In my recent post on the 7 Best Ways to Track Your Munro Bagging, I reviewed this book using a friends copy and asking their opinion on using it. I now have my own copy and thought it would be a good idea to add my own thoughts on this book and using it myself. I am going to review the book focussing on each constituent part, in order so that I can be sure not to leave anything out.
Munro Bagging Log Book – Foreward
The first page in the book is dedicated to a sort of foreward. It covers some basic safety information and a short guide to what Munros are and what Munro Bagging is. I found it quite basic, in that there is a plethora of information that could have been included and I do think that it has been ‘dumbed down’ a bit. Maybe I am a bit more knowledgeable about the Munros than the target audience for the book, but I though this first section could have more in it, especially if people get the book that are new to Munro Bagging. I want people to be excited by the idea of being out in Scotland’s hills and wild places, this would have been a great place to start that relationship. I would have liked to have seen more.
Munro Bagging Log Book – Munro Finder
This section is again one page long and it almost serves as a contents page for the book. Each Munro is listed by height as per the main section of the book, with the relevant page number attached. As a reference piece I can see why it is included, however I question whether the person looking up a Munro (usually by name or location) would automatically know its height?
Having the Munros listed like this does make sense to a point though. After a hill day, you want to log your achievement in your log book, you can easily find the Munro you have climbed, by height as you will have been looking at it on your map all day, find the relevant page and complete the information in there.
However, if you were thinking that this could be used as a planning tool, this is not what this book is for. It is very much a climb a hill, tick it off type of book, which absolutely has its place in the Munro Bagging community. I talk a little about planning for a hill day in my earlier post How to Start Hillwalking – Before you go which looks at some of the key planning tools I use when planning a day in the hills.
Overall, this section is useful to those completing the log book, but not much more than that.
Munro Bagging Log Book – The Munros
Now we come to the main part of the book. 282 pages of Munro listing good-ness. The Munro’s are listed in height order, starting with Ben Vane at 915m all the way through to Ben Nevis at 1345m. Each page features the name and altitude of each hill, space to enter the start, summit and finish times for each hill notes on who you walked with, ascent and descent times and a section for your walk notes. I imagine that I would but things like the going under foot, any key happenings from the walk and other bits and pieces in here.
There is also a section for the weather on the day, and a grading section for difficulty, views and enjoyment. Altogether is has space for all the basics that you need to log for your hill day. Its a great little tool. I did find that sometimes there isn’t a huge amount of space in the notes section, mainly due to the one page constraint for each hill, but I did find that it was sometimes a bit of a squeeze.
Also, we all know that Scotlands hills are beautiful places – could the authors have found some space in the book for some imagery showing the Munros at their best. I am sure that this was an editorial decision to not have that and keep the book really clean and simple, however, in my opinion, it would have been nice to have some pictures of some of the key summits to whet the appetite.
One cool little thing that I quite like, is that there is a tick icon in the top corner of each page for you to tick when the hill is climbed. I know its not a big thing, but its a nice touch that will allow me to quickly see, at a glance, if the hill has been climbed or not.
Munro Bagging Log Book – Notes and Emergency Numbers
I have had a bit of a think about this section and I cannot figure out the reason for it. Why would you need a list of emergency contact numbers in your log book. Perhaps the authors were envisaging this book being in a car or a hikers pack on a hill day? For me it is too large to fulfil this function, which makes this section redundant in my opinion. I can’t quite figure it out.
Munro Bagging Log Book – Munro Finder A to Z
This section fulfils the need I outlined above, for a list of the Munros ordered by height or alphabetically. It will allow those people that don’t have the recall to remember specific heights to find the appropriate page for their hill. In my opinion, this would have been better in place of the previous Munro Finder section at the beginning of the book to assist people in finding the correct hill.
Although, the fact that it is there does help somewhat, as even though it is in the back of the book, the resource is still available to those that need it.
Munro Bagging Log Book – Conclusions
Overall as a simple way of logging your hill climbing and Munro Bagging exploits, this book is great. It gives you everything you need to track a complete round of the Munros. For those readers looking for something a little more, perhaps to assist in planning or to serve as a fully fledged walk diary, this book is not it.
To be fair to the book, it does not claim to be so. It is designed to be a logbook and nothing more. I personally feel it fulfils that brief admirably.
You can buy your copy of the Munro Bagging Log Book and Journal by clicking the link.