Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Responding to Fozzie

Keith Foskett, author of two excellent books "The Last Englishman" and "The Journey in Between" is a well known blogger and long distance walker and if you have not visited his site then you should, it can be found at www.keithfoskett.com . Recently he “tagged” me as part of The Liebster Award and listed 11 questions that he wanted me to answer. It appears that the award started in Germany and the rules tend to vary a bit.

So my answer to Keith’s questions follow.

1) Is it the freedom, the scenery, the solitude, the inspiration, the adventure? What is it about being in the outdoors that you are passionate about?
For me it is being outdoors, wherever that may be and whenever I can. Yes I enjoy the solitude, the scenery, the sounds of the outdoors, discovering new places and camping outdoors. Simply put, I enjoy being in the outdoors and experiencing what nature has to offer.

2) What part of the world do you live in and where is the local place that you always go back to?
An interesting question, I originate from Australia, live in Denmark and the place I like to go back to is anywhere north of the Arctic Circle in Scandinavia or the Bogong High Plains in Australia. More often though you will find me wandering the trails and byways in Skåne in southern Sweden.

3) Where and what would be your dream hiking trip and why?
Anywhere, that offers a wilderness perspective, an openness, a variety of terrains and stunning scenery. Thus my love of walking in Lapland. There are so many options that no one location is more important than the other.

4) Assuming you expect good weather on a mid-summer trip, would you prefer boots or trail shoes?
I wear trail shows all year round, winter or summer, snow or sun. The only difference being that I use goretex lined shoes in winter for a little extra warmth.

5) Name the one night you camped that sticks out in your mind as being the best.
There are many to choose from whether it be atop the mountains in the Bogong High Plains, witnessing the midnight sun in Lapland, the sound of surf hitting the beach on the West Coast of Denmark, each is special in its own way.

6) . . . and the worst?
Camped in a blizzard near Mount Kosciuszko (Snowy Mountains Australia) with 16 students and snow approximately 75 cm deep around all the tents. Walking out in deep snow drifts the next day was a challenge.

7) This question may seem a little strange but it relates to a blog post I have coming up. Would you be capable of finding your way, without a map, on a circular route around the town where you live? If you live somewhere huge, like London, I’ll let you off this one.

In Copenhagen, yes, even though I have only lived in the suburbs for a few years. What challenges me is having spent most of my life in Australia, my sense of location is not fully adjusted to having the sun in the south not the north.

8) What is the best bit of advice you have ever been given in relation to hiking, and who gave it to you?
I have been listening to advice for many years, and with all the social media these days the amount of advice on offer is phenomenal. Thus, I listen to (or read) everyone, and then determine if it is right for me.

9) You’re on a remote stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail in the High Sierra and you get lost. You manage to get reception to make a call to search and rescue but it could be up to 6 days before they find you. What would be your first plan of action?

Conserve energy, food and water, which will most likely mean not moving far from your current location. And don't panic.

10) When are you next due to go hiking and where will it be?
Very soon, up north.

11) What would be your perfect evening meal on trail?
On the trail, I am always happy to eat freeze dried or dehydrated meals, I even look forward to them. So my perfect meal would be something that tastes good, looks good and is easily prepared.

As a person who has an interest in mathematics, and with Fozzie "tagging" 11 people I quickly wondered how long it would take to run out of blogs if each person tagged, then tagged a further 11 people. It appears there is about 150 000 000 blogs (source: Quora) in the world, most are inactive and many are not outdoors orientated, however, if we use this as a starting number then after 8 iterations (or 11 to power 8) all bloggers in this world would have been included in The Liebster Award, an interesting number.

Following on from  Martin's  lead I do not intend to tag anyone, but instead encourage my readers to consider one or all of Keith's questions and respond to them on their own blog, Keith's blog or here if you prefer.

And in the name of creativity and individuality you can of course create your own questions. Yes this is a diversion from what appears to be the rules, but when your outdoors it is all about freedom of choice.