Hiking Blog

Welcome to the Our Sporting Life hiking blog. I’m Stacey and I’ve been hiking religiously since 2020. Lockdown helped me discover local trails and since then I’ve been bagging munros, Wainwrights, as many hills and mountain ridges as I can find, plus flatter trails too. I’m absolutely hooked. Most of the hiking blog posts here are written by me. I cover routes, reviews, gear and other features relating to hiking (mostly in the UK because that’s where I am). And I’m a firm believer that nobody should write about a route they haven’t done themselves. That’s why we don’t have thousands upon thousands of route reviews, but instead a smaller number of the ones we’ve done ourselves and can do into more detail on.

Sometimes, other members of our team of guest contributors may share hiking articles here too, but we only publish content on topics that the writer has experience of.

hiker looking at dovestone from above
Hiking Blog

Staying Safe as a Solo Female Hiker in the UK

I solo hike a LOT and one of the questions I get more often than questions about routes is about personal safety when hiking alone as a woman. So here’s how I reduce risk and stay safe when hiking solo in the UK.

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proven benefits of hiking
Hiking Blog

9 Proven Benefits of Hiking

As someone with a chronic hiking addiction, of course I’m going to preach all about the benefits. But don’t just take my word for it. Science (yes, actual science) and people far smarter and more qualified than me have proven a ton of benefits and here are some of them.

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Views from Stuc a chroin-min
Hiking Blog

Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin Hike Route and Review

Ben Vorlich and Stuc a’Chroin was the first hiking route I took with a new (at the time) hiking buddy. It promised two munros, some wonderful potential views and a bit of a scramble up to the Stuc a’Chroin summit. So just how did it go? Here’s the route and the review.

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best hiking baby carriers
Active Family Adventures

The Best Hiking Baby and Toddler Carriers

I really miss my youngest being small enough to pop in the “bag” as I called it (or my toddler carrier), sling on my back and take him out for a walk. I just gave my hiking carrier away and he’s officially too big for any of the carriers now. But here are some of the ones I tried and my take on the best.

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cmd arete for beginners
Hiking Blog

14 Fascinating Facts About Ben Nevis

I’ve been up Ben Nevis twice and, despite there being as much footfall on that mountain path as a busy motorway services, both have been enjoyable hikes in their own way. Interested in Ben Nevis yourself? Here are a few fascinating facts about Britain’s highest mountain.

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View from Devil's Kitchen
Hiking Blog

Y Garn Via Devil’s Kitchen – Route and Review

I took a February midweek hike up Y Garn via Devil’s Kitchen (Snowdonia). The weather played ball, the views were amazing and it was a fantastic hike. Here’s the route, some photos, a review and some practical information.

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funky colourful hiking boots designed by AI
Hiking Blog

17 Colourful, Funky New Hiking Boots (Designed by AI)

In what is possibly my favourite ever use of AI to date, I got Midjourney to generate some very funky themed technical hiking boots for me. Some are hideous, granted. But there’s some of these I would definitely wear if they existed. Here they are…

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Hiking Blog

Blue Door and Rocks of Solitude Walk – Edzell

Edzell is a beautiful village in Angus, just on the border of Aberdeenshire, Scotland. There’s a popular walking route there known as the Blue Door Walk. I took a jaunt on a longer circular from Edzell village, to the blue door and up to the rocks of solitude along the North Esk River. Here’s how it went.

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solo female hiker in winter
Hiking Blog

7 Reasons to LOVE Winter Hiking in the UK

Winter hiking can be brutal. And for those of us (erm, me) who particularly love hiking on warm days with loads of long daylight hours, winter might not be our favourite season. But here are 7 reasons to love hiking in the UK in winter.

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female hiker looking at a map in the mountains
Hiking Blog

Hiking Time Calculator using Naismith’s Rule

Here’s a handy little hiking time calculator based on Naismith’s rule! How accurate is it? Well, as ever, these things depend on your own fitness and so forth. But I’ve always found Naismith’s rule to be a handy benchmark to aim for in terms of time for any given route.

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portable power banks for charging while hiking
Hiking Blog

Best Portable Charging Banks for Hiking

Traditionalists may not like it! But personally, I don’t like to risk being stuck on a hill or mountain with a dead phone or head torch battery. So I like to carry a portable charging device (or 2, or 3) with me. Here are the best portable charging banks for hiking that I’ve used. (And I’ve used a lot, by the way).

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Crib Lem Spur-min
Hiking Blog

Crib Lem Spur Scramble (Llech Ddu Spur)

In a bid to bag as many of the UK’s finest scrambles as possible, I headed to the Crib Lem Spur (Llech Ddu Spur) in Snowdonia on a very, very hot and sunny Friday. Here’s my take on this spectacular scramble and the wider hiking route that takes in 3 of the Welsh 3000s (Carnedd Dafydd, Carnedd Llewelyn and Yr Elen)

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exposure on aonach eagach-min
Climbing

8 of the Best Scrambles in the UK

Love a bit of scrambling? I do! Maybe it’s the fresh air and adrenaline combination. Maybe it’s the views. Whatever the reason, I am hooked on scrambling.

Here’s my take on the UK’s 8 best Grade 1 or 2 scrambles (covering England, Scotland and Wales).

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jack's rake
Hiking Blog

Jack’s Rake Scramble up Pavey Ark

Jack’s Rake is an incredibly fun scramble up the face of Pavey Ark in the Lake District’s Langdales. It has been on the list for a while so I took a sunny morning off to go and get this one in the bag. Here’s the route I took and review of the morning.

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Tryfan North Ridge Cannon Stone
Hiking Blog

Tryfan North Ridge Scrambling and Hiking Route

Tryfan’s North Ridge route offers up some absolutely spectacular scrambling and incredible views. So I was delighted to stick the out of office on and head over there for a hiking morning on a sunny May Friday. Here’s how it went!

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hiker looking at dovestone from above
Active Family Adventures

The Hiker’s Guide to Dovestone

Dovestone is a beautiful place in the Peak District’s Dark peak, nestled amongst the Saddleworth Hills. But there’s far more for hikers here than reservoir walks. Here’s a hiker’s guide to Dovestone Reservoir and the surrounding hills.

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Hiking Blog

Hiking Gear Storage Ideas

Got way more hiking gear than you need and a potential addiction to acquiring more? Yes, me too. So I’ve been having a little nosey at storage ideas and here are some cracking ones.

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Blencathra Via Halls Fell Ridge with a child
Hiking Blog

Blencathra Via Hall’s Fell Ridge (With a Child)

Having done Sharp Edge up to Blencathra last year, I wanted to head back and explore some other routes. My 8 year old also wanted to level up his scrambling and try a ridge. Hall’s Fell Ridge is less exposed (though more sustained) than Sharp Edge, so we headed out in April 2023 to scramble our way to the summit.

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portable power banks for charging while hiking
Hiking Blog
Stacey MacNaught

Best Portable Charging Banks for Hiking

Traditionalists may not like it! But personally, I don’t like to risk being stuck on a hill or mountain with a dead phone or head torch battery. So I like to carry a portable charging device (or 2, or 3) with me. Here are the best portable charging banks for hiking that I’ve used. (And I’ve used a lot, by the way).

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