Monday 11 April 2016

The Great Outdoors latest issue: going solo, night skies, & waterproof jackets.

The May issue of The Great Outdoors is in the shops now. My backpacking column is about night skies and in the Hill Skills section I've pieces about going solo and camping alone (with suggestions for four solo stoves). In the gear pages I review fourteen waterproof jackets that are new on the market plus the Rab Neutrino 800 sleeping bag.

The theme of this issue is the Lake District and there's a big feature on the 7 Wonders of the Lake District challenge walk by its creator Chris Wearne. Vivienne Crow explores the 'big hills up at the lake' that the children in Arthur Ransome's Swallows and Amazons see around Coniston Water. Further north in the Lake District Rich Baldwin takes his five-year old son on his first wild camping trip.

Away from the Lakes Will Renwick interviews Ash Dykes about his traverse of Madagascar; Alistair Young visits magnificent Bla Bheinn on Skye; Ed Byrne tries Nordic walking; Stephen Venables goes far afield to South Georgia; and Carey Davies walks in the Black Mountains of South Wales. In his column Roger Smith considers the crisis in dairy farming and how it could affect the countryside. Jim Perrin, in the Hillwalkers' Library, revisits a mountaineering classic, E.F.Norton's The Fight for Everest 1924, reminding me that I must read it again. 

As well as my pieces the Hill Skill section has advice on going solo, route cards, electronic safety devices, and navigational skills. In the gear section Judy Armstrong reviews six pairs of women's trail shoes.

There's a couple of splendid double-page photographs at the front of the magazine too - an atmospheric image of dawn on Glyder Fach in Snowdonia by Helen Iles and a spectacular photo of the aurora from Beinn Alligin in Torridon by Graham Bradshaw.

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