Rucksack Rose at 5

On 17th September this year it was 5 years since I began to create Rucksack Rose on this blog and YouTube. For those who don’t know, Rucksack Rose was originally dedicated to my mum, and was intended to share the good and simple things in the outdoor world such as beauty and kindness.

Rucksack Rose 5th Birthday

I had great plans for this fifth year but, without going into details, bullying by a small group of trolls laid waste to some of them, which was a very sad moment for me and for this blog. Anyway, having taken advice, I am pressing on. Can I simply ask that if you don’t respect me, my content or my aims, you just unfollow. It’s really not that difficult.

Anyway, I always try to end on an up – I know you’ve all heard this stuff before, but to those who have stuck by me for all or some of the last five years for the right reasons, I would like to say a big thank you for over 101k YouTube views, 103k blog views, as well as your advice and inspiration. I genuinely appreciate all these things and I will continue to try and keep to the original intentions of the blog which are outlined in the About section.

RR Thanks
Rucksack Rose Thank You

Happy Hiking. Rose🌹

Environmental Escapades

Living in a town as I currently do, every walk now begins and ends with a rail or road journey which has to be considered and planned for, which is why I include a discussion of transport here. Since I began walking in the Scottish Borders at the time of the foot and mouth epidemic, I have become aware of the fragility of the environment I enjoy so much. My earliest walks involved swilling my boots in troughs of chemicals aimed at halting the spread of the disease and some paths were completely sealed off, but the farmers were keen to encourage outdoor people to continue visiting the countryside.

Through my walking I have experienced up close the effects of things like disease, invasive species, erosion, flooding and climate change, as well as confronting the realities of threatened species such as elm, ash, red squirrels and bees. As a result of this experience, I have learned to respect the places I visit and to minimise the traces of my being there. Without shouting about it, I have also tried to make this blog consistent with the development of my environmental beliefs.

Leaving early by train for the start of the Pennine Way

When I created the blog, I was lucky enough to have a car which I was able to jump into at the first sign of good weather like a true weekend warrior. When resources, transport and time are available, it is easy to write prolifically and pleasurably about the things I love. However when running a car became more costly, and I began to become aware of the environmental contradictions of my outdoor pursuits, I did my utmost to make my blog work using public transport. I am proud to say that I got to and from all my long distance walks on public transport.

Setting off for the start of the Dales Way at Ilkley

For my shorter walks and trips, I really have battled with the logistics of trains, coaches, taxis and buses, which often don’t visit the places I want to reach, or run once or twice a week at most, but I have achieved less in the way of interesting blog posts. Because large areas of my local stomping grounds are inaccessible by bus, I tried car hire for a while, but found it a bit inflexible. After much deliberation, I have finally opted to join a car club to enable me to reach the wilder places and trails I love with some degree of spontaneity.

Bus stop
The end of the Berwickshire Coastal Path at Cockburnspath

I won’t be abandoning public transport (where it is feasible) any time soon, but using a car club seems the ideal way of achieving the best of both worlds; minimising my environmental footprint and exploring wild places. I hope that this will find some kindred spirits among my readers.

RR Aims

Just a quick feedback post on re-launching my blog after a year away and the various plans outlined recently in my Sprucing things up post.

  • Creating fresh content

Creating fresh content also forces you to confront content which is frankly not fresh. I have therefore deleted the Reviews tab as an old review is about as relevant for gear buyers as an old newspaper is for news. I will still write reviews but I will write them as posts which disappear into the archives after a while. With some regret I have also done away with a couple of geographical sections on my blog to focus on areas which I know more about. This is not an indication that I love them any less than I did, but an acknowledgement that there are very good blogs out there which cover these areas. Regarding producing new content there are more walks in the pipeline

  • Refreshing all the content and some of the pictures on my blog

I have been gradually working through all my blog posts editing both the text and pictures in the interests of accuracy and appearance. I hope this will bring about an overall improvement in the relevance and interest of the content.

  • Giving more opportunities for feedback

I am generally happy to get constructive feedback or suggestions which will be beneficial to my readers. I normally respond promptly to comments and messages when I’m at home. Your comments have always helped shape my future plans and decisions

  • Improving my existing and forthcoming videos.

This is a big project as I have over 80 videos on YouTube, but I am enhancing the thumbnails, descriptions, tags and in some cases re-uploading the poorer quality videos. I have also started using a better camera and improved software which can only be an improvement. (Cont)

Clockwise: Malham Cove, Hadrian’s Wall, High Force, Helm Crag
  • Introducing ways to allow people to give financial support or advertise if they want

See the Supporting Me and Outdoor Links pages if you are interested.

  • Re-establishing contacts and catching up on Twitter

I am always pleased to get new followers, but also to manage to keep in touch with the older followers who I still value. My timeline is busy so it is a case of finding ways to focus in on the activities which I think people follow me for. As well as my own stuff, I try to share some of the brilliant content and achievements which people share with me on Twitter.

  • Re-evaluating YouTube, Google+, Instagram and Audioboom profiles

After consulting followers, the consensus seemed to be that I should deactivate AudioBoom and Google + which I have now done. As a result I am now a leaner machine on this blog, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram and Viewranger.

  • Seeking adventure collaborators and walking companions

I have created a free, reciprocal outdoors links page and am seeking collaborators and walking and camping companions for trips and trails. Support and collaboration are not just about money, although it does help.


Wildflowers and plants.
Wildflowers and plants.

Thanks for reading, viewing and following. Rose