With the weather warming up and summer holidays just around the corner, people are dusting off their swimsuits ready for a dip in the briney. Public campaigns by charities such as Cancer Research UK have greatly increased the awareness of using sun cream when lounging on a beach, but there is still some confusion around sun protection in the water. For many land lubbers, using their existing suntan lotion whilst taking a quick paddle in the sea is going to be more than adequate. If you intend to spend longer in the ocean, it is advisable to use a specific waterproof sunscreen for swimming.
Why bother with sunscreen when swimming?
Some people think that being in water prevents sunburn. It is probably due to the fact that they feel a lot cooler, especially in the sea around the UK (brrrrrrrr), and cannot feel the suns rays on their body. People are also under the misapprehension that UV rays do not penetrate through water.
When UV rays hit the waters surface, around 30% are reflected, with the remaining 70% penetrating the water. So swimming on the surface is going to expose your body to UV rays directly from the sun and also those reflected from the surrounding water. This is why many swimmers who do not where sunscreen often complain that they get worse sun burn than lying on the beach. It is therefore imperative to get a good quality waterproof sunscreen for swimming.
Why should i wear waterproof sunscreen for swimming?
Most suntan lotions are not suitable for swimmers as they have been formulated to be easily absorbed by the skin without leaving a sticky residue. Unfortunately these are often easily washed off when swimming. Specifically formulated waterproof sunscreens for swimming usually have extra adhesion properties built in to them to prevent them from being rubbed off and washed off from the skin.
Do i need waterproof sunscreen if i am wearing a wetsuit?
The simple answer is yes. The wetsuit material (usually neoprene) with stop the UV rays form reaching your skin but there will be some parts of your body exposed to the sun, such as your feet and head. You need to apply waterproof sunscreen to these areas to prevent them becoming sunburnt, especially the face, as this often receives the most reflected UV rays off the water.
Care should also be taken when reaching the shore and taking off your wetsuit, as most of your skin will not have sunscreen applied. Leaving it exposed whilst ‘warming-up’ is a sure way to get burnt. Even if you feel cold, apply that sunscreen immediately.
How long do Waterproof sunscreens last?
No sunscreens are totally waterproof. They will eventually be washed off. Most waterpoof sunscreens for swimming have an effective time stated on them, either 40 or 80 minutes. If you are planning to stay in the water for longer than this then you need to think about using a wetsuit or a lightweight UV skin suit for extra protection.
Correct application of waterproof sunscreen
With all sunscreens, you have to apply them generously to your skin at least 30 minutes before you go in to the sun to allow them to be absorbed properly. After 40 or 80 minutes (depending on your sunscreen) they will need to be reapplied. If you dry your skin with a towel then you will need to reapply the sunscreen afterwards as well.
If you are intending to swim in waters where you could come in to contact with jellyfish, then you should think about using a waterproof sunscreen with added sting protection. Some like the Lifesystems SPF 50 Sports sunscreen use an extract from plankton which binds to the jellyfish sting sensor and blocks it from sending a message to fire the sting. A mineral salt containing calcium can also added, so if the jellyfish sting sensor does send the message to fire, this mineral salt muddles the message, resulting in no sting.
It may not feel like it but the winter season is coming to an end. We have been kept very busy in our factory with the extended cold weather, but now with spring just around the corner we are finally starting to concentrate on manufacturing for winter 2018/2019.
To clear some room in our warehouse and make way for new ranges, we are currently running an end of winter clearance sale on our award winning lightweight down jackets and smocks. To get 70% off the recommended retail price just use code WINTER (all uppercase) during checkout for the discount to take effect.
Please note: This code will not work on any down jackets and body warmers that are already on sale
There’s nothing better than the taste of food cooked over an open flame. One of the best things about camping and being outdoors is the satisfaction of cooking your own meal courtesy of a few logs, some kindling and a little bit of patience. Or a gas fire if you’re feeling a little less adventurous!
It’s a real treat when everyone gathers around the fire, helping to cook and enjoy each other’s company!
So, to make your next camping trip even better, we’ve listed some of our favourite campfire recipes you’re definitely going to want to remember…
Campfire Cinnamon Roll-Ups
Incredibly easy, incredibly tasty. They make for the perfect breakfast treat, gearing you up for the day ahead. The sweet treats are made with just three easy to pack ingredients and only take about five minutes to cook over an open flame.
First, combine ¼ cup of sugar with one tablespoon of cinnamon. Take one packet of crescent rolls and wrap them around a kebab skewer. Roll it in the sugar/cinnamon mixture and cook over the campfire for five minutes, rotating periodically.
One to make beforehand or make on the day, it’s up to you! Boil elbow macaroni and drain. Stir in alfredo sauce, parmesan, mozzarella, cheddar and season. Once combined, transfer to foil pie tins, top with cheddar, and place over a grill top on your campfire for about ten minutes. Yum!
Another easy-peasy recipe here! Peel and score a banana length ways, so that it prises open like a hot dog bun. Place the banana on some tin foil and fill with mini marshmallows and chocolate chips, wrap and place over the campfire for 15 minutes. Enjoy!
We hope these campfire recipes have left you feeling inspired, if not a little bit hungry!
At Sub Zero we stock a full range of gas and multifuel stoves, plus all the accessories you need to create the perfect campfire. And if paired along with these recipes, we think you’re ready to tuck into your next adventure.
Choosing winterexpedition equipment for the first time can be tough. As with all forms of mountaineering, hiking, walking or camping, packing depends on where you are heading to and how long you are going for.
As winter is one of the harshest times to go out exploring there are certain necessities you’ll need if you’re daring to head out into the wilderness. Certain equipment deserves space in every pack. You won’t need every item on every trip, but essential equipment can be a lifesaver in an emergency.
It can be quite stressful knowing what to pack and when, so, luckily, we’ve compiled this handy little list of all the essentials you’ll need for your next winter expedition!
Whatever season you’re going out in, you must know where you are, where you’re going, and how to get back. Always carry a detailed topographic map of the area you are visiting, and place it in a protective case or plastic covering. Always carry a compass too!
We have a range of different waterproof pouches that are perfect for keeping your navigation equipment safe and dry in all weathers. The thick plastic film and airtight closure system protects the contents from any water penetration, even to depths of up to 10 metres.
And if you are separated from your party, which can easily happen, a whistle can be a simple but reliable signalling device, so it’s worthwhile packing one.
A basic expedition outfit includes inner and outer socks, boots, underwear, trousers, shirt, sweater or fleece jacket, hat, mittens or gloves, and raingear. However, it’s always a good idea to wear a little bit more insulation, just in case!
When packing, always ask yourself this question: ‘What is needed to survive the worst conditions that could realistically be encountered on this trip?’
An extra layer of long underwear can add much warmth while adding little weight to a pack. It is also wise to pack an extra hat or balaclava, because they provide more warmth for their weight than any other article of clothing. For your feet, bring an extra pair of thick socks, and for your hands, an extra pair of polyester or fleece mitts. Pack extra tops to keep your torso warm, plus insulated trousers too!
It’s essential to carry a headlamp or flashlight, just in case. Batteries and bulbs do not last forever, so always carry spares, pack more than you think you need.
We offer a range of different lighting options to choose from, from headlights you can wear, LED lanterns, and gas lanterns ensuring you have perfect visibility.
Remember, there are less daylight hours in the winter, so carrying a light with you is always important.
Carry and know how to use a first-aid kit, but do not let a first-aid kit give you a false sense of security. The best course of action is to always take the steps necessary to avoid injury or sickness in the first place.
Your first-aid kit should be compact and sturdy, with the contents wrapped in waterproof packaging. At a minimum, a first-aid kit should include gauze pads in various sizes, roller gauze, small adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages, triangular bandages, battle dressing, adhesive tape, scissors, cleansers or soap, latex gloves, and paper and pencil.
Consider the length and nature of your trip when deciding what to add to your first aid kit. If you’re travelling on glaciers, for example, there may be no trees arounds to be used as improvised splints. Therefore, bringing a wire ladder splint would be extremely valuable in the event of a fracture.
Nutrition and Hydration
The length of your trip will depend on what food and water you’ll take on your winter expedition. However, you must pack for every eventuality, so always take more than you think you need.
The food should require no cooking, be easily digestible, and store well for prolonged periods. A combination of dried meat such as jerky, nuts, chocolate, granola, and dried fruit works well. If you’re taking a stove, hot chocolate, dried soup, and tea can be added.
Carrying sufficient water and the equipment to purify any additional water is also important. Always carry at least one water bottle or collapsible water sack. Widemouthed containers are easier to refill.
Travel water purification chemicals are based on the halogen element chlorine, either as chlorine dioxide, sodium hypochlorite, or solid chlorine. Being a strong oxidant, chlorine rapidly kills harmful micro-organisms in water like bacteria, viruses and cysts, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. These travel water purification chemicals come in either liquid or tablet form and are lightweight and easy to carry. Just follow the instructions on the packs to quickly produce sterile clean drinking water. We stock a variety of water purifying kits, just check our site!
An accessory pocket makes it possible to carry a water bottle on a pack hip-belt for easy access. Some water sacks (hydration bladders) designed to be stored in the pack feature a plastic hose and valve that allow drinking without slowing your pace.
In cold environments, a stove, fuel, pot, and lighter are needed to melt snow for additional water.
If your winter expedition will last more than a day trip, it’s paramount that you carry some sort of shelter (in addition to a rain shell) from rain and wind, such as a plastic tube tent or a jumbo plastic bin bag. Another possibility is a reflective emergency blanket, which can also be used in administering first aid to an injured or hypothermic person.
Carry an insulated sleeping pad too, to reduce heat loss while sitting or lying on snow.
We have lots of different tarps that are lightweight to pack, easy to assemble and provide wind and rain shelter from your camp and tent. Keeping you warm and dry.
The promoter is: Sub Zero Technology Ltd (company no. 1297686) whose registered office is at 35 Churchill Way, Fleckney, Leicester, LE8 8UD, UK.
The competition is open to residents of the United Kingdom aged 18 years or over except employees of Sub Zero Technology Ltd and their close relatives and anyone otherwise connected with the organisation or judging of the competition.
There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
Route to entry for the competition and details of how to enter are via https://gleam.io/aoc56/sub-zero-down-jacket-giveaway
Closing date for entry will be January 01, 2018 23:59 GMT. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
The rules of the competition and how to enter are via: https://gleam.io/aoc56/sub-zero-down-jacket-giveaway
The promoter reserves the right to cancel or amend the competition and these terms and conditions without notice in the event of a catastrophe, war, civil or military disturbance, act of God or any actual or anticipated breach of any applicable law or regulation or any other event outside of the promoter’s control. Any changes to the competition will be notified to entrants as soon as possible by the promoter.
The promoter is not responsible for inaccurate prize details supplied to any entrant by any third party connected with this competition.
The prize is as stated and no cash or other alternatives will be offered.The prizes are not transferable. Prizes are subject to availability and we reserve the right to substitute any prize with another of equivalent value without giving notice.
Winners will be chosen at random by software, from all entries received and verified by Promoter and or its agents
The winner will be notified by email and/or DM on Twitter/Facebook and/or letter within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
The promoter will notify the winner when and where the prize can be collected / is delivered.
The promoter’s decision in respect of all matters to do with the competition will be final and no correspondence will be entered into.
By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
The competition and these terms and conditions will be governed by English law and any disputes will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England.
The winner agrees to the use of his/her name and image in any publicity material, as well as their entry. Any personal data relating to the winner or any other entrants will be used solely in accordance with current UK data protection legislation and will not be disclosed to a third party without the entrant’s prior consent.
The winner’s name will be available 28 days after closing date by emailing the following address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
If you are stuck for stocking filler ideas for your Father this Christmas, why not treat him to some British made hats gloves and socks to help keep him toasty. All are under £20 and compact, so won’t break the bank or his stocking!
STOCKING FILLER IDEAS
Merino Wool Beanie Hat
Luxurious and lightweight, these beanie hats will keep your head warm without being bulky. Their micro knit makes them ideal for wearing under motorbike and cycling helmets.
Thermal Liner Gloves Worn on their own or as a thermal liner, these gloves will keep the chill away form your fingers, whilst the long cuff provides extra protection to your wrists.
Windproof Head Band
For the adventurous dad who cycles or runs. These headbands are made from waterproof and windproof stretchy soft shell fabric, with a contoured design to cover your ears and brow without obscuring line of sight.
Meraklon Neck Tube The soft micro fleece interior keeps your neck lovely and warm even in the coldest weather. These neck tubes makes a great accompaniment to base layers and thermal mid layers.
Lightweight Balaclava If your dad is an old rocker or a trendy mod, these balaclavas are thin enough to fit under motorcycle helmets to keep your head warm.
Merino Wool Walking Socks
Treat your feet to some of the most comfortable walking socks available. Made from premium Spanish Merino wool, these will keep your feet warm and dry all winter long.
Fleece Beanie Hat A soft heavyweight alternative to the merino beanie hat. These fleece beanie hats are ideal for skiing and mountaineering where more substantial insulation is needed.
If your dad is uber excited about his stocking filler presents, fuel his anticipation by getting him to follow Santa online delivering presents around the world on Christmas Eve with NORAD
At first glance of the question, Can you wear two base layers? You immediately think yes you can but why would you want to? Most outdoors people are well versed in the principles of the layering system – base layer, insulating mid layer, protective outer layer – so why would you ignore this and just wear two base layers. The problem is that in certain situations this layering system can be impractical.
BASE LAYERS FOR AEROBIC EXERCISE
If you are going to take part in a high intensity aerobic exercise in winter such as rowing, it is unfeasible to wear lots of different clothing layers. For a start you are going to get warm very quickly as well as producing a lot of perspiration. You are also going to need full range of movement which will be hampered with a traditional layering system. Plus there is also the problem of storing all these different clothes when removed.
What a lot of professional rowing teams practice in winter is wearing two thermal base layers at the start of a days training programme. Without being restrictive, these thermal layers will keep you warm whilst also managing perspiration more efficiently. Once the warm up is complete, one of the base layers is removed and easily stored in the bottom of the boat. At the cool down, the discarded base layer can be worn again to reduce rapid cooling.
Even in the coolness of early summer mornings a two layer base layer system is often used. Next to the skin will be worn a summer base layer to manage perspiration, with a thermal base layer as a second layer to provide extra warmth during the warm up.
BASE LAYERS FOR SPRING AND AUTUMN WEATHER
Out of the winter season, the need for a full thermal layering system is usually unnecessary. With the temperatures very rarely reaching freezing, you should be able to get away with just wearing your base layer. However, some early mornings and evenings may see temperatures drop low enough to require wearing extra layers for a boost in warmth. You could pack a thermal mid layer on the off chance, but it is a lot of unnecessary weight to carry.
Instead, ensure you are carrying a second base layer – you should be carrying a spare set anyway if you are heading away from civilisation. They can easily be worn over your first base layer and are light enough to be stored in a small rucksack.
BASE LAYERS FOR EXTREME COLD ENVIRONMENTS
When it comes to very cold weather, such as found in the polar regions or the Himalayas, mountaineers and explorers will often wear more than one base layer as part of their layering system. The main reason for this is you can trap more air between thin layers than wearing bulky insulating layers. And trapping air is essential if you want to keep warm because air is the insulator, not the fabric. It is not uncommon for mountaineers to wear two or even three base layers beneath their insulating mid layer.
SO CAN YOU WEAR TWO BASE LAYERS?
Instead of being a bit of a wacky question there are certain situations where wearing two base layers can actually be desirable. It is a lightweight alternative to heavier insulating mid layers and also offers greater flexibility in less demanding weather conditions. So the question shouldn’t be can you wear two base layers? but have you tried wearing two base layers?
Most outdoors people understand what a base layer is and the function it performs in keeping you warm and dry. However, when it comes to a thermal mid layer there is still a lot of confusion about its purpose and what one exactly is.
PURPOSE OF A THERMAL MID LAYER
The primary role of a thermal mid layer is to add extra insulation to your layering system without being overly bulky. It is usually worn over your base layers but some garments, like our Factor 2 mid layer range, can also be worn directly next to the skin.
Its secondary role is to carry on transporting moisture away from your skin via your base layer to the next layer of clothing. If your mid layer has poor wicking properties then you are going to get damp very quickly when working hard. This can lead to rapid heat loss when you slow down or stop.
TYPES OF THERMAL MID LAYERS
Personally i think a lot of companies wrongly label garments as thermal mid layers, such as micro fleece jackets and lightweight down jackets. For a start they are far too baggy to be true mid layers and are often poor at managing moisture. A lot of the time it is a clumsy attempt by a brands marketing team to adhere to the layering system – base layer, mid layer, outer layer – when their range is not complete or when their range is too large.
Our classification of a mid layer is pretty simple. It should be snug fitting, offer good moisture management, and be insulating. Basically it is a thicker version of a base layer. When we were developing our award winning Factor 2 mid layer range, we took these parameters and designed a bespoke fabric around them. Nearly three decades later our Factor 2 is still one of the best thermal mid layers you can buy.
WHEN SHOULD A THERMAL MID LAYER BE WORN?
Deciding if wearing a thermal mid layer is necessary is dependent on the weather conditions, the activity you are intending to perform, and ultimately your own personnel tolerance to the cold. If in doubt, always err on the side of caution, as you can always remove a layer.
For a relatively sedentary activity such as fishing where little heat is generated from movement, you are going to want to wear as much insulation as you can to ensure you trap and retain body heat.
On the other hand, if you are a proficient skier, then you are going to have an aerobic workout even in very cold temperatures, so overheating may be a problem wearing a full layering system. In this situation we would recommend wearing a base layer top and bottom with just a mid layer top to protect your core. If you find you are getting too warm then you can always remove a layer relatively easily.
For extreme cold conditions, such as polar expeditions, then a good base layer and thermal mid layer are a necessity, and a re just the start of your layering system.
The two most common questions we get asked are how tight should base layers be? and what is the difference between base layers and compression layers? We will deal with the latter question in the next few weeks , but this post will hopefully enlighten you on the correct way to wear base layers.
ARE BASE LAYERS SUPPOSED TO BE TIGHT?
The simple answer is it depends on your definition of tight. To me, tight means restrictive and uncomfortable, which is obviously a hindrance and a distraction when performing an outdoor activity. It has entered the vocabulary of performance clothing as the dividing line between base layers and compression layers has become blurred by marketeers. We try and avoid using ‘tight’ altogether when talking to our customers, preferring a more softer wording such as ‘snug’.
WHY NOT WEAR BAGGY BASE LAYERS?
This is the other extreme. You may think you look cool with your bum hanging out your base layer leggings (obviously a matter of opinion) but they won’t keep you warm. Badly fitting thermals will lead to all sorts of problems such as heat loss, vastly reduced wicking rates (transportation of moisture), and possible skin sores from rubbing of excess material.
HOW SHOULD BASE LAYERS FIT?
Base layers need to be close fitting to prevent warm air trapped between your clothing from being wafted out during movement. A close fitting base layer will also be much more efficient at moisture management due to a higher fabric surface area being in close contact with your skin.
When trying on a base layer you need to understand that the fabric has been designed to be stretchy so it will naturally adjust to most body shapes. What you should be looking for is the correct length in the arms (finishing just over the wrist) and the length of the body resting on the top of your bottom.
A good way to check if the base layer is too tight is to see if you can pinch any of the fabric and pull it away from your body. If this is difficult to do then you more than likely have a size too small. Another area to check is under the armpits. If you cannot get the full rolling movement of your arms and shoulders then you need to try the next size up.
SO HOW TIGHT SHOULD BASE LAYERS BE?
In answer to the original question, base layers should be snug fitting but not restrictive. Warm air needs to be trapped between fabric layers without the possibility of it being wafted out if you are to stay warm – the air is the insulator. At the same time, you don’t want the base layer to be so skin tight that it restricts movement or even blood flow.
So my final piece of advice is if it feels too tight then it probably is.
Wearing the right layer of thermal clothing for extreme cold situations can be the difference between life and death if you get in trouble. Wear too much insulation and you will overheat, increasing your perspiration, that will rapidly cool your body when your intensity levels drop. Alternatively you may not be wearing enough thermal layers to start with. This can also lead to rapid heat loss unless remedied, forcing your body to shut down to protect its vital organs. As you can see, wearing the correct layers of thermal clothing for extreme cold environments should be taken very seriously.
Base layers are the first line of defence against the cold. Worn directly next to the skin, they need to be soft to prevent rubbing sores from carrying equipment, offer thermal resistance to trap heat, and be effective at transporting perspiration away from the body. They are one of the most important layers of thermal clothing for extreme cold environments.
Our Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus base layers are made form super soft polyamide yarn that has lots of in-built stretch. This allows the base layer to fit the body snugly like a second skin. A water loving chemical is also impregnated in to the yarn during the dyeing process that actively transports moisture way from the skin to the outer layers. This keeps you dry and also speeds up the drying process when washed.
Mid layers are very similar to base layers in that they should be worn close fitting, but they contain more fibres to trap warm air – insulation. They are effectively the work horse in your range of thermal clothing for extreme cold.
Our Sub Zero Factor 2 thermal mid layers are heavily brushed on the inside fabric face to produce an inner fleece layer that insulates your body from excess heat loss. Their very strong flat seam construction helps prevent any pressure points occurring when carrying kit.
Once you have your base layer and insulation mid layer sorted then your choice of outer layer is often determined by the elements.
If you are working hard and still feel a little cool then putting on a lightweight down jacket will help to add extra insulation without adding much extra weight as a burden.
If you are comfortably warm then you may not even need an outer layer at that point in time but you should keep a close eye on the weather and anticipate changes in conditions. Likewise, if you have to stop or your activity levels decrease then you will need to add further layers to compensate for the reduction in heat generation.
One mistake that even the professionals sometimes get wrong is underestimating the power of wind chill on your bodies temperature. It may look lovely and sunny outside but any wind can rapidly cool the body. Carrying a lightweight windproof that can quickly be thrown over your under layers should mitigate a lot of the wind chill effects.
For further information on wind chill visit the Met Office
HATS & GLOVES
It is a myth that you loose most of your body heat through your head, at most it is around 10%. Even though the percentage is a lot lower than most people think, it is a good way to fine tune your bodies temperature. If you start to get a bit warm, remove your fleece hat or balaclava. If you are still warm after a few more minutes of doing this then you know you need to remove a larger layer of clothing.
This also works the other way around. Add a hat if you start to feel cool. If this dosen’t warm you up then you know that a larger item of clothing needs to be worn or that you need to start looking for shelter.
The other reason for covering your head and hands is to help protect your extremities from wind burn and frost bite.
THERMAL CLOTHING FOR EXTREME COLD
Keeping warm and dry in extreme cold weather needn’t be too much of a problem if you listen to what your body is telling you , are aware of your surroundings, and are wearing the correct kit.
Luckily Sub Zero have over 40 years experience manufacturing thermal clothing for extreme cold conditions, with many polar explorers and mountaineers placing their trust in our products.