What I’ve been reading this week, 24 January 2020

Splendid isolation, secret ant farms, a winter CWT trip report, and one method of writing.

Environment and nature

Splendid isolation: how I stopped time by sitting in a forest for 24 hours – this is a wonderful essay, worth reading in full. I’ve experienced this glorious slowing of time myself. The less connected you allow yourself to be, and for a longer period, the more pronounced the effect.

Make big polluters pay for mass tree planting, officials say – while we’re at it, can we make sure this mass tree planting doesn’t involve countless millions of those awful plastic sleeves?

Ants run secret farms on English oak trees, photographer discovers – this is why woods must be protected. How many more priceless treasures like this have been wiped out before they’ve ever been witnessed?

Long-distance hiking and the outdoors

Is the outdoor industry getting greener? – a good summary from The Great Outdoors. The outdoor industry is getting greener – I’ve seen plenty of evidence of this myself from trade shows over the last few years. However, the elephant in the room is that capitalism still requires people to buy lots of stuff. Without drastic change, at some point I think that equation is going to break down.

The Quest in Scotland’s Hills – an entertaining blog post about bothies from bestselling author and Pinnacle Editorial client John D. Burns.

Reminiscences and Thoughts on Long-Distance Walking and Writing, inspired by a piece by Alex Roddie – Chris Townsend sets down some very interesting thoughts on long-distance walking, writing, motivation, and communication. It’s a response to my Sidetracked feature ‘The Meaning of Adventure’, which has inspired a lot of discussion online since it was published.

First Online Reading List of 2020, Part 1, Outdoors – walking, camping, mountaineering, skiing – Chris Townsend shares some excellent links. (Is it too meta of me to share a link list from my own weekly link list? ;P )

Los Nevados: exploring the volcanoes of Colombia’s Cordillera Central – a great blog post from Mark Horrell involving some big hills and a smoking crater.

Glenfinnan to Torridon on the Cape Wrath Trail – Benjamin Davies hiked a section of the Cape Wrath Trail this winter. There are some fantastic photos in his trip report.

Its official – the camping byelaws in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park have failed – ‘With the litter problem increasing, there is no now [sic] excuse for the LLTNPA to continue with the camping byelaws, which have been both ineffective and very expensive to enforce.’


One method of writing – got to be worth a try!

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By Alex Roddie

Award-winning outdoor and nature writer, editor, author, and photographer.

1 Comment

Re’ your comment on “Make Big Polluters Pay…” As long as each planted area exceeds 1.5ha it is cheaper to protect trees with deer fencing than use individual tree shelters but the first hole in or under the fence leaves all the trees vulnerable.

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