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  1. Winter Expedition Equipment Help

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    Winter Expedition Equipment Help By Sub Zero

    Winter Expedition Essentials

    Choosing winter expedition equipment for the first time can be tough. As with all forms of mountaineering, hiking, walking or camping, packing depends on where you are heading to and how long you are going for.

    As winter is one of the harshest times to go out exploring there are certain necessities you’ll need if you’re daring to head out into the wilderness. Certain equipment deserves space in every pack. You won’t need every item on every trip, but essential equipment can be a lifesaver in an emergency.

    It can be quite stressful knowing what to pack and when, so, luckily, we’ve compiled this handy little list of all the essentials you’ll need for your next winter expedition!

    1. Navigation

    Winter expedition waterproof map cases and pouchesWhatever season you’re going out in, you must know where you are, where you’re going, and how to get back. Always carry a detailed topographic map of the area you are visiting, and place it in a protective case or plastic covering. Always carry a compass too!

    We have a range of different waterproof pouches that are perfect for keeping your navigation equipment safe and dry in all weathers. The thick plastic film and airtight closure system protects the contents from any water penetration, even to depths of up to 10 metres.

    And if you are separated from your party, which can easily happen, a whistle can be a simple but reliable signalling device, so it’s worthwhile packing one.

    1. Insulation

    Winter expedition insulating clothing by Sub ZeroA basic expedition outfit includes inner and outer socks, boots, underwear, trousers, shirt, sweater or fleece jacket, hat, mittens or gloves, and raingear. However, it’s always a good idea to wear a little bit more insulation, just in case!

    When packing, always ask yourself this question: ‘What is needed to survive the worst conditions that could realistically be encountered on this trip?’

    An extra layer of long underwear can add much warmth while adding little weight to a pack. It is also wise to pack an extra hat or balaclava, because they provide more warmth for their weight than any other article of clothing. For your feet, bring an extra pair of thick socks, and for your hands, an extra pair of polyester or fleece mitts. Pack extra tops to keep your torso warm, plus insulated trousers too!



    1. Illumination

    Winter expedition torches and lampsIt’s essential to carry a headlamp or flashlight, just in case. Batteries and bulbs do not last forever, so always carry spares, pack more than you think you need.

    We offer a range of different lighting options to choose from, from headlights you can wear, LED lanterns, and gas lanterns ensuring you have perfect visibility.

    Remember, there are less daylight hours in the winter, so carrying a light with you is always important.




    1. First-Aid Supplies

    Winter expedition first aid kitsCarry and know how to use a first-aid kit, but do not let a first-aid kit give you a false sense of security. The best course of action is to always take the steps necessary to avoid injury or sickness in the first place.

    Your first-aid kit should be compact and sturdy, with the contents wrapped in waterproof packaging. At a minimum, a first-aid kit should include gauze pads in various sizes, roller gauze, small adhesive bandages, butterfly bandages, triangular bandages, battle dressing, adhesive tape, scissors, cleansers or soap, latex gloves, and paper and pencil.

    Consider the length and nature of your trip when deciding what to add to your first aid kit. If you’re travelling on glaciers, for example, there may be no trees arounds to be used as improvised splints. Therefore, bringing a wire ladder splint would be extremely valuable in the event of a fracture.


    1. Nutrition and Hydration

    Winter expedition water bottles and purifiers The length of your trip will depend on what food and water you’ll take on your winter expedition. However, you must pack for every eventuality, so always take more than you think you need.

    The food should require no cooking, be easily digestible, and store well for prolonged periods. A combination of dried meat such as jerky, nuts, chocolate, granola, and dried fruit works well. If you’re taking a stove, hot chocolate, dried soup, and tea can be added.

    Carrying sufficient water and the equipment to purify any additional water is also important. Always carry at least one water bottle or collapsible water sack. Widemouthed containers are easier to refill.

    Travel water purification chemicals are based on the halogen element chlorine, either as chlorine dioxide, sodium hypochlorite, or solid chlorine. Being a strong oxidant, chlorine rapidly kills harmful micro-organisms in water like bacteria, viruses and cysts, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. These travel water purification chemicals come in either liquid or tablet form and are lightweight and easy to carry. Just follow the instructions on the packs to quickly produce sterile clean drinking water. We stock a variety of water purifying kits, just check our site!

    An accessory pocket makes it possible to carry a water bottle on a pack hip-belt for easy access. Some water sacks (hydration bladders) designed to be stored in the pack feature a plastic hose and valve that allow drinking without slowing your pace.

    In cold environments, a stove, fuel, pot, and lighter are needed to melt snow for additional water.


    1. A tent/shelter

    Winter expedition tarps and sheltersIf your winter expedition will last more than a day trip, it’s paramount that you carry some sort of shelter (in addition to a rain shell) from rain and wind, such as a plastic tube tent or a jumbo plastic bin bag. Another possibility is a reflective emergency blanket, which can also be used in administering first aid to an injured or hypothermic person.

    Carry an insulated sleeping pad too, to reduce heat loss while sitting or lying on snow.

    We have lots of different tarps that are lightweight to pack, easy to assemble and provide wind and rain shelter from your camp and tent. Keeping you warm and dry.



  2. 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!


    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!


    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!


    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.


    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!


    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!


    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.






  3. The difference between walking boots and trekking shoes

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    It’s incredibly important to have a pair of comfortable footwear when you are walking or trekking.

    With footwear, you need to pick the right choice for your feet, activity and terrain. Without them, it can lead to bruised, sore feet that could end your walk or trek earlier than expected.

    As similar activities, it can be confusing to understand the difference between walking and trekking, and why they may use different footwear.

    That’s why we’ve put together this guide so you can tell the difference between the two and pick your perfect footwear.

    Walking boots

    Walking, or hiking, is a leisurely activity of walking long routes or nature trails. Walking is generally completed in a day, but can involve overnight stays in camping sites, hostels or huts along the way.

    Walking boots are sturdy, thick boots that provide protection for your feet. With a tough sole and high ankles, walking boots help provide support for your foot and prevent you from spraining or rolling your ankles.

    The thick protective material will also limit your range of movement, which can feel too restrictive for some walkers. The material will also need breaking in before big walks, otherwise, the shoes can be uncomfortable and cause rubbing or blisters.

    Walking boots are also made with waterproof materials to keep your feet dry in wet conditions.

    However, the waterproofing and thick material mean that water vapour can’t escape easily.

    So, if you need to cross rivers or your feet are fully submerged in water, your shoes will take a long time to dry out. If you wear them in the summer months, your feet will sweat more easily and can cause blisters.

    Overall, walking boots are strong, sturdy waterproof boots perfect for the colder months. They are also durable and can last you up to 1,000 miles when looked after.

    Trekking shoes

    Trekking is a multi-day long distance walk, where you will carry all your luggage and essential items with you. In general, trekking is a more challenging activity than walking and takes places in areas where other means of transport can’t access.

    Trekking shoes, such as trail runners, are made from lightweight and more flexible materials than walking boots. The lightweight material offers more flexibility, giving you a better range of movement in your feet.

    Trekking shoes are perfect for those who prefer lightweight footwear and are the ideal choice to get an overall lightweight kit. The shoes also need no breaking in and are ready for action right away.

    Designed with a low-cut ankle and multiple mesh patches, trekking shoes give you maximum breathability. As they are fast-drying, they are great for crossing rivers or through the summer months.

    However, trekking shoes aren’t as waterproof as walking boots and can’t offer the same amount of warmth through the winter.

    The lightweight material also doesn’t offer the same amount of protection as walking boots. With narrow soles, you can feel bumps and rocks under your feet which can be uncomfortable on the long days.

    Overall, trekking shoes are a lightweight, breathable and fast-drying shoe. However, they don’t offer the same protection, warmth or durability as walking boots.

    On average, trekking shoes should be replaced every 500 miles to prevent potential damage to your feet.


    Overall, walking boots are tough, durable and waterproof boots that protect your feet. Trekking shoes don’t offer the same protection or durability but are more lightweight, breathable and flexible.

    When choosing between walking boots and trekking shoes, it’s important to bear in mind the weather and type of terrain you are going to face.

    During the summer months, or places where you are likely to cross a river you may prefer the fast-drying trekking booths. However, in wet, and colder months the waterproof walking boots may be the better fit.

  4. Essential Kit For Spring Expeditions

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    On group expeditions you’ll probably have a porter or pack animal to carry most of your personal gear. Each day, you’ll only need to carry a daysack with what you’ll need until the evening. Obvious items are a water/windproof, water bottle and a warm layer. After those key items, it’s very much a matter of personal preference camera, snacks, notebook/pen, small first aid kit, spare socks, hat, gloves and so on. Of course, if you’re exploring independently, then you may hire a porter or find yourself carrying all your own gear. That’s when ‘lightweight’ really matters!

    Whatever style you choose, it makes sense to have a checklist of what you will probably need and take advice from your expedition company, if appropriate, on local variations. If you’re independent, then ask fellow explorers for up-to-date advice and tips from their own experience.

    Clothing should be flexible enough to cope with a range of conditions so layering makes sense, especially with fast drying materials. To get you started, here’s a useful list that you can readily add to and adapt to suit your plans.

    • Photocopies of your passport and other important documents
    • Tough, comfortable mountain footwear
    • Light sandals
    • Trekking  poles
    • Waterproof duffel bag
    • Daysack
    • Sleeping bag and liner
    • Warm hat
    • Wind/waterproof jacket
    • Polar fleece jacket
    • Thermal underwear
    • Thermal socks
    • Sunglasses
    • Gloves
    • Wash kit
    • Water bottle
    • Small first aid kit and insect repellant
    • Sun cream and lip balm
    • Head torch and spare batteries
    • Whistle

  5. Chamonix Adventure Festival 20-26th August 2012

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    Chamonix Adventure Festival brings together adventurers, explorers, athletes and enthusiasts to showcase their talents through film, photography, art and displays.

    Over 3 nights at the Cinema Vox will be screened the latest adventure and environmental films from across the world. On hand will be the filmmakers, explorers and athletes to share their exploits.

    The Adventure Photo School run by Corey Rich and Scott Willson will be running 2 courses in its second year: a one-day introduction to adventure photography and a three-day more advanced class for those interested in digital SLR photography in the outdoors.

    There will also be a new adventure film school, a three-day course in adventure filming techniques run by local filmmaker Seb Montaz, and award winning mountain filmmaker Paul Diffley.

    All courses are a combination of classroom sessions based at our partner hotel, Hotel les Aiglons, and time spent outside shooting.

    For further details please click here

  6. Mountaineering and Skiing Fitness Specialists

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    Fit For Trips – Get in shape for your next expedition

    Named as one of  Entrepreneur magazines’‘100 Brilliant Companies is Fit for Trips, a pre-travel fitness company that offers customised programs to get travellers in shape for physical adventures such as climbing Kilimanjaro or heli-skiing the Canadian Rockies. Fitness programs are conducted virtually and include videos, charts to track progress, and access to professional fitness coaches – all via the internet and printable or downloadable to portable devices like iPods. Each program is precisely tailored to the type of trip and level of difficulty, whether walking, hiking, paddling, climbing, or other activity. Similarly, being physically prepared for an adventure trip reduces the chances of injury, soreness and fatigue or failure to complete an activity like summiting a mountain. “I founded Fit for Trips to ensure that any traveler with an adventurous desire could fulfill their dream. Our customized programs make it possible for more travelers to go on adventures—and enjoy them beyond expectations,” says founder Marcus Shapiro. For more information on the specialised programs offered, visit the website:

  7. Long Term Everest Waste Management Plan

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    The Guardian Article On Cleaning Up Waste on Mount Everest

    Nepalese government urged to install portable toilets at Everest base camp, and devise strategy to keep region clean. A Nepali environmental group is petitioning the government in Kathmandu to put portable toilets on the top of the world – Everest base camp – as part of a new management plan for the high-altitude region. The environmental group, Eco Himal, argues public toilets would make it easier to maintain a clean environment at base camp, which sees dozens of climbing expeditions a year….. For the full article please click here


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