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Outdoor Gear Reviews: An Introduction…

Welcome to the The Waterland Outdoor Gear Reviews…

Not so long ago, I hated buying clothes because I struggled to find anything that I felt comfortable in.  The few bits that I did feel were ok were usually quite cheap and didn’t last long, especially as I was wearing them a LOT, because I didn’t have much else to wear!

One day, just after I had moved to Norfolk, I bought a pair of walking shoes and went on a 10 mile walk from home to the nearby village of Coltishall and back.  When we arrived at Coltishall, I could feel blisters on my feet and, by the time we got home, I could barely walk.

I wondered why my feet had blistered so badly, so I did some research online and found that the shoes I had bought may have looked like walking shoes, but they were not actually designed to walk very far in.  If I was going to spend more money on another pair of shoes, how would I know which ones were good for walking, and which ones just looked good?  Another search on the internet came up with a company called ‘Merrell’ and I promptly headed off to the shops to buy some of their footware.  I wore my first pair of Merrell walking shoes every single day for the next 14 months and regularly walked 10-15 miles in them.  They may have cost a little more than my previous pair, but they were much more comfortable and lasted far longer than any other shoes I’d ever had, and I never got a blister again.

That was my first awakening to the world of ‘outdoor gear’ that is actually designed for people to get out and about in the great outdoors.  Clothing that fit better, wick moisture away, allow more movement, keep the rain off, the wind out, is lightweight, or perhaps rugged enough to deal with everything the weather or the terrain can throw at it.  I have since bought gear from Salomon, Berghaus, Montane, Mammut, Fjallraven, Haglofs, Merrell, Craghoppers, Columbia, The North Face, Garmin, Regatta, Rab, Hi Gear, Dare2b, Marmot, Kuhl, Paramo and many others and now have a wardrobe full of clothes that I not only enjoy wearing but, more importantly, helps me get outdoors as often as possible, whatever the weather.

Some pieces of outdoor gear are so well thought out, and work so well, that they genuinely fascinate me, so I thought I would start a section on TheWaterland to do reviews, or at least explain where I think they work well, or perhaps sometimes, don’t work so well, as this may help others if they are thinking about buying them.

Please bear in mind that I am interested in gear that helps me stay outdoors in varying terrain, mostly around Norfolk, that can include marshes, streams, bracken, brambles, gates and fences and my primary activity outdoors is walking, waiting, photography and videography.  I do not do much (or any) high energy or sports activities such as climbing or running.  Also, as a photographer and videographer, I am more interesting in clothes that offer freedom of movement and help me blend in, rather than the bright colours often associated with ramblers and climbers.

I will try to add reviews as often as I can.  I hope you find them of some use.

John

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  1. […] It’s been over a year since I bought my first pair of Fjallraven Barents Pro Trousers.  I liked them so much I bought two more pairs! For this review I took these great trousers to our Waterland mooring and up the River Ant for a walk around Dilham.  If you are interested in what I look for when reviewing outdoor clothes and gear, please read my introduction here. […]

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