Saturday, 19 July 2014

The Great Outdoors August Issue: Lake District Backpacking, Wild Camping, Backpacking With A Small Pack, Shorts, Freet Shoes

Wild camping in the Lake District

The August issue of The Great Outdoors has just appeared. Appropriately, given the current hot weather, my main contribution to the gear pages is a review of 16 pairs of shorts. I also review some interesting 'minimal drop' shoes, the Freet Mudgrip. Elsewhere in the gear pages Daniel Neilson reviews 16 25-35 litre packs, the Barefoot Shepherdess Alison O'Neill describes her favourite gear, and James Reader visits Osprey Europe and talks to founder Mike Pfotenhauer.

My backpacking column is about the trip I made last month to work on the Backpacking In The Lake District film with Terry Abraham (in the blue duvet jacket in the picture above). In the Hill Skills sections I've given some tips for novice backpackers and for backpacking with a small pack. There's also a scattering of my photos throughout the magazine, including a frontispiece taken at the same time as the picture above and a recent one of noctilucent clouds that illustrates Carey Davies' column, which considers these clouds and the whole concept of 'nature's wonderful strangeness'.

Elsewhere in this issue Carey Davies pops up again describing a backpacking trip in Knoydart, Tim Gent goes backpacking on Dartmoor and Paul Beasley revisits the Lake District after a 23 year absence. Much further afield Suzy Bennett walks the Cinque Terre path in Italy. Back in Britain Roger Smith bemoans the weakness of protection for our finest landscapes and habitats and suggests there should be 'no major development' zones for all designated areas. Hear, hear! In his Hillwalkers' Library Jim Perrin recommends a novel I have to admit never having heard of before, Manda Scott's Stronger Than Death. This climbing whodunit sounds excellent and has been added to my reading list. Jim also reviews Tristan Gooley's The Walker's Guide to Outdoor Clues & Signs, a book I am currently reading and will review myself eventually.

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