Thursday, July 9

Scottish Ramblers - One idea can change the world

Not quite the phrase I was originally fumbling for. But the words, reportedly the personal motto of Hasan Ozbekhan, seemed far more relevant for today's drooling from a darkening box room desk.

Fancy starting a revolution? (yep - the Internet has a DIY Guide even for this)

Its a personal fancy of mine to wildcamp at remote locations, far from those infamous maddening crowds. In fact far from everyone else really.

Its an idea that seems to be slowly catching on as first Blogpackinglight caught onto the idea, and now Bearded Git has spotted the appeal.

The true joy of such a simple concept is that it is one so easily achieved, but highly selective of those that wish to embrace it. For the true Advocate needs the Urge, some Self Reliance, Motivation from within, and the Will to follow their own path.

Oh, and a map and compass help.

But not this way...

That lone voice in the crowd, the true personification of individuality, their very action contradicting their statement with that immortal line "I'm Not".

Every time I watch this clip I find myself cheering that solitary voice, as if the scene was written as my own private joke. An arrogant viewpoint, as I've discovered many of you on the wildcamping scene seem to have a similar reaction to the lone voice, and how it can be expressed.

Every idea has a start. That moment when a single thought becomes a spoken word. Communication that is in tune with zeitgeist either through some enforcing action (We're off to war - come join us) or on a gentler level a pervasive understanding of an need, not previously understood, which calls to be fulfilled.

Sometimes, Gandhi like, the Idea will Change The World. More often ideas become assuaged, maimed & distorted by fashion, culture, society or merely the passing of time.

Which brings me to the the Ramblers proposal to close their regional offices, a predictably emotive idea already reported in some detail by Chris Townsend and Cameron McNeish.

We find Cameron, in his latest post, in an understandably angry mood. But one already reflecting on some of the underlying issues. Scotland, proud of establishing a devolved country as a working alternative to a centrally imposed government. Ramblers, a national organisation that appears to have lost contact with a substantial part of its grass root membership. One that has been highly supportive of the organisation's ideals and campaigns over many years.

My own small idea is a personal one, that some readers may find appealing for their own trips.

Outdoor personalities such as Chris & Cameron have a much bigger idea to consider. One with the potential to rip apart a national organisation. Perhaps even moving towards separate and independent regional groups, with their own aims, funding & membership.

Interesting times ahead.

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In a bid to see what other Ramblers may be saying about this, I went to their forum. It was an interesting read and quite a few ruffled feathers. I got the impression that there was a sense of having great expertise in Scotland and Wales, why make it redundant or want it to break away from the UK group.
So I filled out the form to join the forum, giving a username and password.... and got these e-mailed back to me in plain text, asking me to e-mail another person in the ramblers as a double checking anti spam measure. My note to him was along the lines of why has your system e-mailed my blessed password back to me in full view of the internet snoopers. Needless to say I am yet to hear back from that chap! So beware when signing up to the Ramblers forum - don't use 'your usual' password, or you may, like me, end up having to change it across the board! Grr.
To be fair, Bearded Git had been doing this sort of stuff on and off for some time, but not so much during his blogging years. Somewhere abouts I've a pre-internet paper map with many such obscure potential pitches marked on it. Given time, I might be able to dig it out of the attic and drag it into the digital age.

As to the idea of the Scottish Ramblers, I'd sign up (on the proviso that they'd accept non-Scottish applicants). The "London" Ramblers will get no more of my cash or support.
As a predominantly solitary rambler, I have been watching this debate from a distance.To be honest, having seen some of the RA's meets, I have not been encouraged to become a member. My preference is for the wilder and more lonely places. Often I go with only a loose itinerary which remains flexible. Wild camping is quite the norm for me, solo I can go at my own pace, starting and stopping as I wish. Wild life seems more accepting of a solitary person bumbling thrugh their domain. Wheni do meet local people they too are often more accepting and willing to say hello. Recently I was rebuked for going alone and being out of contact with everyone. The usual things where trotted out, "you may have an accident, You may die!" etc. Unfortunatelly my answer was seen as cold and callous. basically, I have no family, no one close, if the worst should happen, well, so be it. Better maybe than dying in an old folks home half senile. maybe it is time for a smaller, more flexible group of walkers and ramblers, free spirits with a hint of anarchy????????
Ps, apologies for the bad spelling and grammar. Brain is running faster than the fingers on the keys.
Good post John. Of course wild camping in remote locations and walking alone have been my main activities for decades. I've never been one for big groups and I've never been on a Ramblers meet. But I was a member because of the work the Ramblers did to ensure that there was access to those places I want to walk and that those places were protected. Scottish Ramblers have been particularly good on both these in recent years.
Stef - I never claimed to be the first to come up withthe wheeze. Just the first (that I know of)to say it out loud in public
Hi John,

I quite often look for the out of the way solo wildcamps

a) because I like them
b) I dont like crowds
c) I can be an antisocial grumpy git
d) most of my local mates think I'm mad and wouldnt come with me

You know John, looking at Dave's comment, which I can empathise with, it sort of sums me up; maybe you ought to start a new, "Anti social grumpy person's wild camp society" ?
"Anti social grumpy person's wild camp society" ?

I'd sign up for that as well.

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