Tuesday 4 May 2010

June TGO

The June issue of TGO magazine is just out. My backpacking column is about the pleasures of forest backpacking while in the Wild Walks section I describe one of my favourite walks – across the Cairngorm Plateau to Ben Macdui. In gear there’s my review of fifteen pairs of zip-off trousers. I need a new pair of these but wasn’t impressed with any of those tested so I’m still looking. The other big review is by Judy Armstrong, who tests women’s trail shoes and finds several pairs to like.
Elsewhere in gear John Manning has a very useful look at bug protection, including clothing, treatment for gear and repellents, just in time for the midge season, which will be starting all too soon.

The rest of the issue includes an entertaining interview by Emily Rodway with the unusual Laurence Main, described as a walker, guidebook writer, dowser and druid; Andy Stothert considering which is the best walk in the world, which in his case must be one in the Lake District and more specifically the upper reaches of Eskdale and Lingcove Beck (now that really is narrowing it down – the whole world to a tiny corner of Cumbria); John Gillham being impressed by some of Snowdonia’s lower peaks; Ann Luck trekking in the Himalaya on the 2009 TGO Readers’ Trek; David Gray on Suilven, and Adrian Hendroff on the Irish hills.

Photo info: Ed Huesers in the forested foothills of the Colorado Rockies. Canon EOS 350D, Canon 18-55 at 20mm, 1/80@f8, ISO 100, raw files converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.7.


  1. Convertible Trousers: Rohan appear to have stopped the Convertible Goas, which were the only ones that suited me last time round. They seem to have the long (33") leg version in a clearance sale for £18.59. It's almost worth getting some and having them adjusted!

  2. Chris, I don't know whether you find the same but I think zip-offs are one of the hardest things to assess when new, because that's when the join between upper and lower sections is at its most abrasive Over time, with wear and washing, it can soften and become less of an irritant.

    My favourites are still an old pair of Maine I picked up on the cheap (T K Maxx) where the join is so softened with age as to be barely noticeable. Unfortunately they are tatty and stained to the point of being disgusting even after washing, so they'll need to be replaced soon.

    I've never really had any I've been completely happy with from new.

  3. DB, that's a good point. However my old Mountain Hardwear Convertible Pack Pants were comfortable when new - the zips never rubbed at all so there was no need for the join to soften.

  4. Yes, the Mountain Hardware convertible pack pants! What a piece of work -- the convergence of function and design.

    Really a necessity for desert hiking.


  5. I got a pair or Cragghoppers Kiwi convertibles to do the Inca Trail in many moons ago. They have seen better days now so I'm looking at getting another pair. They caused me no grief to that time though to the point where I didn't know these zips could cause discomfort.

  6. Convertable pants: I guess that you have tried most manufacturers kit in your quest. But just on the off chance, did you try the Columbia Silver ridge. They are lightweight and quick drying. They have all the necessary pockets and zips and they are the most comfortable pants i have.

  7. Thanks for that info. I didn't try the Silver Ridge. I'll look out for them.