Tuesday, 29 May 2012

June TGO: Tent or Tarp, Synthetic Sleeping Bags, Micro Rocket, Norwegian Clothing

Tarp Camping on the Arizona Trail
The June issue of TGO is in the shops now. My contributions are a review of 12 synthetic sleeping bags designed for summer, a first look at the MSR Micro Rocket stove, a test report on some Norwegian Brynje clothing I tried over the winter (base layer, fleece and two hats), a book review and, in my backpacking column, a consideration of different wild camping styles.

The theme of this issue is summer, which is appropriate given the recent heatwave (though of course it might now rain for the next three months!). In the Almanac there's a wonderful sumptuous picture by Mike Kipling of a flower meadow in Upper Swaledale that sums up summer in the English hills. Cameron McNeish describes the new 230 mile Stevenson Way, which traces the route followed by David Balfour in Robert Louis Stevenson's novel Kidnapped from the Isle of Mull to Edinburgh by way of Rannoch Moor and the Trossachs, and suggests some weekend long sections. Dan Bailey takes his baby up Skiddaw and looks at hillwalking with a young child. Unburdened by children or summer Ed Byrne tries his hand at severe-grade rock climbing in Snowdonia on a cold, rainy day and discovers the agonies of the hot aches. Paddy Dillon goes to Tenerife, but not to sit on the beach, rather to walk the rugged GR 131 route, which looks wonderful. More contemplative is Robert Macfarlane, describing old paths and tracks, the subject of his latest book, The Old Ways: A Journey on Foot, which is reviewed by Cameron McNeish. He starts and finishes his essay at Formby Point, of which there is also an evocative picture. Being brought up in Formby my first walking was here and I know this coast well. It's good to see it in TGO. This month's photo essay is of the land where I now live and walk: Scotland. Ted Leeming's images are evocative and inspiring, especially the opening spread of a misty Loch an Eilean in the Cairngorms. Elsewhere Roger Smith envisages a network of linked National Trails while Jim Perrin's Hillwalkers' Library looks at a book I must admit I have never come across before - Roger Lloyd Praeger's The Way I Went, about the author's walks in Ireland. Another one for my reading list. In the Gear section as well as my reviews John Manning reviews 13 pairs of gaiters. And at the back of the magazine Carey Davies ponders the significance of the Kinder Scout Mass Trespass on its 80th Anniversary.


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