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What I’ve been reading this week, 8 June 2019

Alex Roddie
Alex Roddie
2 min read

It’s been an interesting week for online outdoor writing, skewed heavily by the UKWildCamp controversy – but I’ve picked up a few other nuggets on long-distance backpacking, mountaineering, environment and more.


Why are thru-hikers already in the High Sierra? – I follow a couple of PCT hashtags on Instagram, and I’ve found some of the photos from the Sierra Nevada this year extraordinary. Here’s Andrew Skurka’s take: ‘Why are thru-hikers pushing through the High Sierra already? Heck, it’s still ski season up there!’

Why I prefer hiking to biking – this is a fantastic (and very funny) blog post from Mark Horrell on why he continues to torture himself with cycling holidays. It’s also a good teaser for his new book, Feet and Wheels to Chimborazo, which is available to pre-order now.

“Death, Carnage, Chaos”: Analysing the 2019 Himalayan Climbing Season – for an informed view of what’s been going on in the Himalayas this year, this article by Ash Routen is well worth your time.

The End of the Road – Stuart comes to a difficult decision after cutting his Cape Wrath Trail short: ‘It’s hard to admit, but I’m just not cut out for this thing that I think I want to do.’


The UKWildCamp uproar and its aftermath has occupied a fair chunk of my time since Phoebe’s original Guardian article went viral, so I think it deserves its own section in my reading list this week…

Wild camping by permission of the government? – Chris Townsend’s excellent blog post.

DEFRA funding bid to make wild campers pay to use national parks – Dave Mycroft at MyOutdoors played a key role in investigating and fighting the scheme. This is his main news story about it.

Wild about camping – a humorous look at the debacle from John Burns. I like his ‘outdoor price list’…

BMC statement: Wild camping backlash – the BMC’s statement, made after the scheme had collapsed.

Government-funded ‘UKWildCamp’ pilot scheme to charge for wild camping successfully foiled by the outdoor community – my news piece for TGO.

Wild camping – is it time for a conversation? – I agree with the thrust of this. Now that it’s clear that wild camping in England and Wales has come to the government’s attention as a potential cash cow, we need a conversation about how it should be defined and defended.


Hunt launched across northwest Scotland to help save one of UK’s rarest bumblebees – I had never heard of the Great Yellow bumblebee. This serves to underline how many under-the-radar species are at risk from environmental catastrophe; it isn’t just the impressive or charismatic species.

OPINION: It’s Time to Go Beyond ‘Wilderness’ – so much in this opinion piece on environment and wild land made me shake my head. As David Lintern wrote on Twitter, ‘A caricature that literally no-one I know in the environmental or outdoor sector would recognise or conform to’. I am a huge fan of the broad range of quality pieces UKH have been publishing over the last couple of years, but this is a bad take.


Alex Roddie

Happiest on a mountain. Writer, story-wrangler, digital and film photographer. Editor of Sidetracked magazine (I make the words come out good).


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