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  1. Top Tips For Planning Your Own Outdoor Microadventures

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    Chinese philosopher Lao Tzu said, “The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step’. Modern adventurer Alasdair Humphreys believes, “You do not need to fly to the other side of the planet to find wilderness and beauty.” Put the two observations together and outdoor adventures can start on your doorstep.

    Alastair loves microadventures – – where you can have fun for an evening, a night, a day or weekend with challenging or relaxing time spent outdoors. We call them ‘micrads’ and with our help at Sub Zero Store, you can most the most of the time. How much more fun at work would it be to share the experience of an overnight bivvy rather than talk about last night’s TV?


    Here are some tips to start you on your way:

    1. If time is tight, you might want to consider doing a little research or, at least, thinking before setting out. On the other hand, you can just pack a few essential and head off. Sometimes, planning an off-beat micrad can be half the fun off actually carrying it out. Freedom to set your own challenges, timescale and style is what it’s all about
    2. If you’re planning to stay out overnight, consider where you might sleep – and how. Or walk through the night for a completely different experience.
    3. Aim to travel as light as possible, bearing in mind your safety and comfort. Into your rucksack, pack a sleeping bag, sleeping mat, waterproofs, map, head torch, something to eat, a full water bottle and a small first aid kit. Spare warm clothing, such as a base layer set or down jacket, is sensible and you might want carry a small stove and tent or tarp if your micrad would benefit from carrying the extra weight.
    4. If you’re not bothered about carrying the weight, then a few luxuries, like an iPod, phone and favourite snacks will take up little room. If you’re heading for the hills or remote areas, then it’s sensible to carry a map, compass, whistle and bivvy bag.
    5. Check the weather before you leave but, unless the forecast is dire, don’t let bad weather put you off – make dealing with it part of the adventure.
    6. It’s always sensible to let family or friends know what you’re planning to do and how long you’ll be away.

  2. Long Distance Challenge Walks In Northumberland

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    Up for a challenge?

    Challenge walks are, more or less, exactly how they are named. Completing a long walk in the company of others, often with checkpoints along the way, and usually to be completed within a set time. They can be very demanding and not to be undertaken lightly but they are also loads of fun and a structured event offers loads of support. Shepherd’s Walks has a number of these events set in the stunning scenery of Northumberland. Each walk has checkpoints with water stations and there’s first aid cover and support vehicles available for walkers who have to drop out on the route.


    • Cragside Challenge Walk, 29 June – starting from Cragside, near Rothbury, the 13 mile route takes in the Simonside Hills.
    • St. Cuthbert’s Challenge Walk, 10 August – after checking in at Wooler, walkers will be transferred to Melrose to walk along the lovely 19.5 mile cross-border section of this long distance route.
    • Kielder Challenge Walk, 7 September – walkers make a 25.3 mile circuit of Europe’s largest man-made lake.


    Items of kit that should be a necessity in your backpack for a long distance challenge walk is a map and compass (and know how to use them!), a whistle to signal search and rescue if an emergency arises, windproof and waterproof clothing, extra warm clothes including a base layer set, food and drink, a torch for path finding at night and for signalling, hat and gloves, and a first aid kit that includes sunscreen.


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