Saturday 24 February 2024

A Look At The April Issue Of The Great Outdoors

The April issue of The Great Outdoors is out now. I review six budget fleeces (budget in price, but still good quality) and Columbia's Arch Rock Double Wall Elite Hooded Insulated Jacket. Also in the gear pages Lucy Wallace and James Roddie review four daypacks each and Lucy reviews the Jottnar Women's Fenrir down jacket and James the Bach Apteryx 2 tent. 

I also review Alex Nail's superb photo book The Great Wilderness and Megan Carmichael reviews Annie Worsley's Windswept, which is also excellent.

In the main features Mark Waring describes a backpacking trip in the Tombstone Range in the Yukon Territory in Canada. I was looking forward to this feature as I hiked through the area on my long walk in the Yukon back in 1990 and was interested to hear what it was like now. Mark's excellent story shows that the walking is just as tough as it was back then. Now, though, a permit is required and in some areas tent platforms must be used as the area has become much more popular. Mark's splendid photographs show just how spectacular the Tombstone Mountains are.

There are more wonderful photographs in Jess Jones' photo essay on wildlife and in James Roddie's skills piece on how to spot 7 wonders of the mountains such as cloud inversions and alpenglow.

On Dartmoor Alex Roddie walks the Dartmoor Way with local mountain leader Emily Woodhouse while they discuss camping and nature. In Wales Ceri Belshaw and Sarah Hall go bikepacking.

This issue has the 2024 TGO Reader Awards winners. A few of my favourites here! 

Creator of the Month is London Wildlife Trust Ranger Lira Valencia. In the Opinion piece Mary-Ann Ochota asks whether paid 'wild camping' can help transform access rights in England and Wales. Jim Perrin's Mountain Portrait is the magnificent Aonach Eagach. Reminiscing about her coastal walk around Britain Emma Schroeder looks at the things she collected from photos of every cliff warning sign and every anti-seagull poster to edible mushrooms that enlivened her dinners. 

Wild Walks has a wildlife and nature theme this issue. The walks stretch from the Monadhliath in the Scottish Highlands,  where Ian Battersby watches golden eagles in Strathdearn, to the Jurassic Coast in Devon, where Fiona Barltrop watches beavers. Inbetween these places Alex Roddie visits Ardmore Bay on the Isle of Mull in search of otters and wooded Deuchary Hill in Perthshire in search of beavers, Ian Battersby sees frogs on the Cauldcleuch Head round in the Southern Uplands, Vivienne Crow looks for feral goats on Yeavering Bell in the Cheviot Hills, Francesca Donovan shares Y Garn and Foel-goch in Eryri/Snowdonia with wild ponies, Rich Hartfield looks for wild goats on Rhinog Fawr in Wales, on the Pembrokeshire coast Norman Hadley visits seal pups, and in the Surrey Hills new contributor to Wild Walks Nike Werstroh finds bluebells.

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