Monday 11 November 2013

New TGO: Backpacking & Forests, Fleece Tops, Keeping Head & Hands Warm, Brynje Wool String Vest

Autumn Forest at Dusk

The December issue of The Great Outdoors is just out. My contributions are a piece on Backpacking and Forests, a review of 13 fleece jackets (I like fleece!), suggestions on keeping head and hands warm in winter weather and a test report on the Brynje Wool Micro T-Shirt.

This issue has much on winter, appropriate as the first big snowfalls grace the hills. David Lintern attempts his first winter mountaineering routes in the Ben Alder area, a feature illustrated with wonderful atmospheric photographs; more great photographs come from Stewart Smith who shows the Lake District hills after the first snowfall; Alan Halewood of Glenmore Lodge continues his advice on avalanche avoidance; and Pete Catterall of Plas Y Brenin writes about food for winter hills. The other gear reviews are winter-orientated too. Daniel Neilson reviews the four-season Fjallraven Akka Endurance 2 tunnel tent, which sounds pretty good for winter storms. John Manning reviews six synthetic-insulated jackets while Judy Armstrong reviews six women's down jackets. The Wild Walks section has some wintry trips. Dave Kirkpatrick describes his first winter camping trip in the Glen Lyon hills and discovers summer camping gear doesn't work that well when it's freezing. He still got some excellent photographs though. Roger Butler sticks to a day trip on the snow-covered Kentmere Pike and Harter Fell in the Lake District.

Elsewhere there's a superb double-page photograph of Cul Mor and Cul Beag in Assynt by Damian Shields (taken when he'd just arrived there for the first time! ); a look at eight of the best outdoor books of the year by James Reader; a celebration of whisky and the outdoors by Cameron McNeish; James Reader looking at old gear in back issues; Roly Smith on Yellowstone National Park and the reintroduction of wolves; Ben Lerwill walking Moel Hebog and the Nantlle Ridge in Snowdonia; a look at Ireland's first national wilderness, Wild Nephin, by Lenny Antonelli; Roger Smith looking at energy projects and the environment and calling for a national energy policy; Jim Perrin praising Thomas Pennant's Tour in Wales; and an identification chart for montane birds.

Finally, this is Daniel Neilson's last issue as Acting Editor. I think he's done a great job over the last year. From the next issue Emily Rodway returns as Editor. Welcome back Emily! Daniel isn't disappearing though. He's becoming Digital Editor and has exciting plans for the magazine's online presence.

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