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Small Home Grown Outdoor Brands Making A Big Impact

Where there is passion, there is progress.

This certainly applies to the Outdoor Industry – which makes all of our awesome gear for long distance hiking adventures.

The big brands are consistently pushing the envelope of what’s possible in terms of fabric, design, and scale of manufacturing.

However, when some customers don’t find what they need, naturally, necessity breeds innovation.

This post intends to shine a light on some of the exciting garage grown / cottage industry outdoor gear companies, from backpacks, to tents and everything inbetween.

Atom Packs

Atom packs certainly deserves the top place on this article, gaining a cult following over the past couple of years as a go-to ultralightweight brand. It ticks all the boxes of being a successful business, from sporting made in Britain credentials, to outputting a high quality product.

You can find more out about Atom Packs on their website.


Ever used those ‘Fieldnotes’ notepads? They look great on your desk, in a ‘Layflat’ insta shot with a coffee, your Mac and a few nice pens, but try taking one into a field and using it to record notes.
Yea, that paper ain’t going to hold up to any bad weather. Fortunately we have Thrunotes, which as the name suggests is inspired by a love of Thruhiking. Founded by Russ Hepton, AKA Trail Hunter, Thrunotes makes for a durable, and attractive choice for your long distance hiking journal, or sketch pad.

You can find more out about Thru Notes on their website.

Outdoor Provisions

I often make snacks for my longer days out, such as high-energy peanut butter, honey and nut filled flapjacks, but honestly, I don’t always have time.

For this reason alone, brands such as Outdoor Provisions are fantastic as they sell high quality energy loaded snacks for the trail.

If you love peanut butter you will love Outdoor Provisions. Lugging a jar of nut butter up a hill isn’t always the best weight saving option, BUT with Outdoor Provisions nut butter sachets, you can have nut butter on hand at all times for your nutty fix.

You can find more out about Outdoor Provisions on their website.


If tins of beans and surviving off porridge while on the trail isn’t your cup of tea, ration packs or camping meals is the next best thing. Some options are questionable (avoid those Military ration packs that never expire).

Fortunately the folks at TentMeals have come up with a great solution.

TentMeals mostly sell vegetarian/vegan options, loaded with dried couscous, or freeze-dried rice, nuts, dried veg, and spices.

Their rave reviews, due to the compact packaging, and great taste win them a space on this article.

You can find more out about TentMeals on their website.

Buffalo Systems

Lets get this straight. Buffalo systems make excellent gear, but it is not ultralight if thats what you are looking for. Buffalo run a small-ish operation, concentrating on unchanged timeless designs. Their kit is generally made with pertex, and by an experience team of seamsters and seamstresses who know the gear well (kind of like Atom packs!)

If you want good quality gear that lasts then Buffalo is worth considering.

You can find more out about Buffalo Systems on their website.

Kula Cloth

As the shake to dry type, as my gender allows, a Kula Cloth isn’t much use to me. However for women who hike, the Kula Cloth has been a big hit and has even reached mainstream news in recent weeks. The Kula cloth is essentially a re-usable antimicrobial pee-cloth which allows women to clean.

The Kula Cloth is a USA brand but7 Wonderful Benefits of Long Distance Walking available in the UK through friend of Distance Hiker Vampire Outdoors.

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