Not sure I like the slightly dumbed down feel. The reason I stopped buying Trail was all the how to stuff repeated ad nauseum, as well as the rather breathless writing style pitched at teenagers. Maybe I just got too old for it. I would hate to see TGO go the same way.
Still, there are some good bits, like the Norway piece, and the feature on Fisherfield. I like Ed Byrne, and Carey Davis seems a good writer. The water photos were good too, but if the Lake District walk and bike article was a taste of the future, then I will be very disappointed.
It can get pretty cold at night, especially in the higher central areas. I have had snow in the Windhoek area in June, which was very unusual, but not unheard of. So a warm sleeping bag would be appreciated. Also a warm jacket.
I would be tempted to leave the boots behind in favour of a pair of unlined trail shoes like Merrell Moab Ventilators. They will fill with sand anyway, so get used to it, and pack a good blister kit.
You may not need the mossie net at this time of year, unless you are up near the Angola border, and chances are you will be sleeping in a tent anyway??
Have a great time. I hear that there has been lots of rain in the Sossusvlei area and there are some ponds and lakes that have not been seen for decades, so you will be in luck.
I would love the Lakes to go back to the wilderness that it was, oh probably about 2000 years ago. Ever since, it has been altered and used by man, and is now, for some, a tame travesty of wilderness. The landscape that we hold so dear, is man made and altered through and through. What we classify as wilderness is merely those bits that have we have altered less. We cannot realistically wind the clock back 2000 or even 20 years, much as I would like to, nor can we stand still and preserve the place in aspic.
What we who love the Lake District have to do is preserve what we have in the context of the world in which we live, and provide an credible, realistic and reasoned defence of it. The zero population plan, for the Lakes at least, is unfortunately not a credible option.
The warmest sleeping bag you can get, preferably 5 season if you are a cold sleeper. If you think it is overkill at first, wait until you get to Gorak Shep. A pair of fleece trousers to sleep in keeps you warm for those inevitable midnight dashes to the nearest freezing toilet.
Re Diamox: Get some and be prepared to use it. If you fly into Lukla, you will have the barest minimum in acclimatization time, and may feel the altitude anywhere above Namche. Everyone has their altitude threshold, and unless you have been to altitude before, you only find out the hard way. Keep hydrated no matter how horrible the water tastes.