Meet Salomon Ambassador James Forrest. He used to live and work in the city but packed it all in to pursue a new mission – to make life more adventurous and climb as many mountains as possible.
We caught up with James to find out what he is up to in 2019 and what he considers essential for a day out in the mountains.
I’m currently part-way through a big expedition – attempting to climb all 282 Munros, the Scottish mountains over 3,000ft, in a single round. I’ve climbed 38 to date, so there’s a very long way to go! But it’s been an incredible adventure so far, filled with amazing mountains, brilliant hiking and lots of wild camping under the stars. So my next adventure with my Out Day pack will be a day walk in the Scottish Highlands, attempting to bag as many Munros as possible. I’ve never climbed Ben Nevis before, so I’m looking forward to summiting Britain’s highest mountain with my Out Day pack, as well as scrambling the CMD arête. It’s going to be an epic day out. If the weather is sunny and dry, I’ll probably also wear my Outline shoes. They are so comfortable and versatile, with great grip, and I use them all the time from rocky scrambling to hanging out at a campsite and everything in-between.
My pack is mostly full of unhealthy but delicious snacks! I’m talking flapjacks, Haribo, chocolates and a couple of Nutella-smothered wraps. I’ve always found food is so important in the mountains, not only to provide the nutrition and energy needed to power your adventures, but also as a morale-booster when things get tough or you’re feeling low. Of course, it’s not really just junk food in my pack. I always carry healthy snacks like trail mix and dried apricots, as well as water, warm layers, waterproofs, gloves (I love my new Salomon mittens, which are so versatile), hat, cap, map, compass, head torch, mini first aid kit, and my personal locator beacon. The Out Day pack is perfect – I can fit it all in easily.
I never leave the house without my phone. I use the OS Maps app for navigation and it’s a brilliantly simple and cheap way of planning my adventures. I plot the routes in advance, download them to my phone with 1:25,000 maps, and then follow them when I’m out exploring and climbing mountains in the great outdoors. I love it. It’s a great safety blanket too, because if you ever get lost in a clag or disorientated in cloud, you can use the app’s GPS capabilities to pinpoint your location. But taking my phone out on adventures can be a temptation, so I always leave it on airplane mode. I don’t want to be checking emails or scrolling through Instagram when I’m in the mountains. It’s far healthier to switch off, escape from everyday life, and indulge in the relaxation-inducing, memory-forging, happiness-creating process of going on an adventure.
By James Forrest