Outdoors gear made in Scotland for a happy homegrown Christmas

It’s no secret that these islands aren’t exactly the global manufacturing powerhouse they once were, and it’s easy to buy into the prevailing "we just don’t make things here any more" narrative. This is particularly the case in the world of outdoors gear, where the vast majority of stuff you see in the shops has a label saying "Made Somewhere Else". However, if you’re prepared to hunt around a bit, there are some very cool companies right here in Scotland making beautiful, bespoke things for those in the know. So, if you’re looking to keep the air miles down with this year’s Christmas shopping, here are a few suggestions…

A hand-shaped surfboard by Jay Surfboards
A hand-shaped surfboard by Jay Surfboards

Hand-shaped surfboard | Made by: Jay Surfboards | Price: Varies depending on design In a cruel twist of fate, Edinburgh surfboard shaper Jason Burnett's shaping bay burned down earlier this year, just as the world was starting to open up after the pandemic. However, the facility has since been rebuilt and a few days ago he posted on Instagram "So thankful to be able to say these words: 'Jay Surfboards is back and open for orders.'" Burnett can build any style of surf craft you can name, from longboards to fish, but he is a particular fan of asymmetrical shapes and rides them himself. If you're looking to take your surfing in a bold new direction in 2023, he's your man. www.jaysurfboards.co.uk / Instagram: @jaysurfboards

Sneachda wooden skis | Made by: Lonely Mountain Skis | Price: £1,750Based in Birnam in Perthshire, master craftsman Jamie Kunka makes various styles of wooden skis, but the Sneachdas are perhaps the best all-rounders. Winners of a coveted ISPO Gold Award, they are designed to work well both on piste and off, and are available in either maple or cherry. Lovely to look at too – in fact, when you're not using them you'll probably want to hang them on the wall. (Skis take from three to five weeks to make unless in stock.) www.lonelymountain.ski

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Linen Changing Robe | Made by: Trakke | Price: £120 Not so very long ago, getting changed at the beach while preserving your modesty used to require a blackbelt in towel yoga. In recent years, however, changing robes have made life much easier for the less-flexible amongst us. Made right here in Scotland using custom weave linen from the Isle of Bute, the Trakke changing robe boasts a hood, a large kangaroo pocket at the front plus hidden pockets at the sides allowing access to the inside of the robe, making changing that bit easier. www.trakke.co.uk

​​Cuillin Organic DV Jacket | Made by: Hilltrek | Price: £475 Based in Aboyne, on the edge of the Cairngorms National Park, Hilltrek design and hand-craft made-to-measure outdoor clothing for climbers, ​hikers, naturalists, ​hunters​, cyclists​​ and anglers in over 30 countries worldwide. ​Made from waterproof, windproof and breathable double Ventile fabric, the ​Cuillin Organic ​is an absolute workhorse of a jacket with reinforced arms, elbows and shoulders for increased wear when carrying heavy rucksacks or skis. And, of course, because the folks at Hilltrek make all their gear from scratch, if you do ever manage to damage it they offer a comprehensive repair service. www.hilltrek.co.uk

The Wee Loch Rod | Made by: Simba Rods | Price: from £420 Final Words isn't going to pretend to be a fly fishing expert, but he did spend enough time chasing brown trout around a loch on the Isle of Lewis a couple of years back to realise that, if you're going to spend many (many) hours holding something in your hand, it certainly doesn't hurt for it to be beautiful as well as functional. Simon Barnes's handmade rods aren't just aesthetically pleasing, however – they have received rave reviews in the fishing press, and from customers worldwide. The Wee Loch Rod comes in seven sections in a sturdy aluminium case, and it can be personalised if you want to make it extra-special. www.simbarods.com

Tweed Lambswool Beanie | Made by: Findra | Price: £40Headquartered in Walkerburn in the Scottish Borders, and with a very stylish shop on Innerleithen High Street, Fidra clothing has an impressive ten-point sustainability policy, and part of that is a commitment to 3D seamless knitting. (Did you know that conventional knitwear requires multiple pieces to be cut and sewn together – a process in which around 30 per cent of materials are lost? Nope, neither did we.) Their Tweed Lambswool Beanies are made using this process and – let's face it – in Scotland a beanie is pretty much a year-round essential. www.findraclothing.com