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Archive for March, 2012

Multimat Adventure Foam Sleeping Mats Now In Stock

March 6th, 2012

Multimat Adventure Foam Sleeping Mats are now back in stock after a mad rush on them at the beginning of February. The foam mats are ideal for  competitive racing and adventure sports, as well as being lightweight enough  for the serious backpacker. We have the Multimat Compact XSmall, Normal and XLarge Adventure Foam Mats in stock.  All come with eyelets and webbing.

If you have been waiting for these mats then don’t delay in purchasing them as they are one of our most popular foam mats and sell out very quickly.

 

 

 

 

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National Parks – Promoting And Conserving The Landscape For Walkers

March 4th, 2012

Neighbouring national parks in Cumbria and Yorkshire demonstrate two aspects of the work they undertake throughout the year.

A favourite path for Lake District walkers has finally been repaired and restored, by the Lake District National Park Paths for the Public Project, to the way it was prior to 2009’s record-breaking floods washing away the route in a landslide. The 30m landslide which created a large gap on the bridleway between Gatesgarth and Scarth Gap is now being used by walkers again allowing them to enjoy the fine views over Buttermere. The historical route, which Lake District author and fell guide Alfred Wainwright described as “one of the pleasantest of foot passes”, is regularly used by walkers climbing Haystacks, one of Wainwright’s favourite peaks and his last resting place.

Although restoring the path was paramount, managing the surface water was as important to ensure that a similar failure didn’t happen again elsewhere along the path.  Contractors eventually came up with the most sympathetic solution which resulted in more than 100 tonnes of materials being recovered from the bottom of the slope to fill the gap. At the same time, slate from nearby Honister Mine was used to create a drain which catches the water and directs it away from the affected area.

The Visitor 2012 – the latest edition of the free, official guide to the Yorkshire Dales National Park – is now available and it is packed full of information about activities for all ages. There are details of where to go and who to contact if you want to try adrenaline-pumping sports like caving and rock climbing as well as a few words from Bradford’s own climbing legend John Dunne. What makes the Dales the Dales? Discover some of the curious landscape features, myths, dialect words and traditions that make this part of the world so special, including sheep creeps, coin trees and the legend of the devil dog at Troller’s Gill.

You can take a year-long journey through the National Park in words and pictures, discovering how life unfolds through the seasons in the countryside, and you are invited to ‘go out for the count’, helping the Yorkshire Dales National Park Authority (YDNPA) and other conservation organisations survey some of the UK’s key wildlife species, while learning about everything from toads and toadstools to bats and butterflies. As always, the paper features an 11-page What’s On guide overflowing with events ranging from guided walks to hands-on activities at the Authority-owned Dales Countryside Museum in Hawes.  And new for 2012 is an accommodation listing which the YDNPA hopes will grow in future years.

The newspaper can be picked up from Hawes, Aysgarth Falls, Reeth, Malham and Grassington National Park Centres or you can order a copy at www.yorkshiredales.org.uk. There is also an online version to browse in the Tourist Information section of the YDNPA’s website.

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Primus ETA Solo Stove – Energy Efficient Cooking

March 3rd, 2012

The Primus ETA Solo Stove is ideal for the lone backpacker or mountaineer who want a lightweight efficient fast boiling gas stove. The secret behind ETA Solos success is its heat exchanger on the base of the integrated pan, increasing the heating surface area and reducing heat loss to the surrounding environment. The wrap around heat resistant handle allows single handed operation, whilst the ingenious hanging attachment is ideal for mountaineering and portaledge use. The ETA Solo stove is a versatile piece of equipment for anyone who takes the great outdoors seriously.

 

 

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25% Discount on All Sub Zero Polar Thermal Fleece Jackets and Gillets

March 2nd, 2012

Winter weather and cold temperatures are still clining on in the UK even though we are now in March. Make the most of the clear but cool days by keeping warm with one of Sub Zeros award winning Polar Thermal Fleece Jackets and Vests.  To celebrate the start of spring Sub Zero Store is offering a 25% discount throught the month of March on Womens and Mens Polar Thermal Fleece Jackets and Polar Fleece Vests.

 

 

 

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Top Tips For Walking The Hills In Winter Safely

March 1st, 2012

Winter skills are an integral part of venturing onto the hills from November to March and mean much more than carrying an ice axe and crampons – you need to be able to use them competently. Analysis of mountain rescue statistics reveals that the majority of accidents are the result of a simple slip. Skills and preparation are key to enjoying the British hills safely. An essential part of the preparation is being able to navigate accurately in all conditions not just bright sunshine. It’s well worth considering an instructional course to gain the foundation on which to build experience.

For walkers, an ice axe with a straight shaft of between 50-70cms is not just about aiding balance in snow so walking poles are not a substitute. Technique can be learned that conserves energy and extends safety parameters through the knowledge of how to cut steps and use as an emergency brake. The latter self-arrest skill needs to be practiced until you can do it without thinking; short slopes with no chance of sliding into rocks are ideal and it can be a lot of fun. Tucking the adze end under your shoulder and  the shaft under your body diagonally, the pick can be used to slow and stop a slide on snow and ice. That’s when experience gained safely allows you to judge the pressure required when it’s needed in earnest.

Boots for winter use need to have a fairly stiff sole that allow the edges to kick steps and can take a crampon. With your axe held on your uphill side, pick pointing backwards, you can make a tripod of three points of contact with the snow. When moving, keep two points of contact and try to move steadily to avoid becoming unduly tired. Crampons should be worn when you anticipate conditions that need them rather than trying to fit them on dodgy ground. Practice moving on easy snow slopes to get a feel for potential; problems of tripping, tightening straps and making sure the crampon points bite into the surface.

Competence in using map and compass in the hills means being confident in your skills in poor weather and visibility. Again, learning the skills properly and practicing them is a pre-requisite for heading off trouble. As is picking a route appropriate to experience and fitness as well as planning how to adapt the route if needs be through bad weather or tiredness. Before picking a route, check for any physical hazards, the weather forecast (wind, temperature, rain and snow), avalanche risk and estimate the time needed being realistic to ensure you can be back before dark.

Finally, don’t head off alone but go with others of similar fitness, make the plan together, don’t split up and leave info on your plans with a responsible person. It’s everybody’s responsibility in a party to keep track of progress and to be able to navigate safely. If you need to summon assistance, call 999 and ask for the police.

Kit and clothing – a simple checklist:

  • Boots and warm socks
  • Ice axe and crampons
  • Map and case
  • Compass
  • Waterproof jacket (with hood)
  • Waterproof overtrousers
  • Gaiters
  • Warm hat
  • Gloves or mitts plus spares
  • Thermal base layer – body and legs
  • Fleece jacket
  • Extra body insulation
  • Warm trousers
  • Head torch (plus spare bulb if needed and spare batteries)
  • Food and drink for the day plus a little extra
  • Survival bag, whistle, watch and first aid kit
  • Rucksack to hold it all easily with a liner to keep it all dry.

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