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Millican Dalton may not be a name you know, although you just might have heard of the Borrowdale Caveman or the Professor of Adventure … both of whom were Millican Dalton.



At the age of 36 Millican Dalton gave up his ‘normal’ life and embarked upon another, quite extraordinary one. The majority of this new life was based in the Lake District, the early years all spent under canvas before later moving into a cave above Borrowdale, where he continued to live into his 70’s. He was a great ambassador for everything ‘outdoorsy’ and in particular ‘cycle camping’ … in 1901 he formed the Association of Cycle Campers and they’re still going today, although sadly they’re now known as the Camping and Caravanning Club!

At just over 100 pages long the book packs in an awful lot. It chronicles the life and obviously adventures of a remarkable man in some depth, including his love of MYOG and especially lightweight gear which included all his clothes! The photographs contained in the book may be from a long past era but that only makes them more interesting … an awful lot of stuff hasn’t really changed. Much of Millican Daltons thinking and ideals are still with us today, as is his love of wearing shorts all year, no matter what the weather. The story certainly isn’t one of a hermit or even recluse, he wasn’t ‘running away’ so much as running towards a way of life that he could share with others through courses, trips and holidays both in the Lakes and the Alps … I suppose you could say he ran the worlds first outdoor pursuits centre.

I won’t tell you anymore but be assured, there’s a lot more to know … well worth reading.

One Comment

  1. Stu, come up to the Lakes sometime and I'll take you to Dalton's cave. We used to spend the night of the Winter Solstice there, it's a cracking spot, and not a bad overnight. And it's true, his words are engraved in the wall – "Don't waste words, jump to conclusions"

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