Thursday, 26 April 2012

Latest TGO - Delights of Camp Fires, Packing for Long Distance Walks, Compasses, Hiking Shirts, Montane Medusa 32 Pack

In the Teton National Forest on the Continental Divide Trail, 1985

The latest TGO is out. This is the extra issue for this year, called the Spring issue and sandwiched between the May and June issues. My Backpacking Column, called Dreaming the Fire, is about the joys of camp fires, from traditional ones in stone fire rings like that pictured to modern mini-ones contained in ultralight wood-burning stoves.

In gear I review a dozen hiking shirts and a half-dozen compasses and have a first look at the new Montane Medusa 32 pack (more than a first look really as I've been using it since last autumn). Elsewhere John Manning covers 12 two-person geodesic tents.

The theme of this issue is long-distance paths and in the Hill Skills section I've given some suggestions for packing for a long-distance walk. On the actual paths themselves Alf Alderson recommends ten sections of the new Wales Coast Path, Stephen Goodwin hikes the Hadrian's Wall Path and there's an overview of Britain's National Trails.

There's much more in this issue of course including Carey Davies visiting the Lake District for a scramble along Striding Edge and some dinghy sailing on Ullswater; Ed Byrne having fun with a food dehydrator; Judy Armstrong trekking across the Vanoise National Park; Emily Rodway meeting the Ramblers new boss Benedict Southworth; Cameron McNeish doing a circuit of the summits of Bidean nam Bian in Glencoe; Jim Perrin praising Howard Hill's Freedom to Roam; Kevin Walker looking at what to do when "navigationally challenged"; John White suggesting ways to predict the weather and guest columnist Simon Yates considering how modern communications have changed the experience of mountaineering.


  1. Hi Chris,

    I like your photo. The colours of your shirt match the colours of the background smoke (lovely)and I can almost feel the heat from those orange flames (we daren't touch them). You look weathered and tired. Is there a bear lurking in those trees, ready to bounce?

    And your youthfulness, captured in a blink of an eye, a reminder of all our youthfulnesses, left behind, forgotten, washed away by time.

    But, there is something else too, a thought , or is it a realisation (it's difficult to be sure), that our youth, our beauty, is not lost completely, that we will be reunited with them again, in the passage of time.

  2. agreed, it is a great photo

  3. Is it okay to have campfires on wild land in the UK?

  4. Chris,

    It's always fascinating to look back at old photos. I'm always thrilled to see bits of old, treasured but long lost gear being used.

    I'm sure I've seen this photo before - does it feature in one of your earliest books "The Great Backpacking Adventure"?

    I bet you don't have that big yellow mug anymore.

    Dave Porter

  5. Alastair, I don't know what the law is for England and Wales regarding camp fires. In Scotland they are allowed under the Access Legislation as long as no damage is caused.

    Dave, well remembered. That photo does appear in "The Great Backpacking Adventure", my first book. I don't know what happened to the yellow mug! The pot was an aluminium one that was so battered by the end of the trip that I never used it again. The clothing was Rohan polycotton stuff that lasted pretty well.

  6. hey..lovely picture....nice background....and i like your cushion:P

    Camp Stove

  7. I wondered if anyone would notice that piece of carpet! It had been left there by previous campers. The site looked like it was used regularly by horse packers. The grill was already there too.