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Monthly Archives: October 2019

Gear review: Vaude Rienza pull-over II

Recommended Price: £70Weight: 385g (men’s large) Fleece jackets (and sweaters) were once the ubiquitous outdoors kit. Easily to wash, pretty durable, comfy to wear and warm for the weight, it’s easy to see how they expanded out from being walkers’ gear into the mainstream. There were downsides though – the fabric tended to pill over time, leaving the jacket looking a bit of a mess, whilst synthetic insulated jackets surpassed fleeces for warmth-to-weight ratio. Fleece does remain popular, though, whether worn as a mid- or outer-layer. The Vaude Rienza – which is available both as a pull-over as reviewed here,

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Midlayers

Mountain safety – clocks go back and torches come out

Some of the first snows of winter are expected this weekend. It may still only be October, but hill walkers have been warned they should be prepared for winter conditions. And with the days shortening and clocks going back an hour this weekend, darkness will be coming a lot sooner, making a headtorch an essential piece of kit. “Short days and severe weather put greater demands on your equipment and your own ability and hillcraft,” said Mountaineering Scotland Mountain Safety Adviser Heather Morning. “Now is the time to ‘winterise’ your rucksack – make sure you’re properly prepared for winter weather

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Posted in Magazine

Red squirrels move to Sutherland in new project

Conservation charities Trees for Life and Woodland Trust Scotland have partnered up to return red squirrels to a Sutherland wood…

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Posted in Magazine, Nature, News

Accessing An Cladach Bothy on Islay

Following news of the autumn/winter closure of An Cladach bothy including discussions on Walkhighlands, the Mountain Bothy Association have issued this statement: “Dunlossit Estate, the owners of An Cladach bothy on Islay, have asked us to clarify both the parking arrangements for visitors to the building and the arrangements for contacting the estate during the stalking season. We have agreed that the bothy will be closed from 1 September to 1 March each year commencing September 2020.” “The estate have emphasised that regardless of any advice that intending visitors might have been given in guide books or elsewhere, they should

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Posted in Magazine, News

Gear review: Alpkit Presta 20l pack

Recommended Price: £44.99Weight: 645g (as reviewed) This small pack from Alpkit is just the size for a day hike when you have compact kit and don’t need any winter gear. Despite the diminutive dimensions, the pack is actually pretty fully featured. There’s a zipped main compartment, complete with a sleeve for a hydration pouch. There’s a mesh pocket at the top of the interior for valuables, and separate zipped external top pocket, as well as a large stretchy rear pouch and two side pockets – each of which can fit a litre water bottle if needed , though they are

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Rucksacks

Land of Ghosts

John D. Burns is an award-winning writer who has spent over forty years exploring Britain’s mountains. A past member of the Cairngorm Mountain Rescue Team, he has walked and climbed in the American and Canadian Rockies, Kenya, the Alps and the Pyrenees. He has taken one-man plays to the Edinburgh Fringe and toured widely. His first two books, The Last Hillwalker and Bothy Tales, were both shortlisted for TGO Magazine’s Outdoor Book of the Year. His first novel – Sky Dance – was published last month; here he explains why he wrote it. What do you see when you look at our hills? Do you see

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Posted in Features, Magazine, Nature

What does a ranger actually do?

I’m currently in my seventh ranger season. I say ‘season’ because I’m a seasonal ranger. We get employed during the busier, warmer months when more folk are flocking to the great outdoors, whether that’s urban green spaces, Country Parks, or the wider countryside. And across those seven seasons the question I’ve probably been asked most is….what does a ranger actually do? Well, let’s set the context first. Countryside rangers have been around for 50 years in Scotland, the first having assumed their post in 1969. The impetus for this landmark event was the expansion of leisure time in the 1960s

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Posted in Access issues, Features, Magazine, Nature

Landowner told to remove track scarring Cairngorms hill

A landowner in the Cairngorms National Park has been ordered to remove a controversial vehicle track that is visible from miles around in scenic Glen Clova, Angus. Campaigners have welcomed Cairngorms National Park Authority’s enforcement notice against the ugly vehicle track, which appears to be used to support field sports. The landowner – registered to Pitlivie Farm in Carnoustie – has been given until October 2020 to restore the upper part of the track, which is 1.5km long and has created spoil mounds up to 10 metres wide. They have also been told to seek retrospective permission by 23 December

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Posted in Access issues, Magazine, Nature

Berghaus Paclite Gore-Tex Overtrousers

Recommended Price: £110Weight: 226g (Men’s M, Regular length) Walking in the rain is pretty impossible to avoid in Scotland, even for the most fair weather of walkers. Waterproof overtrousers are in my pack all year round and for the last 5 years I’ve been using the older version of these Paclite ones from Berghaus. Paul’s now been testing the latest model over the last wet month or so, with our combined verdict below. Fit is good, with less excess material than some due to the long side zips which allow them to be put on over boots without being overly

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Posted in Gear reviews, Magazine, Trousers

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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.