Gear Guide

We put the lat­est out­door cloth­ing and equip­ment to the test

The Scots Magazine - - Outdoor Scotland -

1. Land Rover Ex­plore Phone, £599

SMART­PHONE apps have taken de­vices to the brink of be­ing com­plete out­door com­pan­ions, but the phones them­selves are still flimsy bits of kit. En­ter the Land Rover phone. Built by Bul­litt, it’s de­signed for an ac­tive life. Drop-proof and com­fort­able in tem­per­a­tures from -30 to 60˚C, it also has an OS sub­scrip­tion and a boosted GPS an­tenna. Typ­ing with gloves on or in the wet is a breeze, and you don’t need to wrap it in a zi­plock bag on grim days be­cause it’s wa­ter­proof to nearly 2m (6ft 6in) depth. Plus that ex­tra bat­tery pack will give you a week­end of use. Far more ver­sa­tile than other top-tier smart­phones at a com­pa­ra­ble price.

2. Deuter Air­con­tact Lite 50+10 Pack, £140

IUSED this on a 12-day coast-to-coast back­pack­ing trip across Scot­land. With­out ex­tend­ing the lid, it com­fort­ably held tent, sleep­ing bag, spare clothes, three days’ food and even firel­ogs for both­ies. Fully laden, it was around 15kg (33lb) but felt com­fort­able, even on days of 25km

(15 miles) and 2000m (6500ft) as­cent. Pres­sure points are well cush­ioned. Straps are fully ad­justable to fit length of the user’s back. Bot­tom and main com­part­ments can be com­bined. Huge lid com­part­ment, while two big pock­ets on the belt held all the food I needed while on the go each day. Padded struts al­low air to cir­cu­late to the back. Top notch!

3. Primus Prime­tech Stove Set 1.3l, £125

THIS smart, com­pact stove set comes with two pots, a lid with in­te­grated strainer, tong han­dle and lighter – ev­ery­thing you need ex­cept gas and food. The whole lot weighs in at 727g. The burner has a built-in wind guard, which works re­mark­ably well, and the at­tach­ment valve has a gas reg­u­la­tor to steady the flow, too. The main pan is spe­cially de­signed for op­ti­mal heat-ex­change, re­sult­ing in in­cred­i­bly fast cook­ing times. I stuck on a litre of burn wa­ter for drink­ing on the next day’s hike, and it was boil­ing in just over three min­utes. What im­presses me most about the set, though, is how easy it is to pack away. The com­po­nents fit neatly so they don’t rat­tle in­fu­ri­at­ingly in your kit bag!

4. Han­wag Ta­tra II GTX Shoes, £222

THERE’S no doubt­ing the Ger­man crafts­man­ship that has gone into mak­ing these boots. High-qual­ity leather with ven­ti­la­tion holes, rigid sole and Gore-tex wa­ter­proof mem­brane. But for some­one used to light-weight trail shoes or boots, I found them rather too heavy. Even after a cou­ple of miles on track and trail, there was still the sen­sa­tion of be­ing a bit cum­ber­some. Unyield­ing too, as I reckon they’ll take some break­ing in. How­ever, the high an­kle-sup­port gives pro­tec­tion for rough boul­der con­di­tions and the ro­bust sole could cope with the tough­est un­der­foot con­di­tions. Sur­pris­ingly, the specs of these boots doesn’t in­clude suit­abil­ity for cram­pons, de­spite their sturdy soles.

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Alex Cor­lett

Ka­t­rina Pa­trick

Garry Fraser

Robert Wight

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