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Christmas Presents

How To Read Water

By Tristan Gooley, £20

Published by Sceptre

Naturalist Tristan Gooley is perhaps best known for his book The Natural Navigator, an enticement to leave behind your phone (and even your map) and navigate using ancient skills and by observing the natural world around you. Instead of a compass, guide your way by noting which side of a tree moss grows on. It is an attractive proposition, and one that has seen Gooley become part of the renaissance of British nature writing of the past 10 years (although not without its critics: on a recent navigation course I attended in the Yorkshire Dales the instructor stopped in a lane and pointed at the dry stone walls flanking it; one was covered in moss, the other bare. “What does this tell us?” asked the instructor. We keenly suggested that one wall faced the sun so vegetation would grow better. “No,” came the blunt reply. “One wall was built last month.” You can’t beat a bit of local knowledge).

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About Outdoor Swimmer

There is wild swimming and there is really wild swimming. This issue we bring you some pretty extreme swimming from the Arctic Circle. It is thrilling stuff, but if you like your thrills a little more genteel then check out our feature on swimming walks in Devon. Elsewhere in the mag we are feeling pretty zen: breathe deeply and read our features on yoga for open water swimmers and the benefits of mindful swimming. Not all of us are lucky enough to live near the open water. For many, me included, our regular dose of outdoor swimming is from our local lido. We look at the lido revival that is taking place around the country. As well as more event reviews and event listings than ever before we also have tips on better backstroke from Terry Laughlin, how to train with paddles from Fiona Ford and Ed Williams teaches you how to bounce back from failure. Plus, gear reviews, nutrition and loads more!
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