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Like many others, I am a sucker for gear. Over the decades I have frequently been intrigued by items of clothing, cook sets, gadgetry etc that may make my hikes easier, more interesting, more efficient, lighter, blah blah blah…

Some items have been good, some excellent, some not quite right for me, in truth, very few have been truly awful. I do research, I make impulse buys, just like most others I suspect.

In various pages and blogs on this site I will look at my history of experimentation of ‘stuff’. Hopefully it may be of interest to some, it may even evoke a wry smile of recollection or a woeful shake of the head- ‘you damn fool’

The manufacturers are very good at what they do, that is, convincing us that we need to buy the latest, greatest incarnation. I am very aware that a decent product can come out, simple in design and perfectly functional. Then, rather than refining it, or leaving it as it is, all sorts of extra buckles, straps, pockets, bi-functional panels, go-faster stripes et al get added in response to both customer feedback and the marketing teams. The result being that the simple little item of gear I once had, that was perfectly good at what it did, quite rightly eventually wears out and I have to go on the search for the nearest equivalent because what I had and was happy with, is no longer available. Footwear is a prime example. I spend far to many hours every year looking for what fits my feet and works, simply because what I had been using for the past few hundred miles has been replaced by what the marketing team think I now want.

Certainly I am getting better at it; refining my gear choice and buying less. I think more before I buy. As many are doing, I look to replace good with better, light with lighter, only very infrequently is it shiny being replaced by shinier!

Three Points of the Compass has looked at many items of kit carried on my back over the years, below are some links to both retrospective musings (always lessons to be learnt), current set-up and systems plus a little forward thinking.

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