Tiso, Alpine and Blues staff are experts in their own fields. This comes from experience and a love of what they do, whether that be hill walking, running trails, rock climbing, or spending time on the water. Each Saturday we will be highlighting a different member of staff and talking to them about their outdoor journey. This week we're chatting to Nathalie Gough, an all-seasons Scottish outdoor enthusiast who can be found walking, camping, canoeing, paddle boarding, or skiing!
How long have you worked for Tiso and what is your role?
I started working for Tiso in 2016 at the Aberdeen store. Since then, I have worked in the Edinburgh Outdoor Experience store for several years and in the warehouse. I have now been part of the Customer Services Department in our Leith office full time for over a year.
How do you spend your time outside of work?
I do a little bit of everything and generally with much more enthusiasm than skill! Mostly, I am a walker throughout the year. It would be an unusual day if I did not walk several miles around my local Woodland Trust area after work and my weekends are spent anywhere between relaxing coastal walks and epic multiple munro-bagging days. I love being outside and able to appreciate the changing seasons and Scotland’s amazingly varied environment. I will bring along my tent and camping stove at every opportunity.
When I first moved to the UK, I was not impressed by the long, dark winters. However, I discovered skiing and I have joined the ranks of anxious Scottish skiers waiting in hope for good conditions on the slopes. I usually get out with my skis a few times a year and am building my skills for winter walking so that I can take advantage of all good winter days.
In the summer, I love being able to get out on the water, whether canoeing or sailing or now on my new SUP. I now take my inflatable board along on most adventures to get an evening paddle in before pitching the tent. It is a great way of exploring more of Scotland’s beautiful lochs and beaches responsibly.
What is your favourite bit of kit and why?
My MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent! It is the perfect home away from home with plenty of space for two plus gear (and a medium sized dog on occasion). It is a great pack size and weight for carrying up munros if we’re pushing a longer route, and I can carry it a distance solo too. It has been with us along the West Highland Way, a tough trip to Ullapool to conquer as many hills as possible and many weekends in the Cairngorms and the Trossachs.
Where is your favourite place in Scotland to hike and camp?
I only really began exploring Scotland properly when I started working for Tiso and the place that really stands out for me is Perthshire, particularly around Loch Tay. I have had some amazing days out here with friends and family, on the loch and up the hills. My favourite being a camping trip in glorious sunshine at the end of last summer (after the midges had died off!) summiting three munros and being able to see what felt like all of Scotland: Glen Coe with the imposing Buachaille Etive Mor to the west, Rannoch moor and the Grey corries to the north and the Cairngorms beyond. The scenery is just stunning everywhere you look there is so much to do depending on the weather and your experience: the loch for paddleboarding, kayaking and sailing; forest walks for when the wind is too strong on the tops; and the magnificent mountains at any time of year. All of which are close to a pub dinner to help the journey home or pitching up the tent.
Is there an activity you're really keen to try?
This year, I am planning to try a few overnighters and multi-day trips by bike. My hardtail mountain bike has been great on long trails and some downhill adventures so I am looking forward to strapping it up with the tent and getting a little further afield, starting off with some not so challenging tours along the Coast to Coast and the Great Glen Way.