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FionaOutdoors
FionaOutdoors

Top outdoors brands and kit

Gaining a recommended kit status from The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is something to be excited about. The outdoors adventure programme for 14 to 24 years olds has recently confirmed endorsement of compass favourites Silva Ltd. From this month, Silva – who also make map cases and other kit – will be on the official DofE Recommended Kit List. This got me thinking. We all have our favourite items of walking kit and some equipment that we’ve had seemingly forever. Many of us own a Silva compass, for example. It’s the kind of brand that is so well known and trusted worldwide. We’d be surprised to find that a walker doesn’t – or hasn’t – owned a Silva compass or map case. My favourite is the Ranger Silva compass. In addition, I also place high value on a newer Silva product, the Silva Runner head torch. So, lightweight yet with such an amazing beam, this headtorch has become one of my most treasured outdoors items of kit in recent years.

Favourite outdoors kit and brands

Brasher is a name that so many walkers love. In 1978, Chris Brasher set about designing the innovative Brasher Boot as a “walking boot with the comfort of a running shoe”. Although Chris passed away in 2003, the Brasher brand have been making boots for 35 years.  And many people swear by their Brasher boots. “Strong, robust, comfy and long-lasting,” said the people that I asked about their Brasher boots. Berghaus means rucksack to me. Berghaus do make lots of other outdoors kit but I have owned a Berghaus rucksack of some description since my late teens. In my 20s a 65litre Berghaus rucksack kept me company on numerous backpacking holidays. Now I love the Berghaus series of lighter weight day and running backs. Mammut says top quality Switzerland. Well, at least it does to me. I love their technical t-shirts and baselayers and have recently become a fan of their Women’s GTX boots. Many walking friends own Mammut boots and swear by them. Rab down jackets. Our family owns some five Rab jackets in various sizes, shapes and thicknesses. And whenever you meet people in pubs in winter – and summer – who have just spent a day on the hills, they are most likely to be wearing a Rab jacket. The women’s fit jackets are super-lovely! Arc’teryx. Ah, Arc’teryx. So beautiful, refined, well-designed and amazingly practical. My partner loves men’s Arc’teryx and I have an equal love of the women’s outdoor clothing. The fit is so good and the items do exactly what they say on the label. They also look very good indeed. Okay, so they are pricey but splashing out a bit is fine if it’s a fantastic product. Tell us about your most loved walking and outdoors brands.
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