Monday 8 December 2014

The Great Outdoors Latest Issue: Pacific Crest Trail Gear, Talladh a Bheithe wild land or wind farm, Winter sleep mats, Socks

Pacific Crest Trail Pack

The January issue of The Great Outdoors is out this week (now in digital form, in a few days in paper). To go along with my latest book, Rattlesnakes and Bald Eagles, which tells the story of my 1982 Pacific Crest Trail hike, there's an article on the gear I used back then and what changes I'd make now. There's a nice review of the book by Roger Smith and he also chooses it as his outdoor book of the year along with my Pacific Northwest Trail book, Grizzly Bears and Razor Clams. I chose Alex Roddie's The Atholl Expedition as my book of the year. In my backpacking column I write about my visit to Talladh a Bheithe, a wild area of the Highlands threatened by a wind farm.

Also in gear I review four sleeping mats and ten  pairs of socks while Daniel Neilson gets excited about four portable coffee making options and tries nine sleeping bags to see how suitable they are for winter.

Elsewhere in this issue there are wondeful snowy pictures of the Lairig Ghru and a winter camp on the Moine Mhor (I'm the small figure in this one), both by Terry Abraham. The theme of the issue is winter and Carey Davies describes a magical winter's day in the Cairngorms, Roger Smith suggests a selection of  First Winter Munros, David Lintern looks at winter camping, Daniel Neilson goes on a winter skills course at Glenmore Lodge and I suggest Meall a'Bhuachaille for a first winter walk in the Cairngorms. There's also an extract on ice axes and crampons from Terry Adby and Stuart Johnston's A Hillwalkers Guide to Mountaineering and advice on winter photography from Mark Gilligan. The most exciting piece is from Chiz Dakin who describes her first winter wild camping experience - in a storm high in the Lake District.

Away from the snow Ed Byrne tries sailing off the Norfolk coast, Peter Coombs goes canoeing and wild camping with Ray Mears in Ontario, Carey Davies praises Bleaklow, Roger Smith writes about ancient woodland and undergrounding electricity cables, and Jim Perrin praises Wainright's A Pictorial Guide to the Fells.


  1. I'm looking forward to receiving my copy of "Rattlesnakes and Bold Eagles" in the next few days Chris.
    What did Jerk my memory back 30+years was the Backpackers Club badge on your pack....I had one on my Karrimor pack!
    Out of interest, when did the club cease to be?

    1. Hope you enjoy the book Paul. The Backpackers Club is still going -

  2. Just finished re-reading Grizzly bears and razor clams, looking forward to my copy of Rattlesnakes and bald eagles.
    I guess this was written recently from old notes Chris?

    1. Yes, written from the journals I kept at the time.