This is the first of many “Meet the Outdoor Bloggers” feature that my little blog will be featuring. The idea is simple, a place were you can learn a little about the queer folks that make up the Outdoor Bloggers in the UK and abroad (yes i do know a few). The format is a simple questionaire, hope you enjoy, first up TerryBnd.
Your blog terrybnd – hiking and wild camping in the UK
Twitter profile terrybnd
Home town Nottingham
Where do you spend most of your time in the outdoors? Peak District National Park. It’s my office, if you like. I used to go backpacking all over England and Wales but since I’ve gained much of my video work in the Peak Park, consequently it is now where I spend most of my time. I regularly spend more nights in a tent on the moors than I do in my own bed at home! Fortunately, I have a very understanding (hill widow) wife.
When/where did your outdoor passion come from? Two key things spring to mind. My grandfather was a farmer and also a gamekeeper for parts of Sherwood Forest. I was never happier when spending time with him out in the woods, taking in flora and fauna and so on. I’d often make shelters in the woods or on hills too! Needless to say this had a profound effect on my upbringing. Then when I was 12 yrs old, I paid the Lake District my first visit and was awestruck by it’s majesty and beauty. I just wanted to run and head out onto all the hills and take in the views.
I recall one trip out in horrendous conditions atop Fairfield looking south over Windermere just as the cloud parted and the weather gave some respite. In those few minutes it flicked so many switches emotionally for me that til this day continue to do so whenever I’m in the outdoors.
It was only in my 20′s that after several poor attempts at camping out in woods and dales with cheap Argos camping gear that it dawned on me that there was much better equipment available for spending nights out on the hills. And I’ve never looked back! I get cabin fever if I don’t get out and about in all weathers. It can drive my wife absolutely bonkers – but with it forming part and parcel of my work now, we’ve both generally accepted how things are.
For sure, I feel like the luckiest man in the world at times – but equally I’ll miss home and my family and be desperate to pack up and head back to suburbia. It’s a double-edged sword really.
Favourite spot to camp? Ah, that be telling! I have several in truth. I love Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Dales, for example. I adore the geology, it’s visual and underfoot character, it’s history and of course it’s stupendously fine views to all points of the compass. Many times I’ve spent the night up there.
There’s a couple in the Lakes and in Snowdonia too. And another two in the Peak District – but I’m just not telling!
Favourite hil/mountain? Each to their own – but I’ll publicly say Ingleborough. I can’t really fathom why to be honest. But it keeps calling me back. But I wouldn’t like to say it’s my favourite per se. I love all hills and mountains. And most of them are not the grandest or most dramatic either. It’s about more than that for me in the outdoors. Atmosphere, views and so on. Some of my favourite places are deemed small in height but often they afford the best views in my opinion. So, what ever floats your boat really…..
Biggest achievement in the outdoors? Getting married to my wife in the Lake District and a few days later taking her on our first and only wild camp together! It’s a long story that one…..
Any burning desires/plans for the future? I want to enjoy more of Scotland, first on my wishlist is the Moffats. Otherwise to compensate this desire I’m taking part in the TGO Challenge in 2012. Otherwise to continue doing the work I do in the outdoors – just make more money!
Boots or trainers? They both have their place. More often you’ll see me in trainers though.
Down or synthetic? Again, they both have their place. But it’s down for most things I do.
Ale or lager? Ale of course! Though I’m partial to a cold can of lager from time to time – otherwise it’s ale all the way. Why not? A large range of flavours (and silly names) and often a good pint is served in the best pubs. It’s a British institution ale and thankfully it’s a growing market too. It’s managed to shed that old, grumpy, bearded man bitter image and more landlords take care of their ale now (as opposed to serving off pints).
Going up or down? Both. I always plan the easiest gradients – even if it means following sheep tracks.
Trail or TGO? TGO all the way. I used to enjoy Trail but find it’s very moreish in the past couple of years with recycled ideas and articles. Besides, I see it this way – Trail have staff that are journos first and (maybe though debatable) outdoors lovers second.
TGO, have staff where they’re genuine lovers of the outdoors and are journos second. And you can see the difference it makes in the features and reviews too. I like TGO for being able to talk about controversial, contemporary and relevant issues with our hobbies and interests such as windfarms.
Trail just pussy foot round such issues – it’s childish in comparison. Even it’s tone and style is somewhat of an insult to any normal persons intellect. “10 hills to do before you die” and other such silly headlines. However, they do it well – albeit being part of a big organisation (Bauer) which is always an advantage for mags on shelves, eh?
TGOs recent revamp hits a sweet note I think. It doesn’t alienate the regular veteran readers and is more accommodating or appealing to folk who are new to outdoor pursuits. It’s the winner on most counts in my opinion.
Compass or GPS? Compass. I’m know fan of GPS. Unnecessary expense in my opinion. Map and compass win every time – though a GPS for a quick grid ref is excellent if caught out in a white out, for example. In which case, there’s software out there that costs nothing to let you know your position via the GPS on modern mobile phones.
Other blogs you like to read? I like reading most blogs in truth. Each to their own. I wouldn’t like to say names as it would appear to be favouritism. I love them all and the outdoors blogging community overall. There’s some great and interesting folk out there make no doubt. Whatever your thoughts and opinions of blogging and bloggers – there’s something for everyones taste out there.
Funniest thing you’ve seen in the hills? Many things to be honest. I suppose one is when me and a few friends went on a wild camping weekend in the Lake District – a send off for a friend who was moving away. Awful weather had cleared to reveal a fine and sunny evening, too many drinks were had and the next thing I know is I’m in a race on a fellside with a friend – naked. Yes, you read that right. It was a childish, macho dare and goodness knows what anyone would’ve thought if they caught sight of two grown men running naked up the flanks of Nethermost Pike. I’ll say no more to save me embarrassment!
Favourite tipple? You can’t beat a pint of Thwaites Wainwright Ale, Coniston Bluebird or Caledonian IPA after a long day in the hills. Otherwise at camp I enjoy a bottle of port. Though it has to be said – some will say I’m not particularly fussy with what I may enjoy as a tipple in the pub or on the hills at camp. My attitude to the latter is if I can’t be at the pub after a long walk outdoors, I’ll bring the pub with me.
What do you like about blogging? I enjoy the community side of it all mainly and of course reading what others get up to on the weekends out and about. Differing perspectives on places and kit interests me too. I just enjoy sharing my experiences really.
Give me you best rant.
And here: http://terrybnd.blogspot.com/2011/09/great-outdoors-and-blogging.html
Now tell me something good about the outdoors. The scenery, ever changing moods of the landscape and peace and tranquility. Cliche – but true.
Finally tell me you best joke. Too rude to mention, I’m afraid!
Thanks Terry for your comments, you can find all the Meet the Bloggers posts here.