THE GIRL OUTDOORS
SIAN ANNA LEWIS, CONWAY, £14.99
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