Sunday, 6 December 2009

Hiking books

New hiking books keep coming out, but these are the main items in my library:

  • The most comprehensive national hiking book I know of is Jaynee Leyvee's "Complete Guide to Walks and Trails in SA" (1987 and probably republished since then).
  • Mike Lundy's "Weekend Trails in the Western Cape" is excellent (and in at least its 6th edition by 2004)
  • Peter Slingsby's "Walks with a Fat Dog", which was going to be called "Walks with a Fat Wife", but the idea was vetoed.
  • David Bristow's book "Western Cape Walks" (1991) is one of my favourites.
  • Shirley Brossey's "Guide to the Hout Bay and Simonstown Mountains" (1989) is the only one I know of for that area, although Peter Slingsby publishes an excellent map of the area.
  • Tony Lourens' book "Classic Table Mountain Routes" (1998) revives interest in many of the hikes from the old Mountain Club guides, and adds rock climing routes ranging from easy to insanely difficult. It's a must for a serious Table Mountain hiker, but many of the routes are too difficult for an inexperienced party. Never underestimate Table Mountain.
  • Karen Watkins' "Adventure Walks and Scrambles in the Cape Peninsula" (2003) is also aimed at hikers looking for the more exotic and adventurous routes.
  • The "Table Mountain Guide" from the Mountain Club of SA is excellent although now out of print. My edition is from 1967 but it was reprinted in about 1980.
  • Peter Slingsby and Ed Coombe's "Beyond the Cederberg" isn't a hiking book, but it covers the fascinating Agter-Pakhuis/Biedouw/Wupperhal area which some hikers will know.
  • PM Leary's "Don't Die in the Bush" (1997) is a survival handbook by a local author, with an emphasis on 1st Aid in the outdoors.
  • Jose Burman is always good for an anecdote on the trail. Two that I own are "Cape Trails and Wilderness Areas" (1987) and "The Table Mountain Book" (1991), but there are many more.
  • Colin Paterson-Jones' "Table Mountain Walks" (1991) is beautifully illustrated in colour - more of a coffee table book than a hikers' handbook.
  • Tim Anderson "Day Walks in an around Cape Town" (1988) is very comprehensive, and Tim Anderson and Colin Dutkiewicz "Cycling in and around Cape Town" is also worth having.
  • John Kench "Know Table Mountain" (1988) isn't a hiker's guide but has some great historical insights.
  • "Don't Die in the Bundu" (Col DH Grainger) is a survival guide from the 1960s/1970s, covering survival in the northern parts of South Africa and Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia), but now we're gettig off topic, so that's where I'll leave it.

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