All of these images were shot in a location 55 minutes away from my front door in Merchant City, Glasgow.
This is the first part of a 6-stage project with Victorinox, where we explore the Urban Outdoors, all within a 1 hour radius of our city.
Take a look at the map of your city, look in all directions surrounding it, what landmarks are there? What beautiful sceneries can you visit? Where can you go? In the 4 natural directions of a compass, you'll find that most major cities have plenty of retreats and opportunities surrounding them, within the space of a short one-hour journey.
Loch Lomond is one of the most well-known bodies of water on earth, not only for the beautiful landscapes and flowing hills that surround it but for the position that it holds on the road to the highlands, serving as a picturesque gateway to the Northwest of Scotland. Believe it or not, Loch Lomond is also home to a colony of wallabies. Yes, it genuinely is. The small island of Inchconnachan is home to a colony of wallabies that have lived on the land since the 1940’s, after being introduced to the area by Lady Colquhoun.
Loch Lomond is a Loch that I spend a lot of time at, as I enjoy the small peaks of Glen Etive and Glencoe, on the road to the highlands, I pass Loch Lomond very regularly. The area is beautiful, with Ben Lomond in clear view from a few of the roadside breaks, it can be one of the most beautiful hills on the way to the North.
Camping has been something I was exposed to from a really young age. I wanted to be a boy-scout when I was very young, so my parents sent me to the youngest level of scouting for my age group at 8, the Cub Scouts. Our first trip was camping in the local area, sharing ghost stories, cooking from tins and roasting marshmallows, nuts and anything else we could find. After a birthday party that I overindulged in, in my later years, I decided to stop eating marshmallows altogether. That’s a story for another time. I still love fire-toasted almonds, though.
Living in the city can become quite overwhelming, especially if you haven’t lived there your whole life, like me. I was raised in Newmilns, East Ayrshire, where farmland and small factory work are the main areas of commercial opportunity, not a city-slicker or office in sight. The nearest train station was 10 miles away, the nearest major town, 30 minutes. City life is not in my blood, as much as I wish it was. Finding time to get out of the city is one of the most important parts of my routine. I make time to travel north at least twice a month, as I feel that the clear air, the landscapes and the change in atmosphere do wonders for my mood and my mindset. Living in London a year ago, really got the better of me. I had to leave after 9 months to come back to Scotland, the pressure of the hustle and bustle became all too much for me, I just wasn’t ready for it at that stage. Balance is key. It’s so important to make sure that you’re taking care of your body’s needs and your mind’s needs. Make time for a break, it’ll go such a long way in instilling a clearer outlook to your city life and working style.
The essentials of a camping trip are very humble. I packed my two Victorinox bags with the simplest essentials. A gas-lit stove, some readily-prepared kindling for firewood, matches, a couple of swiss-army knives, some tins of cold food, almonds, peanuts, water, blankets, a chopping board and some basic wipes/grooming pieces.
*disclaimer - The Rangerwood knife by Victorinox has a blade 3.99in in length, which is considered unsafe for public carry in Scottish law. We checked with our local authorities before using this knife for photographic purposes, as the smaller alternative was unavailable at the time. Please make sure to check with your local authorities before purchasing or carrying any sort of knife in the wild, as you may be illegally carrying. As we were using the knife for photographic and cinematic purposes, we were within our rights to use the knife for that purpose alone.