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Archive for November, 2011

Top Tips For Winter Adventure Holidays

November 10th, 2011

Choosing A Winter Adventure Holiday Company

Many of us dream at some point in our lives about starting a never-ending winter adventure travel trip or expedition but reality means we have to pick an adventure that fits into holiday time. We can sort you out with thermal clothing, hats and gloves, down sleeping bags and all the other outdoor winter gear you’ll need. With so much depending on getting the best experience from the limited time, it makes sense to book a trip with a winter adventure holiday specialist company. There are hundreds of them to choose from and making a decision can seem like something of a lottery so don’t be drawn in by stunning winter scene photos alone but keep your feet on the ground and bear in mind the following questions when you’ve narrowed your choice:

  • How long have you been operating holidays in this area?
  • Do you run your own tours or use local companies?
  • How much notice will I get if I book a trip and no one else does so it’s cancelled?
  • Can you put me in touch with others who did the same trip recently?
  • Who usually takes your trips – age/gender?
  • What is your usual group size?
  • What is your guide-to-guest ratio?
  • Are the company’s owners active in day to day operations?

When you’ve decided on a company and are considering a specific trip, check out the following:

  • How long have you been running this itinerary?
  • Exactly what is included/not included?
  • Where does the trip start and end? How do I get there?
  • Can you describe a typical day?
  • How physically demanding is the trip?
  • What happens to me if I’m not fit enough – generally or on a particular day?
  • What are the accommodation and facilities like?
  • Can you cope with specific dietary needs on this trip?
  • Who will the guides be and how good is their English?
  • How long have they been leading this trip?
  • What happens if I’m taken ill on this trip?
  • What outdoor kit is supplied and what do I need to bring with me?

 

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Top Tips For Winter Walking

November 6th, 2011

Walking in Winter Is Not All About Mountains And Snow

In fact, the key weather considerations in most of the winter are wind and rain – a bit like summer! We’ve got some handy hints to help keep you comfortable and safe – pass them on.

  • Don’t charge off at speed – build up your pace gradually to give your muscles a chance to stretch and warm up.
  • Be aware of the surface – winter tracks and paths can be deceptively icy.
  • Carry water – dry winter air is dehydrating and you may be sweating without realising it.
  • Be visible – if you’re returning on country lanes as the light fades, consider hanging a reflective band or light/torch from your rucksack.
  • Wear layers – three layers of thermal clothing (base layers, mid layers and water/windproof outer layer) allows you to adjust how warm you are as weather conditions and and your exertion rate change.
  • Avoid cotton – it soaks up and retains moisture; you’ll feel cold and uncomfortable. Our clothing offers fast wicking, quick drying, flexible warmth options.
  • Wear thermal gloves and a thermal hat – for overall comfort and reducing heat loss. A light scarf or thermal neck tube helps conserve body heat and can be used over your mouth and nose when the wind chill really bites.
  • Consider carrying a pair of lightweight crampons and ice axe (learn how to use them properly) if you’re heading into the hills; ice grips are handy, lightweight and can be useful in town as well.
  • Navigation – be aware of where you are and where you’re going. You don’t need to be high in the hills to get lost and into trouble. Always take a map and compass as back-up.

 

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Sea Kayaking In British Coastal Waters

November 4th, 2011

Paddling The Waves

Advice from American sea kayaking specialists Northern Lights Expeditions gives an unusual slant on life on the ocean wave. Sadly, they appear to have shut down back in 2009 but there’s plenty of useful info on the site.

“Think of sea kayaking as a highly evolved form of backpacking. Unless you enjoy slogging up steep hills with a big load on your back (and many of us do, mind you), sea kayaking is the best way to connect intimately with your natural surroundings. No big backpacks to carry; everything fits comfortably into your kayaks. You can also bring more amenities with you, like propane stoves, cookware, big roomy tents and big comfortable sleeping bags, adding to your comfort level.”

 

Sea Kayaking Around The British Isles

 

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Walking Or Cycling The Taff Trail From Cardiff Bay To Brecon

November 1st, 2011

One Of World’s Best Outdoor Trips

Walking or cycling the Taff Trail – Route 8 of the National Cycle Network from Cardiff Bay to Brecon – is one of the best global experiences of 2011 according to National Geographic. The Taff Trail was handpicked by National Geographic Traveler editors as one of their 10 Best Trips of Summer 2011. It ranks alongside some of the best experiences from across the world, including kayaking in Alaska and snorkelling with dolphins in Honduras.

Lee Waters, Sustrans Cymru Director, said, ‘Here we have real recognition that our walking and cycling routes in Wales can offer something exceptional and rank among some of the best experiences in the World. It highlights the need for a network of high-quality routes that will benefit local people, who use them day-to-day, and attract visitors from all over the globe.’

The Taff Trail is a 55 mile route, which is mostly traffic-free and runs from Cardiff, through the South Wales Valleys and into the dramatic Brecon Beacons. Sustrans is currently working with partners on a major revitalisation for walking and cycling in the Valleys, which includes creating 100 miles of new routes that will bring the National Cycle Network to within two miles of a further 636,000 people.

 

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