Published: 18 Feb 2021

Journey for Wildness tips: These boots were made for walking

This year, the John Muir Trust is excited to be launching its Journey for Wildness.

You know that adventure you’ve had rolling around in your mind for ages? Perhaps a creative twist to find stories and inspiration in your local area? Ever wondered how you could help it benefit wild places? 

Well, this year could be your chance! Journey for Wildness will see people take on journeys great and small to help wild places. 

But maybe you haven’t been poring over maps, plotting adventures and daydreaming during the pandemic. Maybe you do want to help but you aren’t sure where to start.  

Here are some handy tips to get you started on your Journey for Wildness. 

Where do I start? 

First off, there are a couple questions to ask: 

  1. What do you enjoy?
  2. What inspires you or gets you excited? 

Your answer to this can be as grand as you like. You may enjoy walking, running, climbing, stand up paddle boarding (SUP) or photography. 

As for inspiration, there are lots of places to look. For instance, adventure magazines such as The Great Outdoors, Trail, Trail Runner and Sidetracked. There are some great people out there, too, like Al Humphreys, who regularly blogs about his adventures, Chris TownsendJenny Tough

While some of their adventures seem huge, there are many – like Al Humphreys – taking on quirkier adventures, like exploring every inch of an Ordnance Survey map

Where can I go? 

Once you have an idea of what you want to do – say, go on a backpacking trip – you obviously need to decide where you will do that. This will likely be dictated by how much time you have (and, obviously, Covid-19)! 

You can use some of the advice I have given above, as many magazines, blogs and personalities have written route descriptions. 

The next thing to do is to check out places like WalkHighlands, which gives a huge range of walks, short and super long. For the bike, there is Otherwise, go back to basics and pick out a guidebook or a map. 

You may want to go abroad, Covid-19-permitting. The GR footpaths in Europe are well-documented, as are US trails like the Appalachian Trail and John Muir Trail. 

Another option is to pick some places you want to visit and just join them up, like trig points, buildings, boundary lines – the list goes on! For example, you could kayak between a set of Scottish islands, unique for their conservation status. 

How do I plan my route? 

You may be able to get a route from websites or books. For those of you doing something a little more unique, there are a few tools you can use to plot a route. 

Komoot is increasingly popular with hikers and bikepackers. Other options include AllTrails, ViewRanger, Ordnance Survey’s web and mobile apps, Topo GPS app, Map Out app, and lots more! 

What more can I do? 

If raising money isn’t enough for you, or you aren’t able to undertake a physical journey, maybe find a different way to make your journey special. Perhaps documenting the changing of seasons by photographing the same spot for the year, interview people making a difference for wild places in your local area, litter picking every day or planting trees. 

As I said before, this is your journey! 

Still needing inspiration? 

Keep an eye on our website and in our member mailings! We will be sharing inspirational stories from members and staff about their journeys to get you itching to go on your own journey. 

Hand with flowers - David Lintern

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