Introducing Poler

For those who enjoy the unique sense of happiness and freedom that outdoor living provides then Poler is the brand that you’ve been looking for. As rather than setting itself out as a technical brand focussed on surviving sub-zero climates and extreme weather, Poler has a more laid back and pragmatic approach to its product design.

Created in Portland by Benji Wagner with two of his friends, Poler sprang to life in response to the sheer lack of outdoor brands that Benji and mates wanted to wear. Whilst the outdoor gear that already existed may have been perfectly good suited for camping, hiking and travelling in, it just weren’t up to scratch aesthetically.

Using Benji’s home as a base the brand made their debut in 2011 with a range of tents, tees and bags with the aim of bringing surf, skate and snowboard culture into the world of outdoor adventure. Six years later and Poler is now something of a cult brand amongst a different type of adventurer who  can be spotted everywhere from the middle of Mediterranean music festivals to hanging out on the Ho Chi Min trail.

Browse the new Poler collection at The Sporting Lodge.

Wigwam – Brand New to The Sporting Lodge

by Mark Smith,

Founded in 1905, Wigwam was the creation three men – Herbert Chesebro, Robert Ehany, and Lawerance Bentz. This trio had previously worked for the Sheboygan Knitting Company but when it burnt down, they quickly combined to fill its place.

In a town benefiting from diverse immigration, Wigwam rose to prominence quickly, supplying the various lumbermen of the area. Sheboygan had originally been officially founded 49 years earlier but prior to that it was inhabited by various Native American tribes.

By 1936, Chesebro had taken full control of the company, but like many businesses, the war effort led to a shift in production, with 75% of their capacity being used to make socks for troops overseas.

In the post-war years, Wigwam used its strong reputation to branch out into all kinds of hosiery, with a forward-thinking outlook which has kept the company at the forefront for more than a century.

Today, Wigwam make some of the finest, most hard wearing and hard working socks on the market.

We are pleased to now be stocking Wigwam at The Sporting Lodge, browse the range!

Fjallraven Travel Pack, Splitpack and Kajka

by Neil Summers

Whether you’re planning on a short city break or a week away from it all in the wilderness, the latest clothing range from Fjallraven to arrive at the Sporting Lodge has something to suit every environment. Similarly their impressive array of bags are equally ideal for your holiday or business trips whether you’re heading down-town or up the highest of peaks.

Take for example the two handle carrying system on Fjallraven’s lightweight Travel Pack which is perfect for hopping in and out of planes, trains and automobiles whilst the stowable padded shoulder straps can be released when it’s time to ditch the transport and start exploring on foot.

There’s also plenty of separate compartments and pockets in which to stash your maps, laptop, phrasebooks, souvenirs, drinks, camera, clothing and other essentials. A handy zippered section at the front of the bag also allows you access to the bag’s inner without having to open the bag fully and annoyingly rifle through all your other belongings before finally finding that pesky passport!

Equally suited to adventurous short breaks is the versatile Fjallraven Splitpack which is a unique duffel bag with two spacious main compartments separated by a zip closed mesh as well as having three additional internal mesh pockets and two on the outer. Made from Fjallravens classic G-1000 heavy duty eco material it’s a substantial yet extremely comfortable bag thanks to its padded back panel and shoulder straps.

Whilst for those who like looking for adventure far away from the madding crowds then the Fjallraven Kajka is the  ideal trekking backpack. Voted product of the year 2009 by Swedish outdoor magazine Utemagasinet this expert pack sits on an incredibly strong and  environmentally friendly wooden frame as opposed to the usual aluminium and has various safety features such as an easy access whistle and a reflective rain cover for increased visibility in the dark. As with the other two packs it’s an incredibly well thought out design with a wealth of separate compartments and access points for increased ease of use and balanced weight distribution.

So for the solution to all of your Spring and Summer storage scenarios then you need look no further than the Travel Pack, Splitpack and Kajka from Fjallraven.

Filson – Built to last

If you’re new to Filson, Mark Smith digs into the history.

Filson may have been around for several lifetimes, but it’s a new introduction for us here at the Sporting Lodge.

Clinton C. Filson spent the early part of his working life as a railroad conductor, before moving to Seattle, Washington in the 1890s. It was here where the real roots of Filson began, when Clinton set up a small loggers’ outfitting store. In a scene which was mirrored in many parts of the U.S in this era, Filson made its name meeting the needs of prospectors passing through Seattle on their way to the Klondike Gold Rush. The brand eventually got itself on a solid footing in 1897 and although the gold rush was relatively short-lived, it cemented the brand as a reliable supplier of clothing and accessories which would stand the test of time. After the gold rush ended around 1899, Filson shifted to providing gear for outdoor oriented activities and occupations including hunting, fishing and logging.

In the modern day, Filson continues to enjoy an unrivalled reputation in its field. In the early 90s, its heritage in canvas luggage was revived, while more recently in 2010 it fittingly partnered up with another brand born of the gold rush to create Levi’s Workwear by Filson.

With slogans such as ‘Unfailing Goods’ and ‘Built to Last’ running through their veins, Filson have a unique confidence in the gear they make. It’s perhaps their best known tagline which sums them up most accurately though – “Filson – Might as well have the best”.

We’ve handpicked products we think you’ll love. View the full range here.

watchmackinaw dry-pack

Fjallraven Kanken – evolving with the times

Founded in 1960, Fjällräven is a veteran at coping with the outdoors. The brand began like many of its counterparts, with problem-solving at its heart. That simple backpack created by Ake Nordin all those years ago has been joined by a full range of serious outdoor clothing and accessories, and while jackets like the Greenland have become iconic, it’s that original bag which lends its DNA to the brand in the current era.

When things are ubiquitous, it’s usually for a reason. The Kånken bag enjoys worldwide popularity, perhaps due to having nailed the middle ground between function and style. Like any good design, whether it be a car or an item of furniture, the Kånken has been gently evolved with the times, and there are now variations which include laptop compartments and other useful additions. The Kånken also comes in a number of subtle styles, from the well-known bright colours to a more understated, grown up version which utilises leather and more muted colours. There’s something for everyone. It’s a clear example of form following function and looking great as a by-product. Everything about the Kånken is clear, considered and concise. The same can be said for Fjällräven in general, in fact the only thing we can’t quite get our heads around is how to pronounce it correctly, which is fitting for a brand born in Örnsköldsvik. Try saying that with a mouthful of Kendal Mint cake!

kanken-no-2

laptop

re-kanken

We have a long lasting relationship with Fjallraven and have a fantastic range of products, tried and tested by The Sporting Lodge. Check out Fjallraven’s AW16 collection.

Allemansrätten, Fika & Kånken

Our guest blogger, Neil Summers finds out what makes the Swedish tick.

Having just got back from an epic hiking trip in Western Sweden I have discovered that there are three things that are intrinsically part of the Swedish psyche that also reflect their love of the outdoor lifestyle. The first is Allemansrätten which is wonderful law allowing Swedish citizens the right of passage to roam freely across the entire country, meaning you can hike, climb, sail, swim, forage and even pitch your tent up for a day or two wherever you want.

The second is Fika which is an abbreviated combination of the Swedish words for coffee and cake and refers to a daily ritual that’s taken very seriously by the Swedes.

cafe-fika

Traditional Swedish Fika cakes and pastry

Just like the British tea break everything stops for a heart warming cup of coffee usually accompanied by a cinnamon bun or pastry at least once if not twice a day. Nowhere is this ritual observed more than whilst outdoors whether up a traversing a mountain or holed up in a bird hide everything stops for Fika.

Thirdly of course is Kånken the ubiquitous and much loved backpack that was first  launched by Fjällräven in collaboration with the Swedish Guide and Scout Association in 1978 that has been a part of Swedish life ever since. Though favoured by university students and Stockholm commuters with its handy laptop-friendly size the Kånken is equally as popular with Swedes outside of the city enjoying their freedom to roam  and coffee break opportunities in the great outdoors. Over the past three days I witnessed a variety of Kånkens in vast range of colours to equal those of the beautiful flora and fauna of the stunning Swedish wilderness.

kanken-range

An Audience with Phil Raisbeck

We had a chat with British blogger and outdoor adventurer, Phil Raisbeck, ahead of his impressive participation in the Fjallraven Classic trek that’s set to go ahead on Friday 8th August. Phil is a regular customer of The Sporting Lodge, who has a great love for the outdoors.

Taking your Fjallraven collection into account, can you name your favourite item and what makes it so special?

That is a tough question. I have so many items now, it’s hard to choose a favourite as all their clothing and equipment are excellent quality. I’m torn between my most commonly used items of Fjallraven Keb Gaiter trousers, Fjallraven Ruaha zip-off trousers, my first Fjallraven trousers, Sarek, or the Keb hooded fleece jacket. I think for its multiple uses for more technical hikes, challenges and varying conditions I will go with the Fjallraven Keb Gaiter trousers, plus they are in my favourite colour of UN Blue.

What is your greatest achievement to date?

Without doubt it has to being lucky enough to win 1st place for the UK in this year’s Fjallraven Polar back in April. It was such an amazing unique experience that I will remember for the rest of my life and made some amazing friends during the event.

fjallraven-polar

Ahead of the Fjallraven Classic on Friday, what are three important steps you take to prepare yourself?

In the last few months I have been doing various hikes locally in places like Weardale, North Yorkshire, Northumberland and the Lakes. Doing hikes of various distances and challenges with the most recent ones carrying my Fjallraven Abisko 75 litre rucksack fully loaded with around 18kg in weight including everything I will be carrying on the Fjallraven Classic. You can be fit for long walks, but walking with a much heavier rucksack does make a huge difference, and you do need to practice carrying such weight before taking on a multi-day hike like the Fjallraven Classic.

Have you always been interested in expeditions and outdoor activity from a young age? What are your inspirations?

I did a little bit of outdoor activity many years ago in my teenage years, but then nothing for about 20 years. My recent outdoor epiphany only started in the summer of 2012, when my stepbrother Ian asked me to join him on his life-changing 250km trek through the French Pyrenees, where we did the Cathar Way. Since then I have been hooked on everything outdoors and this was followed by completing the 170km Tour du Mont Blanc trek last year. I’m also attempting to do the 282 Scottish Munros (though rather slowly, only done 4 so far!).

I’m always looking for my next adventure. Recently I went to Norway to visit my Norwegian Polar friend Jostein and we did an amazing hike to Trolltunga.

After the Classic next week I will focus on my next big adventure, which is the Toubkal Two Valley trek in Morocco this October. This will be the highest altitude I will have hiked. My ultimate goal is possibly ascending Mont Blanc after seeing it closely as I trekked the Tour du Mont Blanc, though I feel I need a lot more winter skills before I tackle that challenge.

What do you look for in the perfect piece of gear to accompany you in your travels?

That depends on how I intend to use them. If it would be for long multi-day trekking then one of the key thing would be the weight, however I also think ease of use and/or having multiple uses if possible is key and of course the quality. I find if you buy cheap you buy twice, and you really need all your gear to stand up to the challenges you face as you never know what to expect and can’t afford to carry spare items “just in case”, as this would add to the weight you would carry. So quality and practicality is key.

Any last words?

Since taking part in the Fjallraven Polar I have met some amazing people from around the world, some in person and some virtually online through my Outdrr blogging network and past Fjallraven Polar participants and it has been great sharing experiences with all of these people as well as planning many future adventures together.

Thanks a lot Phil! Don’t forget to check out Phil’s blog to follow his quirky and exciting documentation of various expeditions and adventures!

Spotlight On: Trekking Trousers

At The Sporting Lodge, we pride ourselves on being able to cater for a large variety of outdoor activities, weather conditions and lifestyles. Our Fjallraven trousers are products that boast this speciality and prove that they can fit into your lifestyle just as well as you can fit into them.

The Fjallraven trekking range are offered in three families (or series). The Fjallraven Keb system consists of clothes and equipment for demanding trekking in challenging mountain terrain. The Fjallraven Sarek system is for long mountain trips next to the well-worn paths. The Fjallraven Abisko system is ideal when you want to move lightly, quickly and not have much to pack during both short hikes and treks lasting several days.

Fjallraven’s trekking range at The Sporting Lodge is where you’ll find clothes and equipment for different types of trekking activity, in varying terrain and climate zones, all year round. Everything from day-long hikes to longer expeditions that take weeks – or perhaps even longer. This range features clothes that protect against weather and wind, wick away moisture and excess heat, and allow you to move freely.

Some of our most durable Fjallraven trousers are designed for trekking. They are made from the special G-1000 fabric, which is known for being impressively water and wind resistant. We understand that to be able to move around freely, a particular leeway is helpful. We combat this with Fjallraven’s comfortable stretch panels which are woven into trousers such as the Fjallraven Abisko Trousers, Fjallraven Kalfjall Trousers and Fjallraven Keb Trousers.

trekking-trousers-2

As you’ll probably know, when trekking there’s a slim chance you’ll cease to perspirate – it’s a fact of life and it’s only natural! However, Fjallraven have really thought of everything, and to put your mind at ease, a built in membrane in the G-1000 fabric allows moisture to leave the body easier and in a more discreet manner. For trekking in warmer climates, you might also consider a pair of versatile Fjallraven zip-off trousers in light and airy fabric, which can be easily transformed into shorts – for example, the Abisko Hybrid Zip-Off Trousers.

We hope we’ve provided you with some ideas – and remember, we’re currently offering 30% off Fjallraven (RRP products only, excluding sale items) at The Sporting Lodge using code FJALL30 at checkout!

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