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Paul Mobbs &
Mobbs' Environmental Investigations –

Work Archive –
Themes Index:

Outdoors, Walking and Camping

I've worked primarily with community groups for many years – mostly in the UK, but also in Eastern Europe, Africa and the Caribbean. The materials produced from that work have relevance not just to the people who commissioned them, but many other communities too. For that reason I maintain an on-line archive of my work.

For details of the licensing restrictions on using these resources, see the Copyright and Sharing page.

Work Archive:
'Themes' Index

Articles

Handouts

Infographics

Media Coverage

Podcasts

Presentations

Ramblinactivist

Reports/Research

Themes

Activism

Climate

Cyberwarfare

Ecological Limits

Energy

FLOSSH

'Fracking'

Hacktivism

Nuclear

'Outdoors'

Peace

Permaneering

Planning

Pollution/Waste

Simplicity/Less

Quakerism

Video and Audio

The 'Outdoors, Walking and Camping' theme covers not just my favourite recreational activities, but also my work to teach these skills to others as a means of addressing consumption and living a more low-impact lifestyle. This also covers other issues, such as footpath/countryside access advice and foraging/wild food.

In addition to the below, you should also view my Banburyshire Rambles Photo Journal. This is my 'photo blog' where I regularly post photographs and information about local walks.


The 'Outdoors, Walking and Camping' Theme

inc image Ramblinactivist 8/17: 'Transgression and Change... and Rambling'

10/11/2017

Change requires transgressing existing norms and practices. Far from being a crime, if you take the time to understand how the system works you can find ways where the law can enable you to make change through making the system fight itself – creating new opportunities for action through the nature of those contradictions. For me, the way into learning these techniques was walking and accessing the countryside – or rather, try to do so. What's important is to find your own particular interest, take time to discover how you might use the law to enable that, and then create opportunities for change by seeking to make those paper-based "legal rights" something tangible in the real world.

file icon goto Ramblinactivist's video blog 8/17
watch the video on the 'ramblinactivist' Youtube channel



inc image Ramblinactivist 7/17: 'Autumn Blackberry and Apple Pie – Welcoming the Autumn with a forage'

29/09/2017

The sudden arrival of a lot of fruit requires some action to deal with it. I decide to go and forage for blackberries on the edge of town to provide a little extra 'wild' nutrition. In this short video I outline the law on foraging, and how to pick blackberries, and then take you through the process of cooking a very simple apple and blackberry turnover – which in this case I'll store in the freezer ready to cook in order to make the fruit last into the Winter months.

file icon goto Ramblinactivist's video blog 7/17
watch the video on the 'ramblinactivist' Youtube channel



inc image Ramblinactivist 4/17: 'The Free Range 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate'

14/06/2017

Cooking outdoors is a fun skill to learn to expand your ecological awareness and personal resilience. Cook well outdoors from fresh or foraged food, and you can cook well anywhere. Problem is, where do you find the 'ecologically sound'/fossil-fuel free kit? The Free Range Stick-Fire Cooking Grate is a small, light-weight, trestle-style cooking grate designed to burn small sticks which, with a few tools and components, you can easily build yourself.

file icon Youtube channel
This 'ramblinactivist' video shows the process of building and using the grate – enjoying an evening not just 'out in the sticks', but 'cooking with sticks too.

file icon Design handout
For the detailed design information, and background on the use of the grate and land law in England and Wales, see the design handout on the Free Range Activism Website

file icon Mobbsey's Musings: 'Taking the Fossil Fuels out of Camp Cooking'
The are some innocuous uses of fossil fuels which go largely unnoticed. One such example is camping outdoors. Camping shops sell a variety of stoves fuelled by gas, liquid petrol or methanol, or chemical-based solid fuel compounds. Thing is, if you're outdoors, is the use of fossil fuels necessary?
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inc image The Free Range Do-It-Yourself 'Feral' Stick-Fire Cooking Grate

14/06/2017

Cooking outdoors is a fun skill to learn to expand your ecological awareness and personal resilience. Cook well outdoors from fresh or foraged food, and you can cook well anywhere. Problem is, where do you find the 'ecologically sound'/fossil-fuel free kit? The Free Range Stick-Fire Cooking Grate is a small, light-weight, trestle-style cooking grate designed to burn small sticks which, with a few tools and components, you can easily build yourself.

file icon design/construction handout
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file icon A3 summary poster
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inc image Ecolonomics no.14: 'Fracking' our food and farming system: "Extreme agriculture" and the politics of denial

18/04/2014

As we approach the ecological limits to growth, and the measures to maintain "business as usual" become even more extreme, so these technofixes have as much to do with the denying those limits as they are intended to provide more food. The problem with the debate over fracking is that it has become highly insular. It focusses on drilling, or pollution; and fails to make the wider connection to the issues of lifestyle and resources which – arguably – represent the deeper motivation behind the political support for extreme energy sources. The same is true of the current debate over farming. We argue about one form of agriculture versus another, or one type of consumer product or another; without reference to the wider patterns of lifestyle which predetermine the form of that discussion. In contrasting fracking and food, I hope to highlight – through the commonality in underlying causal factors – the wider analysis which we need to being to the ecological debate.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O12: Improvisation – Making shelters, stoves and fun

December 2010

The most important skill we can learn in our everyday lives is improvisation – solving immediate problems with what's available around us using our past experience as a guide. The problem with trying to plan and organise is that external circumstances can disrupt your ideally conceived solutions; through improvisation we can move on and work around problems as they arise.

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file icon References/information PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.1 – plain sheet PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.2 – symmetric ridge PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.3 – asymmetric ridge PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.4 – one pole ridge PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.5 – pyramid open PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.6 – pyramid closed PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.7 – foresters tent PDF
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file icon 'print and practice' tarp sheet no.8 – baker tent PDF
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inc image Ecolonomics no.8: Mandelbrot's systems within systems, the layers of the universe experiencing itself subjectively

07/11/2010

It's been a long time since I've written an 'ecolonomics' – it's been one of those years. Last time I had time to take a pause from work was February. From the Spring onwards I've had the busiest period of work for quite a while. Trouble is, when you're writing creatively for your work it's not something you want to do when you're taking time-off. I've also suffered a serious lack of 'wind-down walks' this year, which also hasn't helped my compositional mood. Realising that Autumn was nearly over I went for a walk before an approaching storm stripped the trees of their leaves. As I reflect on the walk, and the related activities in the few days since, I find myself returning to one theme – why can't people accept the reality of the world we live in, and, to deflect from this unwelcome reality, why do they spin incredible stories to create a delusional sense of well-being?

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inc image Free Range Sheet O11: Map and Compass – Learning navigation and way-finding

September 2009

When static camping, navigation is usually not such an issue – you just find the camp site; but if you really want to experience "travelling light" then you need to leave the tarmac behind and head off into the wilderness. If you want to travel out into the wilds confidently, and come back again safely, then map reading and compass navigation is an essential skill to learn.

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inc image Ecolonomics no.2: Thoughts stirred by an afternoon on Garreg Hir... and wind turbines

15/08/2009

An afternoon walking in the hills of mid-Wales, inspiring thoughts on the problems with the debate about energy; people are not talking about the real "energy problem", and instead engage in a totemic debate that creates the pretence of action whilst ignoring the more unwelcome truths about how we consume in our "modern society".

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inc image Free Range Sheet O6: Mind Your Waste – Dealing with your 'leftovers'

February 2009

If you listened to some politicians we might believe that waste is inevitable – some consider it so inevitable that they look upon it as an energy resource! In fact, waste is just something that has no apparent use and so we discard it to avoid lugging it around with us. When camping or backpacking we can take very simple steps to either avoid the need to dispose of waste, or deal with it in a way that causes no harm.

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inc image Free Range Sheet F1:

October 2008

Wild food is an increasingly popular issue, being perceived as either a 'free' source of food or something that we can enjoy as a form of 'gastro-recreation'. From the work of John Seymour and Richard Mabey in the 70's, to the more recent TV programmes of Ray Mears and Bear Grylls, food foraging is promoted as an improving outdoor activity. But this approach often misses one of the most important points – wild food isn't an end in itself, but it's something that we can integrate into our existing food sourcing and preparation activity to add diversity and character to our diet.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O10: The Wilderness Effect – The Psychology of being 'outside'

September 2008

The past nine units of this series have looked at the practical benefits of learning to live outdoors. Now we look at a wholly different issue – psychology. Recent evidence shows that living outdoors "in nature" makes you feel better, and has been shown to help those with mental health problems. More importantly, by coming into closer contact with the natural world we can find the space to slow down from the pace of technological society, and in these circumstances perhaps we can more easily visualise our slower, simpler, low-energy future lifestyle.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O9: The Great Indoors – 'Camping' at Home in Emergencies

September 2008

Britain's oil and gas reserves are shrinking and we are importing evermore energy. Our power stations are ageing and becoming more unreliable. One of the first features of the stress that the global peak in oil and gas supplies will cause is a greater unreliability of our large energy grids during periods of high demand. The knock on of this could be the disruption of the 'just in time' systems that deliver the food and goods we buy from shops. In this last unit we arrive at the final purpose of The Great Outdoors initiative – using outdoor skills to live more comfortably at home when the power and/or gas supply goes off.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O8: Light and Power – Using micro-power systems outdoors

September 2008

There are a lot of good things about technology: being able to make light at the flick of a switch is one; getting information and entertainment over the radio is another. This unit looks at how we can generate, store and use electricity outdoors using very small-scale micro-power systems.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O7: Travelling Light – Going mobile with your kit

September 2008

To begin with, when you're learning the basics of living outdoors, you might not want to travel with your camping kit. However, the main benefit of being able to live comfortably with very little is that you can pack up your stuff and move, enabling you to go from place to place or just tour around a small area. This unit looks at a few of the things you need to know.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O5: Food – THE most important energy resource

September 2008

If you want to keep walking or cycling then you need the right fuel. Traditionally camp food has been viewed as basic – beans and sausages, or reconstituted dried food from a packet. The fact is that you can carry and cook many of the types of food that you might eat at home, and in this way the restricted scope of camping can be a great tutor for cooking more efficiently in the home.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O4: Water – Finding, purification and storage

September 2008

Clean and reasonably sterile water is important to living outdoors, and finding more of it is essential after a couple of days. We can go hungry for a few days, but a day or two without water can make us very ill. This unit looks at how we can carry find, purify and store water.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O3: Heat and Fire – Camp fires, stoves and cooking

September 2008

Fire was one of the human species first and most devastating inventions (at least until the plough came along). Fire is a most useful means of converting the stored chemical energy of wood into useful heat energy, but in today's technological society, with predominantly gas and electric heating in our homes, people have lost the skill to use fire safely and have even come to fear it. This unit examines the issue around camp stoves, camp fires, and providing sources of heat.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O2: Tents and Shelter – The kit to reside comfortably outdoors

September 2008

The most important element of living outdoors is having the right kind of shelter: a waterproof layer – the tent – and an insulating layer to let to sleep comfortably – your bedding. It's also important to organise these elements in a way that's simple and functional. This unit examines how and what to put together to enable you to live comfortably outdoors.

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inc image Free Range Sheet O1: The Great Outdoors – Learning the skills of energy descent

September 2008

The problem with changing to a lower-resource pattern of living is that today we are immersed in a high resource lifestyle that makes it difficult to imagine how we could live with less, or see what skills we might require to live more simply. But there is an easy way that most people can get around the distractions of our everyday life in order to learn the skills of simplicity – go camping!

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inc image The Free Range 'Tri­-Tent'

2006

Don't ask me silly questions... I might answer them! I dashed off this as a result of someone asking how they could put together a weather-tight space with just some tarps and a rope. The dimensions are proportionate to the size of the tarp, so the biggest I've made to far is 7' (if you make a bigger one, let me know/send me a picture!).

file icon click to download Paul Mobbs/MEI resource
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