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  1. Why You Should Wear A Balaclava

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    Man Heating Water For A drink In The Alps Whilst Wearing A Sub Zero Balaclava

    Named after the Battle of Balaclava during the Crimean War, the original head protection was knitted from thick wool to keep soldiers heads warm during the harsh winters. Nowadays you can buy balaclavas in all types of materials from lightweight base layer fabric to heavy weight polar fleece.

    A typical balaclava fully covers your head and also your neck, with an opening in the front for your mouth, nose and eyes. This can either be a single opening (as the image above) or separate holes – just think of the SAS.

    If you do not own or have never worn one, then let us extol the virtues of the much maligned humble balaclava.

    Hygienic Layer

    Wearing any type of helmet, whether that be a motorbike helmet or a safety helmet, is going to lead to your head sweating due to the poor breathability of the protective outer material. Without wearing a balaclava, this sweat will be absorbed in to the supporting inner foam, creating an ideal environment for odour creating bacteria to prosper. Not only will your helmet be smelly, it will also need replacing earlier as the foam is attacked by naturally occurring acids in your perspiration.

    Wearing a lightweight balaclava under your helmet will help absorb sweat and is easily washed after use.

    Head Protection

    Balaclavas insulate most of your head and neck in one go. If you wanted the same level of protection without wearing one, then you would need a separate hat, neck tube, face mask, and head band. These altogether are not only expensive but also bulky on your face.

    Adaptable Design

    The adaptability of a balaclava makes it one of the best pieces of emergency kit to keep in your backpack should the weather take a turn for the worse. Not only is it a full head and neck covering, it can also be turned up in to a beanie hat, or a neck tube if required. The flexibility of the material will also allow you to cover your nose or leave it exposed depending on the weather conditions.

    Heat Retention

    Most of your head is covered when wearing a balaclava, so there is much less surface area for heat to escape from. The thermal insulating properties can obviously be adjusted depending on the materials used in its manufacture. A lightweight base layer fabric is thin enough to be worn under a helmet and is ideal for Spring and Autumn use as well. When the weather starts getting colder then you will need to change to a mid layer balaclava, whilst winter mountaineering will require a thick polar fleece design.

    Look A Bad Ass

    You cannot argue with the fact that you look ‘well ard’ wearing a balaclava. Just make sure you take it off before entering a bank!

    Buy A Balaclava

    If you are still not sold on the idea of wearing a balaclava then you obviously have not experienced biting cold for any length of time. It may not be the trendiest piece of headgear available but who cares what you look like in a 80mph gale on top of a snow windswept mountain.

  2. The Ramblers Festival Of Winter Walks

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    For over 25 years, through snow, sleet, rain and under clear winter skies; in parks, forests and on mountain tops, the footsteps of thousands have dotted the countryside each year as family, friends and avid walkers step out to enjoy the Ramblers’ Festival of Winter Walks.

    This year, the Ramblers is once again providing wintery walks for all to enjoy with two weeks of festive wanders, led by volunteers, from 21 December 2013 – 5 January 2014. It’ll be here before you know it, so why not bag a winter warmer now? Baselayers, mid layers, softshells and other outer layers, hats, gloves and socks will ensure you make the most of days out however cold it is. Whether it’s a merry jaunt to the pub on Christmas Eve you’re after, a festive Boxing day walk to burn off the mince pies, or a lengthy hike to start the new year on the right foot, there are hundreds of free walks to suit everyone across England, Scotland and Wales with the Festival of Winter Walks.

    Ramblers chief executive Benedict Southworth said, “There is something wonderful about walking over the festive season; the company of family and friends, exploring beautiful winter landscapes under clear skies or the fun of being the first to make tracks in the snow, all of these things make getting out and about at this time of year even more of an adventure. Our Festival of Winter Walks is as popular as ever after 25 years. So, put on your winter coats, wrap up warm and join us again as we head out to enjoy the season the way we know best, on our feet.”

    This year for the first time ever you can also download one of their expert walking routes from Ramblers Routes to try on your own or with friends and family this winter, visit www.ramblers.org.uk/ramblersroutes for info.

     

    For more information on the Festival of Winter Walks and to browse the festive walks on offer visit www.ramblers.org.uk/winterwalks.

     

  3. Great Ideas For Christmas Presents For Everybody Who Loves Life Outdoors

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    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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