Jared Rowan, Littlest Chicken, learns how to wild camp responsibly

Jared Rowan, Littlest Chicken, learns how to wild camp responsibly

Walking charity Ramblers Scotland has enlisted a young social media star to encourage responsible wild camping.

Jarad Rowan stars in a short, light-hearted YouTube video aimed at a younger audience.

The Ramblers may have a reputation as a staid, traditional organisation, but the film, featuring the 21-year-old bespectacled learning what to do and what not to do in the great outdoors, is firmly aimed at younger first-time campers.

Rowan, known as the Littlest Chicken on his Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and TikTok pages, was filmed discovering five rules of wild camping on a trip in the Corehead estate near Moffat in the Scottish Borders.

The film was planned by Ramblers Scotland alongside a team of young adults – the target audience – who have completed Ramblers Scotland’s Out There Award, which helps 18 to 26-year-olds kick-start their journeys into the outdoors.

The YouTube video was supported by charity the John Muir Trust and NatureScot, the Scottish Government’s advisory body on the outdoors.

Jarad Rowan, from Stranraer, said: “This was such a great project to be involved in and I had the best time filming!

“It was also really cool to be shooting in Dumfries and Galloway. There are some lovely spots here in Scotland. I’m wondering does this make me an icon in the world of wild camping now?!”

Ramblers Scotland and their partners have launched the video ahead of what is expected to be a hugely busy summer for Scotland’s outdoors, particularly as many festivals, indoor parties and overseas travel remain off-limits. A recent study by the David Hume Institute showed 36 per cent of people in Scotland spent more time outside in nature last year than before – with 58 per cent intending to spend more time outside in future.

The video will be shown across Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat, Twitter and TikTok throughout the summer. Viewers are linked to a detailed new webpage on the Ramblers Scotland site that helps beginners plan safe and fun wild camps in Scotland.

The video campaign is part of a wider programme of visitor management activities led by VisitScotland and Scottish Government with public, charity and private partners. Together the partnership aims to deliver not just communication and education activities about enjoying the outdoors responsibly but also to address issues related to infrastructure and to co-ordinate direct engagement with visitors to prevent problems arising.

Ramblers Scotland director Brendan Paddy said: “Scotland has world-class landscapes for everyone to explore. Getting more people active outdoors more often will help make Scotland a happier and healthier nation. It can also provide valuable income for rural communities and help more people feel inspired to protect the places where we all love to walk.

“The challenge we now face is making sure that the welcome increase in people getting outdoors is backed by the support needed to ensure people have the knowledge and opportunities to enjoy the experience responsibly.

“I hope our new film will support people, especially beginners, to plan fun, responsible nights out under the stars.”

Ramblers Scotland is a membership organisation and charity with a grassroots network of 54 local groups, running 3,500 group walks a year which are all led and organised by 1,200 volunteers.

  • Jared Rowan features in a light-hearted guide to wild camping

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