This page contains free resources on gear and technique for backpacking and mountaineering.

⚡️ Recent info, relevant to right now
🔥 Really useful stuff
💡 Hidden gem
📚 Long reads
☕️ Storytime


Gear lists

Gear lists are included from 2015 onwards, which is when I started paying attention to pack weight. These lists should not be considered advice or best practice; they represent my own learning process as I gradually move towards a lighter and more efficient load.

Norway, 2017 (my first ever ultralight-ish trip, 200-mile Jotunheimstien)

Scotland, 2017 (weight creeping back up again due to excessive camera gear)

Pyrenees, 2016

Scotland, 2016 (West Highland Way, Alder Trail, Skye Trail)

Tour of Monte Rosa, 2015

The Cape Wrath Trail, 2015

Articles and opinions

🔥 Modernise your Navigation – an introductory guide to making use of modern nav tools such as self-printed maps, smartphones and more

The ultralight experiment of 2017 – why ultralight backpacking isn’t the only valid technique

🔥 Electronics for lightweight and ultralight backpacking – my approach to electronics for lightweight backpacking, kept reasonably up to date

🔥 Lightweight backpacking for beginners – how to take those first steps towards cutting pack weight

Ten top tips for winter backpacking – how to master the hard season in the British mountains

The times when I’ve gone ‘stupid light’ – light is right, until it’s not

Why you should walk in the lowlands – mountains are cool, but lowland walking is fun too

Are trail shoes durable enough? – maybe I’m just hard on my gear

Going paperless in the hills – how feasible is it? – thoughts on digital navigation, and when it’s ok to leave paper at home

Much ado about Naeboots – trail shoes vs. boots, the eternal debate

Ice axe and crampons for lightweight backpacking – I upgraded from the old faithfuls in 2015, and shed some weight in the process

19th-century glacier travel – back in the good ol’ days

💡 Climbing with an alpenstock – another feature on historical climbing technique

Reviews

Long-term review: Alpkit Gourdon 20 waterproof pack – tested to destruction

The ÜLA CDT ultralight pack – good but flawed

🔥 14 months with the MLD Trailstar – the best tarp for British lightweight backpacking

Fujifilm X70 review – one of the best high-quality compact cameras for ultralight backpacking

Follow-up Trailpix tripod review – why this ultralight tripod isn’t worth your time (original hands-on review here)

Firepot outdoor food – seriously tasty backpacking meals

Lightwave t10 Raid – a bombproof four-season mountain tent

Original Buff – don’t know how I managed all these years without one

Gear notes from a night on the dunes – a review of items from Tread Lite Gear, Oookworks etc.

💡 The Speedster Stove – an ultralight, ultra-cheap and ultra-good alcohol stove

Grivel G1 New Classic crampons – great for backpackers who need real steel spikes

Ordnance Survey print-on-demand mapping – a first look at a great web service for UK walkers

Merrell All Out Peak trail shoes – great shoes, but they don’t last

Grisport Peaklander hiking boots – can’t argue with these for the price

💡 Mountain Weather UK – the best smartphone app for UK mountain weather foreacsts

Tarptent Notch, first impressions – never actually got round to writing up a full review. It’s a solid shelter, but I didn’t keep it

Inov-8 Roclite 295 trail shoes, first impressions – again, never got round to doing a full review