In the days before hillwalking, mountaineering and climbing became anything like mainstream, everything weighed a ton. Clad in beefy waterproofs, thick cotton clothing and heavy boots, with a chunky pack full of a weighty tent and cookware, the average hiker or mountaineer must have been loaded to capacity with the bare minimum.
But since more people are taking to the mountains and professionals are pushing the limits of what’s possible, there’s been a steady increase in availability and function and decrease in the weight and size of outdoor accessories. That means we’re now in the happy position of being able to choose a few extras to take along to improve the experience, without noticeably increasing load weight.
Of course, there isn’t a choice with some things – you’d be mad to go far without an appropriate first aid kit and a thermal bag, survival bag or other emergency shelter is a must. But when it comes to trekking poles and hydration systems, we’re talking comfort and improved efficiency rather than all-out necessity. It’s therefore good to know that cutting edge design and hi-tech materials go into making your gear as lightweight, strong and durable as it can sensibly be.
What you take depends heavily on the type of trip you’re undertaking, as indeed does the amount of time you take to decide what to take. An alpine ascent has some very different requirements from a day out in the Lake District, for example. Climate, country and terrain all play their part too.
So we offer not only a selection of equipment and accessories to complement any journey but also, if it helps, the expertise to help you pick out the best combination for you – give us a call or email and we’ll give you a hand. With the right tools you can get more out of the outdoors, whether you’re starting out or a seasoned pro – check out our outdoor essentials to find the kit to support you.