If 2020 was the year of the Homeliday, then 2021 must be the year of the Staycation.
Remove the stress from holidays and stay a little closer to home, taking time to explore some of the great National Parks or hidden corners that the UK has to offer. Get back to nature in the way that suits you, whether that is by pitching up in style with a luxurious basecamp and all the mod cons for the true glamping experience or getting down and dirty with a multi-day hike, bike or kayak adventure. Or why not pick up the pace, strip back your kit and give fastpacking a go.
Check out our pick of ways to get out and into nature for 2021
We’ve picked our Top destinations, challenges and ideas with some essential kit for you to try this year.
This week we’re looking at what can be done with just a pair of stout boots (or lightweight running shoes)!
Svalbard SI 1 / Oscar Curve / Vega
We love Wild Camping here at Nordisk. It is perhaps the true expression of what it means to spend time in nature. You can read more about the dos and don’ts of Wildcamping plus our Top Tips here.
The Svalbard SI 1 is a great option for a solo wild camp with its small pack size, light weight and good internal space. Pair it with the cosy Oscar and the comfortable but light Vega for a great night’s sleep, ready for another day of adventure. If camping with a buddy, check out the Halland 2 LW for a more spacious two-person tent.
Be sure to check out our Do’s & Don’ts of Wild Camping before heading out to the hills.
Lake District – This is the wildcamper’s playground. You can’t move for stunning views, perfectly framed tarns and gills, hidden camp spots and, of course, cafes and pubs.
There are so many places to choose from and no one wants to give away their favourites but pretty much any of the hundreds of tarns or meres make a perfect overnight spot.
Dartmoor - Dartmoor is one of the only places in the UK (outside of Scotland) where it is possible to wildcamp legally. Bellever is a popular spot and rightly so or go for more of a challenge and head onto the Two Moors Way and spend a night on Ugborough Moor.
Rhinogs/Snowdonia - Get away from the hustle and bustle of central Snowdonia and head to the much less visited Rhinogs. This rugged range of hills run south from Portmadog to Dolgellau with amazing views over to the Llyn Peninsula and on to the Irish sea. Head up to Gloyw Lyn, below Rhinog Fawr for a stunning overnight spot and follow in medieval footsteps along the old packhorse track from Harlech Castle to Chester, curiously named the Roman Steps.
The Mamores - Scotland is a wildcamper’s paradise with vast expanses of open access land, innumerable lochans and burns, sandy beaches and thick forests to explore. Lying to the north of the busy West Highland Way, the Mamores tower over Lochs Leven and Eilde Mòr with views of the surrounding peaks and the mighty Ben Nevis to the North. And if the weather gets the better of even the hardiest camper, the bright lights of Kinlochleven will be a welcome sight with its fresh seafood and welcoming cafes.
Multiday hike/Long Distance Path
Telemark 2.2 / Passion 3 / Grip 2.5
Check out our Wild Camping Guide for a comprehensive look at kit choices and our top tips to make the most of your next multiday adventure.
Keep your pack weight and size low with the Telemark 2.2 LW which still offers good headroom and increased ventilation, compared to other lightweight options. Add the Passion 3 and Grip 2.5 for a minimal sleep system that will still keep you warm, leaving you rested and fresh for another day on the trail.
Coast to Coast
180mi from Robin Hood’s Bay in North Yorkshire to St Bee’s Head on the Cumbrian coast. From wild moorland to the tranquil Eden Valley to the stunning peaks of the Lake District and on to the wild west coast. This classic hike is a firm favourite among backpackers for a reason.
Be sure to allow time in your itinerary to stop every now and again and take it all in. Every day on the Coast to Coast brings a new set of hills and views and that special experience that comes from crossing an entire country.
90mi following the band of limestone that runs from Banbury in Oxfordshire to Stamford, Lincolnshire. Expect rolling hills, idyllic English countryside and welcoming pubs along the way.
Unlike many LDP (Long Distance Paths), the Jurassic Way doesn’t take you to the wild extremes or fringes of these islands but instead, walks you through the very heart of the English countryside. Following an ancient ridgeway, you are steeped in history throughout the walk and never far from a cream tea or pub lunch.
177mi, running the length of Wales, this popular long-distance path criss-crosses the English-Welsh border and takes in some of the finest walking the two nations have to offer.
With gentle riverside walking along the River Severn to challenging upland paths in the Brecon Beacons, the steep slopes of the Shropshire hills and the mighty Clwydian hills.
Starting in Chepstow and passing the historic Tintern Abbey, you continue north through Monmouth and on to the wildly beautiful Black Mountains, genteel Hay-On-Wye and onwards through lesser-known corners, until eventually the wild Clwydians are reached and down to the coast at Prestatyn. A challenging undertaking but hugely rewarding.
Lofoten 2 ULW / Oscar +10 Mummy / Ven 2.5
Turn any of the above into a fast and light adventure by stripping weight and picking up the pace. Covering more distance in a day allows you to cram more miles into your break and create an extra challenge.
Switch your tent for something like the Lofoten ULW, with a minute pack size and weighing less than your water bottle makes a huge saving on your pack. Throw in the Oscar +10 and the Ven 2.5 and you’re looking at a sub 2kg camp. Plan your fastpack route around resupply opportunities to minimise how much food you need to carry and get used to overtaking fellow trail users and their astonishment at your tiny pack!
Fastpacking opens up your opportunities for adventure and allows you to spend even more time out on the hills and trails. With the added weight of a pack, you can’t expect to hit your 10km race pace but once you find your stride, you’ll be amazed how much ground you can cover.
Break your day down into 2hr chunks of run/walking with good breaks to eat and rest in between. Minimise other stops along the way and keep up the rhythm of your progress and you will soon find you slip into it automatically.
When fastpacking, it is important to keep your reserves topped up so pack lots of energy dense food and plenty of treats along the way. Remember, fastpacking is not a race, so don’t be afraid to slow down now and again to appreciate your surroundings.