It will be soon Stag season again in the Highlands, 1st of July sees the starts of the stags and there will be a rush on getting the latest and best equipment to do the job . At this time of year there is a frenzy on what products to buy, what boots to wear and what clothing to down. Here at FSS we have a few recommendations that wont completely break the bank. Bug Protection First and Foremost if you stalking in the Highlands in the summer to mid Autumn and in recent years well into November bug protection is a must. A good tick removal kit from Bushwear or your Pharmacist is a must dont rely on tweezers getting the whole body out. Cost around £15. There is a lot of sprays out there that claim to be good but they genuinely are rubbish, Avons Skin So Soft was a big favourite for a while but they apparently changed their recipe so not so good. Just get yourself a bottle of “Smidge” if you swear by that type of repellent, but, an absolute must is a good Midge/Mossie jacket . When buying one though I recommend one that you can see through and has a very fine mesh. Usually around £20 Boots, Well there is no secret to what ones I use and recommend for a number of reasons but mainly due to highly durable and waterproof and “Straight out the box” comfort with no break in needed. Bestard BG3 Explorers Around £210 Stalking Jacket or Jumper, I have a favourite of two at the minute my Mossy Oak lightweight, windproof and shower proof anti scent Jacket. I love this Jacket and it is very very comfortable and works well as a jacket over shirt for those warm days or a jacket over a jumper to give that extra protection on colder days. You can get these for aro und £60 and secondly , The Deer Hunter Fleece Smock, I swear by this summer or winter and is a great jacket on its own or under another jacket for extremely cold conditions. I often find myself using this as my primary jacket when out doing pest control in and out of the vehicle, it withstand wet weather good enough to be comfortable but not completely waterproof but I truly love this. price varies for these so shop about , I found mine on Ebay for around £45 BUT they have been seen sold for as much as £100 so shop about. Binoculars If your coming only for a week or two why spend a thousand pounds on a pair of binos you might only use every so often . I personally use a pair of Barr and Stroud 12×50 as my daily binos , they are clear as day and very good at spotting at long distance and for the money they are the best throw around binos on the market in my opinion. I use them in all weathers all year round and I shoot 7 day a week could not live without them. Barr & Stroud Sierra 12×50 or 8×42 , Between £70 and £100 on ebay. Cannot go wrong at that. Trouser, I use percussion lightweight trousers summer or winter, why? These trousers are quick drying, comfortable and silent. A lot of people think waterproofing themselves for stalking is the best course of action, I don’t. Waterproofs have their place and that is for when your sitting or standing for long periods in the rain or for High seat work when you are not intending to stalk into a beast and you will find yourself very sweaty when moving about all the time so no use for actual stalking. These percussion trousers are cheap and give you freedom of movement with little or no noise so when you are on the move they are not cumbersome and noisy, but, most of all they are quick drying so when you go through that period of horrible downpours that we often get in the Highlands of Scotland it is not long before your dry again and at the end of the day able to feel comfortable but also be able to wear them the next day if your back out. For me quick drying is far more important than waterproofs. Percussion trousers, you can find these between £30 and £45 again shop around. Head Torch, A good Head torch is must as safety is paramount when walking and the longer days keep you out longer so it will most likely be dark when you set out or come home. At the moment (mid June) in the Highlands it is still almost daylight after midnight with only maybe 2 or 3 hours of darkness but this changes quickly come August and September into October. We recommend the LED Lenser SEO5 , lightweight easy to use head torch and is very bright it only takes 3 AAA batteries and last a very very long time up to 6 hours full power constant running. you can pick these up for around £45. Finally a good knife A good knife is invaluable, not just for gralloching or lardering but for your own safety also, not be the first time a stalker has come a cropper tangled in something that having a knife has got them out of. I use a Mora-knive that you can get for around £10 which is cheap enough to be able to buy a couple but also keeps amazing edge when you need it most, “best practice” guidelines say you must have two knives for processing animals so it is handy to have couple on you. Other brands and custom knives are very popular but if your just needing something low maintenance for everyday use the Mora is perfect. These are just some of the items we at FSS think are the essentials for a comfortable trip to Highlands. I know many stalkers are allured by the High price tag from brands such as Harkilla etc. and I know many who swear by them, but, if your only a recreational stalker coming north for a week or you are just out the odd day why spend a fortune when you can get the same comfort and safety for a quarter of the price. The prices we have given you are a rough price and we always recommend to shop around . if you have any enquiries in regards to anything here do not hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org or through our online chat. Hope you have a great season and happy hunting.