OE magazine

Outdoor Enthusiast September 2016

The new issue of Outdoor Enthusiast is now live and free to read. This time, it's chock full of trekking from New Zealand to Montenegro and Nepal. There's plenty of ideas for autumn, plus a great story about running in the Atlas mountains. The usual independent gear reviews cover tests of trail shoes, warmer jackets and head torches. I also ruminate a little on the name change for the BMC.

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Outdoor Enthusiast - July/August 2016

A bit of a tardis this issue: There's lots of Bikepacking bits and bobs from a whole range of contributors, including myself, a nice interview with Scottish cycling heroine Lee Craigie, insights into the weird world of rockpooling from Ben Dolphin and tips on travel photography from Nadir Khan. One of my favourite wordsmiths, Sarah Stirling bikes and climbs in Sicily, Rudolf Abraham explores Croatia with family and Sophie Ibbotson hikes in the Himalaya. On the gear front I review softshell trousers and bikepacking gear, as well as an interesting commuter cycling jacket, backpacking food and a very lightweight 2 person tent. There's also women's softshell, shorts for both men and women, and portable power from the mag's new gear editor, Dan Aspel.

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Outdoor Enthusiast Jan/Feb 2016

Editor's Welcome

I write this after the first real day of winter here in Scotland. I was up in the hills beyond Loch Lomond – just a day walk because it’s good to start small at the beginning of the season, to check ground conditions and fitness levels before more ambitious outings. It was a beautiful Scottish alpine day of frozen bog, ice, occasional neve and deepening drifts – early season, but unmistakably winter. A remarkable, miraculous time of year for outdoor lovers, where the world is made new by a covering of white. But despite the winter wonderland, I was concerned. Of 7 groups numbering 2-5 in each, only 1 person carried an axe, and none had crampons. Some had left the winter hardware in the car, they told me. A fair few didn’t own it at all. I also met a man who was by his own admission, recovering from a moment of sheer panic on an icy scramble.

At least these people were getting out, and that’s to be applauded - many lack the ability, confidence or motivation to try. Advice can easily come across as pious or patronising, but... please, if you are out in the Winter Mountains, be safe. It is worth carrying an axe and crampons just in case. We’ve reviewed a few pairs in this issue, and covered some Emergency kit too. But there’s no point in having ‘all the gear and no idea’. Match the tools to your technique. A skills course is every bit as essential as the shiny new hardware. There are free lectures and subsidised courses organised by the national councils every year to help you improve your confidence and experience and enjoy the finest season of the year, every year, for years to come.

So, here’s to as many early morning starts, bluebird dawns and baby pink sunsets as we can all cram in. Winter is amazing – let’s enjoy it responsibly.

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