Tuesday 10 January 2023

A Look At The February Issue Of The Great Outdoors


The February issue of The Great Outdoors is out now. In fact it's probably been out for quite a few days but a combination of an impassable icy track to the house, the holidays, and postal strikes meant it only arrived today. I couldn't even get a copy from the local newsagent as there isn't one anymore. 

Anyway in this issue I have a review of Ethan Gallogly's excellent novel, The Trail, which is about a trip on the John Muir Trail, a test report on the Oppo Find X5 Pro smartphone, a look at budget sleeping bags, and a review of five winter gloves in a joint article with Lucy Wallace, who reviews five women's pairs. Also in the gear pages Alex Roddie looks at a trio of hiking socks and there's a piece on cleaning and caring for your tent.

The main feature profiles a host of people who have followed their dreams in the outdoors from mountain posties to group leaders and writers and photographers. In other features Richard Hartfield describes a summer spent repairing paths in the Swiss Alps, James Roddie has a perfect winter's day (just look at his wonderful photos) in the snowy hills of the Coulin Forest in the NW Highlands, Andy Wasley studies the history of the western Lake District on a three-day trip with Alex Roddie, and Terry Adby hikes into the heart of the Karakorum. 

The opening spread is an atmospheric winter photograph of the Kintail hills by Simon Atkinson. Creator of the Month is 'Trigs and Teeth' Emily Taylor. There's a Q&A with Juls Stodel who is undertaking a long walk round all the MBA bothies. Rights to Roam organiser Jon Moses argues that concentrating on public littering distracts from the real damage to the countryside by agriculture, industry, fly-tipping, the fishing industry and more. Jim Perrin's Mountain Portrait is High Street in the Lake District. Continuing her notes from her ongoing walk round Britain's coast Emma Schroeder discusses wild camping as a way of confronting fears and connecting with nature.

In Wild Walks Craig Weldon has a winter walk over Cairn Lochan and Cairn Gorm; Alex Roddie climbs Beinn Eighe in Torridon; in the Pennines James Forrest climbs Cross Fell and Ian Battersby visits High Force and Crossthwaite Common; in the Lake District James Forrest scrambles up Jack's Rake on Pavey Ark, Francesca Donovan visits Cathedral Caves and Blea Tarn on a walk over Lingmoor Fell in Great Langdale, and Vivienne Crowe climbs Green Crag and Harter Fell above Eskdale; in Wales Nick Livesey goes up Foel-goch in Snowdonia and Steve Eddy goes up Mynydd Llangorse and Mynydd Troed in the Brecon Beacons; and down on Dartmoor Roger Butler takes an old railway line to King's Tor and Walkhampton Common.

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