Sunday 26 May 2013

The Great Outdoors June Issue: Munros, Scottish Watershed, Tarps & Shelters

Liathach in Torridon, with its two Munros prominent
The June issue of The Great Outdoors is just out and has a Scottish theme. My main feature is an account of my summer long round of the Munros and Tops. (The uncredited photos with the feature are all mine but weren't taken on that walk but on later trips). Writing about this walk again was enjoyable, especially as I'm about to set off on another challenging high level Scottish walk, the Watershed. I also have two pieces on this in the June issue. My backpacking column covers the planning, which is still not quite complete! Some will now have to be done during the walk. The picture accompanying the column shows me on Ben Avon, which, for anyone curious, is nowhere hear the Watershed! There's also a piece about the main items of gear I'll be taking. One bit appears twice as it's also included in my gear feature on tarps and shelters. Unsurprisingly the one I'm taking on the Watershed is my Best Buy. I've also reviewed Brasher's new Superlite Active GTX boots and Lowe Alpine's Dryflo Zipped Top, the first item I've tried from the relaunched clothing range. And in the Hill Skills pages I describe how to repair damaged gear - something I hope not to have to practise this summer.

Elsewhere in the gear pages Daniel Neilson reviews the curious Vibram Five Fingers KSO TrekSport footwear and nine pairs of more conventional lightweight trail shoes whilst Cameron McNeish considers seven lightweight waterproof jackets. James Reader looks at some ridiculously ultralight gear including a 560 gram tent, 150 gram trail shoes, 45 gram windproof jacket and 127 gram waterproof jacket. There's also a brief mention of PHD's new Wafer range of ultralight down clothing. I have a Wafer Jacket, which weighs 190 grams, and will be taking it on the Watershed Walk.

Returning to the Scottish theme, photographer Dougie Cunningham visits St Kilda and bivvy expert Ronald Turnbull spends a night out on the Berwickshire coast. Far from Scotland Mark Waring backpacks the 100 kilometre Donjek Route in Klueane National Park in Canada's Yukon Territory. It's an interesting tale and brought back memories of my long hike through the Yukon, though I didn't visit Kluane. This summer Mark is setting out to walk along the mountains of Scandinavia. Having done that walk myself I'll be interested to read about his adventure. Mark has a website on this walk.

Other features in this issue include Daniel Neilson trying adventure racing on the Sussex Downs; Roly Smith reporting on the inaugural Spirit of Kinder event, which celebrated the Kinder Mass Trespass and looked at current access issues; and Paul Beasley describing forgotten  Everest 1953 climber George Lowe on this the sixtieth anniversary of the first ascent, an article illustrated with Lowe's photographs. There's also Jim Perrin praising John Pepper's Cockley Beck: A Celebration of Lakeland in Winter; Roger Smith worrying about landslips; Margaux Smale's advice on dealing with midges and ticks; and Heather Morning on how to avoid reversed polarity (there's a Dr Who joke in there somewhere).


  1. Chris my copy arrived yesterday. I have pretty well read it cover to cover already. One of the best for awhile, a really good read. When do you start your Watershed walk? I sort of thought it was Friday just gone.
    I hope the weather is better than last summer!

    1. Thanks Mark. I'm starting Tuesday. I hope the weather is better too!

  2. All the very best for your walk and I look forward to seeing the trip reports when you get chance to send them.