Tuesday 1 September 2009

Pacific Crest Trail & Bivi Bags: October TGO

The October issue of TGO is out this week (my copy arrived in the post today). My backpacking column is about the Pacific Crest Trail, which I hiked in 1982 and which I think is the ultimate backpacking trail. Of all the long walks I have done it’s the one I would most like to repeat. In gear I review 15 bivi bags from companies like Rab, PHD, Mountain Equipment, Alpkit and Terra Nova.

This is also the TGO Challenge issue with the application form for 2010, reminiscences of the 2009 Challenge, Roger Smith on 30 years of the Challenge and John Manning on the gear he used this year.

Elsewhere in the magazine Jim Perrin has a powerful piece, one of his best, on who are the real environmentalists (hint: it’s not those calling for windfarms in wild places); Emily Rodway spends a day with artist Andy Goldsworthy; Andy Stothert walks the Wasdale fells midweek and finds few people; photographer Keith Brame describes spending 2009 taking pictures of the John Muir Trust’s spectacular Scottish estates (and shows some of his splendid images); Graham Forbes gives 50 tongue-in-cheek rules for hillwalking; Steve Razetti looks at the changing face of the trekking business and John Manning looks at gear for trekking.

Photo info: Camp in the Palisades Basin, High Sierra, on a return visit in 2002, 20 years after my Pacific Crest Trail hike. Canon EOS 300 SLR, Sigma 24-70 lens, Fujichrome 100 film. Processed in Lightroom 2.4.


  1. Hi Chris,

    Your reviews of bivvy bags in Oct TGO were spot on.I use an Alpkit Hunka and I've yet to get condensation in it. Kept me nice and dry bivvied up by Loch Etchachan last week. A real bargain at £30 delivered!

  2. I wish I could get TGO in the Netherlands. I'd be especially keen on getting a copy of this edition.


  3. Hi Michiel,
    TGO does offer a digital subscription. I don't know if single digital issues are available. Contact tgo.subs@tgomagazine.co.uk

  4. Hi Chris,
    How did you digitalise your image?

  5. Tont, I confess that I didn't digitise it myself. I sent it to a lab.

  6. Out of curiosity, what kind of shelter did you use on the PCT in 1982? How much did your pack weigh back on those days?

  7. Hi Erik. I used a Wintergear Eyrie Gore-Tex dome tent on the PCT. It weighed about 4.5lbs. In a modified form it's now sold as the Terra Nova Gemini.

    My pack weight varied from 40 to over 100lbs! The last was with 23 days food, snowshoes, crampons and ice axe for the section from Kennedy Meadows to Mammoth Lakes.