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There’s a big movement in the outdoor world and it is one that everyone can benefit from.
‘Fast and Light’ is a term welcomed in mainland Europe and North America with open arms.
In the UK, we are a traditional market and, if it is not designed to be passed down through generations, then it is too flimsy.
I used to wear big heavy boots, because I was told that, when on the hill, that’s what I needed: ankle support and durability are key. Then I saw runners blasting up technical routes in no more than a vest, shorts and shoes that weighed 200 grams.
Why, then, was I wearing boots that weighed five times as much, and carrying a 30-litre pack with everything imaginable inside?
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should all drop this kit and take it to the nearest charity shop. Heavy gear still has its place and benefits. But if I’m going out and there’s a chance of rain, I don’t take my beefy 500g waterproof, I take my 190g trail shell.
And it’s not just about buying shiny new kit. I go further: I take my car key off the keyring, I take a credit card and a £20 note. I don’t need the whole wallet.
It is important to understand that, when shedding weight, you increase risk. This can be from lack of ankle support (which, if you lack experience or confidence, is unadvisable) to risking not having enough cash for the victory meal at the pub.
But light is right and it is good to lose weight. Now all I need to do is lose some myself.