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Welcome to Doodlecat, where we enjoy the pleasures of life (with a slight bias towards the outdoors). This page is regularly updated with news and views plus information about any additions or changes to the various parts of the site. It acts as Doodlecat’s Blog too, so the odd rant considered opinion may pop up from time to time.

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Friday, December 9, 2011

Outdoor Stereotypes No. 5

The Gear Guru

 His superfine merino base layer, Montane trews and Innov8 shoes give the impression that Gavin is about to throw on a jacket, pick up his sack and head for the hills. Yet although well known in hillwalking circles as an expert on navigation, gear and gadgets, few have ever actually seen him on the hill. In truth Gavin’s only real connection with the outdoors is his broadband connection.

Once a promising Queen’s Scout, technology seduced the teenage Gavin and he slowly mutated into a gadget and gear guru. Now, as an unofficial (and unpaid) reviewer for “Trudge” magazine, he not only owns an example of almost every type of GPS receiver made since 1997, but publishes highly detailed accounts of how to modify their software on his outdoor blog “Wilderbytes”.  Withering about Windows, offhand about Apple and firmly anti-Android, Gavin extols the virtues of the most obscure and specialised navigational software from small “cottage industry” producers, who tend to go bust and disappear within weeks of his review.

As well as being a technology expert, Gavin is highly respected as a pioneer in ultra-lightweight backpacking. In his home made vacuum chamber a chemical balance is currently weighing rival toilet tissues to a tolerance of 0.01 mg. His dedicated readership awaits his recommendation with bated breath and clenched buttocks.

Under piles of Pizza boxes, discarded phones and Coke bottles lie the remnants of Gavin’s previous experiments in ‘lightening up’. A Scarp tent (with the groundsheet cut out and guy lines removed), a tarp (reduced to the size of a large handkerchief by over-zealous remodelling) a Gore-Tex jacket (with the sleeves, hood and torso removed) …  and an unmolested pair of home-made cuben fibre trousers  … but thanks to Domino’s excellent delivery service, Gavin outgrew them long ago. Not that it matters. Gavin doesn’t get out much anymore.

Deep in the gloom of his bedroom lit only by the glow of a screen and flickering LEDs, Gavin Blogs, Twitters and Tweets with the cream of outdoors elite. There is little he doesn’t know about the great outdoors, from extreme mountaineering to gentle country rambles. No outdoors blog or forum can escape Gavin’s well informed advice and comment.

It’s easy to scoff at this indoors outdoorsman, but Gavin deserves the respect of all who aspire to a green lifestyle and care for the delicate ecology of our wild land. Creating zero path erosion, leaving absolutely no trace and with a nil carbon footprint, Gavin is truly an outdoorsman for our time.

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Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Oooooh - This one is good!


*Scratches balding patch and rummages under the pile of pizza cartons...*

December 9, 2011 at 6:18 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Do you think I might get in bother for this one? Surely not ;-)

December 9, 2011 at 7:54 PM  
Blogger Alan Sloman said...

Those books on the shelf - they're yours, aren't they?

December 9, 2011 at 8:02 PM  
Blogger AktoMan said...

Poor Da...Gavin. Excellently sketched

December 10, 2011 at 3:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My blogger husband didn't think this was very funny. I did!!!

December 10, 2011 at 5:48 PM  
Blogger OWDBUM said...

I've often found 'Gavin' can be a bit tetchy when his guru status is questioned...so angry it will often bring an instant, disgruntled 'tweet'...careful now.

December 11, 2011 at 12:06 AM  
Blogger Phil said...

OB. Wise words. I'll keep my head down and firewall up then ;-)

December 11, 2011 at 4:43 PM  
Blogger Byeways said...

I'm sat at a computer, having just eaten too much. A few days ago I had to acknowledge that I had a couple of pairs of trousers that "I probably wouldn't* wear again".

Some of this stuff is pretty hurtful.

* Okay, couldn't.

December 11, 2011 at 7:36 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

We all struggle with our inner Gavin, BW!

December 12, 2011 at 9:08 AM  
Blogger Alan R said...

Anyone want a Merino baselayer!

December 12, 2011 at 7:42 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Oddly enough I am currently wearing a grey Icebreaker top strangely similar to ... oh dear ...!

December 13, 2011 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Dawn said...

Love it, how about gear shops with 'assistants' who are hell bent on selling you that latest gadget or gizmo, the new top of the range jacket with go fast stripes? On one of my forays in to a well known gear shop, I was thus accosted. Patience was a little frazzled that day and as a youthful (very) lad who was attempting to flog me things I did not need. When asked concerning his going abilities he looked horrified. he had not even ever been out of the city. He was not amused when I told him I had been out there on the hill since long before he was born.

December 14, 2011 at 12:52 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Ah, ignorant-but-enthusiastic young shop assistants. Bless 'em.

I can't condemn, I really can't - you see, that was me once.

The enthusiasm was beaten out of me years ago, but the ignorance survives intact :-)

December 14, 2011 at 5:55 PM  
Blogger Phreerunner said...

Brilliant, and Gavin has yet to discover the wonderful world of camping stoves?

December 14, 2011 at 11:17 PM  
Blogger Phil said...

Oh no Martin, Gavin never touches alcohol!

December 15, 2011 at 7:38 PM  
Blogger Andrew W said...

Excellent as ever Sir.

I reckon at some point in your very creative and artistic future there is room for a Character called............ THE VETTER!

December 15, 2011 at 9:33 PM  

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