Getting out and bagging a few more Munros in August is a luxury we haven’t had for a while. It’s fantastic to be able to hill walking in Scotland again and to see some familiar faces enjoying a respectable, socially distanced Munro bagging week based at Fraoch Lodge. These are just a selection of photos taken by Andy and Peter during a glorious week of sunshine and Munros. All were suitably exhausted but satisfied by the time they headed home.
The weather was amazing (as born out by the photos) so we were also able to enhance the trip with some outdoor dining experiences and broke out the BBQ as well which allowed us to be more social than we could have been if stuck indoors.
To see the full selection of images (and original sizes) please go to the google album.
It seems like such a simple concept, but one that a significant minority seem to have a great deal of trouble following this summer. Social media is flooded with reports of litter in almost all of Scotland’s most popular beauty spots. Coronavirus also seems to have spawned a significant minority of inconsiderate roadside campers, who are not dealing with their waste responsibly.
Also there seem to be a lot of people who don’t have an appreciation for how to have a fire in the outdoors – mind you when you see the scars left on the hill left from heather burning on the grouse moors, you can understand to a certain extent why many would not understand that an open fire on the ground causes all kinds of issues further down the line
Short term there probably isn’t one. People’s fears of being in a situation where they might contract coronavirus outweigh their sense of responsibility for dealing with their waste. The worst of it is that many seem to have abandoned all responsibility for toileting in the outdoors.
Why do a significant minority of people not appreciate that if they don’t leave the beauty spot as they found it, then it will not remain beautiful for long? Apparently there are some who think that if rubbish is left in the outdoors, it will clean itself. Unfortunately in the Highlands, due to the climate, this is not a rapid process.
I’m sure that any of you who have been out with us have not deliberately littered the countryside. Sometimes it is involuntary – the wind can easily rip something out of your hands, especially on the high tops when a gale is blowing. It’s not always possible to chase it down. We are enthusiastic supporters of Leave No Trace principles and Andy is also firmly committed to reduce-reuse-recycle principles as well.
Please – if you’re going to camp by the roadside, by which we mean under 30 minutes walk from the road or within sight of cars/a road – pack a shovel and make sure you bury your waste. Also bear in mind the advice I recently found online, to keep a small wash bag with you full of essentials for wild toileting: sanitiser, paper, a collapsible shovel and a lighter. Once you’ve prepared your toilet site and done your business, you can use the lighter to burn the paper, then bury what’s left. Human waste will degrade far more quickly if it is buried.
It’s a shame that wild camping is getting such a bad name a the moment here in the Highlands. We like to distinguish between roadside camping, dirty camping and wild camping. Our new Wilderness Glamping Expedition is really “pure” wild camping following the Leave No Trace principles and the Scottish Outdoor Access Code completely without sacrificing comfort.
Is it the case long-term though that camping in whatever form it takes is really the problem? Perhaps we’re facing a more serious issue as per Chris Townsend’s article below.
Interesting perspective from Chris Townsend Industrialising wild places is the big threat, not roadside camping.
A beginner’s guide to guiding in Scotland by Fiona Russell