Sellout Bastard

This place is a Ford Capri, flashy colours, but there’s a 1960’s engine revving under the hood. 

You know me, I just kinda bimble along with a mix of mild swearing, partial nudity and a whole bunch of what I do, be it work or play. Then there’s the gear thing of course. 
Martin has a interesting post over at his house, and reading through the comments (as one always should), gear does seem to be the prickly pear in the bloggers salad bowl. It got me thinking then, and indeed now.
Maybe I’ve come at testing and reviewing from an unusual angle, but it’s not something I really give much thought to, other than things like “Is this *******(insert item here) working for me?”, “This buckle is about to come away in my hand”, “I can’t believe these haven’t given me blisters”, “This hood needs to get under the sewing machine when I get home”, “Oh, this orange is going to look great in the snow…”, I worry about the gear, not the politics.
My reviews are on the whole pretty positive, I get niggles or features that aren’t what I’d personally choose, it’s not because I’m the trade’s bitch, but because nobody sends me shite gear. Too many reviews out there, in print and online, have a conclusion solely based on personal preference rather than a level of acceptable performance.
I mostly look through the workbooks and ask for what I know will get proper and repeated use, but I’ve made some mistakes, I don’t even know where those white Crocs disappeared to… I have asked for gear from budget brands, but no one will give me it, which I think is stupid. Something either works or it doesn’t, if it’s more expensive it might be lighter, if it’s cheaper the fabric might not be top end, but it’ll still do a job. Brands should stand behind their products, if they can’t, well, draw your own conclusions there.

Martin’s post also brought another circling item in to land, outdoor shops. I talk about them a lot, I’m always plugging the independents or sending folk their way when I know they stock an item that’s being sought, but being more directly involved with shops has always been something that’s troubled me. Alpkit and seemed different, I’ve been happy to plug them and their gear, but when it comes down to it a shop is a shop, whether they make their own gear, import it themselves or get it shipped from a distributor.
So, I’m not fretting about this stuff any more. In a month or so I’ll be running a competition with The Climbers Shop in Ambleside, somebody out there will be getting a  Hilleberg Akto after I’ve taken it out and made sure it works okay at 1000m in the Highlands. I like it this way, all I get from this is a night in a tent and chance to spread a little joy.
And, as soon as Haglöfs finally decide on a winner of the LIM35 pack competition, I’m giving away all the Wigwam socks that I’ve been storing in it.
Gear is going to be all over this place like a rash in fact, starting later this week I’ll be doing a first-look at some new gear every day for nearly three weeks. I’ve got alpine boots, trail shoes, socks, food, fleece, rucksacks, softshell, insulation, waterproofs, lighting, stoves and right in the middle, a day at Berghaus HQ.

Stands up nervously and faces the group… My name is Petesy, and I’m a gear freak.

69 thoughts on “Sellout Bastard

  1. I’ve always liked Martin’s blog. It’s one I visit regularly as I like Martin & his philosophy. I’ll admit though, I refrained from commenting on that post as the numbers thing annoys me. It’s easy to get caught up in the politics – as you so eloquently put it – blogging seems to have its fair share of that. Often, the popularity of a blog is less about how objectively good it is but how many people use it as a platform for conversation. So often, on some popular blogs, an anodine post receives a mass of comments. On others, a post with detail and into which a huge amount of work has gone receives one or two. There’ll be plenty of visits but few people taking the time to leave a comment. Sometimes the blogosphere can be a tiring place to write for but in the end, you do it for yourself, and not for others. If others enjoy what you write, then that’s great but you can’t court approval. That’s why so many good blogs will not appear on lists as they are only appreciated by the people that genuinely understand the work gone into them. Good ones, like yours and Summit and Valley, will always get the recognition they deserve but I hope I continue to have the time to comment on the ones that don’t get that recognition. Thanks to those people for taking the time.

  2. Someone over at Martin’s blog hinted that people come to your blog because of the gear talk.

    Me, I look forward to your posts about gear, yes, as I like the way you go about it (and must admit to some gearholism :-)). But, in the end, I find that the posts I enjoy the most and leave a long lasting impression are your trip reports – or, rather, epics!

    Gear is good, mountains are better!

  3. Thought provoking post, in the end you just have to do your own thing. In my opinion different blogs provide different things, I use Martins and a few others blog reviews as I feel we have similar likes/dislikes on some gear (we’ve totally different views on other stuff though) I read your blog as it puts more gear on the radar than anyone could if they had to buy it so I find I’ll bookmark individual posts if it’s a bit of gear that looks like it might interest me, e.g. LIM45 (ended up buying one), PHD Ultra Minim (ended up with one of those too) MSR Hubba HP (still on the list of possibles if and when) but there’s more chance of finding out about niche manufacturers/one man operations especially from outside the UK from someone who’s bought the stuff, small operations being less likely to send gear out for review due not only to material costs but also costs in time. Someone who reviews stuff they buy tends to go into more detail which is useful to me. Rucksacks are a good example, given that there’s no consistancy between brands when it comes to litres physical measurements are more useful, how small can the hipbelt go, can the side pockets be accessed on the move and what capacity do they have etc.

    On the subject of reviews themselves personally I buy kit and hope that it’s a long term investment because if it doesn’t work out it costs. If it doesn’t work for me I’ll say it, it may only be my opinion but thats the only opinion I can give. I won’t however simply say it’s junk without stating why it hasn’t worked, that way anyone who reads the review can make their own assesment. I’m starting to worry about tents though, I think people are recommending what they’d like as their next tent in the hope that I’ll buy it and flog it on at a knockdown price after a fortnight :-(

    On retailers sure if they’ve provided good service I’ll gladly say so but that doesn’t mean that I think every product on the website is good and that applies whether they’re a US cottage industry producer or someone like F&T.

    Like I say, everyone should do their own thing and if others like it great, if they don’t so what.

  4. Brilliant comments folks.

    Journeyman Traveller, all spot on.
    And one thing you said made me wince a little, “time to comment”. There’s so many good blogs now, and I have so little sit down and surf time, that I fail copmpletely to keep up with what’s happening, even with folk I’ve known since I started this place. Sometimes by the time I read something the last comment was two weeks ago and I feel awkwards saying anything. Ach.

    Gfonso, aye I saw that. Folk do indeed look in to see the gear, and I think they deserve a medal for doing so since more often that not it’s draped over me :o)
    But, Google tells me something rather heartening, the top two searches that send visitors to me are nothing to do with gear at all.

    R MacE, the Hubba HP, the one that got away. There are times I wish I still had that tent!
    The small operations in the US are a frustrating one. I’d love to take some of the gear, but after being contacted a few times and having conversations lasting months where the gear’s always coming “soon”, I just don’t bother now. It’s a bummer.

    One side story came to mind with your comment about bottle pockets and brought a smile as I remembered the fights!
    In the OMM lead user group, bottle pockets on the packs were always up for (sometimes heated) discussion and revision. The skinny fell runners had the packs tightened up around their tits and couldn’t reach them, the girls couldn’t reach them as their arms were too short, fat folk found them too far back, the paddlers couldn’t bend their arms enough to get to a bottle and I’m standing in the middle perfectly able to take a bottle out of every OMM pack pocket.
    I learned that day that specifics are a roadsign to somewhere that someone esle wants you to go to. And also that everyone wants gear designed specifically for them :o)

    That last line there is worth repeating:
    “everyone should do their own thing and if others like it great, if they don’t so what.”

  5. i agree with gfonso. It is your prose, your descriptions of trips – whether in the big hills or a bike ride in your local hills – that keeps me reading. I like the photos too and the cheekiness of a midweek trip somewhere exciting. I like reading and feeling jealous but also feeling that what you did was also something I could do.

    The gear stuff is fine as long as you spread it around! Expensive gear has always made me a bit embarrassed. One of my pals that I used to do a lot of walking with did all the Munros without owning a waterproof and usually in crap boots, so if I turned up with a fancy new fleece or boots or pack I’d always feel a bit over dressed and sort of a poser.

    To be honest though, I think the gear posts are the boring ones. I tend to skim through them. However, if I am looking to buy something – e.g. a new sleepingbag – I will read more carefully. By the way – I bought that PhD bag that I asked about on here a few weeks ago – not used it yet but it looks brilliant. That reminds me – the write up of your PhD visit was a favourite post too.

    But it is your blog – do what you want with it as long as you are enjoying it. I’ll keep reading.

  6. Good post.

    When I first found your blog I was hooked, by the writing, the photos, by the adventures and the gear reviews. Then came a slight downturn, I reacted on you always reviewing top-notch gear which was always brilliant – of course. I guess it had to do with the simple fact that few have the possibility to own that much – high tech – gear. I guess I have to admit there might have been some jealousy at play too…
    Well never mind, you’re up on my list again because over time I’ve come to appreciate your honesty and persistence, respect the fact that you are getting the things for reviewing because you are good at it.

    I also like the philosophical parts of your blog, it seems like you still have both feet on the ground, keeping your mind open and not disrespecting all but your own interests, as can happen when people focus on for example UL, climbing etc etc… I like it that you do it all, fits my style perfect.

    Keep up the good work.
    Daniel, Finland

  7. Personally, I find the gear stuff useful but its the trip reports and the corresponding photography that makes me amble round your blog with a smile. Gear reviews are a personal thing and anyone who does not read a gear review with that thought in the back of their mind must be deluded. They are so subjective but still useful. Richard is right – your blog is an extension of self – an internet projection of who you are – so if you enjoy your own blog, that’s all that matters!

  8. Talking about blogging on here is like having an out of body experience ?!

    Chris, you said “what you did was also something I could do”, and that makes me very glad. Ever since I did that first Trail column that notion has been at the heart of everything I’ve written.
    All the stuff I do is really accessible, I’m just camping and wandering about the hills, I hate any notion of this stuff being badass. Does my head in., that focus comment is a good one. I like seeing folks lives, hearing their thoughts. We’re all multi-dimensional people, it’s nice to get a sense of that I think.

    Journeyman Traveller, I’m with you on the trips thing. When the server got hacked a while back, I found myself flicking through stuff from years back as I was checking after the clean-up. It was great, I was there again, on the ridge with a cup in my hand.
    Despite myself, this place has become important to me, not least that I can see Holly grow up through it as I get greyer.

    MDNA, you can avoid the politics, I do :o)

    Buy that calander people, that’s a cause worth supporting.

    sbrt, I got called PCT on the old Trail forums until I threatened harm to folk.
    Still easy mistake to make :o)

    Also, thank you all for the kind words. Never think my blase attitude means I don’t appreaciate how nice folk are to me and this old shed.

  9. I think you’ve struck the balance pretty much spot on.

    The trip reports really are inspiring. If it wasnt for you I wouldnt have even contemplated sticking my tent on the top of a munro. But i do quite often these days. That whole sunrise- sunset- moon lit 2am piss is just a joy to behold!

    As for the gear reviews. I’ve thrown alot of cash around over the last few years mainly buying what people recommend on OM . To be honest most of that has been shit and a waste of money. Theres alot of people on there who are pretty clueless but think they know it all. I’m sure they know their ‘denure weave’ but have never had to really rely on what they blab on about.
    Least you actually test the gear and give an honest awnser. I do get the impression though you must get swamped by all the new stuff thats sent to you. Giving a long term test report cant be easy when you have a dozen or so down/synthetic down jackets sat in a cupboard.

    Keep up the great work!

  10. Ah, the OM forum gear advisors, bless ’em.
    On forums a few constants emerge. Folk defend their purchase to the death and will never hear anything wrong about it, unless they don’t like it then it’s rubbish and no-one else should ever buy one.
    Then we’ve got the defenders of the faith who will stick to one idea over all others despite times having moved on and them never having tried anything else anyway.
    I really feel for folk trying to get good information, because there’s a lot of clued-up folk on the forums with heads full of usefull detail, and it’s not always obvious who these folk are when you’ve just dropped in looking for a few facts.

    The volume of kit I get is workable, the only thing I can’t manage is a use ’til it falls apart test on everything. I can get a good sense of something after a few uses, niggles pop up pretty fast, usually when the weather changes and your trying to adjust something. Also, I’m happy to take something out of the wrapper and take it on a trip, even footwear, that’s always a good test, you find out right away if all the geatures are genuinely user-friendly. One example, the first time I pitched the Power Lizard was at the lochan in the post below.
    The thing is most gear is okay, even good. The decider is if it’s got the features or fit that you want. Forum folk (outdoor writers too…) forget that and “I don’t like it” becomes “This is rubbish”.

  11. *raises his hand in class* I’m Tookie and I too am gear freak but I live my fetish through peeking in between the curtains here.

    But it’s not the only reason I stop here. Like most of the previous commenter’s it’s the descriptions you paint with words and the photographs that punctuate the points that keep me coming back more than anything. It’s my way of escaping to the hills at the moment. I’m having a difficult time balancing work/life and being a new dad to a 10 month old daughter. It’s new to me and a problem I’m loving. Who wouldn’t, so it’s great to come here and get away to those places I’ve been or ones I’ve still to see and see it through someone else’s eyes even if it’s only for 5 minutes. It’s always good to get a different perspective.

    If you keep writing I’ll keep stopping by. Sometimes it’s not all about the numbers, the gear, the reviews or the pointy bits, it’s about point yourself out there, sharing, interacting and creating a little corner of joy.

    Maybe is should Hi I’am Tookie and I’m a voyeur? :D

  12. I’ve been in same position. As Holly grows up it’s a little easier to get away, not time-wise but the emotional wrench for both of us. Home is a good place to be :o)
    What you said here makes my heart sing “creating a little corner of joy”.
    Wouldn’t the world be a better place if we all thought that.

    While I’m on, all you guys above, I attempted to do a test-test meet (I have many) earlier in the year and didn’t manage due to a million other things in the way.
    So, I’m thinking of a late November attempt at this? I’ll do a post soon, but what d’you think?

  13. Interesting stuff here (and elsewhere!) as ever.

    For me blogs are a bit like pubs. Pubs are reflections of their land lord/lady and blogs should be just that. Equally, after trying a number you find a couple you like due to the products on offer, the ‘banter’ and the decor. You will always try others as we are all inquisitive creatures, but it’s always a joy to return to the familiar.

    The nature of the ‘familiar’ is the crucial thing. Gear for some and trips for others. No one is right. Least of all me ;-)

    Here’s to a wide variety of destinations for all.

  14. Here, that’s a good parallel, that pub one.
    I remember, Matt I think, saying somehwere that folk behove better on blags as it’s like being at a mate’s house.

    Aye, I dod a list and sort something out for a post. I think I can do about a dozen single-person tents.

  15. Aye, it’s the emotional wrench but it’s good to know that it gets easier. Maybe that’s the thing when they’re daddy’s girls ;)

    I’d be up for the test test? as long as I’ve got warning I can sneak out the back and Rowan won’t notice ;)

  16. When I did the West Highland Way over a weekend when Holly was six months old, it was walking south back home that made me ingnore my feet coming apart :o)

    Aye, we’ll make it a weekend thing so folk have got a chance if making it, probably southern/central highlands for the same reason.

  17. Ach they’ve missed my blog from that Top 10 list – again!! ;o)

    Numbers are for playgrounds, its content that matters. Your ‘brand’ if you like. (You’ll probably hate that word brand eh). And first and foremost I know when i write the posts on my blog its about it being like a diary for me to look back on in years to come.

    Fantastical trip reports, magical photos, shiny gear and actually being featured in some of your posts is why I check in here each day.

    Btw talking of gear, keep on it. It’s up to us as consumers whether we want to go out and buy it, no where does it say we have to. i always choose wisely – investment pieces you could say. Sadly I can’t afford a lot of new stuff these days but doesn’t mean I don’t like looking. (Maybe that’s just because i’m a girl!) :o)

  18. Can you tell in the office today…

    More-On, will do!

    Ange, I get emails from folk wanting to promote “my brand” quite a lot. They’ve obviously researched thoroughly before they got in touch. Although I did like one asterisk t-shirt idea.

    It’s all because you’re a girl!

  19. Something ange77h said struck a chord with me,

    “when i write the posts on my blog its about it being like a diary for me to look back on in years to come”

    I think that’s a bit like how I feel, I commented on someone elses blog along the lines that I post pretty close to how I feel as if I was talking to someone directly, it’s about hope’s, disapointments, good things and so on. I try to avoid letting my heart rule my head (or mouth) but I’m not like that in reality, I’m either bursting with enthusism or trawling the depths of despair, it seems like I constantly walk a knife edge and it doesn’t take much to tip me off.

    I’d like to be more laid back but sod it WYSIWYG :-)

  20. Absolutely.

    I often write stuff when I get back from trips or work or whatever and post it right away, while the thoughts and feelings are fresh. Then I might go back and straighten out the grammer or spelling a little bit later (sometimes not…).
    The immediacy of doing that and blogging as the medium are a perfect match.
    Like the bike trip the other day, I felt like shit and wanted to get the whining on the page before I felt better and my perspective changed.

    Ah, what the hell. To quote Spider from Bad News, “Never mind Den, it’s all anarchy innit?”.

  21. Great stuff and comments here. I find it interesting the debate on my original short post. Blogs should do that. Debate and learning and real time questioning are what they can offer. Read a review in a TGO mag and have no chance to ask about kit the review and what if etc.

    Maz you should have commented as you have superb knowledge and much to offer on the on-line outdoor community. Key words I wrote: Tile was “not about numbers” as it never is. Next point I made “It is about the person writing it and their content, and interaction with their readers” Well Maz you do that very well and Petesy you do it to perfection as well. For me numbers are not the issue but content and as I put it “I like Petesy blog for the hill bits, photos and honest writing and open hand of friendship.” and the kit bits. Blog you blog and interests. Me I do kit, opinion, walks when I can and in between bits I feel like writing about. You are an out and out gear monster and don’t stop, Blog your blog. I don’t by the way need to step forward and say I have a gear addiction. Every one else is in denial:) Keep up the fine work. I will be after that top spot next time:):):)

  22. ptc, mate.

    Keep doing what you do. I think I’ve only ever commented on your blog once before many many moons ago.

    But I’d like to say this – I follow your blog regularly and it’s clear to see how you have evolved in some way when it comes to gear. So, in that respect your bit of online space is not dissimilar to a diary.

    I enjoy your blog immensely – your trip reports have become essential reading at times. They have over the past couple of years got better and better. The ‘daft’ posts are a chuckle along with those delicious pictures of semi-naked lasses in the great outdoors ;)

    Your attitude to gear and brands has changed and at times been contradictory – but thats no bad thing. Thats life! It shows you’re a real person. And it’s that kind of sincerity that appeals to me as a reader.

    I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve looked on in envy at some of the kit you’ve tested ;) ;)Personally it’s not something I’d wish to do regularly – but thats because my passion lies elsewhere.

    Mine’s in video, for example.

    Keep up the good work – cause it wouldn’t surprise me if one day you end up with something full time with a well known publication that resides on your side of the border ;)

    It be a crime in my opinion if no such publication took up your enthusiasm, personality, experience and much more.

    And before anyone even suggests it – this aint arse-licking.

    It’s credit being given where it’s due. I’m an honest guy and I like your enthusiasm.

    Keep up the good work, mate and well done to ya :)

  23. A lot of comments here I identify with. Not much left to say realy. Late to the party as usual!

    It’s writing that pulls me in to a blog. There are a lot of very good writers in blogland, folk who I think could write professionaly, but I have to say I’m glad they don’t (or at least not all the time). There’s a rawness and freshness about blogs that makes it so much easier to connect to the author. Nothings edited the shit out of. Nothings bent into a house style, cut to fit into the space around the adverts and scrubbed clean of the controversial turn of phrase that might just offend those who shouldn’t be reading it anyway. I’ve given up my subs becuase the mags can’t compete with what’s freely given by the blogs I follow.

    It’s been said already but blogging’s extremely personal. I like that. I like that people from all walks of life pour out their hearts for others to read. I like it when the words strike a chord but I like it too when they force me to look from another angle. I used to read this stuff totaly in awe. I used to find the idea of posting your thoughts and feelings a madly scary thing to do. I wrote for a long time before I built up the courage to let others read it. My wife only got to see my writing through my blog. I’m glad I made the step, again reiterating an earlier comment, when I blog I get a strong sense that I’m making keeping a reccord for when I’m old a grey and so my kids get a sense of who I was.

    For me though, I suppose the best thing about the blogs I read is that they keep me motivated to get out and do stuff. I’m sure I’d spend (even) more time on my arse if it wasn’t for all those images and words that get me itching to get some myself. If the blogging community (if there realy is such a thing) serves no other purpose than to keep itself motivated than it’s still worth every bit of effort.

    I realy should learn to use fewer words. Did I mention the fact that I like it here?

  24. Really interesting read and quite enlightening – some comments could have come from my own lips, yet other people come at the blog from a almost alien angle it seems.
    The reasons I always come back to the blog are as follows and not in any particular order, as what I want or need varies from day to week –

    Dr Who, Action Men… all the things that were important to me as a kid aren’t hidden in the cupboard under the stairs, they are celebrated.

    Rock music, heavy metal, guitars. The biggest part of my teenage life as I’m sure it is for a lot of lads. The title of the blog article before is an example of this. It brought a smile to my face.

    Gear of course. I have bought some gear purely on the back of a review on here but only after I’ve decided it may be right for me. To my mind that’s the way to use a review on a blog.

    Mountain bikes, family life, the building and services industry, cakes and pies. All stuff that my mates and I chew the cud over. Even a little politics from time to time.

    Yeh – I guess that’s about it, it’s enough though. I’m sure one day I’ll bump into some of the people who comment on here, I know a few already and the fact they are mates with pete sort of makes the blog a comfy place, inhabited by an extended circle of friends I’ve yet to meet or may never meet. It’s sorta like the sofa in the Friends sitcom.

    Which is kinda cool.

  25. @ Dave Hanlon – I couldn’t agree more. Spot on.

    And with regards to the media? As I’ve noted elsewhere – blogging is in some respects the new medium for folk like us to be informed, catch the latest news and views and the maker and breaker to a degree of reputations.

    Be us bloggers or readers we’re really the tip of an iceberg of online consumer power and it’s no surprise some companies seek to collate and index such information to sell as data to potential businesses.

    To a degree bloggers are their own ‘editors’ of a magazine. Just as in the publishing world.

    However, in time and with businesses becoming ever more interested in social media – will this not just pass over into the blogosphere?

  26. The one thing you can never be described as is the title of this post
    Yes you deserve to be the top blog as like many have said before, you get the balance right, keep it interesting and definitely DON’T sellout on your principles. It’s those things that make me keep popping in when I get the chance.
    We know you’re a metal loving pipe banging family man who just happens to know a bit about enjoying our glorious hills using a vast array of kit and you pass on this wealth of info in a straightforward entertaining way encouraging us to join in and comment.

  27. This is amazing stuff. I kinda posted this distractedly as I wanted to get some gear comments off my chest after reading Martin’s stuff (odd as it may seem the chart thing didn’t really register, if I had to have a number attached to this place, let’s face it, it would have to be 13 or 666), but it’s being really enlightening, and all the commets read like a transcription of a late night conversation. We’re all sitting on the top with headtorches and a cuppa here. Magic.

    Martin, spot-on, the instant connection to and accessibilty of the information and the writer. Can’t be beaten.

    Chris, yes. Novemeber for sure.

    terrybnd, good comments. The one about me contradicting myself is an important one. I’ve learned a lot in the past three years (this place was three last month), and one great lesson has been finding out I was wrong. If I’m doing that I’m moving forward I hope.

    Dave, words are good, use them freely! The rawness is what keeps blogging apart, I rarely self-edit unless I just can’t understand what I wrote, most posts are written in linear fashion and then I jam the photies in here and there. That’s the genius of bloga, you don’t have to be good at stuff to get your thoughts out there.

    Phil? Alright!

    Chewy, is this a good time to mention I got the mummy from Pyramids of Mars and I’m just waiting to get a chance to put it on here :o)
    Tent test in Novemeber, it would be nice to how tall we all are off the internet.

    Blondie, I’m glad the shop thing doesn’t make me look like a sellout, there was some hand wringing about that.
    I got an email a while back full of disappointment that I was going “mainstream”. Apparently Berghaus and TNF still make shite kit and I’ve been brainwashed :o)

    Folks. As they’re coming from my peers, it’s difficult to know how to respond to some of the kind words written here.
    I’ve always said that it’s a joy to share, and I think knowing that I’m doing a little of that rather than just thinking it would be nice if I was doing it, makes the joy even greater.
    Bless you.

  28. Aye it’s not all about the gear, the trips (both words and photos) are inspirational. Certainly inspired my first high camp a couple of weeks ago! Agree with mrchewy, more outdoor blogs/sites need Flying-V’s!

  29. A bit late to this and I think it’s all been said…

    If this place were only about the gear I wouldn’t be here! The trips, the quirks, the turn of phrase, and above all the friendliness keep me coming back… :)

  30. Ach, you guys!

    Today is a bit like the old days, a clear sky and cold air meant a beanie and gloves, a successful visit to a customer mean t the rest of the day was kinda free and…
    Holly’s no well, so I think I’m back at base for the day. Still, we’ve got Peppa Pig on and we’ve got cuppas, all is well.

    Going to photograph all the new season test kit as well. Red/Yellow/Silver boots from garmont… Oh man.

  31. Top Reasons for Reading This Blog:

    * It’s an inspiring tour of somewhere that I haven’t been yet, and an motivation to get out (of) where I am.

    * It’s written with a proper Scottish accent – not the local dialect here (for those in the UK, fake up a U.S. southern accent and hold your nose while doing it…that’s about right).

    * It comes from a place with some variation in altitude. There’s none here. Really. Don’t make me send pictures.

    * The images are great.

    * Oh…there’s some gear too.

    Whatever you’re doing, keep it up.

  32. I just like the reports of the high camps in the laser comp. They have given me pointers in the right direction and the confidence to get started on the whole wild camping game. My first trip was very similar to your wheely adventure but only tented at the Hutch hut with an 8.30 summit on Mheadhoin. Inspirational is the word.

    Have fun, Garry.

  33. Aye, good stuff, obviously hit a raw nerve along the way.
    Your comments on the OMM lead group apply here as well, people view blogs for their own different reasons and expectations. Some come and go, some stay.
    But nothing stays the same. Like most things, your blog is evolving, except a fetish for purple. Should see my purple 55L Alpiniste!
    I disagreed with you some time ago, but I come back more often to yours than any other, so you must be doing most of it right. Can’t please them all.
    I got a good laugh though, Martin “show me a photo of a tarp on a top” is buying a tarp. Magic. Nothing stays the same.

  34. From my own blog, Nov 2007:

    “A “weel kent face” on the OM & Trail forums, and now a columnist in Trail Magazine itself, Ptc* has turned his hand to blogging. It’s a medium that I think will suit his unique mix of technical knowledge, intelligent wit and flowery banter. I laughed out loud several times. And it looks good too.”

    There’s been some subtle changes over the 3 years but nothing major. The day there’s a “Proudly sponsored by Greggs” banner along the top, you’re gettin’ battered :o)

  35. Most of my points i would have put have been echoed in earlier posts(which seemed to be the longest replies ever), lol. I only visit 3 sites on the web and this is my first port of call. More of the same pal on gear/banter/great photies & metal and you won’t go far wrong. Good to see you came out number 1, although apparently 97% of statistics are wrong ;) as it would have got my vote.

  36. ukmase, It’s the only way I can track what comes in, it’s like a virtual post-it note :o)

    Thinkerer, I just tried doing that accent, Holly is looking at me very strangely.

    gagfax, that makes me happy that stuff, it’s the same for all us bloggers, it shows all the options and makes so many thing so much more accessible.

    Eddie, very true, change is good, every day’s a school day.
    A tarp on a windless summit would be a joy!

    Kev, I remember those words to this day. I got a mixed reaction from other bloggers when I started out and was finding my feet, and what you wrote has stayed with me.

    Coops, the same names under a different set of criteria would have come out ina different order, so I’m not letting it change my life, it’ll be the same old shite as usual.

    You’re all being so nice and because I’m a Scotsman I’m beginning to think something’s wrong with me :o)

  37. As others have said, it’s the quality of the writing. I spend a lot of my time reading shit prose by people who aren’t very good at expressing themselves ‘on paper’. I’m not going to waste my precious spare time reading shit prose, which is why I’m very picky about the books I read. And the blogs.

    And then there’s the quirkiness, surrealism, and just weirdness of the place.

    My one major criticism would be the continuing imbalance between the images of scantily clad tent-girls and similarly exposed male eye-candy.

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