails in every US state, according to America’s most popular hiking app

The US knows how to do wilderness. Wedged between the two great oceans of the world, it is home to practically every landscape under the sun. Beaches, lakes, mountains, rainforest, deserts, canyons and glaciers all rise and fall across this continent-sized country. And thanks to the outstanding National Park Service, huge swathes of it are readily accessible.

17 megadiverse countries of the world

A tiger lazes in Ranthambore in IndiaOndrej Prosicky/Shutterstock

We profile the world’s megadiverse countries, from obvious contenders like Ecuador and Brazil to one or two surprise entries

It should be comforting to know that a mere 17 countries hold more than 70% of the world’s species. It should be easy to rally this small group of ‘megadiverse countries’ to protect the planet’s extraordinary biodiversity. Alas, some of these countries are also the world’s biggest consumers and polluters. 

Hiking the Watzmann Traverse – a Bavarian classic

Hiking the Watzmann Traverse looking towards Südspitze

Hiking the Watzmann Traverse offers a breathtaking scramble across one of Germany’s classic Alpine ridges. Here’s how to complete the Bavarian thriller

One of my oldest and best friends lives in the Netherlands and over the course of nearly 20 years of friendship we have managed to meet up fairly regularly – usually at least once a year either in the UK or the Netherlands. Over the last few years, however, as our schedules became increasingly crowded with work, family and mortgages, we’ve struggled to find the time.

White privilege in the outdoors: the AT hikers who broke the law

Two thru-hikers lied and broke the law this year to finish the Appalachian Trail. Should we dismiss it as a daring adventure or tackle what lies deeper?

The first thing to admit before I begin is that I’m a person who follows the rules. I never cheat at games or quizzes despite being stupidly competitive. I hate being late to meetings or gatherings and I’ve even been known to Google “how late to arrive at a dinner party” because I know it’s impolite to turn up on time (the consensus is 15 minutes). 

K2 base camp trek: a walk among giants in the Karakoram

K2 base camp trek

The K2 base camp trek is a stunning journey to the foot of a legendary mountain in the Pakistani Karakoram

The K2 base camp trek through the mighty Karakoram mountains of Pakistan is one of the world’s finest high-altitude treks. Earlier this year an opportunity arose to join Lost Horizon Tours and Treks on a trek to K2 base camp combined with a technical crossing of the Gondogoro La Pass.

Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail: a dream goes up in smoke

trekking the arctic circle trail lead image with hut and lake

Trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland has long been a dream of mine. A dream I came tantalisingly close to fulfilling but for a freak natural event

I wanted to begin this post by triumphantly announcing that I had finished trekking the Arctic Circle Trail in Greenland – but I can’t, for my trek ended in bitter disappointment. It (quite literally) left a stale taste in my mouth and gave rise to a cloud of unanswerable questions; a maddening maelstrom of ‘what ifs’ and ‘maybes’ to lament and regret.