A few years ago, polar explorer and legend Conrad Dickson and I were discussing how to choose a winter shell jacket for expeditions and hiking. The conversation came off the back of my frugal approach to hikes and treks: having one option that works in all environments. We settled on one manufacturer – Montane, a UK outdoor gear company without whose amazing products I wouldn’t be writing this Montane eVent Alpine Endurance review.
As you’ve probably guessed, Montane have been one of my favourite equipment manufacturers for some time now. I first used one of their eVent shell jackets back in 2015 when I did a short ski in the Finse area of Norway.
Now you have the history of my involvement, let’s get into the review…
Have you ever wondered which Trail food will give you the best bang for buck on your hikes? This is a question that to be raised a few times by friends and colleagues of mine. There are many onflicting views about which food they should be taking on the hikes? I’ve done a bit of research and combined the findings with my own personal experience garnered over the course of 30 years to produce this post is based on a combination of personal experience and research. Without further ado here is my top 20 list of the best hiking snacks you can cram into your backpack.
The core ideas we’re going to discuss in this post don’t exactly fit into the fitness. But carbs and proteins are essential to any expedition you embark on. Knowing how many calories are burned hiking is great. What’s more important is where those calories come from.
Are you having trouble finding the perfect hiking boots to fit with your hiking activities? It can be pretty hard making the right choice, there are so many options out there. Today we are going to kick off our voyage into the mysterious world hiking boots with a Merrell Moab 2 review post. Let’s see what you get for your money.
Unlike some websites I buy, borrow or steal the equipment reviewed (apart from the piece I wrote about the best hiking watch of 2019). Everything I wear, everything I use and everything I review is owned by me. Regardless of whether it’s hiking gear or trekking kit – it’s all mine.
No hiking website would be complete without a Garmin eTrex 10 review. This valuable member of the hiking equipment community has been available since 2005 and, in my mind, is a candidate for the best gps for hiking award.
Whilst not the most advanced of GPS devices the eTrex 10 has all the functionality that most hikers will ever need.
There are countless backpacking and camping guides out there that will teach you exactly which equipment you need to cram into your backpack. Numerous websites will tell you about the best shell jacket you need to take for a long-distance trek, or the lightweight camping stove that you really need to buy. Rather than revisit what I consider to be well explored territory this hikers packing list will focus on those little extras that will make your hikes and treks all the more fun.
At first, I’d like to distinguish between the two prevailing mindsets in the hiking community. The first is that any hike or expedition should be painful. What this means is that if you’re not suffering some kind of discomfort, then you’re not on a real journey. In some ways I’m inclined to agree with this; our minds and bodies were designed to adapt when stressed.
Base layer clothing is meant to keep you cool and dry. How often have you peeled off your fleece, or mid-layer, only to find yourself cold and slicked in sweat? Help is at hand. For anyone who hasn’t experienced the joy of the Brynje Super Thermo base layer system, this is the review for you.
First a story…
Brynje are a manufacturer of premium cold weather and sports equipment. And their gear is good, really good.
I first heard about their gear around four years ago, when I was skiing across Norway. During one of my water stops a small group of women skiers paused on their ski tour and started chatting to me. As we talked one of them pulled off her shell jacket in order to cool down. Underneath her jacket she was wearing a mesh base layer.
We are hikers, we were born to explore, we travel places many others aren’t interested or inclined to go to. We love the outdoors and a sense of adventure that brings being in green and wild places. And with that sense of wonder comes a need to protect and preserve the places we trek and explore. But there are rules for hiking (which I invented just before putting together this responsible hikers guide).
Sadly the world is changing and not for the better. The ever increasing population has placed huge demands on our green and pleasant places. Even though the percentage of people who enjoy outdoor activities is still relatively small the population increase has had an overall and quite detrimental effect on the landscape of our planet.
I hate preaching! Unless of course I’m in one of those more moments when I really enjoyed preaching. But today rather than have a little rant I’m gonna keep it simple: today we are going to explore some ideas on how we can be responsible hikers.
Hiking watches are a personal thing: some of my fellow explorers and hikers take an approach of simplicity over tech. Others prefer to wear a watch that not only looks cool but is also packed full of the latest gadgetry. I’m one of the former – for me a watch should not be at the epicentre of events that mean the difference between life and death. That said, I’ve used some pretty cool gear over the years and today we’re going to look at the best hiking watch options currently available in 2019.
All the watches you’ll see here have been tested by either myself, or my friends and travelling companions.
Rucking, tabbing, yomping, etc. Rucking goes by many names, but, it’s quite simply an amazing way to get fit with the aid of a weighted backpack. The history of rucking goes way back to the era of the Roman Empire, a time when troops were drilled with full weighted gear. The practise continued in to the modern era and is now a proven way to ensure troops are hardened to the rigours of moving over long distances whilst carrying large loads on their backs.
Although I’ve already documented some hillwalking fitness tips, this guide goes one step further. It’s aimed at anyone looking for that little extra in their training routine.
Before we delve deeper into this rucking workout plan, let’s take a whistle-stop tour of the terms you might see me use to describe the ‘art of ruck’:
Yomping. This term is used by British Royal Marines to describe a 30-mile march over Dartmoor carrying 55lbs in their begins.
Tabbing. Likewise, tabbing is a British Army
phrase used to describe matching whilst carrying heavy weights aka full battle
Hanging out. An old military phrase the exact
meaning of which is coarse. A polite translation of this term would be
something along the lines of: ‘Good Lord, I seem to be somewhat worn out from
that massive exertion.’
The practise has expanded into the civilian word where many
companies have adopted the phrase and built training plans, even businesses,
around the idea.
Hauling tyres; it’s the madman sane form of training. Using tyres as part of a training program has been a staple of polar explorers training regimes for as long as I can remember.
But where did this idea stem from? Has this exercise always been the preserve of crazy adventurers, or was this activity invented by another group of fitness fanatics?
The first recorded instance of this type of training was way back in 1990. Borge Ousland and his expedition team mate, Geir Randby, built a training rig after seeing race horses hauling tractor tyres as part of their pre-race buildup
Ever since that day pulling huge chunks of rubber and metal has become a key component for the type of skiing expeditions where skiers haul heavy loads in pulks.
The main reason so many people in the adventure and exploration community drag tyres is that it’s a great and specific way to get fit (for hiking and hillwalking too). The friction caused by the rubber as you travel cross country, over tracks and along tarmac roads mimics the effects of hauling a pulk. For anyone who is planning a long-distance ski dragging equipment in a pulka, this is the training style for you.