Please help to mend our trails

Path Fund-1.jpgI love going into the hills. While my individual footsteps might not make much of an impact, our collective steps add up to a bit of a mess. I also believe I have an additional personal responsibility for causing erosion as the author of a guidebook encouraging people to visit Scottish trails! Path repair and maintenance is important to ensure our hills are protected from erosion and continue to look good not just for my next visit but for the enjoyment of future generations. And this is why I’m donating to the BMC Mend our Mountains campaign. The BMC campaign doesn’t cover Scotland so I am also donating to the National Trust for Scotland Footpath Fund, the Cairngorms Outdoor Access Trust’s Mountain Path Appeal and the John Muir Trust’s Wild Ways Path Fund. Together these four funds are helping to protect some of the places I love most in the world. I know that there are many other good and important causes vying for donations, however, if you value the time you’ve spent in British mountains I strongly encourage you to donate too.

Where to hit the trails this Easter?

Given the recent snowy weather it comes as a bit of a shock to realise that the Easter holidays are upon us already. That said, signs of spring are cropping up all over the place: yellow and purple crocuses spearing through green grass; a joyful cacophony of morning birdsong; that feeling of warmth from the sun – so different to its bright but chilly winter rays.

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Kit review – Berghaus Vapour Light Claw off-road shoes

Imgres 10I was recently lucky enough to get the opportunity to test out some new off-road running shoes from Berghaus – thanks to my newly discovered neighbour FionaOutdoors. She’s posted my review on the My Outdoors website where she edits the Women’s Zone.

As you’ll see in the review I was converted by the concept of combining a seriously studded hill running tread with a reasonable cushioned sole. My runs often start off on roads and transition via muddy paths and track to rough untracked hills. My fell shoes end up being a bit painful on the roads while my trail shoes don’t quite have the grip for muddy hillsides. The Berghaus  shoe managed the transition well and I was particularly impressed by the grippy tread. The fit is generous and may not suit narrower feet. Other manufacturers are designing ‘all-rounder’ shoes too so if your runs cover a wide range of terrain definitely check out the new models to find one that suits you.

Check out the Berghaus online store for more details & to buy the Vapour Light Claw – it’s available in a men’s version as well as the women’s shoe I tested.

What’s Shakespeare got to do with trail running?

East Kip from West Kip

A good runnable path linking hilltops in the Pentlands – is it a ‘hill’ run or a ‘trail’ run?

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet”, so said Juliet to Romeo. A while ago I read an entertaining Outdoors Magic editorial in which Jon Doran asked if ‘trail running’ was the new and currently fashionable name for an activity we in the UK used to call ‘hill running’ or ‘cross-country’. Continue reading