Monday 20 August 2012

Queer Gear *

Or equipment for the elderly, the infirm and the skint.

An occasional series in which we will be discussing issues such as "Sternum straps - do they really get on your tits?" and "Montane's new Terra Incontinence Pants - are they taking the piss?"

Let's start off with a couple of items which I never see appearing on the kit lists of real walkers

Bridgedale Trekker Comfort Socks

One day, hopefully, you will get old and your circulation will start to resemble that of The Guardian, This will lead to fluid retention and you ankles will swell up. With conventional socks, this results in a sore red band where they dig in. Not with these babies. The holdie-uppie bit is "comfort fit". Dancer.
As well as allowing blood to circulate, they seem to perform all the other functions required of a knitted foot/shoe interface and dry quickly
Bridgedale also offer a version featuring Merino Fusion, but I understand these may be banned due to the laws concerning sheep and particle accelerators

Prakttica W14X25

195 gms , £7ish on eBay
Now I realise that this would be so much useless dead weight for the "further and faster" brigade, but for those of us with "time to stand and stare." , it's quite nice to discover if that's a buzzard quite close or an eagle far away  (Dougal!) However, if, like me, you are partially sighted they are absolutely essential for navigation.

Is that straightish line in the distance a road/burn/wall/fence/dam wall ? And where is the gate/stile/bridge

For the DIY people, I noticed Tresspass were doing BOGOF on monoculars !!. Just add some duct tape.....
The outdoor enthusiast in Stirling is very well catered for, as Poundland and Primark are right next door to each other in the Thistle Centre, so I'll be back with more goodies shortly.

* For the avoidance of doubt, on a family blog, queer gear is what the wholesalers at old Covent Garden used to call exotic (in those days!) fruit and veg such as mangoes and aubergines.

 I was in Royston Wood's flat the night he taught  Stevie this song.


  1. Swollen ankles...Yep, left one, ever since my leg got badly infected after falling in a ditch, and the infection spread and ruined the lymph drainage (the leg, not the ditch).


    Lot's of Gear, that's what you need.

    Nice track.....:)

    1. I'm not knocking lightweight, Andy. Actually; the older you get, the more important weght becomes. Out of curiosity, I recently ballasted up my old Jaguar to 40lbs and could hardly lift it onto the worksurface.
      The point (if any) that i was trying to make is that we all have different priorities - I don't carry beer/toiletries/electronic gagets with batteries and chargers.

    2. I wasn't knockin lightweight gear either.
      I have tried to go lightweight mind.
      And I do have lightweight gear.
      I just take too much of it that's all.
      But last year with all the best intentions of a 26lb pack for the Challenge, I ended up going with about 31 lb (yet again).
      Mind you, I did carry some electronic gadgets and batteries.
      Oh, and the beer on occasions to lure Al over the hills.
      And then there was the Sloe Gin and Whiskey, and the Wine for the party.

      Nuff said....

    3. Like I said - priorities. In your example, I would probably dump the booze and substitute a radiogram and small generator !

    4. I didn't want to carry that much booze, but it was a condition of going with Al.
      Well, that's my excuse anyway :)

    5. Has he started dropping hints about portable dialysis machines yet ?

    6. Oi! "He" might be a bit nadgered, be he aint deaf you know! I wonder if you can dialyse with sloe gin?

    7. Christ, look what the cat's dragged in !
      You've been a bit of a stranger around these parts lately.No doubt too busy poncing around consulting rooms trying to get your picture in "The Lancet"
      Anyway, I was talking to Sherpa Walker.

      ( :-) )

  2. We like gear. I can't start my day without reading about some gear. As Lennon once so succinctly put it "It's fab, gear" I think that's what he saaid anyway.

    1. You are correct, Mr.K. As I recall, he was referring to a pair of Scarpa cuban-heeled chelsea boots. He then rather spoiled it by saying "Whooar. I fancy that Japanese bird over there by the paintings"
      The rest, as they say, is Geography.

  3. Oh Dear, Thanks for making me laugh this morning. Brilliant turn of phrase. I’ve had my eye on a monocular as well and i may have a toe poke around for those socks. Thanks.
    I like light weight btw. Lighter the better in my book but it has to be light on the pocket too.

    1. Like the vast majority of walkers, I just do day walks and (hopefully!) the occasional weekend these days. Most of the gear that features on the Internet, while fine for serious Munro baggers and Challengers, is greatly over specced and overpriced for the likes of us.
      It's still nice to have fancy stuff, though !

  4. Not heard that version of John Barleycorn before, OM. But sticking to the theme, I've just inherited a light-weight garden pressure sprayer. Can't for the life of me think what use it'll be on a mountain but it looks good strapped to your back.

    1. Funny you should mention that, Alen. As I recall, it was about 3pm on a February day cica 1986, and we were half way along a an icy Aonach Eagach when a front came over, the cloud came down and it started raining. I'm sure one of the party said "let us spray". Or somthing that sounded like that.