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Tent Pegs

In the quest for the lightest possible weight, backpacking tent manufacturers often supply extremely minimalist pegs. They’re fine on a still, beautifully manicured campsite, but in a wild camping situation they can often be found lacking. And certain terrain such as snow requires more specialist techniques. Here are some generic alternatives: 1. Snow Stakes – eg. MSR Blizzard Stake Camping on snow or loose ground requires a different approach. Snow stakes such as the red MSR Blizzard (right) or the larger unbranded model are long, with a large surface area and concave shape to hold firm in sand or snow.

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews

Christmas Selection Box 2013

In the last Gear Review of 2013, Phil takes a look at a selection of winter goodies to suit all stockings pockets. Edelrid Shark crampons £140 It’s often hard to distinguish between the racks of 12-point crampons on the outdoor shop shelves, but the Edelrid Shark offers something a bit different, effectively representing three crampons in one. The box contains three interchangeable bindings – soft, semi and full automatic – to accomodate boots ranging from flexible walking boots to stiff mountaineering monsters. It’s straight-forward to switch between the bindings with no tools required, though it’s rare that you’d need to

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Posted in Accessories, Gear reviews

Berghaus VapourLight HyperSmock & HyperTherm FZ jackets

The Berghaus MtnHaus development lab is a wonderful concept – the team have the ability to develop cutting edge products for their sponsored athletes that may not be particularly commercial, but occasionally these high-end products filter through into the shops for the benefit of the rest of us. The VapourLight range is a collection of trail running equipment and apparel, and the HyperSmock (hardshell) and HyperTherm (synthetic insulated) jackets were developed for Berghaus athlete Philippe Gatta for his attempted 1700km, 40 day bimble along the Great Himalayan Trail. Both items are incredibly lightweight – quite probably the lightest in their

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets

Paramo Enduro Jacket

Recent jackets from Paramo have sought to cast off their reputation for a baggy, boxy fit, but none have achieved it quite as well as the new Enduro Jacket. It represents a top-of-the-range mountain jacket that isn’t perfect, but is getting pretty close. Páramo Enduro Jacket Price: £350 Weight: 849g (size large) fabric, fit, venting, hood, pockets length   Fabric The Enduro uses Nikwax Analogy, which consists of a ‘pump liner’ next to the skin, with a “directional microfibre outer” layer which is treated with a durable water repellent (DWR) coating to repel, well, water… The pump liner mimics animal

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets

Alt-Berg Yan Tan boots

Yorkshire boot manufacturer Alt-Berg has spent over three years developing the new A-Forme boots, which are designed for a different foot shape to the existing Alt-Berg range and the majority of boots from other manufacturers. Not only do the new Yan Tan boots feature this new last, they also represent a radical departure from Alt-Berg’s standard range of traditional leather boots. Alt-Berg Yan Tan Price: £170 weight, fit, build quality price   The Last Alt-Berg suggest that standard boot shapes tend to push the big toe inwards. Alt-Berg’s new A-Forme last adopts the asymmetric shape which  accepts the existing toe

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Posted in Footwear, Gear reviews

Kovea Spider stove

Kovea have been making stoves for a number of other companies for years, but this year sees the introduction of the Kovea brand onto the UK market for the first time. We spent some time with the Spider stove, a remote gas canister stove ideal for winter backpacking trips. Kovea Spider stove Price: £50 Weight: 191g (max) 168g (min) build quality, stability, preheat tube, packed size, price nothing Concept As alluded to in a previous review the remote canister design has definite advantages over a canister-mounted stove for winter use: by moving the burner away from the gas canister the

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews

Arc'teryx Cerium LT Jacket

New for this autumn, the Arc’teryx Cerium LT represents the Canadian brand’s first foray into down insulation and it’s already won a few awards. Is it worth the cash? Here’s the lowdown: Arc’teryx Cerium LT Jacket Price: £240 Weight: 261g (L) lightweight; high warmth-to-weight; packable expensive; colour (more subdued colours are available…); no hood   It’s hard to believe that Arc’teryx don’t have down insulation in their range, so the introduction of the Cerium LT, plus the heavier Thorium AR, comes as no real surprise. I’ve had an early sample of the Cerium LT for a few months now (yes,

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets

Rab Strata & Xenon X Hoodies

We’re changing the way that we do gear reviews at Walkhighlands – there’s a comprehensive back catalogue of comparative reviews here but we reckon it’s time for a change. This autumn and winter we’ll be looking at an eclectic selection of the very latest releases in a bit more detail than we could before. So – first up are two synthetic insulated hooded jackets from Rab – ideal for Scottish winter. They may look remarkably similar, and externally they are, but it’s the insulation that divides them into two very distinct categories. The Xenon X (pictured on the right) uses

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Posted in Gear reviews, Jackets

Three Season Sleeping Bags

While it’s a convenient categorisation there’s no doubt that the traditional seasonal sleeping bag rating system (where sleeping bags are designated one, two, three, four or even five season) is highly subjective, and the introduction of the standardised EN13537  testing procedure was designed to make things a bit simpler for the consumer. Thanks to the variances in the way people sleep (a hot or cold sleeper, a side, back or front position, male or female, whether you’ve just eaten etc) I’m not convinced that it is. Nonetheless, put simply, the EN13537 Comfort rating is the lowest temperature that a woman can

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews

Bivvy Bags

Often regarded the preserve of climbers perched on inaccessible rocky ledges or soldiers hidden in the bushes, in the right conditions the bivvy (bivi, bivvi or bivouac) bag can add a whole new level of enjoyment to an overnight camp. They’re basically a waterproof cover for a sleeping bag, ideally made from a breathable fabric to reduce condensation build-up within, and sometimes fitted with a zip to make access easier. Combined with a sleeping bag and a ground mat (placed within the bivvy bag or left outside) the small footprint makes it possible to sleep in places where a tent

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Posted in Camping, Gear reviews


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Walking can be dangerous and is done entirely at your own risk. Information is provided free of charge; it is each walker's responsibility to check it and navigate using a map and compass.