You've found the website for the Paul Perambulates YouTube channel, where I document my wanderings in the hills. If that's not where you've come from, why not hop over there and have a look at some of my videos?

This page is an adjunct to the YouTube channel, to provide a little background for the curious, in the form of answers to the following questions:

Who are you?

My name, unsurprisingly, is Paul. I am from North Somerset, and am retired. I am a keen hillwalker, wild camper, film-maker, and Scout Association volunteer.

What do you know about hillwalking?

I have been doing it seriously for about ten years. In that time I have obtained the Hill and Moorland Leader qualification awarded by the national body for hillwalking, Mountain Training, plus the Scout Association's Terrain One Supervisor and Lightweight Expedition permits. I do NOT have any Mountain Leader/Terrain Two qualifications, although I'm not ruling them out in the future.

Where and how did you gain your skills?

I got involved when my kids took part in Ten Tors, a two-day hiking and wild camping challenge for teenagers run by the Army on Dartmoor every year. I joined the Scout Association as a volunteer hillwalking trainer, and since then have taken on more and more responsibility, and I now run the Ten Tors training effort for Scouts in my local area. The Scout Association has connected me with highly qualified and experienced mentors, who have guided me through learning what I've needed to know to become a good hillwalking instructor myself. I recommend joining the Scout Association for the quality of training they provide (although this can vary between areas), but remember that your part of the bargain is to volunteer to take scouts out walking and pass that knowledge on to them.

Where do you go walking?

My location, and my role as a Ten Tors trainer, dictate that most of my walking is done on Dartmoor and in the Brecon Beacons. Ten Tors training also takes me to the Mendips, Quantocks, and Forest of Dean. I try to vary my walking, both with routes close to home, and visits to more far flung destinations. As I write, I have done some mountain walking in Snowdonia, and a couple in the Lake District and Scotland, and have plans to do more of those.

Are you interested in climbing?

No. I'm not even interested in difficult scrambling. If you are looking for hair-raising, white-knuckle mountain scrambling escapades, you won't find them on my channel. I'm the wrong side of 60, usually on my own, and often have a full night's kit on my back. There is always a little risk in the mountains, but I prefer to keep it little.

Can I learn hillwalking skills from your videos?

No. You can't learn those by watching anyone's videos. You need practical tuition on the hill, from qualified, experienced teachers, and you need to build your own skill set gradually, increasing the level of the challenges you take on as your confidence grows. That is exactly the process I am going through, and which I'm documenting in these videos.

So what is the purpose of the videos?

First of all, I can't deny that I am indulging two of my greatest passions, the physical challenge of hillwalking, and the creative challenge of movie-making. I am hoping the videos will prove useful to others by providing as much insight as possible into what you will find on the routes I walk, so that you can judge whether those routes would be suitable for you. I therefore focus on practical matters such as car parking, underfoot conditions, ease of navigation, and so on. I grade each walk for difficulty, on a scale of 1 to 10. Difficulty, of course, is subjective, as we are all different, so I rate them based on how difficult they were for me. You may need to adjust those ratings to take account of your capabilities, whether they are greater or lesser than mine. I try always to suggest options for anyone who wants to try shorter versions.

Do you only walk on hills and mountains?

Mostly, but not exclusively. My routes also encompass some coastal, forest and lowland walking. I hope that there will be something in there for everyone who is keen to get out walking.

How do you get so lucky with the weather in all your videos?

No luck involved. Being retired, I am in the happy position of being able to plan the route, then wait for the right day, weather-wise, and record the locations I visit at their best. There would be very little point in my trying to show you around an area in 50-yard visibility.

Why is the vision/sound often a bit shonky?

In technical terms, it is simply not feasible or sensible for me to carry expensive heavy duty camera and sound equipment, even if I could afford to buy them, as well as all my walking kit. The footage is taken on my phone, and on a small handycam which allows me the capabilities of optical zoom. Both are expendable rather than expensive, because the more remote an area, the more hostile it is to digital technology, any item of which is only one small accident away from needing to be replaced. Keeping a camera still, and recording sound, are often very challenging in the hills, where the wind is always at its strongest. This will inevitably show up in the final product, although mitigating it is all part of the creative challenge.