Travel fast and light when head­ing out­side

The Oban Times - - Outdoors - By Si­mon Pit­man from El­lis Brigham Moun­tain Sports, Fort Wil­liam.

THERE’S a big move­ment in the out­door world and it is one that ev­ery­one can ben­e­fit from.

‘Fast and Light’ is a term wel­comed in main­land Europe and North Amer­ica with open arms.

In the UK, we are a tra­di­tional mar­ket and, if it is not de­signed to be passed down through gen­er­a­tions, then it is too flimsy.

I used to wear big heavy boots, be­cause I was told that, when on the hill, that’s what I needed: an­kle sup­port and dura­bil­ity are key. Then I saw run­ners blast­ing up tech­ni­cal routes in no more than a vest, shorts and shoes that weighed 200 grams.

Why, then, was I wear­ing boots that weighed five times as much, and car­ry­ing a 30-litre pack with ev­ery­thing imag­in­able in­side?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not say­ing we should all drop this kit and take it to the near­est char­ity shop. Heavy gear still has its place and ben­e­fits. But if I’m go­ing out and there’s a chance of rain, I don’t take my beefy 500g wa­ter­proof, I take my 190g trail shell.

And it’s not just about buy­ing shiny new kit. I go fur­ther: I take my car key off the keyring, I take a credit card and a £20 note. I don’t need the whole wal­let.

It is im­por­tant to un­der­stand that, when shed­ding weight, you in­crease risk. This can be from lack of an­kle sup­port (which, if you lack ex­pe­ri­ence or con­fi­dence, is un­ad­vis­able) to risk­ing not hav­ing enough cash for the vic­tory meal at the pub.

But light is right and it is good to lose weight. Now all I need to do is lose some my­self.

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