Sunday 5 July 2009

The Joy of Backpacking Journeys in the August TGO

In the last issue of TGO, just out, I write about the joys of journeying on foot in my backpacking column, review walking sandals (which have certainly be useful in the recent heatwave) and test the Hilleberg Soulo (which is great in wintery conditions but certainly not ideal for heatwaves!). Coincidentally in the two pictures of me accompanying my column I am backpacking in sandals – in places as far apart as the Uinta Mountains in Utah and the Scottish Highlands. One of those pairs of sandals, Merrell Molokai, is discontinued, the other, the Hi-Tec Tahoma is still going and included in my review. Both my pairs are usable though the threadbare sole on the Molokais means they are relegated to short walks locally and general wear.

This issue also includes a piece on the cuts in the Ramblers organisation, cuts that have now gone ahead and seen the demise of the Scottish and Welsh offices and also, I think, the demise of the Ramblers as a campaigning organisation with any interest in the hills or wild places. I have cancelled my subscription.

Other good pieces include Ian Battersby going coast to coast across Wales, Bernard Newman traversing An Teallach and Stephen Venables trekking round Manaslu, all with excellent pictures, plus Glenmore Lodge’s advice on interpreting summer weather and Eddy Meecham’s take on bivvy bags.

Photo info: The Hilleberg Soulo pitched in the Loch Avon basin in the Cairngorms. Canon 450D, Tamron 11-18mm lens@11mm, 1/400@F8, ISO 200, raw file converted to JPEG in Lightroom 2.


  1. Hi Chris.
    I mentioned on the TGO forum that i really enjoyed you're latest article on backpacking.

    I've never been able to manage a walk longer than 3 weeks (but i may be made redundant shortly, so you never know) but your line " becomes my way of life. This is what i do. This is what i am", really stuck in my mind. That is one of the main reasons i like to escape to the hills, and i can usually reach that stage of mind after a couple of days.
    Those words have been rattling around inside my empty head all week. :)
    My walks are puny compared to the months long treks you have done, but keep up the good work, as it's nice to read that others feel the same.

    Mike fae Dundee.

  2. Thanks for those comments Mike. It's great to know my words had such an impact.

    I can reach that stage of mind after a few days too but it's much more intense on a long journey where the end is so far in the future as not to be worth thinking about.

    Sorry to hear about the possible redundancy. I hope everything works out.