I love the articles on travelling light, but I ama little annoyed about the recent articleon light weight footwear. Having moved to using lighter weight boots I have definiteley noticed that I am less tired at the end of a day's walking. As such I'd love to go further and use even lighter weight footwear.
However my right ankle suffers from pronation and the recent article fails to mention or cover such physical problems. From the way it's written it blithely assumes that everyone can follow in the footsteps of the author (sorry couldn't resist that).
I think the magazine should publish an article from someone who can comment on the use of lightweight footwear for those people who have ankle or foot problems. If they feel it is inappropriate this should be made clear. Last night by accident having forgotten to bring my 'boots' (Merrel Moab Mids) I had to do a 6 mile walk in my Merrell sandals. The sole was great but my right ankle was inclined to pronate on uneven groundand I was concerned that it wasn't getting the support that perhaps it should. Please publish an article and put me and any others like me out of our misery!
On another matter entirely, the article on porters in Nepal reminded me of my experience on a trek in Bhutan a good few years ago now.Despite the use of a reputable U.K. company that I'd have no hesitation in recommending, the porters themselves were poorly equipped for the trek. This I believe is what comes of using a 'local' service in a well intentioned attempt to provide employment to local people.
The porters for the most part had pimsolls or trainers, jeans and T-shirts. At night it could and did drop below freezing but for the portersshelterwas taken under rocky overhangs or whatever was available. I believe that most of them made do with blankets for bedding. Although there was a group dining tent I wasn't surethat the porters were allowed to use it. The cooks fared best under their tarps to keep fires and food dry. One night even the local tour leadersufferedwhen it rained and his sleeping bag got wet. I think that night they did use the dining tent but I believe that it leaked.I remember wondering what kind of sleeping bag he had and would it dry out in time for the next night's sleep?
Clearly these people will take risks in an attempt to earn a wage.At the end of the trip some 21 items of clothing were donated to the porters which meant that every one of them got at least two items. This 'generosity' was not prompted by compassion, but that's another story.