Tuesday 22 December 2020

Wild Camps of 2020, A Strange Year

On the Cairngorm Plateau, October 17

It's the longest night after what, at times, has seemed the longest year. Soon 2020 will be over. I am very aware that living in the Highlands has meant I have amd have had more freedom than many. Even during the four months of lockdown with walks only from home I could step out of my door and explore forests and fields and moorland hills. Without that I am not sure how I would have coped.

Strath Nethy, Cairngorms, March 3

Unsurprisingly this year I had fewer wild camps than any year I can remember. I hadn't planned any long walks overseas and I feel deeply for those who had to cancel theirs. So much goes into the preparation, mentally as well as practically, that abandoning dreams must be really hard. I had intended on two long walks in the spring in the Highlands but I hadn't done much planning as these are home hills. With three of the best hill months for long walks in the lockdown period - April, May, and June - these walks were abandoned. I hope to undertake them next year. 

Glen Feshie, Cairngorms, February 2

As it was, in the eight months I could travel I rarely ventured beyond the Cairngorms and never left the Highlands. Somehow familiar places felt reassuring, a fixed reality that was tangible in an uncertain and fluid world. 

Cairngorm Plateau with David Lintern, November 6

I did camp during the lockdown months - in the garden. And in the remaining eight months I did have many fine camps in the woods and hills. There were frosts and sunshine and rain and wind and brilliant starry nights - I especially remember those.

Glen Feshie, Cairngorms, February 1

Strath Nethy, Cairngorms, with Alex Roddie, March 3

Garden camp, June 23

First camp after lockdown, by the River Eidart, Cairngorms, July 18

Lochan Coire na Poite, Beinn Bhan, Applecross, August 10

Below An Ruadh-stac, NW Highlands, August 24

Glen Feshie, Cairngorms, with Carey Davies, September 9

Cairngorm Plateau, October 16

Cairngorm Plateau with David Lintern, November 7

Coire Garbhlach, Glen Feshie, Cairngorms, December 15

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