THE GIRL OUT­DOORS

SIAN ANNA LEWIS, CON­WAY, £14.99

Countryfile Magazine - - Lazy Days -

It’s a sad fact that the great out­doors has of­ten been greater for men than for women. “When I am up a moun­tain peak, in the line-up or on a climb­ing wall, I of­ten find my­self in a very male-dom­i­nated world,” jour­nal­ist and blog­ger Sian Anna Lewis re­flects. “I reckon it’s time to change that.”

Ban­ish­ing blok­i­ness is this book’s rai­son d’etre, whether you’re into hik­ing, bik­ing or any­thing that in­volves fresh air and fun – the point is that you don’t have to go to ex­tremes to have a good time. Lewis is as en­thu­si­as­tic about camp­fire cook­outs as cliff jump­ing and cross-coun­try ski­ing, and will in­spire you to do what­ever you fancy.

The book’s four sec­tions cover typ­i­cal out­door ac­tiv­i­ties: wild ad­ven­tures (think skinny-dip­ping and bikepack­ing); out­door cook­ing, crafts and well-be­ing; and ex­pe­ri­ences for trav­ellers ven­tur­ing fur­ther afield. The full-colour how-to guides cover ev­ery­thing from chang­ing an in­ner tube to gut­ting a fish, and I for one look for­ward to road-test­ing the recipe for black­berry liqueur come au­tumn.

Books of this kind aren’t afraid to state the ob­vi­ous, but Lewis’s chatty, can-do at­ti­tude and her in­tol­er­ance of posers of all stripes is re­fresh­ing. “If I’ve learned any­thing,” she con­cludes, “it’s that there are three steps to liv­ing a full and happy life: 1. Get out­doors 2. Re­peat as of­ten as you can 3. In the words of Bill and Ted, be ex­cel­lent to each other.” Hear, hear. Stephanie Cross, out­doors writer

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