When the idea of picking five favourites for summer use was first brought up, I thought ‘nice, this’ll be quick and easy’. About five minutes later my list of five products had about fifteen on it. Being the glass half full kind of guy I am, I choose to see that as a representation of the fact that I work with something I like rather than how patient of a woman my wife must be.
After some creased brows, ums’ and ahs’, and general indecisiveness, here’s my condensed list.
This seem like an odd, and rather unsexy place to start my list, but to me it was inevitable. These are quite simply the best socks I’ve ever had. The fact that they’re merino wool is a good place to start (all socks really should be), but it is the fit that really makes them special. The ribbing over the top of the foot keeps them firmly in place, to this day I’ve yet to have them bunch even the slightest.
It is worth pointing out that they are designed to be worn underneath a second pair of socks, and that wearing them as the only sock will wear them out within a year or a year and a half. Having blatantly disregarded the intended use and worn mine pretty much constantly in pretty much any setting I should know. Well worth it though!
Lundhags Jaure Mid
To me, where to start building your outfit is a bit of a tossup between trousers and boots. They both carry the threat of some difficult-to-do-anything-about discomfort if you get them wrong. Having to make a decision though I’ve gone for the boots first.
My trusted companions are a pair of Lundhags Jaure Mid. While the fit of the specific Jaure model has been fantastic for me – it is the shell principle that all Lundhags boots are built around that makes them so special. The idea is that there is no liner in them – instead they are worn with two pairs of socks. So, with two pairs of my trusted liner socks (rather than a liner and a thicker sock), a sturdy all-season boot is a light summer boot.
This flexibility, together with the natural leather makes it very breathable. The fact that there’s no membrane in them makes them quick drying as well – none of that starting out with damp boots from the day before for me.
Lundhags Authentic Pant
Getting to go first allowed Jen to snatch the Abisko Lite Trousers that were on my shortlist as well. So we’ll stick with Lundhags, and the Authentic Pant.
For me, who does more walking in the summer than general camping, I have picked these over a more robust trouser like the Vidda Pro which might also offer some better pocket. Because if walking is what you intend to do – the Authentic is where it is at.
Stretch panels across the seat and the knees means that there’s virtually no resistance as you are striding away, even when rocks or streams force longer steps. The polyester and cotton material is breathable enough for most weather, and if you still want to release a little extra heat the vent zips on the side of the thigh will take care of that.
I am big fan of wool. That’s why I am sometimes a little frustrated by how a lot of people only view it as something for winter. In fact, the same insulation that works to keep warmth in during the colder months of the year actually works to keep the heat out during the summer months.
The fact that it can hold up to 30% of its own weight in water, which keeps it away from contact with your skin, means that it is still comfortable even if a little damp – be that from sweating or a light shower. Both of which are common in the summertime.
The fit of this crew neck is quite tight, which is great if you are planning to wear a thicker shirt over it, but I usually end up using it by itself a lot during the summer so I have sized up to get a little looser fit.
The best way to bring your meal with you – whether it is a day trip and you are staying overnight.
All the containers and the cup pack fit inside the bowl, which is held together by a rubber strap. This means that it is easy to throw in the backpack without worrying about enjoying your meal out of the corners of the pack. If you have ingredients that you don’t want mixed (who likes soggy lettuce in a salad), you can just pack inside the containers before you lock them in place.
The unsung hero in this kit is the cuttingboard – the fact that I don’t have to use my leg as the surface on which to do my cutting is much appreciated.