Tuesday 1 June 2010

July TGO - Pacific Northwest Trail & New Boots

The July issue of TGO is just out (yes, I know it’s only June 1 in the real world but it’s a month later in magazine land). My backpacking column is about the Pacific Northwest Trail, which I’ll be setting out on next month. The accompanying pictures were taken in the North Cascades, which the PNT passes through, on the Pacific Crest Trail back in 1982. They’re not digital of course but Kodachrome transparencies. They don’t look bad for film!

In gear I’ve reviewed 15 pairs of boots that have appeared on the market in the last year, including the brand new ultralight Inov-8 X-Talon 240s. I’ve also got a piece in the Wild Walks section on Carn Mor Dearg and Ben Nevis, which I think is one of the finest hill walks in Scotland and which I’ve been lucky enough to do in superb conditions twice in the last two years.

Elsewhere in gear John Manning has been busy, reviewing 15 synthetic sleeping bags and 18 sun hats, while Eddy Meechan describes how to use a tarp in a wind with some interesting information on orographic wind flow. Eddy uses a fairly small rectangular tarp for this – he says his sleeping bag touches the tarp at the foot end when that is pitched down to the ground. Personally I prefer a larger tarp despite the extra weight as I can pitch it as a pyramid or with enough length to keep it off my sleeping bag.

Also in this issue, most of which I haven’t read yet, there are articles on trig point bagger Dave Woffenden, the South Downs by Kev Reynolds, walking with a dog in the Lake District by Andy Stothert, the GR221 in Mallorca by Paddy Dillon, the death of the wild – an excellent environmental piece by Ed Douglas and the ancient roads of the Mounth in the Eastern Highlands by James Carron.

Oh, and there is one piece of news. TGO has a new Editor. From next month Emily Rodway, currently Deputy Editor, will be taking over from Cameron McNeish, who becomes Editor-At-Large, which will see him writing a monthly column and some gear reviews and roaming the country finding bases for hillwalking

Photo info: In the Northern Rockies on the Continental Divide Trail. Pentax MX SLR, Tamron 35-70 lens. Kodachrome 64. Exposure unrecorded. Scanned slide processed in Capture One 5.


  1. Good luck on your walk.
    Take care.
    Best wishes,

  2. Good luck for the big walk Chris. Hope you tell us more on the planning and kit you are taking.

  3. Thanks Tony and Martin. There will be a piece on the planning and gear in the next TGO. There might be a video as well.

  4. "They don’t look bad for film!"

    Given that you may be aware of Ryan Jordan's comments on digital images, I can't help wondering just how tongue in cheek this is.

    More to the point, I will be very interested to hear how you get on on the PNT as it is a trail I'm considering. Here's hoping you come back bursting with enthusiasm for it.

    Best wishes, John

  5. Not tongue in cheek at all actually! When printed in books and magazines my digital images generally look better my film ones. Now this is almost certainly due to publishers now being geared up for digital not film. Transparencies certainly look good on a lightbox in a way that raw digital images don't on a screen straight out of camera.

    I hope I come back from the PNT bursting with enthusiasm for it. I'm certainly feeling that way now!

  6. Hi Chris,
    How long will it take, aprox?
    Do you expect to see any bear or wildlife?


  7. Hi Tony,
    I expect it'll take 60-75 days.
    I hope to see plenty of wildlife, including bears - though not too closely!

  8. Bedford, MA USA
    Hi Chris, my wife Christine Hartmann and I will be on the PNT (either Olympics or Pasayten) for two weeks beginning July 24 or so. I hope that we meet you! Happy trails, Ron Strickland (cell 206-696-2187)

  9. Hi Ron, thanks for letting me know. I hope we do meet. I probably won't reach the Pasayten until well into August however.