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Archive for September, 2010

Sub Zero Thermal Underwear Team Tame The Beast

September 30th, 2010

On Sunday 19th September 3 intrepid but stupid people from the Sub Zero Thermal Underwear team ran The Beast trail race. The event consisted of 2 laps of a 5 mile cross country course that included steep hills, water, mud, and 32 obstacles usually tackled by horses!

Thermal underwear was our secret weapon!

After a tentative start the team soon got up to speed. Usually the water jumps at this time of year are warm after being baked by the summer sun but for a few days prior to the event the temperature had been very cool and the water was freezing. Luckily we were wearing Factor 1 Plus Long Sleeve thermal underwear tops that at least kept our top half warm. Our legs on the other hand were left open to the elements apart from Rach who wisely wore Factor 1 Bloo John thermal underwear leggings. A lesson learnt for next year.

With adrenalin pumping through our system we managed to complete the second lap quicker than the first. A few tumbles were witnessed as the obstacles were harder to negotiate with heavy trainers and tired legs, but we jumped back up and plodded on. The final finish times were reasonable for the event – 1:24:15, 1:28:39, 1:28:39.

Sub Zero Thermal Underwear team

Sub Zero Thermal Underwear team

If you fancy running The Beast next year then visit the organisers website at The Beast Run

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Extreme Winter Sports Travel Insurance

September 18th, 2010

Adventure and excitement is now sort after by many travellers which has made activity holidays, winter sports in particular a popular choice for many. In response to this, insurance providers have created what is known as winter sports insurance which is a policy tailored to cover the increased risk associated with these types of activities.

The nature of winter sports makes it important that you have the best travel insurance. By best we mean a policy that is going to completely cover all your needs at a fair and reasonable price. After all you’ll be wasting your money if you come to make a claim and it turns out you weren’t properly covered for the activities you were doing. If you have a good understanding of what you need to look for in a travel insurance policy and are able to compare different providers then this is quite achievable.

The first thing you should check is whether the types of activities you’ll be doing are covered in the insurance providers definition of ‘winter sports’, otherwise the policy won’t meet your needs. There are lots of variations that an insurer can have so you may not be covered for what you’d expect to be defined as a winter sport making it important to always check the details of your policy.

Another important thing to look out for is whether your policy includes cover for your equipment. A general policy will usually cover your personal possessions if there lost or damaged but will rarely cover any specialist sports equipment you may have with you. This is why it’s necessary to have a specialised policy that recognises the activities you’ll be doing.

Your main focus when looking at a policy for any type of activity where there is an increased risk of you having an accident is the medical cover it provides. This is where a specialist policy comes into it’s own as it will cover your medical expenses that could potentially run into the thousands compared to the relatively low price of a travel insurance policy.

Specialised insurance policies are now numerous and available for a variety of different activities. Sports cover holiday insurance is another type of policy you may need as it’s aimed at covering you for activities like mountain biking and climbing, sports where the right travel insurance will make a big difference if something were to go wrong. The same basic rules apply for all activity related travel insurance policy but for more information on the different policy types visit www.travelinsuranceguide.org.uk

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Lightweight Backpacking Top 10 Kit Tips for Autumn

September 10th, 2010

Does the thought of lugging around a huge heavy pack this Autumn put you off planning a weekend away? If so then maybe lightweight backpacking is for you.  Making just a few changes in your choice of kit and creative thinking can drastically reduce the final carrying weight of your rucksack.

10 ways to reduce the weight of your backpack

  1. Frugality – It sounds like common sense but before you pack something ask yourself  “do I really need this?”.
  2. Multifunction – Take pieces of kit that can perform more than one function. For example a candle can be used for light, a waterproofing agent and a fire starter
  3. Go titanium –  It’s 45% lighter than steel but just as strong.  Don’t be put off by the price, it will pay for itself in the long run and your back will thank you for it.
  4. Titanium spoonfork

    Titanium spoonfork

    Sleep light – Take a sleeping bag that is suitable to the prevailing weather conditions.  The difference in weight between a 3 season sleeping bag and a 4 season sleeping can be considerable. If it does get colder than expected wear your clothes to bed.

  5. Cooking – Do you really need lots of pots and pans on your trip? A small pan can easily take the place of a mug or bowl. Why take a full cutlery set when your fingers and a Titanium Spoonfork will suffice. Again go titanium to save on weight.
  6. Clothing – It is always advisable to take 2 sets of clothes, one to wear and one as a spare so be selective in what you take. A long sleeve thermal base layer can double up as a t-shirt if it gets too warm by rolling up the sleeves. They also make ideal pyjamas if the nights are cool.
  7. Titanium Tent Pegs

    Titanium Tent Pegs

    Shelter – There are lots of very lightweight tents available on the market these days. If your budget does not stretch that far then buy a tent that has a separate fly sheet. On milder weekends you need only take the outer sheet to pitch. Replace heavy manufacturers tent pegs with ultralight titanium tent pegs.

  8. Portion Plan – Work out exactly how much food you are going to need each day. Fat contains double the amount of calories than carbohydrate and  protein. This will allow you to pack enough food using less space and weight.
  9. Heavy water – A weighty essential commodity but you can reduce the amount you need to carry. If you know there are going to be secure water sources along your route then only carry what is needed to see you between these point. Drinking as much as possible at these sources will also reduce the amount you need to carry.
  10. Washing – Is it necessary? Think of all that weight that could be saved if that toiletries bag went missing. Just take a small pack of wet wipes for hygiene.

Please remember that your safety and well-being is your first priority when considering what to pack in your rucksack.

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