It is that time of the year again. The summer is in full swing, and you plan to go on vacations to the beach or the mountains with your family. There are different other ways you can spend your holidays like camping and touring around the country.
If you plan to go to the mountains, the odds of finding a bothy there are high. But what is a bothy?
The Mountain Bothy Association defines it as “simple shelters in remote country for the use & benefit of all who love wild & lonely places.” A bothy is a liveable place or hut in a wilderness. It is open and free for all but mainly used by adventurers, mountaineers, and hikers for a short stay.
To learn more about a bothy, read this post till the end.
What To Expect In A Bothy?
A bothy is built on the ruins of an abandoned home, cottage, or hut. It is renovated enough to house few people for a few nights.
There are not many great luxuries in a bothy. However, for people who love adventure, a roof over the head and some place to sleep is the best luxury one can afford.
They’re also great if you’re into hiking and sure to provide a break that will help you to keep fit.
Or perhaps you’re permanently touring in your caravan or motorhome and simply fancy a basic change of scenery for a night or sense of adventure.
Typically, in a bothy, you will find a place to make your bed, some candles for the light, and some tools that might help you while you stay at the bothy.
A Heavenly Retreat For Adventure Lovers
You will find most bothies near hiking trails or mountain climbing campsites. A bothy is the best free refuge for travelers, hikers, mountaineers, and people who love to have some space and time for themselves in seclusion.
You will notice that most bothies are pictured in serene natural beauty. It is not just photoshop. This is true. A bothy gives a glimpse and experience of the lives of the past with no distractions and restrictions of the digital and industrial world.
You will find peace and refuge in a bothy. It is also one of the best places to connect with like-minded people and explore new areas of interest.
Material Luxury In A Bothy Is Not An Option
Material luxury is not an option in a bothy. Most bothies are located in remote areas of mountain ranges or the countryside. Therefore, there is less connectivity and communication to the urban centers. So, the facilities and luxuries of the modern world are impossible to find.
For clarity, you will find it hard to find running water and electricity. There is no running water to wash your laundry or clean the dishes. There is no central heating system or electricity to light up your nights. You can instead enjoy the starry nights.
To add to your agonies, there is no guarantee of a toilet. But that is the fun part. Almost all bothies have a spade. You know what to do next, don’t you? Make sure you go far from the residential place to avoid inconvenience.
Who Owns And Maintains A Bothy?
A bothy is owned by the person who owns the land, estate, or property it is located on. However, they are only involved at the level of allowing the bothy for use. They have no interference after that. The owner is not responsible for facilitating the visitors, nor is he under any compulsion to do so.
Bothies are maintained and sustained by volunteer groups or frequent visitors. They transport the necessities like beddings, buckets, fuel, tools, etc. The owners may help with transporting the equipment.
Some groups choose a bothy to visit often and take care of it like their own. However, most bothies in Great Britain are taken care of and regulated by the Mountain Bothies Association.
Mountain Bothies Association
The Mountain Bothies Association is a volunteer organization aimed at preserving and maintaining bothies around the country.
They are a recipient of the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. The Mountain Bothies Association or MBA is a volunteer organization and charity which maintains about 100 shelters across Great Britain. They do their work efficiently; therefore, they were appreciated by the award.
With the permission and support of the owners, these shelters or bothies are unlocked. They are available for anyone to use under the care of MBA. The MBA carries out maintenance activities. These duties are taken up and performed by volunteers.
They take in new members who want to support their work and share their passion. Volunteers can help by attending work parties or by contributing financially through subscriptions and donations. Without this support, many of these unique shelters would be lost forever.
What Is The Bothy Code?
As you have read already that bothies are free and open for all. However, this free facility must not be misused. Bothies are a great escape and place of peace for many. Therefore, to preserve and maintain them, there are some general rules and codes that one must follow.
These rules and codes are prepared by the MBA. They revolve around general cleanliness, care, waste disposal, etc. The aim is to leave the bothy habitable for further use. Some prominent Bothy Codes are:
• Respect the Bothy
• Respect Other Users
• Respect the Surroundings
• Respect the Agreement with the Estate
• Respect the Restrictions on Numbers (Six Persons for Six days are Optimal Numbers)
A bothy is free and open for all shelter in remoter areas of the country. Mountaineers and hikers mainly use them during their rest. Some people visit for recreation and enjoying the nature and peace of the countryside.
There are not many excellent facilities and luxuries in a bothy. However, it is the beauty of all the experience. You can stay away from the distractions and restrictions of the digital and industrially competitive world.
The bothies are owned by the owners of the land or the estate they are located on. However, a voluntary organization called the Mountain Bothies Association plays a pivotal role in preserving ad maintaining over a hundred bothies across Great Britain.
The Bothy Code encourages users to take care of the bothy and leave it habitable for the next batch.
Bothies are undoubtedly trendy. Make sure you experience this at least once in your life.