March 10th, 2014
Charity Walks may not be overly challenging, but you still need to prepare sensibly before setting off, especially if longer walks are not part of your normal routine.
Regular walks of a few miles two or three times a week will head off problems if you’re new to walking longer distances for fun and fitness. Do take a few minutes before setting out to stretch muscles and get warmed off. Plus, build up your pace steadily rather than setting off like a rocket – remember the hare and the tortoise!
Dress sensibly in layers to allow you to regulate how warm you feel as you step out. A key element is a good wicking baselayer to stop sweat evaporating on clammy skin and causing a chilly feeling. An easily adjustable mid layerfor warmth and a wind/waterproof outer layer should ensure you’ll stay comfortable. Don’t forget a hat as sunshine and rain can be expected in the same day in our climate!
Stay hydrated by drinking water regularly – there are several options for carrying water from bottles to hydration packs.
Walking briskly in warm weather and being well-hydrated means you should be sweating to help release core body heat. That’s good but can feel uncomfortable. A thin handkerchief soon becomes sopping wet but a small hand towel can be a welcome accessory.
Suffolk Walking Festival 19th May – 10th June 2012
Tags: baselayers, charity walks, fitness, mid layers, walking
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March 9th, 2014
National Trails website – www.nationaltrail.co.uk – showcases 15 National Trails offering over 2,500 miles of some of the best walking, riding and cycling experiences in Wales and England. The new website has been developed by Walk Unlimited – previously known as Walk England – and is the result of an innovative partnership with Natural Resources Wales and Natural England.
The site uses high quality mapping, thanks to support from the Ordnance Survey, which will show the Trails in great detail as well as the attractions and facilities nearby. Day walks, itineraries and ideas for activities including geocaching trails are all easily downloadable to help families and visitors plan days out based around the Trails.
The new interactive features mean that for the first time businesses can upload details of the services they provide to visitors. This can be anything from accommodation to outdoor equipment shops, or pubs and cafes.
Trail users and local residents can also add content including events, photographs and provide recommendations, to give an insider’s view on their favourite places to eat or their most memorable views and attractions. The site can even be used to report any relevant ‘breaking news’ issues – making the website a topical, as well as useful, resource for planning a Trail visit.
The 15 National Trails in England and Wales are: Cleveland Way, Cotswold Way, Glyndŵr’s Way (Wales), Hadrian’s Wall Path, North Downs Way, Offa’s Dyke Path (Wales), Peddars Way / Norfolk Coast Path, Pembrokeshire Coast Path (Wales), Pennine Bridleway, Pennine Way, South Downs Way, South West Coast Path, Thames Path, The Ridgeway, Yorkshire Wolds Way. Interested in the trails and their development? Follow the National Trail Twitter (@NationalTrails) and Facebook accounts (thenationaltrails).
Photo: Manorbier beach. Copyright – Pembrokeshire Coast NPA.
The Pembrokeshire Coast Path is part of the Wales Coast Path.
Tags: national trail, ordnance survey, walk england, walk unlimited
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March 8th, 2014
Hi-Tec Insulated Capri 200 Waterproof Snow Boots are the ideal multi-layer footwear to wear in cold and snowy conditions. The outer synthetic fabric is tough and waterproof repelling the most driving rain and sleet. The Dri-Tec mid-layer consists of a waterproof and breathable bootie membrane that allows excellent vapour transmission from your feet without allowing ingress of water from the outside. The inner layer comprises of 200g thick fibre pile Thinsulate to trap heat and insulate against the outside cold. The outsole is Hi-Tecs MDT (multi directional traction) carbon rubber outsole to provide superb durability and traction in the foulest of weather.
These snow boots have been tried and tested from the North Pole to deep freeze chambers. For the best results wear with our range of technical thermal socks.
Tags: cold weather shoes, hi-tec, insulated footwear, snow boots, snow shoes
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March 7th, 2014
Chris Townsend finds a pair of long john base layers that are comfortable and fit well
Over the years long johns have not been my favourite garments, mostly because I’d not found a pair that were really comfortable, which is to say just about unoticeable. Pairs I tried were either too tight, too saggy, too itchy, too restrictive or too sweaty. Thicker trousers seemed the answer for cold weather rather than long johns. What I didn’t realise was that it was the designs and fabrics that were the problem not the type of garment.
This changed last winter when I was making The Cairngorms In Winter film with Terry Abraham. The trousers I was provided with for the film were not really adequate for winter conditions so most of the time I wore long johns under them. After trying and being irritated by a couple of pairs I came across Sub Zero’s Bloo Johns in a drawer and tried them. What a revelation!
They proved near enough perfect, being warm but not too hot, very comfortable, breathable, non-restrictive and still quite fragrant after 48 hours constant wear.
What makes these long johns different from others? I think there are a number of factors. Firstly there are no seams at all as they are made, in the UK, by a clever process called ‘Whole Body’ knitting. As seams can rub and catch as well as usually being less stretchy than the rest of the garment, which in a body hugging one can lead to discomfort, not having them is good for comfort.
Secondly the Bloo Johns have extra stretchy rib knit zones around the waist and on the inside of the thighs. These stick closely to the body and move with you so there’s no feeling of a clinging garment resisting your movement. Then the garment as a whole is made from a very fine merino wool with 6% Lycra added for the waistband.
Merino wool is comfortable over a wide temperature range so overheating is less likely than in synthetic long johns and when it’s this thin merino wool dries quickly when damp. It’s the merino wool that stops them smelling too.
Having discovered how good they are I’ve been using the Bloo Johns a fair bit this winter, finding them ideal under a number of different pairs of trousers that on their own aren’t quite up to winter conditions.
To see the full review click here
Tags: chris townsend, merino wool, product reviews, sub zero, tgo, The GReat Outdoors Magazine, thermal leggings
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March 6th, 2014
The BMC has produced a code of conduct – the Crag Code – to encourage the sustainable use of crags in England and Wales. The code consists of ten important reminders for people visiting our crags – from respecting the rock and other people to keeping to established footpaths and keeping dogs under control. Whilst the majority of climbers and boulderers have a positive attitude towards crag access and protection, the BMC felt a code was needed to help prevent situations whereby access may come under threat.
- Access: Check the Regional Access Database (RAD) for the latest access information
- Parking: Park carefully – avoid gateways and driveways
- Footpaths: Keep to established paths and leave gates as you find them
- Risk: Climbing can be dangerous, accept the risks and be aware of other people around you
- Respect: Groups and individuals – respect the rocks, local climbing ethics and other people
- Wildlife: Do not disturb livestock, wildlife or cliff vegetation; respect seasonal bird nesting restrictions
- Dogs: Keep dogs under control at all times; don’t let your dog chase sheep or disturb wildlife
- Litter: ‘Leave no trace’ – take all litter home with you
- Toilets: Don’t make a mess – bury your waste
- Economy: Do everything you can to support the rural economy – shop locally
Tags: bmc, climbing, crag code, crags, hill walking, mountaineering, regional access database
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March 5th, 2014
Sub Zero Polar Thermal Fleece Jackets and Body Warmers are manufactured from super warm 361g/m2 Polar Polyester fleece. These technical jackets and vests have a velour anti-pill finish on the outside and a deep pile lambswool structure on the reverse for added loft.
These high performance fleece jackets and gilets are ideal for wearing in the winter months either on their own or as part of a layering system.
Tags: cold weather clothing, fleece jacket, fleece vest, gilet, ladies fleece jackets, mens fleece jacket, polar vest, sub zero, technical clothing
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March 4th, 2014
Walking in Jersey allows you to discover the islands heritage and natural beauty that otherwise would be missed when driving a car. In a series of free guided walks designed for you whatever your age and experience, the Walking Weeks offer almost 40 walks to choose from – over 1000 participants usually take part in both Walking Weeks.
Put a spring in your step as Winter starts to draw to a close but don’t relax your guard on staying warm and dry. A snug baselayer combined with an insulating mid layer under an outer layer to protect you from wind and rain will ensure flexibility and comfort.
Top 10 Reasons For Walking In Jersey
1. Green Lanes
Jersey’s famous ‘Green Lanes’, found in all but two of the Island’s twelve parishes, are identified by a special road sign. Walkers, cyclists and horse riders love these tranquil, highly scenic byways. And – for once – walkers have priority, not the car, since the maximum speed limit is just 15mph (24kph). In other words – this 50-mile network of narrow, tree-lined lanes are a walker’s paradise.
2. Coastal Walking
The Island is also renowned for its fifty miles of coastal walks with splendid views of Guernsey, Sark and Herm from the north coast, and of France from the east. On the north and south coasts you’ll spot big differences. The north is rocky and rugged, with a curtain of spectacular 400ft/120m cliffs that slope to a south coast fringed by vast expanses of sand.
3. In the Country
Jersey may be famous for its coastline, but the Island is also a rural paradise of green lanes and hidden valleys cloaked in wildlife-rich woodland. Jersey Tourism also has a selection of pub walks that combine great walking with good food, heritage trails and parish trails.
4. Wildlife Watch
Red squirrels still live and thrive in the woods and the Island is a stopping-off place for many migratory birds. Other residents include the green lizard and the rare agile frog (not found anywhere else in Britain). You may even meet the brown or olive toad that gives local residents their nickname, ‘Crapauds’ (a Jèrriais or Jersey-French word).
5. Two Feet; Four Wheels
At nine miles by five and with an excellent public transport network, the Island is easily accessible for walking with only a bus timetable as a guide. Linear and circular walking routes are easy to put together. The local Connex bus service operates all year, and in summer there are additional ‘Island Explorer’ buses bringing even greater frequency and coverage, enabling you to link up services with added convenience.
6. Warm Walks
The Island’s southerly location and its protected position in the Bay of St Malo result in an attractive, temperate climate that makes Jersey one of the warmest and sunniest places in the British Isles. In the warmer months, walkers tend to head for the coast, tackling the cliffs and beaches. In contrast, the colourful and sheltered valleys, woods and scenic reservoirs provide an entirely different atmosphere in autumn and winter.
7. Walks for All
Jersey suits all kinds of walking. If you’re ambitious try the ‘Around Island’ walk that can be completed with the aid of an OS -style map over three or four days or as part of a guided group during one of Jersey’s two Walking Week Festivals.
8. Naturally Speaking
In 1997, Jersey became the first Island to gain Green Globe status. There are many designated ‘Sites of Special Interest’ and four internationally-recognised wetlands known as Ramsar Sites, covering the south-east coast and three offshore reefs.
9. En Route
You’ll encounter Jersey’s rich and diverse history on paths and trails everywhere. Fort Leicester and L’Étacquerel Fort, both located at Bouley Bay, were built to keep out the French. Look out for the Island’s iconic Jersey Round Towers and ghostly remnants from World War Two.
10. Get Yourself a Guide
Jersey Tourism’s programme of escorted walking tours with experienced Blue Badge guides takes in the Island’s unique history, heritage, landscapes and seascapes – see the latest ‘What’s On’ guide for details. Best of all are the Island’s two annual walking festivals – the Spring and Autumn Walking Weeks, with a huge choice of guided walks for all abilities.
Tags: baselayers, guided tours, guided walks, jersey, mid layer, walking, walking weeks
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March 3rd, 2014
Lifesystems Intensity 24 Micro Head LED Torch is so small and lightweight that it can easily fit in to your trouser pocket or your survival kit bag. The 24 lumen bright LED light can be switched on and off with the easy access rubberised switch on top of the main light casing. The front light can also be angled to focus exactly where you need it and includes five light settings: white LED high, low and flashing; red LEDs constant and SOS to help being seen at night. The rear red light has two settings – fixed and flashing for extra safety and visibility. The reinforced elasticated head strap can be adjusted to custom fit your dimensions or used to fix on to an item.
This Lifesystems Micro LED head torch is ideal when hiking and trekking, or for general use around the camp site when it starts to get dark. It is an essential piece of survival and emergency equipment that should be carried by every outdoors person.
Tags: camping, emergency and survival, head torch, hiking, led light, lifesystems, trekking
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March 2nd, 2014
Registration for the popular Worcestershire walking/running event Rock Pound the Bounds is now open. Taking place on Sunday 4th May 2014, Rock Pound the Bounds offers walkers and runners of all ages and abilities a great opportunity to exercise amongst parts of Worcestershire’s beautiful countryside. The event also enables participants to raise much-needed funds for the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity. Starting from the village hall in Rock near Kidderminster, entrants can join the 25, 18, 12, nine or six mile walks; for youngsters who want to get involved, there’s a three mile treasure trail.
Henk Buzink, one of the organisers of Rock Pound the Bounds, said, “This is the fourteenth year we’ve organised the event and the third time we’ve teamed up with Midlands Air Ambulance Charity to organise the Pound the Bounds. No matter if you’re an experienced rambler or are just looking to increase the amount of walking you do, our event is a great way to enjoy a walk and fundraise for charity.”
Registration and sponsorship forms can be downloaded from the Pound the Bounds website. To find out more about the Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, visit www.midlandsairambulance.com
Tags: air ambulance, charity, fundraising, kidderminster, running, walking
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