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Archive for November, 2012

Independent Trekking Tips And Advice

November 29th, 2012

Choosing not to join a commercial trek is an attractive alternative for many adventurers and is an option enjoyed by tens of thousands each year around the world. Without the support of fellow-trekkers and tour leaders, it means taking more personal responsibility for the obvious matters such as permits, route finding, accommodation and food. Not so obvious before setting out are the practical considerations on the trail each day.

Go lightweight – resist the temptation to pack for every eventuality. Your rucksack will weigh you down, hold you back and, ultimately, demoralise you. Modern outdoor clothing is light, flexible and easy care. A baselayer top or two will double as T-shirts and an insulating mid layer worn over it and under a waterproof or soft shell jacket allows you to be comfortable in a wide range of temperatures and weather. You certainly don’t need to pack changes of clothing – wash, rinse and dry quickly is the best way.

Feet – if you’re not used to hiking day after day, take it easy at first and check your heels and toes regularly. Boots or shoes that you know you can wear comfortably day after day are a much better bet than a brand new pair of tough trekking boots. Good socks – and a spare pair – make all the difference to comfort and foot care so change them during the day rather than each night. When you take a break, whip off boots, remove insoles and socks and let them all dry as your feet air off and cool down.

Drinking – water, that is, not local firewater! Avoiding dehydration is a key component in staying healthy and making good decisions. Drink water regularly – by the time you feel thirsty, it’s already becoming too late. Filter or otherwise treat water you think is safe to drink and top up yourself as well as your bottle at every opportunity. Hot drinks from local stalls are refreshing but beware of bottled soft drinks as they may be filled round the corner.

Sun – Basking in hours of sunshine at altitude can cause serious sunburn. Hat, sunglasses and sunscreen are the first line of defence. Take it easy to begin with until you adjust to the conditions.

Stay in touch – even in remote areas, it’s surprisingly easy (depressing almost!) to stay in touch with family and friends. It’s hard to get lost on popular trekking routes and, if you’re tempted to wander up a side valley on your own, try to let somebody know what you’re planning to do. Use careful judgement as to who you tell, of course.

Take it easy – you’re not in a completion so there’s no need to stick to a schedule. If a guidebook says a trek section should take 5 hours, remember it’s only a guide not an instruction or challenge. Take regular breaks, enjoy the scenery, chat with locals and share experiences with fellow-trekkers. It’s not a race and you’re there for the whole experience. When you’ve had a break, stretch your muscles before heading out again.

Body clock – it pays to re-tune your way of operating to make the most of each day by rising early and enjoying a long break during the day before getting your head down early in the evening.


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Layering Clothing To Suit The Weather Conditions

November 27th, 2012

On a news website, these headlines occupied the same page – ‘Indian summer this Autumn’ and ‘Nightmare winter’. Outdoors, it often feels like that in the same day, especially in the hills.

Dressing to suit changing weather and different levels of exertion is easy these days. You’re not likely to need the same clothing heading up a mountain as you would coming down and you should never rely on mountain weather being stable. The answer is simple – layering. Modern fabrics, well-made in good designs will cope with anything you and the weather can throw at them – reliably, flexibly and not costing a fortune.

Baselayers can use fabrics designed to keep you cool or warm with the aim of being consistently comfortable. Short sleeve or long sleeve, they’re worn next to the skin under other layers or on their own as appropriate.

Over the baselayer tops, a mid layer is designed to deliver warmth by insulation. Light and durable, there are loads of options to suit the time of year, what you’re doing and where you’re going. Extra insulation, such as a down-filled jacket, is great in really cold weather.

It’s not just the rain that an outer layer protects you from as wind can be an insidious force that steadily robs you of warmth.

However, you chose to put the layers together, bear in mind the need to ventilate at times, by opening zips, rather than continually overheating. All too often people slog up a hillside and strip off layers on the summit. Taking them off before boiling up and replacing them to avoid cooling down too fast is the key.

However you chose to dress, do check the weather before you go and, even if it’s looking good, pack spare clothing and a waterproof in your rucksack.

Check it out!

Mountain Weather Information Service –


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Don’t Get Caught Short On The Piste

November 25th, 2012

We all know the mountainside cafe that doesn’t have a toilet or the restaurant where the toilet is down a flight of wet or icy stairs. When you do make it, if you’ve not yet broken your leg traversing down the stairs, then it’s impossible to squat and hover in ski boots and you wouldn’t want to be lowering your trousers into the wet mess on the floor… Shewee is the life saver of the ski season. World renowned, this award winning portable urinating device is flying down the slopes this winter. Shewee allows women to wee standing up without removing any clothes.

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Great Ideas For Christmas Presents For Everybody Who Loves Life Outdoors

November 23rd, 2012

There’s no need to rack your brains for ideas about what to buy family, friends and colleagues this Christmas. Just consider the wide range available at the Sub Zero Store. Here is a great selection to get you started.

Baselayers are the foundation of comfortable clothing for a wide range of outdoor activities, especially in winter weather. With a variety of styles, weights and materials available, there’s bound to be an option that appeals – and at prices that mean there’s no need to stick at just one! Underwear for women who love the outdoors has been a rather neglected area but we have top options for active women. Plus, we haven’t forgotten about the kids who get their own sizes in thermals to share the fun and stay outdoors longer.

Midlayers add that extra insulation that turns a chilly day out into a cosy adventure. Of course, you don’t need to wear the tops just for outdoor pursuits. For general use, down the pub or at work, they are versatile, smart and hard wearing. Really comfortable, too!

Softshell has really come of age and is no longer seen as the new ‘odd’ category. Technical fabrics combined with shrewd design and sound manufacturing result in garments that are versatile and flexible in use in a wide variety of conditions. Windproof, warm and almost waterproof, softshell is a great choice for most days outdoors in Britain – it doesn’t pour with rain all the time, after all!

Headgear makes for a great Christmas gift – you can’t have too many hats! It’s not just hats, of course, and our neck tubes offer a range of ways to make the most of the benefits of the simple but effective design.

Cold hands and fingers can ruin an active day out so our thermal, windproof and waterproof gloves are just the ticket for staying comfortable whatever the weather. With head and hands sorted, don’t forget to treat your feet and toes with thermal and waterproof socks.

With humans taken care of, spare a thought for Man’s best friend and consider one of our practical buys for dogs including a coat or boots and maybe a tough toy.

Christmas presents are usually complemented by stocking fillers and we’ve lined up some great practical ideas and offers that won’t break the bank from handy pocket-sized items to technical tent pegs.

If you can’t make up your mind what to buy, then consider one of our gift vouchers in denominations from £10 – £100. The voucher is posted and comes in the form of a certificate with a code that can be redeemed during the checkout process at Sub Zero Store; the voucher can be used on all products at Sub Zero Store and the value will be deducted from the order total.

These are just a few ideas from the wide range on offer with free UK delivery on all orders over £75.





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Save 25% On Thermal Gloves And Neck Tubes

November 21st, 2012

Stay warm this winter by taking advantage of Sub Zero Stores November offer on thermal gloves and neck tubes. By a pair of Sub Zero Factor 2 thermal gloves and a Sub Zero Meraklon thermal neck tube and save 25% off the retail price.


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Help And Advice For Starting Hill Walking

November 9th, 2012

For those who are relatively or completely new to the activity of hill walking, ‘New Hill Walkers’ by the BMC highlights some essential skills you should learn and develop on your trips into the hills and mountains, and provides a reference base of resources for learning the required skills. The free, 28-page booklet contains chapters on clothing and equipment, navigation, hazards, walking in winter, access and the environment, and emergency procedures.

Download the booklet for FREE

There’s good advice on choosing footwear and a rucksack as well as practical info on dressing to cope with the demands of weather and seasons in the hills. Insulating layers are the key to all day comfort – as the guide says:

The range of temperatures experienced in one day will often be greater in the hills than in cities. Clothing to deal with such variation is therefore required. With the weight of your rucksack contents an important consideration, choosing items that fulfil a range of functions is a good idea. Waterproofs double up as windproofs for example.”

It makes the point that, “It is better to wear several relatively thin layers than a single thick one, because the layers trap air which is a good insulator, and you can regulate your temperature more effectively by adding or removing layers. Materials which do not absorb moisture are better because wet clothes will make you feel cold.” Plus, “The baselayer should wick moisture away from your body, and so keep your skin dry and prevent excessive chilling every time you stop. As well as providing insulation, a thin midlayer also allows moisture to wick.”

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Primus Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulated Commuter Mugs – £5 Off

November 6th, 2012

These thermal mugs are ideal for commutes in to work on cold mornings. The tapered body design means that they fit in to most car cup holders, whilst the one finger open and close press button allows you to sip from the mug safely whilst traveling. Extra strong rubber seals enables you to place the thermal mug in to your pack without the worry of leakages – All in all a thermal mug ideal for the rough and tumble of everyday life.


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Safety Kit To Carry In Your Rucksack

November 4th, 2012

In your rucksack, a hot drink, food, snacks, basic first aid kit, survival bag and a head torch (check the batteries) are the bare essentials. A map and compass or GPS should be handy and in use whilst a safety whistle should be easy to reach not buried in a rucksack pocket. It’s worth giving your footwear and clothing a good check – clean, reproof and treat as needed. Plan a walk based on your fitness, realistic speed over the ground, daylight available and, of course, the weather. Let somebody know where you are going and head off for the fun.


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Courses On Winter Hill Walking

November 2nd, 2012

If you’re planning on hillwalking, then ‘Hope for the best; plan for the worst’ is a sound attitude. Just carrying an ice axe and crampons when you’re venturing over the tops in winter conditions is not enough. You have to know how to use them competently and to be able to read the terrain and weather safely.

A course at one of Britain’s top outdoor centres will give you an excellent start:

Plas y Brenin – the National Mountain Centre –

Glenmore Lodge – the Scottish National Outdoor Training Centre –

Useful info, advice and occasional courses and talks can be found at the British Mountaineering Council (BMC); it’s not just for climbers but a useful resource for walkers as well –


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