European ‘wilderness’

Viewing 38 posts - 41 through 78 (of 78 total)
  • European ‘wilderness’
  • Premier Icon stevomcd
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    bikebouy’s Auvergne photo is very clearly taken in a ski resort! As with all ski resorts, wilderness may well be just “off the back”.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    tjagain

    …NO killer critters

    I’d venture that it’s not wilderness unless there’s an abundance of killer critters.

    We humans are pretty good at eradicating threats to our lives.

    DrJ
    Member

    Both areas are described via links on my blog site if in interested; https://www.wildernessisastateofmind.co.uk/scandinavia

    Thanks – a good lunchtime read.

    I’ve done a couple of trips based on Abisko, in Sweden near the Norwegian border on the way to Narvik, and I’d love to have the opportunity to explore Sarek a bit.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    A “self-sufficient” friend of mine from Saskatchewan would make an annual journey deep into the Yukon wilderness – a week’s hike in and a week’s hike out – carrying only basics in terms of food and gear, plus a sawed-off shotgun for protection against grizzlies.

    As for Europe, though, I would strongly suggest the East, including the Moldovan and/or Ukrainian Carpathians.

    dovebiker
    Member

    plus a sawed-off shotgun for protection against grizzlies

    ..and once he’s fired-off a couple of shots and is now confronted by a mildly-annoyed bear, what’s he gonna do next?

    I’ve spent a few days in the Finnish arctic in winter – if it’s wild enough for wolves and bears, I think that counts.

    Side note on tracks.
    They’re not necessarily a sign of human intrusion. Depending on the size of the local fauna and the age of the landscape they can be just the way things get around.

    FYI if lost in Africa don’t assume finding a “track” means civilisation is at either end.
    EDIT: Also don’t assume you are the only species using it.

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    ..and once he’s fired-off a couple of shots and is now confronted by a mildly-annoyed bear, what’s he gonna do next?

    Yeah, I really don’t think there is a fool-proof way of dealing with grizzlies, but he was born and raised in the Canadian wilderness. If anyone was going to know what to do in the event of a grizzly attack, I expect it would be him. And if he failed, he would also be the sort to accept the consequences, including his own death. You don’t venture out like he did without understanding what you are doing.

    tjagain
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    Epicyclo – perhaps true but it keeps wild camping rather more peaceful knowing there are no killer critters around that might eat you

    Premier Icon teethgrinder
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    You can use buck shot or slugs in a 12G. The recoil would probably be enough to throw the sawn-off back into your face and knock you out, so you wouldn’t feel the grizzly eat you, however.

    tjagain
    Member

    Sxon – how does your friend carry enough food? Or is it like those “off grid” people that rely on trains / planes to bring stuff to them? Or does he live off hunting?

    Premier Icon SaxonRider
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    Sxon – how does your friend carry enough food? Or is it like those “off grid” people that rely on trains / planes to bring stuff to them? Or does he live off hunting?

    He eats like a chipmunk anyway (that is, very little!), but he would harvest berries, other wild edibles, and fish while trekking. (I had said rabbits, but I think this was not normal, so deleted it.)

    As for water, it was boiling and water purification tablets.

    Side note on tracks.
    They’re not necessarily a sign of human intrusion.

    Very good point. Even 1/4 mile from my front door I can find ‘tracks’ made by muntjac, foxes and/or badgers going off into woods. The tracks lead through such thick waist-high undergrowth that no human could be either responsible for, or bothered to explore. Of course, if you did, you’d soon end up at a field, road/path, or back-garden.

    OP, have a look at the (middle) Danube, Croatia? Drava River. Might want a canoe as well as a bike 😉

    Also, the Dinaric Alps. If you want ‘edge of wilderness’ type trails then the recently opened Julian Alps Hiking Trail and into Triglavski region looks awe-inspiring.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
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    trying to reminind myself of the Hohe Tauern area in Austria, I found this amusingly titled website:

    https://european-wilderness.network/

    Premier Icon bikebouy
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    bikebouy’s Auvergne photo is very clearly taken in a ski resort! As with all ski resorts, wilderness may well be just “off the back”.

    Nabbed off the internet innit. What lies behind the camera is just as beautiful.. I’ve been there a good many times.

    The tracks are mainly from animals, yeah some are human, most are animals.

    You need to check the place out, I’m serious. If you are looking for somewhere secluded with a smattering of medieval villages that pretty much consist of two cafes, a bar and a barber then this is your place.

    It’s 5hrs by car, and a lifetime away from the UK.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    tjagain

    Epicyclo – perhaps true but it keeps wild camping rather more peaceful knowing there are no killer critters around that might eat you

    Too true, and it’s something I really appreciate after spending a huge chunk of my life in places with plenty killer critters. 🙂

    teethgrinder

    You can use buck shot or slugs in a 12G. The recoil would probably be enough to throw the sawn-off back into your face and knock you out, so you wouldn’t feel the grizzly eat you, however.

    Not necessarily.

    When hunting feral pigs in the bush in Oz for close up work we used a Rossi Brush gun which is basically a sawn off. A longer weapon would be unwieldy.

    Loaded with buckshot and Brenneke slugs it was sufficient to stop or totally discourage a large charging boar. Buckshot first, Brenneke if needed.

    I’m pretty sure a faceful of buckshot or a Brenneke slug would discourage even a grizzly. However I’d rather not find out. 🙂

    tjagain
    Member

    Malvernrider – julian alps are very good – done some trekking there myself. However potable water is hard to get and wild camping is banned in the national park which changes things somewhat for me.

    Its such a small area it has to be like this but it somewhat tames the wildness of the experience

    Premier Icon isoo
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    Scandenavia does not have right to roam in the scottish sense

    I think it does…?

    Not Scandinavia, but Finland definitely has a very open right to roam. It states that anywhere not dedicated to some activity, such as fields for farming, pastures for grazing, yards for living, factories for factoring, etc., is open to traversing on non-motorised vehicles (including horses and e-bikes), temporary camping and foraging stuff from the ground, such as berries, mushrooms and confier cones, as long as no damage is caused. Fishing and fires require landowner permission.

    So basically it means that owning land does not allow one to control access to it.

    I believe Sweden and Norway have very similar situations, but in Denmark access is more restricted.

    Premier Icon Kamakazie
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    Romania, Turkey…. Georgia seems to be Asia though considered the border between the 2 continents.
    The Balkans certainly has some significant areas of wilderness.

    I’d expect the same with Belarus, Latvia & Estonia sort of area but haven’t been there.

    DrJ
    Member

    in Denmark access is more restricted.

    Can’t see myself seeking wilderness in Denmark, to be honest 🙂

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    ISTR in Norway that ‘everyman’s right’ allows you to go anywhere unless it’s fenced in (e.g. a garden) or you would destroy crops.

    scotroutes
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    Sweden. Allemansrätten

    Premier Icon hot_fiat
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    Was in Tromsø this week for work. It’s pretty remote up there, not half as remote as some of the places in between though. This was the view out of the plane somewhere south of Bodø on the way back home yesterday. It looks truly magnificent.

    scotroutes
    Member

    It should also be remembered that much of the “wilderness” in the Scottish Highlands is relatively recent. Signs of human habitation can be found almost everywhere. Of course, many of the straths and glens were forcibly depopulated during the Clearances (ignore that dickhead Neil Oliver, he’s not even a qualified historian) but when you read AE Robertsons accounts of his Munro bagging adventures (mostly between the wars} you find that there were still folk in many isolated places even then.

    Premier Icon howsyourdad1
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    *Waves from Sweden*

    It’s pretty quiet here, if you ever want to film an end of the world movie it’s a pretty good place, everywhere is deserted , all of the time.

    Shite for a lively night out, great for wild nights out. DYSWIDT?

    Premier Icon Greybeard
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    I’ve been kayaking in East Greenland (some definitions don’t count Greenland as Europe) and there are large areas that are physically untouched by humans, although the wildlife may have been affected by humans in adjacent areas. Our guide carried a pump action shotgun with solid slugs in case we met a polar bear that couldn’t be deterred. The instructions were, as a last resort, to wait until it was 3m away, when it would stand on its hind legs ready to drop onto you, and then you could shoot it in the chest.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    The Polish Tatra’s are busy and over used.
    The Slovak side however… We really liked it. Walk down the ridge that is the border and you can see the difference. Makes for a start to the day when the ranger is telling you the bear is across the valley and the wolves are out the park at the moment…

    Go North – Russia, Finland, Sweden, Norway all have some proper wild places, Islands included.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
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    The instructions were, as a last resort, to wait until it was 3m away, when it would stand on its hind legs ready to drop onto you, and then you could shoot it in the chest.

    When we trained for that situation the discussion was if you shoot the geologist in the foot instead. Bear eats the evidence. You get away….

    Premier Icon epicyclo
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    matt_outandabout

    Bear eats the evidence. You get away….

    Bear eats the geologist every time.

    Every smart bear knows that the geotech assistants are muscular and stringy from carting all that gear around and bashing big spikes into rocky ground.

    Besides that, they’re fitter and therefore faster. 🙂

    malgrey
    Member

    It should also be remembered that much of the “wilderness” in the Scottish Highlands is relatively recent. Signs of human habitation can be found almost everywhere. Of course, many of the straths and glens were forcibly depopulated during the Clearances (ignore that dickhead Neil Oliver, he’s not even a qualified historian) but when you read AE Robertsons accounts of his Munro bagging adventures (mostly between the wars} you find that there were still folk in many isolated places even then.

    Very true. On our trip across Inverpolly, we spent the night at Clais, where the ruin is of the classic shape between fallen gable ends. We re-roofed the windward end with a tarp as our living room for the night, likely where the livestock were kept not that many generations ago, as they were always put to windward. In these places, and in the bothies I also frequent, there is a real and tangible link with a past way of life that was only given up around the time of my grandparents’ young adulthood. At its most extreme, St Kilda, with a way of life almost unchanged for centuries, was only evacuated 7 years before my dad was born.

    The winter before last, we spent a few nights at Uags on the tip of the Applecross peninsula, and there the gap between those that lived here and ourselves seemed incredibly close, especially whilst huddled round the fire on a very cold winter’s night (the rock pools froze over); an amazing spot to spend time and ponder the lives of people who eked out a living in land we now use for leisure. I like to think they will have derived much pleasure from living in such beautiful places, though clearly they endured much hardship.

    This “wilderness” of ours, is a new thing. It is, though, still an amazingly special landscape.(ends mildly drunken off-topic waffling. Which is surely the definition of a true forum post)

    malgrey
    Member

    bikebouy’s Auvergne photo is very clearly taken in a ski resort! As with all ski resorts, wilderness may well be just “off the back”.

    Nabbed off the internet innit. What lies behind the camera is just as beautiful.. I’ve been there a good many times.

    The tracks are mainly from animals, yeah some are human, most are animals.

    You need to check the place out, I’m serious. If you are looking for somewhere secluded with a smattering of medieval villages that pretty much consist of two cafes, a bar and a barber then this is your place.

    It’s 5hrs by car, and a lifetime away from the UK.

    The Auvergne is a great place to visit, and to explore. Wandered up the Plomb du Cantal and other peaks, and its not hard to find a route away from the scars of man. A meadow I sat in there was startlingly alive, full of insects, flowers, birds; something we have sadly, largely lost in the UK. By the way, there was an epic looking DH run from the summit to the NW along a ridge avoiding the obvious winter ski trails, a couple of lads on it were absolutely flying.

    To the southwest, the Causses de Quercy, and the valleys of the Lot and the Cele, are a limestone plateau that contains an enormous amount of ancient history. Quieter and less well-known than the Auvergne, the villages are even older. I’ve wandered there for many hours without seeing a soul, and the villages are well spread. The mountain biking is also excellent, form an XC perspective at least! The language is as indecipherable to Parisiens as thick Glaswegian is to Londoners, for it contains a large smattering of the older Occitan. Another of those “old” feeling parts of the world.

    Premier Icon isoo
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    Can’t see myself seeking wilderness in Denmark, to be honest 🙂

    I guess more sparse a resource is, the tighter it tends to be regulated. Up around here solitude is ample, but closer to Central Europe it tends to become a luxury, and therefore not available to the masses.

    alpin
    Member

    Bis of Croatia are pretty wild still.

    Mate of mine travelled through the Balkans down to Greece and then back up to Germany via Serbia and Romania. He said there were great expanses of nothingness, awesome untouched (by tourism at least) mountains.

    Have been to bits of northern Spain just over the pyrenees that felt like being in a wild west movie.

    Saw this on my feed and thought this to be a good place to share. Drones coming into their own as the bird’s-eye footage shows…

    ebygomm
    Member

    Watching musk ox in Dovrefjell felt fairly wild. Mind we still had 3g connection and I got an email to tell us our return ferry was cancelled whilst sat in the tent watching so perhaps not that wild after all.

    FunkyDunc
    Member

    if you want wilderness, get thee to those places with the losest population density.

    I agree to some extent. I’ve recently moved to Shropshire / Welsh Borders. You can go for an all day walk and not see another human, an OS map will show a path but no path will exist.

    But everywhere is bloody farmland or at least moorland with dirty great big fences on it.

    Would some parts of the Pyrenees still be wilderness ?

    True wilderness is something very special. I thinks it’s very difficult to describe but once you are in it you almost feel privileged to be there. I have only experienced this once in Canada.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    I’m not so much interested in the technical definition of wilderness – more the ability to pretend that I’m somewhere primeval. So for example a few hundred acres of richly bio-diverse could have more to offer than a few hundred square miles of sheep-ravaged moor.

    scotroutes
    Member

    The likes of Glen Affric would give that experience – there are large sections of natural forest that are free from human intervention (at a local scale at least).  Some of the Western Isles might qualify, though there’s the pernicious effect of sheep grazing to deal with, even on many of the unpopulated ones. Some of the remote mountain ranges – crossing the Moine Mhor for instance – or deep in a Cuillin corrie.

    Only my first example would truly count as bio-diverse though. Wilderness in the UK mostly exists where nothing can be grown.

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