Tuesday, 24 February 2015

It's Shiny I want one

Gear, kit. stuff. I have an strange relationship with kit.On the one hand I am quite cynical about the unsustainable, consumerist drive and all the marketing bollox that goes with it. On the other, I still like shiny new things.

This interest in stuff can probably be traced back to Top Trumps. The card game where the; biggest fastest or most shinyest, wins, or 'trumps' the opposition.

This was re-enforced in my teens. I spent a few years as an Air Cadet, where I got to play with lots of shiny things, from assault rifles and anti aircraft missiles to every-ones favourite cold war kid- the English Electric Lightning.
I am sort of a 'part time pacifist' now, but wow! That stuff was proper shiney.

Hunting Bears
I never got to fly in a fast jet but they did let me press the starter button on this one.

Fast jets lead to fast bikes and the influence of lord Emap (now Her Bauer), publisher of Motorcycle News and Performance Bikes. This was were the racing bug bit.The bestest and shineyest of bikes raced in Moto GP or 500 grand prix as it was. Expansion chambers, reed valves, variable porting and sticky tyres. Fast, exotic, dangerous and very shiny.

Slow but still smiling 

From motorbikes to mountains, moorland and fell running. A simple sport but still requiring kit. Sticky tyres are swapped for studded shoes, leathers replaced with wicking technical tops and breathable waterproofs, a whole industry to tempt a fellrunner. Again Bauer Media have plenty of shiny things to show off in Trail Running magazine, even the sublime The Fellrunner magazine has adverts displaying fellrunning, shiny things.

Kit makes it possible for us to do amazing things and I still find it interesting but the final word goes to Cameron Mc Neish Author, writer for Walkhighlands and  former Editor of TGO. A thoughtful article writtten by Cameron ~ Bucking the Corporate Trend

Kit and shiney related links :

The best fell running shoes                                 Ethical outdoorsy Finisterre & Howies   

                  Mike Parsons Invisible on Everest                                         PB vs Billy B

More ethical  outdoorsy kit Patagonia & Paramo         Rab up warm Dear

         Norman Walsh Performance Footware                                                      Here Kittty

Rab 2010 Team Ibuprofen Kitlist                              Northern Souls Walsh vs Inov8