Lockdown Tips For Outdoor Enthusiasts | Stay Safe And Sane - Outdoors Magic

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Lockdown Tips For Outdoor Enthusiasts | Stay Safe And Sane

Running out of things to watch on Netflix and yearning more and more for the outdoors? Here are a few ways you could see out the current lockdown

With our current quarantine lockdown, the conditions for hiking and camping getting better and better and the end of all this unfortunately not quite in sight yet, there’ll be many outdoor enthusiasts out there who’ll be just about ready to go up the wall. 

To try and help, we’ve come up with a few things that might take people’s mind off things or that’ll gently scratch that itch – the I-really-need-to-get-out-in-the-hills itch.

Plan A Trip For When It’s All Over

One way of looking at things – the glass half full way – is to see this as the perfect opportunity to come up with some fun trips in the future and to really put some good planning into them. 

OM editor Will Renwick, who’s preparing for a 20-day fastpacking trip this summer, says that he’s been spending a lot of his time in lockdown on Bing Maps. “It was such a revelation for me when I first discovered that there’s free and instant access to Ordnance Survey’s mapping on Bing,” he says. “I use it for all my hiking and running route inspiration now. Or just to pass the time!”

For plotting out routes, it’s komoot Will recommends turning to. “You can’t digitally mark out your route on Bing, so komoot is the best option there in my opinion,” he says. “It’s the simplest, quickest and most convenient app for it and you can use it for free.” 

Plenty of inspiration over on the Cicerone website.

Another good way to find inspiration and to get a trip properly planned out is to buy yourself a good guidebook. You can gain plenty of adventure inspiration from simply browsing through publishers’ webshops. Cicerone’s site is a surefire way to get some ideas flowing, the same goes for likes of Vertebrate, Wild Things Publishing and Bradt Guides. Purchase one or two guides from them and start reading up on your post-pandemic adventure. In these difficult times, those publishers could certainly all do with our support. 

Explore Virtually

If you’ve already used up your one walk, run or cycle for the day, you could always go for a virtual wander.

Numerous studies have shown the positive psychological effect that listening to recordings of natural sounds like birdsong can have and the same can also be said for visual indulgence (see this report). Fortunately nowadays there are all kinds of quirky things you can find online that could help in this regard.

One of our favourite examples is this interactive article with a video showing someone’s point of view as they walk for four days along the Australian coast between Bondi beach and Manly Beach. Those who have some time on their hands could potentially plod the whole 80km trip if they wanted, but there’s also the option to drop in at any point along the way.

Here’s a hyper-lapse of that walk. Follow the link above for the real-time version of it.

There’s always Google Maps, Google Earth and the Street View function as well, which you can use to explore basically the entire world – you can even use it to ‘trek’ to Everest Basecamp. Similarly, the Ordnance Survey app has a brilliant mapping tool that lets you plot out a route and then follow it over impressive 3D topography. 

One last recommendation here, and it’s a bit of an old school one: webcams. While some of us might be cooped up at home, at least we’re only a click away from seeing what snow conditions are like on Ben Nevis, how the evening light looks on the Matterhorn, or what the waves are doing off the coast in Cornwall.

Take Part In A Home-Based Challenge

With more time on our hands combined with the increased need to find ways to keep fit, all kinds of unique challenges have been popping up on social media. One of the first people on the scene with this was Rory Southworth who, since the lockdown began in the UK, has not only climbed the height of Scafell Pike, Snowdon and Ben Nevis using the steps in his house, but has also managed the equivalent height and distance of a trek to Everest basecamp. “I wanted to do something positive and creative while hopefully getting a few others inspired to get involved and stay active,” said Rory. “It’s given me purpose as well as routine and whilst running up and down stairs isn’t the best type of running, it’s what I need right now. I’m putting a lot of energy into it which I know is helping me deal with the current situation.”


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A bunch of brands have also come up with some fun things to take part in. One such example is a nationwide garden (or living room) camp out that Cotswold Outdoor are encouraging people to take part in over the Easter weekend. Cool Camping have also launched a similar challenge to this as well.

Explore Your Local Area

Consider this as a good time to properly explore your local area. When you’re on your one fitness outing of the day, try to take a different route each time. Go down that street you’ve never been down, or follow that footpath to find out what’s at the other end of it. Again, using the Ordnance Survey tool on Bing Maps will come in handy for route inspiration or you could just be spontaneous and follow your nose.

Dive Into A Youtube Playlist

Already got through our pick of the best outdoor films on Netflix and the best adventure films on Prime as well? Head to Youtube and you’ll find plenty of outdoor escapism there. One of our favourite channels at the moment is a vlog by a guy called Paul Messner. He’s a normal bloke who just loves getting out in Britain’s hills. Watch for beautiful mountain scenes, some incredibly useful gear tips and a sound quality that’s so good it’s kind of like watching one of those ASMR videos. 

Athena Mellor’s vlog is of a similar vein; slow moving travel throughout the UK – though mostly in the Peak District – with calm acoustic music and some handy inspiration for your own adventures post-lockdown. 


Then of course there’s good old old-fashioned reading. OM editor Will says he’s recently been enjoying The Way Home by Mark Boyle, which recalls a year spent in a cabin without any technology on Ireland’s wild west coast. Staff writer Jordan has been using the downtime from the ski season to brush up on his mountaineering skills, reading Steve House and Scott Johnston’s Training For The New Alpinism. “It’s essentially the training bible for all mountain sports enthusiasts,” says Jordan. “I first purchased this book five years ago and it changed the way I look at training (and recovery) for climbing and ski mountaineering.”

If you’ve already got through everything on your bookshelf, we’ve compiled a list of new outdoor and adventure books that should prove handy. Hey, there’s a big old archive of inspiration on this very site for you as well. You can read about walking the West Highland Way, the Cambrian Way and Snowdonia Slate Trail and can discover how to take a photo of a glowing tent or stay dry when camping in the rain. What’s more, over on our sister site Mpora you’ll find stuff like interviews with the likes of Alex Honnold, Ray Mears and blind climber Jesse Dufton. 



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