The growth of interest in spending time outdoors, whether walking, running, cycling or camping is great to witness. Sadly, it brings some problems, such as littering and environmental damage.
The question is, how can we change this behaviour? It is usually an issue among a minority but, sadly, the few can create a major mess.
Of course, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code is also easy to reference.
New video camping: Camping responsibly
Now a new campaign by Cycling UK and OS Maps hopes to encourage more people to discover and enjoy the outdoors responsibly. They have launched an awareness film on how to wild camp responsibly.
Featuring Vedangi Kulkarni, the youngest woman to cycle solo around the world, the short video advises would-be wild campers how to ensure they leave the countryside as they found it.
From tips on where to camp to how to go to the toilet responsibly (tip pack it up and take it out) to picking up other people’s rubbish, as well as your own, the two organisations aim to give people the skills and wider awareness needed to leave the countryside in a better state than when they found it.
Adventurer traveller Vedangi said “One of the horror stories of the past year and a bit has been how people have headed to some of this island’s most beautiful locations, spent a magical time overnight, and then just left it in a complete tip.
“I’m hoping with this short film, we’ll help many of them think twice about what they’re doing, while also providing valuable tips for those who wanted to ensure they leave no trace when they head outdoors.”
Join in: #12nightsoutin1year
The video is part of a wider series of tips that the two organisations are sharing with the British public as part of their year long cycling and camping challenge, #12nightsoutin1year.
Entrants are encouraged to head out on their bike and experience a night beneath the stars, in a tent, bivi bag or hammock, at least once a month over the course of a year and to photograph their experiences.
Each month, participants who have posted their photos and experiences on Instagram using #12nightsoutin1year will automatically be entered into a monthly competition to win a range of cycle and navigation related prizes.
Sam Jones, Cycling UK’s Cape Wrath Fellowship custodian, who has camped out at least once a month for the last two and a half years years, wants to see everyone make the most of the wilderness they can discover from their doorstep and leave it in a better condition than they found it.
He said: “The outdoors is there for everyone to enjoy, whether they’re walking, riding or running.
“With that enjoyment comes responsibility, which is why #12nightsoutin1year focus is just as much about enjoying the countryside, as ensuring it’s in a better state than when we found it.
“Trash free trails are something we can and should all work towards every time we head out.”
Nick Giles, managing director of Ordnance Survey Leisure, said: “Anyone getting outside on their bikes around our beautiful hills and moors for the unique experience of wild camping must remember to leave the place as they found it.
“We have to be kind to our environment and at the end of the day the only thing we should ever leave behind is our footprints.”
For more information on the #12nightsoutin1year challenge see: https://www.cyclinguk.org/12-nights-out-1-year