One of the best bits of clothing over the years was the famous Buffalo shirt. It was a tried and trusted bit of gear made at a fair price. They lasted for years. I wore the trousers and the Salopettes in Alaska they were superb! I still see folk wearing them nowadays. The early ones had zips down the side to ventilate the jacket. The were there uniform of many on the hills. They also made a Buffalo mitt that was superb for casualties who had lost their gloves! I never got mine back after a rescue. They were supposed to be worn next to the skin but I always wore a lifa vest underneath. Some of the troops never washed them! They were much loved by many.
From the Scottish Heritage Collection
“It was back around 1978 that Scottish mountaineer, Hamish Hamilton, came up with his idea for Buffalo Clothing. For a long time it seems that he had been wondering how the Inuit people kept warm by using animal skins with the fur next to the skin which allowed moisture to circulate and escape through the porous hide. Hamish managed to create a synthetic version of the hide which he called Pertex and when this was combined with a fleece type inner he had an ideal material, initially for the production of sleeping bags and later on for a clothing system which included a top very similar to the one we have here in the collection.”
In the RAF Teams we tried to support the local area. Slioch was a local company that made Gortex jackets and trousers. They even made a “Kinloss jacket”
It was very robust but heavy with additional pockets but a sound jacket. They even made a lighter climbers jacket that the troops designed. Made in Poolewe they were a cracking bit of kit.
I am sure the SAR helicopters eventually bought the gear after a long battle for their winch men and then the crew of the Sea Kings helicopters.
A lady called Mary Buchanan set up Slioch back in 1982. Based at Poolewe in the North West Highlands it was a small, bespoke business that specialised in tailor-made clothing for the outdoor person. Several Scottish mountain rescue teams had waterproofs made by Slioch and the jacket we have here in the collection once belonged to John Fraser of the Ochils Mountain Rescue Team.
Mary sold the business to a couple called Tes and Catherine Urquart-Taylor, we think in the late 1990’s. They traded fairly successfully for a decade or so, but finally ran out of luck and business around 2006. The mountain which gave the company its name remains, tall and proud, beside Loch Maree, but sadly Slioch, the gear manufacturer is no more. From Scottish mountain Heritage
Best gear over the years please add?
- The Helly Hansen Polar Fleece and trousers.
- Karrimor gaiters and rucksacks/ Cullin Rucksacs
- Plastic Boots
- Lightweight boots – Karrimor
- Hamish’s Terrordactyl
- Clip on crampons.
- Willians Harness
- Tartan shirts
- Lifa underwear
- Dachstein Mitts
- Patagonia Pertex / Fleece trousers with full zip ( a posh lightweight Buffalo)
- Lightweight Duvets
- Modern head torches.
- Gortex bivy bags and Bothy Bags
- Wind suits.
- Helly Hansen Mitts
- Lightweight rucksacks
- Lightweight ropes
- Paramo heavy but great value
The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection (SMHC)
The Scottish Mountain Heritage Collection (SMHC) is a unique assortment of mountain memorabilia from Scotland and around the world, which has been cobbled together here on our website in what we hope is a legible and enjoyable format. The site is a living thing as we continue to update, improve and add new acquisitions. So, please take a tour around our virtual museum and let us know if you have any ideas, new information, or indeed any donations.http://www.smhc.co.uk/
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