The outdoors is a place for fun. And it should be even more fun in the summer (even in the UK!).
In this issue we’ve some great ways to enjoy the light (and dark) and hopefully warmth of this time of the year. Our 11 great British wilderness escapes will take you off the beaten track either bikepacking or backpacking. Wild times await those who dare to go a little off grid (well, on grid if you know what I mean!) – see pages 34 and 38. Such outdoor fun does not need to cost that much either. Laurence McJannet suggests that you venture into the wilds on whatever bike you have and even use some bin bags and cable ties to make make-shift panniers for your first bikepacking adventure, which need not be a million miles from your home. It’s the fun of the escape and the freedom it offers that’s key. Continuing on this frugal fun theme, Sean McFarlane shows you how much enjoyment can be had from running your own DIY triathlon – see page 100. He also enjoys a pub crawl of a totally more liberating kind when he heads 174 kilometres point to pint in Scotland – again an adventure crafted in his, and his mates’ heads, and not tied to entry fees, and really specific deadlines – see page 28.
Adventure racing is something many outdoor types are gravitating toward. Although our feature on page 96 could lead to a rather expensive trip to New Zealand to participate in a GODZone event we also list some home-grown adventure race opportunities that won’t cost you that much, and will perhaps be slightly less taxing. Patrick Kinsella tackles one of sorts, well, one in the making, and much closer to home, when he goes coast-to-coast across Devon – see page 46. Incidentally the competitors we talk to in GODZone races talk about being hit in the face by bats and of sleep monsters. It’s fun of a different kind there!
Ultra runner Rob Young says he did not enjoy his efforts to run across the US - perhaps that was because his record attempt was being picked apart by web watchers and naysayers. We try to find out what happened and whether Rob actually did the hard yards – see page 42.
Enjoyment then it seems comes in various shapes and forms for the outsider – those new to short walks and cycles and runs will see the world through new eyes, those who know where to look and go off the beaten track a little further will smile at what they see, know, and how they got there, whilst those really putting themselves to the test will derive their enjoyment from other places in the recesses of their minds, and perhaps more so when the event is over, rather than in the moment. Wherever the enjoyment comes from and whatever the spur, the outdoors provides every opportunity for fun and that folks is to be remembered.
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