Thursday 2 July 2020

Testing Gear During Lockdown

Most of the outdoor gear I review in The Great Outdoors magazine is tested in the Cairngorms and elsewhere in the Scottish Highlands. That's not been possible during the Covid-19 lockdown.  I've been restricted to walks from home.

This limitation on my walking, whilst frustrating (though I understand the need), hasn't affected gear testing because I live in an out-of-the-way corner of the Cairngorms National Park. My house is at 300 metres and is surrounded by woods, rough pastures, and little hills and ravines. There are farm and estate tracks but few footpaths. Mostly I wander at will, going wherever the light or the wildlife of an unexplained whim takes me.

The mixed weather of the last few months has been ideal for trying various items of gear. I am of course looking forward to getting to bigger hills and wider spaces as the lockdown eases but I am glad I've had such interesting and varied country for local walks.

Camping gear has been tested in the garden, which is quite wild itself, and exposed to the weather. In the past I've had tents blown down here.

The pictures here show three of the packs, one of the stoves, and the trail shoes (fourth image) that are reviewed in the July issue of The Great Outdoors.


  1. Hi Chris, have you been taking your own photos as well? All the best from Mark & Helen xx

    1. Hi Mark & Helen, yes! There's only me here. So set up camera on tripod, set self-timer, press shutter and walk into shot. Doesn't always work!