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The Team

Chris Townsend, gear editor

Our Gear Editor since 1991, Chris Townsend is one of the world’s most highly respected commentators on outdoor clothing and equipment and is also well-known as an author and long-distance hiker. He is the award-winning author of 22 books, including The Backpackers’ Handbook, the Cicerone guide to walking in Scotland and Out There, a recent collection of essays. Chris was the first person to complete a continuous round of all the Scottish Munros and Tops and has walked across Scotland from coast-to-coast 16 times, 15 of them while participating in the annual Great Outdoors Challenge.

Jim Perrin

Jim Perrin, columnist

Described in The Observer as “the pre-eminent writer on the British landscape”, the writer of our Hillwalker’s Library series is renowned outdoor, mountaineering and travel writer Jim Perrin, the author of several highly respected outdoor books, including two winners of the Boardman Tasker prize.

Roger Smith, columnist

The founding Editor of The Great Outdoors, Roger Smith has written and edited numerous walking books and has been involved with this magazine throughout its publication, since its launch in 1978. For many years, Roger also coordinated The Great Outdoors Challenge.

Carey Davies

Carey Davies, columnist

The BMC’s Hillwalking Officer, Carey Davies is a former staff member at The Great Outdoors who, since leaving the magazine has taken up a crucial role at the British Mountaineering Council as the first officer dedicated to developing and promoting the work the organisation does for hillwalkers. As well as writing a column and features for The Great Outdoors, Carey also contributes to The Guardian’s Country Diary series.

Ed Byrne TGO

Ed Byrne, feature writer

Hillwalking comedian Ed Byrne has a regular series in The Great Outdoors that sees him try a different outdoor activity every time – everything from first aid to wild swimming and beyond. Ed’s features appear in every second issue of the magazine. Outside of his magazine writing, Ed is a keen Munro-bagger and has appeared on various TV and radio programmes discussing his passion for the outdoors.

Judy Armstrong, gear reviewer

Our women’s gear specialist, Judy Armstrong has been testing gear for The Great Outdoors since 2005 but has been hillwalking and mountaineering for 30 years. Originally from New Zealand, Judy lives in the North York Moors National Park and also has a base in the French Alps.

Will Renwick

Will Renwick, gear reviewer and staff writer

The newest member of The Great Outdoors team, Will is the youngest person to walk around Wales. His other trips include the Camino de Santiago, the Alta Via 2 and, more recently, Scotland’s West Highland Way. He enjoyed the latter so much that he signed up for the 2016 Great Outdoors Challenge.