Creative thinking and engineering know-how is at the heart of this independent outdoor brand’s design-led ethos

NEMO Equipment is a highly regarded independent outdoor brand out of New Hampshire, USA. Over the course of two decades or so in the industry, they have picked up a slew of awards, proving the enduring value of careful, considered and thoughtful design. Back in 2005, NEMO was the overall winner of the ISPO Brand New award. In the same year, their products were name-checked by TIME magazine and Popular Science as among the 100 best inventions of the year. …

We spoke to Ian Elliot, the British brand’s co-founder, to find out how they build their watches. We came away pretty damn impressed.

When you’re forging the identity of a brand, you need to be clear about exactly who you are and what you want to be. But it’s just as important to know what you’re not — and that’s something about which Elliot Brown are unequivocal. Elliot Brown are not like other watch brands. In fact, for co-founder Ian Elliot, they’re not really a watch brand at all. “Many other watch manufacturers are essentially luxury lifestyle brands,” he says. “Whereas we see ourselves as an outdoor brand selling watches”.

That statement is borne out in the way that he and fellow founder…

Marrying traditional Japanese craftsmanship with modern functionalism, Snow Peak’s unique outdoor lifestyle products are designed for forward-thinking adventurers who appreciate heritage values

Snow Peak was truly born in the mountains. One mountain in particular was the cradle for the brand’s earliest beginnings. That peak was Mount Tanigawa — a craggy, crested ridge with multiple summits that rises some 1,977m (6,486 ft) along the border of Gunma and Niigata Prefectures in Honshu, Japan. Its steep faces and challenging climbs were to be the proving ground for Snow Peak’s founder, a young and talented Japanese mountaineer named Yukio Yamai.

Despite its relatively modest height, Tanigawa has been dubbed ‘the Everest of the East’, since its soaring aspects and stark relief give it a commanding…

Let me paint you a picture of a perfect outdoor scene: the campfire pops and crackles as you throw on another log, and a shower of sparks explodes into the night sky. You watch each drifting ember spiral upwards and die out, one by one, and feel the heat on your upturned face as the log catches, flames licking eagerly at the dry, seasoned wood. Beyond that circle of warmth, the air is still, crisp and cold. …

For experienced hillwalkers in search of an adventure, the Welsh 3,000s is a classic mountain route that links all 15 of Snowdonia’s biggest peaks.

Words by Matthew Jones, photography by Matthew Jones and Ellie Clewlow

Climbing up Pen yr Ole Wen with Llyn Ogwen, Tryfan and the Glyderau behind

From the footpath that skirts the north-east fringe of Llynnau Mymbyr, I gazed up the broad valley. The twin lakes sparkled in the sunlight, reflecting the blue skies and wispy cirrus cloud above. Heather-clad slopes framing the scene on either side gave way to lush green pasture, dotted with white flecks of sheep. But my eyes were irresistibly drawn to what lay beyond, chiselled into…

What do most professional footballers do on their summer holidays? Well, unless there’s a major international tournament on, they normally take a well-deserved break. Thanks to Instagram, we know that Liverpool’s Mo Salah likes to fish for mahi-mahi and United’s Anthony Martial loves the wonders of ancient Egypt, while former Azzurri il maestro Andrea Pirlo prefers to kick back in Capri (which, let’s be honest, is exactly where we all imagined Pirlo would take his vacations). Of course, these are high-level (and highly paid) athletes, so there is still an expectation to train in the off-season. …

Ignore the hipster reputation and all that online snobbery from so-called ‘knife nut’ YouTubers: just take a good look at these badass blades

The liner-lock Folsom. And a sardine. It’s marketing shots like this that lead to The James Brand’s lazy ‘hipster ‘tag…

It was the British designer William Morris, leading light of the Arts and Crafts movement, who said: ‘Nothing useless can be truly beautiful.’ It’s a mantra that could sum up The James Brand’s approach to knife design. And though Morris’ intricate motifs are somewhat at odds with The James Brand’s minimalist aesthetic, both would have shared another common belief: in the power of design to improve people’s lives. The James Brand understand that the reason people carry…

A dozen moving and motivational life lessons from the outdoor greats, beginning with the one and only John Muir

“Keep close to Nature’s heart… and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean.” ― John Muir
  1. John Muir
    The ‘Father of the National Parks’, Scottish-American writer and naturalist John Muir was an early advocate for the protection and preservation of wilderness. In 1903 he even managed to drag President Theodore Roosevelt out on a three-night camping trip, bending his ear about the importance of Yosemite to the American nation. A true evangelist for the benefits of spending time outdoors, Muir’s writings are simple, elegant and powerful.

Mountain Equipment Tupilak Jacket
Mountain Equipment Tupilak Jacket

In a nutshell? It’s an extremely rugged waterproof shell for keen mountaineers who demand full-function, four-season protection.

The Tupilak is one of Mountain Equipment’s flagship technical climbing shells, which the brand describes as ‘ideally suited to alpine and expedition climbing on the steepest lines and biggest faces’. So, definitely overkill for someone like me. But even if you’re not putting up new routes in the world’s most remote places, you might be tempted by the quality of this jacket if you’re looking for a high performance winter workhorse.

Matt M Jones

Freelance outdoors writer and editor, Head of Content at Hiker, hillwalker, wild camper and long-distance backpacker. Based in Snowdonia, Wales.

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