Buffalo gear – still going strong. Slioch Gear other past kit.

Terry and his famous Buffalo – Photo Terry Moore Collection.

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.”

Slioch mountaineering equipment a well worn piece of equipment for the RAF Mountain Rescue Teams in the 80 & 90’s

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”

Slioch Jacket in Knoydart

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.

Duncan Tripp in Slioch Gear.

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.

Slioch jacket on Everest

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?

  1. The Helly Hansen Polar Fleece and trousers.
  2. Karrimor gaiters and rucksacks/ Cullin Rucksacs
  3. Plastic Boots
  4. Lightweight boots – Karrimor
  5. Hamish’s Terrordactyl
  6. Clip on crampons.
  7. Willians Harness
  8. Tartan shirts
  9. Lifa underwear
  10. Dachstein Mitts
  11. Patagonia Pertex / Fleece trousers with full zip ( a posh lightweight Buffalo)
  12. Lightweight Duvets
  13. Modern head torches.
  14. Gortex bivy bags and Bothy Bags
  15. Karrimats
  16. Wind suits.
  17. GPS.
  18. Helly Hansen Mitts
  19. Lightweight rucksacks
  20. Lightweight ropes
  21. 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/

Any photos comments views ?

About heavywhalley.MBE

Mountain Rescue Specialist. Environmentalist. Spent 37 years with RAF Mountain Rescue and 3 years with a civilian Team . Still an active Mountaineer and loves the wild places.
This entry was posted in Equipment, Friends, Gear, Mountain rescue, mountain safety, Mountaineering, Views Mountaineering, Well being. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Buffalo gear – still going strong. Slioch Gear other past kit.

  1. m30scs says:

    Still got my second Buffalo top ( 1st a mate “ borrowed “ and I never saw it again) This one has been all around the world and back again. As I’m knackered now, spine and hips I rarely gets out but when I see it hanging in the cupboard it brings back great memories or places and people Mike jones

    Sent from my iPhone


    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jackie Highalnd says:

    Just a small correction re Slioch gear. Catherine and Tes Urquhart-Taylor did indeed run Slioch after Mary Buchanan, but they sold the business in about 2006. It was the subequent owner who went into receivership in 2008.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Magoo says:

    Used it for hill-bashing, skiing, canoeing and cycling since and its still going strong. And I wear it with a wee HH lifa top underneath too.

    My first Munro saw me kitted out in a pair o trackie bottoms, rugby shirt, Brenire wooly jumper and a barbour jacket with a jaggy balaclava and leaky boots – this was Ben Cruachan in February wi loads of snow. I graduated onto woollen breeches which were awful

    Got my original Buffalo shirt form the Army & Navy stores just at the back of Queen St station Glasgow in 1992/3. Best bit of kit ever

    My other favourite kit was my now sadly departed Scarpa Alps

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Peter Crispin says:

    My favourite piece of ‘past’ kit was a pair of the original Rohan Striders – 3/4 length walking breeches in a stretch material with hardwearing knee patches. Great ‘keks’!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Doug says:

    I bought two Buffalo mountain shirts circa 1987, light blue and dark green. I have used the light blue one all around the globe and it is still going strong and is even now my go to for hill and mountain bike days. The dark green one I bought as a back up is still mint – bought to use when first one final wore out I have never needed to use it!

    Liked by 1 person

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