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  1. Essential kit for your summer expedition

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    Whether you’re off to climb a mountain with your mates or taking the family on a camping trip, you’re going to need the right kit for your summer adventure. Thankfully, we have you covered with everything from sleeping bags to socks…

    Sleeping bags

    After a long day of exploring, you can head back to the tent and get a great night’s sleep thanks to our luxurious Synthetic Sleeping Bags.

    Lightweight and exceptionally breathable, they’re made from fabric that’s both water repellent and windproof, with a luxurious down-like feel.

    Additional comfort comes from a head-hugging hood, jumbo neck baffles and a ‘profiling’ construction technique which eliminates cold spots, to keep you exceptionally warm during the night. Win!

    Thermals

    Speaking of warmth, it may be summer, but when you’re sleeping outside or trekking up a mountain, it’s important to have a toasty base layer to keep you from getting chilly.

    Our thermal base-layers are ideal for wearing underneath your clothes.

    Thanks to their snug fit offering plenty of stretch, they act like a second skin to trap in heat, while a hydrophilic treatment in the fabric works to keep perspiration at bay.

    What’s more, the range is fit for any activity, from hiking and running to rowing and skiing. Which is great news if you’re planning an epic summer of activities!

    Jackets

    As we all know, the British summer has a habit of being annoyingly unpredictable. To ensure you’re prepared for all weather, pick up one of our windproof softshell jackets.

    Made from the most advanced wind-resistant fabric, they act as a barrier against the wind to stop it from penetrating through to your under-layers.

    The insulating, soft-fleece inner allows you to stay warm even on the coldest day, while the close, comfortable fit offers ample stretch, so it’s never restrictive during activity.

    With a compact, lightweight feel, you can pop it in your backpack at the start of the day, so you’ll never be caught out if the weather takes a turn for the worse!

    Socks

    If you’re heading out into nature, whether that be for a hike, a cycle or just a leisurely wander through the woods, you’re going to need a great pair of socks!

    While it’s easy to throw on your regular, every day socks for a trek or a run, they’re not going to give you the same level of comfort and protection as a pair that are tailormade for the job.

    From walking socks that offer padding and insulation, to ski socks that come with cushioned shin and ankle guards; when it comes to activity, the right pair of socks can make a world of difference.

    Rucksacks

    Now we have your clothing covered, let’s move on to those essential expedition accessories.

    A good, sturdy rucksack is a must-have for the likes of hiking and camping trips.

    Our lightweight range is designed to take the grunt work out of lugging around your kit.

    Ultra-lightweight yet sturdy, it’s great for anyone who’s wanting to beat their personal best in a mountain marathon or adventure race. If you’re not racing, it’s also spot on to use as a simple hiking bag.

    With adjustable, padded shoulder straps, stain resistant fabric, water resistant pockets and a built-in emergency whistle, it’s compact, secure and incredibly stylish for the ultimate adventure accessory.

    And while we’re on the subject of bags… if you’re adventuring with the family this summer, don’t forget to check out our range of children’s rucksacks. They have all the same practicalities of the adult range, but with colourful, fun designs that are sure to keep the kids happy!

    Water Bottles

    Even if the weather isn’t playing nice, it’s important to stay hydrated during activity. Keep your water levels topped up with our Klean Kanteen Stainless Steel Water Bottles.

    Not only do they look stylish, they’re also strong, durable, eco-friendly and BPA free.

    Better still, they’re made with electro-polished materials that don’t retain flavours, so you can always expect a refreshing drink without any bad-tasting residue.

    With a leak-resistant lid and a soft, silicon spout, they’re ideal for packing into your rucksack when you’re off for a hike.

    There’s even one for the kids too!

    Cooking

    To satisfy your hunger after a long day of adventure, it’s nice to gather round the campfire for a good, hearty meal.

    With our impressive range of cooking pots, you can do just that.

    Made with anodised aluminium and titanium alloys, they’re lightweight and easy-to-use, with a strong resistance to scratches and dents.

    To keep your food from sticking, they have a Teflon coating and ceramic finish, which also makes it easy to wash and clean them regularly.

    If that isn’t enough, the lids are made from BPA-free Tritan plastic and grip-friendly silicon, which doubles up as a colander, so there’s no need to pack any weighty serving dishes.

    If you’re short on utensils, we have you covered for those too, from stainless steel cutlery sets to camping plates and bowls.

    It’s safe to say that with all this fancy cooking gear, you can kiss goodbye to those cans of cold beans!

    Navigation Tools

    If you’re going off the grid this summer, you’re going to need a reliable map and compass on hand to navigate your trip.

    Even in this day and age, not everywhere has GPS, so from a safety point of view, it’s always a great idea to do things the old-fashioned way!

    Our compass range is compact and easy to carry, with most offering slots for lanyards, so you can just pop one around your neck.

    To keep your maps dry, try our waterproof map bags. Made from resilient triple polymer film, they’re available in three different sizes, each one offering a press-to-lock seal to secure your map in even the most extreme weather.

    To top it off, they’re also touch screen compatible so you can use them for your phones too. …You know, just in case you can get GPS along the way!

    Multitools

    For fishing, climbing and camping, there’s nothing more efficient than the Multimate Multitool.

    Made from top quality stainless steel with rubber handle grips, it comes packed with features including sprung pliers, wire strippers, screwdrivers, a knife, bottle opener, can opener, awl, saw and rope cutter. Talk about multi-talented!

    What’s more, there’s even a handy key ring attachment so you can hook it to your belt or rucksack for quick and easy access.

    Outdoor first aid kit

    In case of any accidents on your summer expedition, make sure to pack an Outdoor First Aid Kit.

    Developed with the input of paramedics and search and rescue doctors, they’re fully equipped to cover a wide range of injuries sustained from hiking, running, mountaineering and skiing. And as they’re small enough to fit in your pocket or bag, there’s really no excuse not to have one on hand.

    As the Scouts say, always be prepared!

    Feeling ready for adventure? Us too!

    To pick up your essential expedition kit, check out the full range.

  2. Everything you need to know about staying sun safe

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    Make sure you stay sun safe this summer

    With summer in full swing, no doubt you have lots of fun, adventurous plans in the pipeline.

    Whether it’s hiking, camping, cycling, hitting the beach or planning a picnic in the park, there’s no better time to be outside, filling your lungs with fresh air and getting some much-needed vitamin D!

    And while it’s great to enjoy the warmer weather, it’s also important that you’re up to scratch on staying sun safe.

    No one wants to spend their leisure time burned or with sunstroke, or worse. So, to ensure that you and your family can have fun in the sun without worry, we’ve put together a handy guide for everything you need to know about sun safety.

    Cream Up

    Sun exposure can happen even on a cloudy British day, so if you’re out and about this summer, the number one rule is to slap on the sun cream regularly!

    Harmful UV rays are responsible for a number of ailments, from sunburn and premature ageing to more serious conditions such as skin cancer. That’s not to say you can’t safely enjoy the sun. Opting for a sun lotion of at least SPF30 and applying it every two to three hours if you’re outside for long periods of time can help protect you from sun damage.

    When buying sun cream, you should look for one that has at least a four-star UVA protection to ensure that it meets EU standards. You should also make sure it hasn’t past its expiry date. Most have a shelflife of two to three years.

    Sun protection factor (SPF) is a measure of the amount of ultraviolet B radiation (UBV) protection in the cream. This is rated on a scale of 2-50+, with 50+ offering the strongest protection and 2 offering the least. Sun creams that offer both UVA and UVB protection, sometimes referred to as ‘Broad Spectrum’, are the ones you should ideally opt for as they give you the best protection.

    So, how much sun cream should you apply for the best coverage, to stay sun safe?

    If you’re an adult, the equivalent of two tablespoons should do it. Although a good rule of thumb is the more the merrier, so don’t be afraid to apply it in excess!

    Applying plenty is particularly important for children and babies, whose skin is much more sensitive and vulnerable to sun damage. Babies under six months old should always be kept out of direct sunlight, and all children should be covered up with protective clothing, as well as being coated in a strong lotion with a high SPF.

    Whatever age you are, don’t forget to reapply lotion once you’ve been in water, even if your cream claims to be ‘water resistant’. The fact is, water washes it off, and when you’re in the ocean or a cool pool, you might not feel yourself getting burnt. Topping up your cream as soon as you’re out of water can reduce your chance of sun damage and keep the burn at bay.

    Seek the shade

    If you’re planning on spending the whole day outdoors, so to stay sun safe, make sure to hit the shade between 11am and 3pm, as this is when the sun is at its strongest. Even if you can’t avoid it completely, finding shady spots or shelters where you can eat lunch or take a break can help you escape the effects of sunstroke and keep you feeling cool and refreshed.

    Protect your eyes

    It’s super important to keep your eyes covered when you’re out in the sun. Being at the beach or anywhere that you’re exposed to bright sunshine can cause temporary burn to the eye’s surface, resulting in a painful sensation similar to sunburn of the skin.

    Reflected light from water, sand or concrete is also tough on the eyes, so it helps to have a good pair of sunglasses on hand to keep your peepers protected. Opt for styles with UVA/UVB protection and make sure they cover the whole of your eyes, so there’s no room for sunlight to creep in behind them.

    Know your limits

    While no one is exempt from the dangers of the sun, there are some people who are more at risk than others and they may need to take more precautions to stay sun safe.

    If you have pale skin, freckles, or red or fair hair, you should always wear a high factor sun cream and cover your skin with protective clothing and a hat. This is because pale skin is more prone to burning than darker skin tones.

    That’s not to say that those with darker skin are out of the woods. If you have any moles, you should regularly keep a close eye on them, and always cover them in the sun. If you notice any changes such as the appearance of a new mole, or a mole that has changed in size, shape or colour, it’s always best to check in with a doctor, just to be safe.

    Anyone with a family history of skin cancer should take extra care in the sun, as should anyone exposed to intense sun that their skin isn’t used to, such as when you’re on holiday.

    The better you know your skin and your limits regarding sun exposure, the easier it will be to protect yourself during summer expeditions.

    Stay hydrated

    Sun safety and keeping hydrated come hand in hand. Dehydration and heat exhaustion can lead to a multitude of issues, including dizziness, headaches and vomiting. The key is to stay hydrated, more so if you’re out in the sun for long periods of time.

    If you’re planning a hike or any similar outdoor activities, make sure to take along a reliable water bottle and keep it topped up regularly. Just make sure to steer clear of sugary drinks, caffeine or alcohol as these can lead to dehydration, as opposed to keeping it at bay.

    Sunburn SOS

    If you do happen to get burnt after a day in the sun, the first thing you should do is sponge the sore skin with cool water, before applying a soothing after-sun lotion, Aloe Vera cream or calamine lotion.

    If you’re suffering from a bad dose of sunstroke to go alongside your sunburn, make sure to drink plenty of water, and take painkillers such as paracetamol or ibuprofen to help reduce the inflammation and ease the pain.

    If at any point your skin starts to blister or swell, or you feel unwell with chills, high temperature, headaches, sickness or dizziness, go visit your doctor.

    No matter what summer adventures you’re planning, staying sun safe is essential. If you want to know more about how we can help keep your whole family healthy and happy in the sun, get in touch with our team or check out what’s on offer in our sunshine-friendly range.

  3. The summer holidays (and the adventures) are just beginning…

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    camping_image

    Explorers big and small, leave your fast food and gadgets at home and experience the ultimate wide screen… the great outdoors!

    Sub Zero can provide all you need for a family camping adventure during the summer holidays, with lightweight, space saving equipment to help max out your space… and your fun… Camp cooking doesn’t have to be all about barbecues. Our extensive range of compact stoves, pots and cooking equipment is affordable, easy to use and will last course after course.  A delicious one-pot feast eaten around the campfire gives you that feeling of excitement that only a true outdoor adventure can offer. If you’re an aspiring outdoor chef but need a splash of inspiration, take a look here.

    The UK is enjoying another hot summer with temperatures in excess of 30 degrees, so protection against the sun whether you’re at home or abroad is vital. However, as August and September approach, the overnight temperatures can start to drop. So if you’re camping at this time of year, don’t forget to pack one or two essentials to help you enjoy both hot days and chilly nights. Sunscreen is essential for any type of trip in any climate, whether it’s a beach or mountain holiday. Sub Zero stock a range of premium sun protection creams and lotions for adults and children, offering five star sun protection, with built-in water resistance and even an anti-jellyfish formula. After sun lotion or gel containing Aloe Vera is great for soothing skin if you’ve misjudged the sun.

    Our sleeping bags, mats liners and pillows offer comfort and warmth for a great night’s sleep, so you are refreshed and raring to go and make the most of every day. Compact and lightweight, all of our products are designed to travel with you, so you can pitch whenever and wherever you find that perfect spot.

    If you’re camping with the kids, safety is always on your mind. First Aid kits can be bulky, with lots of what you don’t need, and not enough of what you do need. Sub Zero stock Lifesystems First Aid kits, specifically designed for travel and outdoor pursuits, small enough to carry around, and perfectly stocked for any mishap. Add a torch, multi-tool kit,beach shelter and insect repellent and you’re set up for an all-weather adventure, at home or abroad!

  4. Lifeventure Wash Cells – New Arrivals

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     Lifeventue Wash Cells are the new funky coloured toiletry bags that everybody is talking about. Gone are the days of the drab old black and brown wash kits . The bright colours of the Lifeventure Wash Cells give your face a gentle wake-up slap on dull mornings, and may even get teenagers washing when camping (although this is still a big ask).

    These Wash Cells are available in three colours: electric green, electric blue and purple.

     

  5. Lifesystems Micro LED Head Torch – New Arrival

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    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.

  6. Backpacking For Freedom

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    Backpacking is all about enjoying self-contained travel on foot in the outdoors staying comfortable and well-fed along the way whether you use a tent, bivvy bag or tarp. With a rucksack, tent, sleeping bag and cooking gear you have the basic ingredients to whip up a variety of recipes for outdoor adventure year after year, wandering through a landscape carrying everything you need for a night or more without the need to be anywhere at any particular time. With the right clothing, offering flexibility and protection with base, mid and outer layers, the elements can be enjoyed rather than endured.

    It’s not meant to be a survival challenge but more a state of mind. The simple pleasures of waking deep in the hills or by the sea after a sound night in a cosy sleeping bag are priceless. Traveling through the country with all you need to hand allows you follow impulses, explore and just have fun. For a modest price, you can enjoy your own place in the country without the ties of a fixed holiday home.

    A journey of a thousand miles may well begin with just one step but a successful backpacking jaunt needs a little more forethought. Not a lot if you want to maintain a footloose feel to your trip but even the most relaxed backpacker must have, at least, a start point and initial direction. Sensibly, you should be scheming on where to go, how long it might take and where to pitch your tent safely, legally and with regard to the outdoor environment.

    Plus, of course, whether you are tracing the course of a river or following high mountain ridges, it makes sense to leave details of your proposed route and alternatives with family or friends. Routes and pitches are intertwined when you are planning – something of a chicken and egg scenario – so gather as much info as you can before spreading out the maps and packing your rucksack.

    How much planning you need to do depends on a variety of factors. Where you are going, for how long and at what time of year are all basic considerations. Then there is your own experience and fitness – and the weather. There is a world of difference between backpacking in Scotland in the depths of a snowy winter and a balmy summer, particularly with regard to the ground you likely to cover each day and the sleeping bag and clothing you’ll need. Not forgetting, of course, a sleep mat. You could also use a sleeping bag liner to both help to keep your bag clean as well as adding extra warmth. You might fancy a theme to your trip; summits, valleys, historical sites and rivers are obvious but the opportunities are only limited by imagination.

  7. Top Tent Pitching Tips

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    Pitching a tent in the correct location can make all the difference between getting a good nights sleep and having a complete nightmare. Follow these top tent pitching tips for a peaceful and comfortable slumber:

     

    • If you have never pitched your tent before always have a dry run in your garden to iron out any problems
    • There’s something quite relaxing about camping near water but beware of mosquitoes and boggy ground
    • If you cannot find some shelter behind a rock, wall or hedge, pitch your tent so the entrance faces away from the prevailing wind
    • If there is dry vegetation or leaves on the ground, pack it under your groundsheet for a free natural mattress
    • Try to avoid pitching in a dip in the ground or at the bottom of a slope – rainwater runoff and cold air creeping downhill may disrupt a good night’s sleep
    • Avoid pitching under a tree – unlikely though a lightning strike or falling branch might be, the drips from above will drive you mad long after rain has stopped
    • Try and pitch on level ground, otherwise you may wake up scrunched in the corner
    • Check the ground for rocks and holes masked by grass or vegetation. These can damage your ground sheet and will be uncomfortable if laid upon.

  8. Primus Eta PackLite Gas Stove Back In Stock

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    It has been a number of weeks since we last had the Eta PackLite in stock after a run on them at the end of May. We have just had a delivery of 20 units with another 30 on back order.

    Speaking to our customers, they were purchasing the Eta Packlite in anticipation of a long outdoors summer season , as the stove is one of the best pieces of cooking kit to carry for lightweight camping and backpacking. It’s a shame that the weather is putting a dampener on all but the most dedicated of outdoor enthusiasts. Roll on the sun!

  9. Making The Most Of Simple Campsites

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    Camping completely independent of any facilities, being truly self-contained, has always appealed but it needs careful organisation and easing of standards and expectations – it’s a tough person who rolls naked across a field for a grass bath. A simple campsite is one that offers the basics of loo and water and has that difficult to define element – ‘character’. It may come from the setting, the wider context or the personality of the owners. Some attract campers who enjoy privacy; others have an air of camaraderie from the moment you start to pitch your tent. Shops, pizza stalls, swimming pools, closely packed pitches and licensed bars add a layer of complexity to sites that shift them from camping holidays to holiday camps.

    However, where simple farm sites once cost just a couple of pounds, ‘modern’ simple sites can rack up charges that reflect location, unmarked pitches and character. The emergence of web-based campsite guides – www.ukcampsite.co.uk; the Cool Camping series – www.coolcamping.co.uk ; and Tiny Campsites – www.tinycampsites.co.uk –  have all not only spread the word about exceptional sites but actively helped to develop a new theme in sites. More privacy, open fires and an awareness of sustainability are linked to pubs in walking distance to make up a rounded package that delivers a more ‘authentic’ camping experience.

    The downside of many smaller, simpler sites is not being able to book them in advance. Over the years, word of mouth and pot luck have been as useful as printed and electronic guides. No pre-booking means risking turning up to be turned away. Or, perhaps, finding that secluded site you enjoyed last year bursting at the seams. It pays to have alternatives up your sleeve and to be flexible in what you expect. You can book National Trust campsites online; many are run by tenant farmers – www.nationaltrust.org.uk.

    Campingninja is a free, independent campsite booking site that allows you to browse with search filters for campsites, find availability and book on-line all in the same place – no more phone calls or the frustration of unanswered emails. With hundreds of campsites in the system, Campingninja co-founder Rhian Evans said, “We have a great variety of campsites to book including eco-campsites, small campsites, campsites where you can have a campfire, campsites for all kinds of activities – the list is endless and you can easily search on all of these criteria and more.”

  10. Camp in London During The Olympics For £10

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    Why bother with extortionate hotel rooms in inconvenient locations during the 2012 London Olympic and Paralympic Games. Book a campsite on campingatthegames.com and stay in London for £10.

    The website is a partnership between the UK’s largest online campsite booking website Campingninja.com and sports grounds within inner London. Not only will you be supporting local sports  clubs directly but you will also have access to great facilities, lots of space, and excellent transportation links.

    For further details and booking online please visit the website campingatthegames.com

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