The A to Z Guide for Lightweight Travellers

Rohantime readers will need little introduction to Clive Tully, award-winning writer, photographer and broadcaster.

Clive TullyClive has a number of very popular posts on Rohantime over the years – Clive Tully – Rohantime .We caught up with Clive to tell us more about his book The A to Z Guide for Lightweight Travellers. The first two editions of his book were produced in 1988 and 1993. While the second print edition weighed approximately 250 grams, the third revised and extended third edition for Kindle adds absolutely nothing to the weight of your Kindle!

There is a lot of Rohan history in the The A to Z Guide for Lightweight Travellers now available in the Amazon Kindle store.

In Clive’s own words…

My first attempt at self-publishing started way back in 1987, as a journalist mixing the roles of outdoor equipment editor – The Great Outdoors and then Country Walking – with a developing career as a travel writer and broadcaster. So I would be interspersing backpacking trips in the UK and further afield (quite a few in Scandinavia) with trips researching more general travel stories all over the world.

A to Z Guide 1988

Sometimes these would be back to back. I remember doing a winter trip to Scotland, and travelling afterwards straight on to the Isles of Scilly. I did wonder what they must have thought I was doing with an ice-axe on my rucksack, particularly as the Scillies hadn’t seen any snow for years! But more often than not, those general travel trips would be in the company of other journalists, and it always amused me to see them turning up for a week away with a vast suitcase, while all I would have was a fairly small convertible travel bag and a rucksack for cabin baggage. In fact, if I wasn’t travelling with cameras, tape recorder and an early version of a laptop computer, I could have travelled quite comfortably with everything I needed for several weeks as carry-on luggage. Of course, a large part of my low-bulk luggage was down to the fact that I was clothed almost entirely in Rohan!

And so The A to Z Guide for Lightweight Travellers started to develop. I wrote a large chunk of it flying to and from New Zealand, with other bits completed on train journeys. At that point I was still thinking that I would probably offer the book to a publisher for the usual derisory fee. When it came up in conversation one time with Rohan founder Paul Howcroft, he suggested we publish it together. That led in 1988 to the birth of Writer’s Block, a partnership between Paul and me which existed solely to publish and market my book!

Given that the book was espousing the philosophy that made Rohan tick, it was inevitable that Rohan users would form a large part of the book’s market. I think the A to Z’s appeal was also down to its slightly quirky layout – encyclopaedia-style, complete with quirky cartoons by Bill Stott. The books were on sale in Rohan stores, and mail order – it even appeared in those beautifully produced brochures! The first edition sold steadily until nearly all the 5,000 print run was gone. Five years later I was producing an expanded and updated version for the second edition when Paul lost his life in a tragic accident. If it wasn’t for the fact that I’d done most of the work already, I probably wouldn’t have had the heart to carry on, but I did, and the second edition came out, dedicated to Paul.

A to Z Guide 1993

I suppose I should have followed through with a third edition in another five years or so, but by then life was not so much hectic as bonkers. The 1990s saw me jetting about all over the world like a lunatic – there was one year when I spent a total of six months away from home, all on individual small trips, sometimes back-to-back. And from then it somehow never emerged from the background.

But with the relative ease of publishing on Amazon Kindle, and the distinct advantage of not having to pay for or warehouse actual printed copies, the last few years have seen me slowly revitalising my back catalogue of books as Kindle downloads.

A to Z Guide

And so we come to the third edition of The A to Z Guide for Lightweight Travellers, also dedicated to Paul Howcroft – 22 years after the second edition!

Clive Tully dedication A to Z

This latest incarnation has been updated and expanded. The intervening years have seen the horrors of airport X-ray machines potentially fogging camera film disappear. And now of course, there’s a new generation that expects to navigate without the use of map or compass! The print editions had a fair bit of cross-referencing, and that’s something which actually works a lot better in the Kindle format. Needless to say, the feel is still the same, enlivened by Bill Stott’s timeless cartoons.

The A to Z Guide for Lightweight Travellers
Amazon Kindle store, price £2.70

Catch up with Clive on Clive Tully

Rohan Heritage

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