Thursday, 30 July 2009

Ootside...in! ;o)

The other day I came across an old Waterstones voucher that has been hiding at the back of my wallet and with the recent downturn in the weather I decided to expand my library. I got to thinking about my references and sources of info for outdoor’s stuff and realised that most of it comes from the interweb these day’s. (hardly surprising) The sheer number of routes available have made the SMC Munros guide (my first ever outdoors book) sit at the bottom of the pile which is a shame as it’s what got me started. The thing is, you just cannae beat having a book in your hand’s when the rain is bouncing off the window. So what to buy?

Well recently on occasion I've found myself at a loss for information regarding plants, animal’s and even the geology of the places I like to explore and the trouble is when you go looking for it it’s buried amongst the rest of the info that’s not really relevant...like what bird was that? Well if you go look you generally only find guidebooks that deal with birds from the whole of Britain or even northern Europe. My troubles are over it seems, I can thoroughly recommend “Hostile Habitats, Scotland’s Mountain Environment” It’s all in there! I also picked up Dan Bailey’s ”Scotland’s Mountain Ridges” in a bid to vary my routes and add more scrambles.



Since I started this blog I've felt part of the ‘outdoor community’ again. I used to post a lot on OM but over the last year or so I've found myself posting there less and less. By the way, this isnae a slight in anyway against the place, I've had loads of help and advice from other forum members and have met some really nice folk from there. Some of whom I'd consider to be more than just acquaintances...you know who you are ;o) Anyway the reason I don't post there much these day's is that after a while the forums become almost cyclical with the same question's being asked over and over and I just can't keep pace with the two more social threads (Bennachie and Windy). I've found that I prefer the less frequent but more in depth content that blog posts tend to have. I'll still poke my head in every now and then though.

All the blogs I read are down the right hand side of this page and I'm always adding to it so if you're not there yet you probably will be soon. There are couple I'd like to mention though, first up is the new blog at Kendal Mountaineering Services. I can’t wait to see what Iain's been up to and I must admit I'm slightly jealous of a man who gets paid to be in the mountains. It was going on the winter skills course with Iain earlier this year that's given me the confidence to go out in winter and be able to use my tools out there effectively. Bring on the snow!! There's also the excellent page that PTC* writes, I've picked up so much gear advice there it's not real. I like his trip reports, photies and honest opinions on gear reviews. Too many reviews out there are favourable even if the product sucks balls because the reviewer has parted with his hard earned cash for it. There are a few others on there who write beautifully and their trip reports are a joy to read and daydream about over a coffee break at work, I'm thinking specifically Rondane right now!

In the short time I've been writing this blog I reckon I've got it going in the direction I want now. I wasn't sure about it at first but my page hits and feedback have all grown and been positive so I think I'll continue with it. It's slightly ironic though that for someone who loves being outdoor's as much as me I think I've now got a new hobby writing indoors about being outdoors.

Ach well, let's see what the weekend brings ;o)

8 comments:

  1. Yes keep the blogging going, I like reading other folks stories & takes on all things outdoors :o)

    however I am disappointed I never got a personal mention in this one :o(

    LOL, just kidding, have a good weekend!! I'll be camping next time-hopefully! :o)

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  2. Keep blogging - I enjoy popping by.

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  3. You share your walks and outdoor pursuits ambitions well. Keep sharing that as well as you have and the blog will have us coming back for more.

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  4. Thank's guys, I will keep it going. It's nice already to look back at older posts of trip reports even though they are only a few month old, a bit like a diary I suppose.

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  5. I always enjoy reading other people's blogs and this is always in the top few for me personally. A nice blend of humour, info and pictures. Keep it up.

    Oh and ps I LOVE books in general but especially love walking/outdoor guides and alway have to have several different one for the same area. I guess its just about getting different people's perspectives on an area or a walk.

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  6. I went looking for Ronald Turnbull's Granite & Grit the other day but couldnae find it but that's what the internet's for :o)

    Aye, keep on blogging. I spend far more time in the blogosphere than I do on forums. I've been on OM for about 9 years and only met 1 other "OM'er". 2 years blogging and I met 2 folk on the same day :o)

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  7. This blog's going in the direction I want it to go in keep it up :-)

    I feel honoured indeed to get a mention in dispatches!

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  8. I stopped checking out the forums on OM purely because of Trevor D Gamble. The more I read of his inane witterings the more I found myself shouting at the computer. I'm sure he is a nice guy in real life but the 1000s, yes 1000s, of posts he writes just wears you down - its like Chineses water torture. I prefer the blogs...Trevor doesn't seem to have found them yet.

    I agree with you on "Hostile Habitats"; its well written and presented. For those who visit N. Wales a couple of good books are "Rock trails Snowdonia" by Paul Gannon (ISBN 978-1-906095-04-8) and "The plant life of Snowdonia" by Peter Rhind & David Evans (ISBN 1 84323 044 5). There are also the FSC guides (Field Studies Council). these are printed on waterproof paper and are very inexpensive and allow the identification flora and fauna in the field.

    Cheers...Slippery

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