The Big Spring Outdoor Gear Clearout – sleeping bags, jackets, mountain boots and more!

It’s that time of year when I delve into my gear cupboard and pull out the things I no longer need. This year it’s a monster clearout, and there are some bargains to be had.

All sleeping bags have been stored uncompressed. Most other details should be in the individual listings. Prices include postage anywhere in the UK. PayPal only please. If you’d like to buy something, email me. I’ll normally be able to post within two or three days and am happy to answer any questions.

These items are also listed on eBay so are subject to removal at any time.

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Informal camera comparison: Fujifilm X-Pro2 vs. iPhone SE

The camera in your pocket is better than you think

For the last year and a bit, my digital camera of choice has been the Fujifilm X-Pro2. This is one of Fuji’s top-end mirrorless cameras, with an APS-C sensor, rugged weather-sealed body, and a range of useful features such as physical dials and a best-in-class hybrid optical/electronic viewfinder.

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Three winter glens in the Cairngorms

Alex Roddie makes the most of a poor winter forecast, avoiding the summits to take on a challenging two-night solo journey through Glens Feshie, Geldie and Dee to finish up in the Lairig Ghru.

This feature was first published on UKHillwalking, January 2017.

Early winter can be a tough time of year for backpacking in the Scottish Highlands. Days are short, nights are long, and conditions underfoot can be unpredictable. Although there may well be snow, chances are that it’s unconsolidated. Bogs may be unfrozen, rivers may be in spate. If conditions on the tops are just too poor, here’s a worthwhile low-level route in the Cairngorms that still packs in plenty of excitement and dramatic views.

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Ian Roddie, 1938-2018

In memory of my dad, who introduced me to the good things in life

On the 5th of August 2003, my brother James and I went for a hillwalk with our dad and our crazy golden retriever Amber.

The objective of the walk was simple: we wanted to explore the old mining valley in the Coniston fells above Tilberthwaite in the Lake District. For the previous week or so we’d been spending time as a family (minus Mum, who was at home looking after Granny), camping, revisiting old haunts from our childhoods, tramping the hills, living the good outdoor life. But for reasons that did not become clear to me for some years, the Tilberthwaite walk was destined to shine like a beacon in my memory.

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Read my feature on Alpine bivouacking in the latest Sidetracked magazine

Sidetracked Volume 11 is shipping now. This is the eighth issue of this magazine I have personally worked on, but the first I have contributed to as a writer and photographer as well as an editor.

Key themes in this issue are humanity, authenticity, and expanding our sphere of experience. There are spectacular features by Alienor Le Guovello, Sarah McNair-Landry, Sir Chris Bonington, Marco Barneveld, Ben Saunders, Mary McIntyre, and many more. Our Editor, Andrew Mazibrada, has contributed an excellent editorial on the nature of discovery.

John has made some tweaks to the design, layout and typography for this issue. I think the changes work extremely well, particularly the confident new cover design. Built on a spellbinding image by Ray Collins, in my opinion it’s the best Sidetracked cover to date.

Being a part of this team continues to be a privilege. It’s great to work with people who truly care about what they’re creating. This love and respect for the subject matter manifests itself in a rigorous editorial process, an obsessive focus on quality, and a dozen ‘no’s to every ‘yes’.


In amongst all this, there’s my little feature. It’s a ‘single moment’ – a double-page spread accompanied by a single image – and tells the story of a tense high-altitude bivouac in September 2017. It was my first unprotected bivouac above 3,000m and anxiety about circling thunderstorms came to define the experience.

Although this is the first story I’ve had published in Sidetracked, it isn’t the first I’ve pitched, which reinforces what I said above about no versus yes. The truth is that Sidetracked maintains very high standards. Despite my proven track record of delivering quality features for outdoor magazines, this is the first time I pitched something good enough to make the cut – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

You can pick up your copy of Sidetracked Volume 11 at

This is my image published in Volume 11, depicting me on the summit of Stockhorn in the Swiss Alps

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