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  1. Waterproof Sunscreen For Swimming

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    Male in a pool wearing waterproof sunscreen for swimmers

    With the weather warming up and summer holidays just around the corner, people are dusting off their swimsuits ready for a dip in the briney. Public campaigns by charities such as Cancer Research UK have greatly increased the awareness of using sun cream when lounging on a beach, but there is still some confusion around sun protection in the water. For many land lubbers, using their existing suntan lotion whilst taking a quick paddle in the sea is going to be more than adequate. If you intend to spend longer in the ocean, it is advisable to use a specific waterproof sunscreen for swimming.

    Why bother with sunscreen when swimming?

    Some people think that being in water prevents sunburn. It is probably due to the fact that they feel a lot cooler, especially in the sea around the UK (brrrrrrrr), and cannot feel the suns rays on their body. People are also under the misapprehension that UV rays do not penetrate through water.

    When UV rays hit the waters surface, around 30% are reflected, with the remaining 70% penetrating the water. So swimming on the surface is going to expose your body to UV rays directly from the sun and also those reflected from the surrounding water. This is why many swimmers who do not where sunscreen often complain that they get worse sun burn than lying on the beach. It is therefore imperative to get a good quality waterproof sunscreen for swimming.


    Why should i wear waterproof sunscreen for swimming?

    Most suntan lotions are not suitable for swimmers as they have been formulated to be easily absorbed by the skin without leaving a sticky residue. Unfortunately these are often easily washed off when swimming. Specifically formulated waterproof sunscreens for swimming usually have extra adhesion properties built in to them to prevent them from being rubbed off and washed off from the skin.

    Do i need waterproof sunscreen if i am wearing a wetsuit?

    The simple answer is yes. The wetsuit material (usually neoprene) with stop the UV rays form reaching your skin but there will be some parts of your body exposed to the sun, such as your feet and head. You need to apply waterproof sunscreen to these areas to prevent them becoming sunburnt, especially the face, as this often receives the most reflected UV rays off the water.

    Care should also be taken when reaching the shore and taking off your wetsuit, as most of your skin will not have sunscreen applied. Leaving it exposed whilst ‘warming-up’ is a sure way to get burnt. Even if you feel cold, apply that sunscreen immediately.

    How long do Waterproof sunscreens last?

    No sunscreens are totally waterproof. They will eventually be washed off. Most waterpoof sunscreens for swimming have an effective time stated on them, either 40 or 80 minutes. If you are planning to stay in the water for longer than this then you need to think about using a wetsuit or a lightweight UV skin suit for extra protection.

    Correct application of waterproof sunscreen

    With all sunscreens, you have to apply them generously to your skin at least 30 minutes before you go in to the sun to allow them to be absorbed properly. After 40 or 80 minutes (depending on your sunscreen) they will need to be reapplied. If you dry your skin with a towel then you will need to reapply the sunscreen afterwards as well.

    Jellyfish protection

    If you are intending to swim in waters where you could come in to contact with jellyfish, then you should think about using a waterproof sunscreen with added sting protection. Some like the Lifesystems SPF 50 Sports sunscreen use an extract from plankton which binds to the jellyfish sting sensor and blocks it from sending a message to fire the sting. A mineral salt containing calcium can also added, so if the jellyfish sting sensor does send the message to fire, this mineral salt muddles the message, resulting in no sting.

  2. Emergency Kit For Winter Car Travel

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    Even when driving a reasonable short distance during the winter months,  you should be prepared for all weather eventualities and keep the following items in your car at all times:

    1. Torch with spare batteries – for inspecting your car and signalling
    2. First aid kit
    3. Necessary medications
    4. Sleeping Bag or Blankets – even a few old newspapers can help to insulate you from the cold
    5. Hat and gloves
    6. Spare clothes  – layers add insulation
    7. Small bag of sand or rock salt – for generating traction under wheels
    8. Small shovel – for clearing away snow from your wheels
    9. Ice scraper or brush
    10. High visibility vest
    11. Jump leads and tow rope
    12. Cards, games and puzzles – keep you and your passengers entertained
    13. High energy food – such as a chocolate bar, nuts, dried fruit
    14. Bottled Water – it may be cold and snowing but you still need to stay hydrated
    15. Filled spare fuel can
  3. Sheffield Adventure Film Festival 9-11th March 2012

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    Over 75 of the best adventure, travel and extreme sports films hand-picked for you from around the world.

    Screened over one weekend at the art deco Showroom Cinema in Sheffield – UK’s biggest independent cinema outside London, voted the region’s best cultural venue. Also talks and lectures on epic climbs, runs and rides by world-class adventurers, activities, live music, kit sale, competitions, a locally produced festival brew and a cracking vibe.

    For further details please click here or watch the trailer below




  4. Top Tips For Keeping Safe On The Ski Slopes

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    Planning a winter ski or snowboarding holiday? Don’t miss out on the fun – avoid injury and expensive medical costs by following our checklist.


    Travel insurance

    Make sure your insurance covers the activities you want to do. Medical costs can be very expensive if you get injured: for example, it could cost up to £40,000 to be treated for a fractured femur in the United States, or £8,000 to treat a knee injury in Austria*. In addition to this, many policies don’t cover damage of rental equipment or skiing off piste without a guide. So it’s worth checking your policy!

    *Figures include medical fees and repatriation. Source: Europ Assistance

    European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

    Travelling in Europe? It’s essential that you take a valid EHIC with you. If you have an accident or suddenly become ill you’ll receive the necessary state-provided medical healthcare at reduced cost, or sometimes free. The EHIC is valid in the European Economic Area and Switzerland. But you still need to take out travel insurance, as an EHIC won’t cover all your medical costs, private treatment or repatriation to the UK. Many travel insurance policies only provide full cover if you also have an EHIC. Apply for your free EHIC now at:

    Be at your peak

    Get fit so you can enjoy your holiday more; if you’re not physically prepared you’re more likely to injure yourself and you won’t get the most out of your skiing or snowboarding.

    Also, be aware that you are exerting considerable energy at high altitudes and it’s unlikely you’ll be fully acclimatised, even at the end of your holiday. The highest skiable altitude in many resorts is up to two miles above sea level, so the air pressure and density is far lower than your body is used to. This can lead to your body tiring faster than usual because it can’t absorb as much oxygen. The air is also much dryer than it is at, or near, sea level. It’s important to drink a lot of liquids (not alcohol!) to maintain your hydration levels. Depending on your size, weight and the level of exertion, you will need between four and six litres of water a day – a gallon or more.

    Know your limits

    Drinking alcohol on the slopes invalidates some insurance policies and can affect you more quickly at high altitudes. It also affects your resistance to, and awareness of, the cold which can put you in danger. In practical terms it also affects your judgement, co-ordination and reaction times; in other words, your skiing will deteriorate after you’ve been drinking.

    Use of helmets

    Wearing a helmet is a personal choice and more and more people are choosing to wear them. In some resorts it is a legal requirement for children to wear helmets. Before you travel you should ensure that you are aware of the legal requirements for the country you are visiting. For more information visit:

    Sun/Snow blindness

    The sun is much stronger at altitude and appropriate strength sun cream should be worn. When it comes to eye protection there are two main options; ski goggles or sunglasses, each has their own benefits and disadvantages. Always ensure goggles or glasses offer 100% UV protection. More information can be found at:

    Choosing the right pistes

    It is important to be aware of how pistes are classified to indicate their difficulty. This will make sure you don’t overstretch yourself and get into a tricky situation. It is useful to note that there can be local and national variations in signs, rules and regulations. When you arrive in a resort, you should obtain and study the piste/trail map of the area. Do be aware that piste classifications vary in different ski resorts and countries. Piste conditions change during the day as the sun moves and warms up the snow especially later in the season. What was a cruising blue run mid morning, could be difficult, and more like a hard red by 4pm. Note that this also works in reverse.


  5. Royal Geographical Society Expedition Planning Weekends

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    Start your expedition journey with the Royal Geographical Society

    Geography Outdoors, at the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) with IBG, is a great resource supporting field research, exploration and outdoor learning This year, the annual Explore expedition and fieldwork planning weekend (18-20 November) will be kicked off by the Atlantic Rising team, winners of the RGS-IBG Land Rover ‘Go Beyond’ Bursary. The team travelled around the edge of the Atlantic documenting the effects of sea level rise on coastal communities and will be sharing their stories in an inspiring opening lecture on Friday evening.

    Over the rest of the weekend, over 100 speakers will be hosting a series of lectures, workshops and one-on-one advice desks, offering expertise and inspiration to those looking to carry out their own overseas project. To launch Explore 2011, a new web page, a new facebook fanpage and a new YouTube video have been created. Have a look to find out more.

    New for this year is the ‘Vehicle Safety Course for Expedition Leaders’ – 11 October – organised in association with Fieldskills. The one day workshop aims to give those using vehicles abroad the relevant knowledge to assess and manage vehicle safety and will look at pre-planning vehicle safety, what checks can be done to vehicles in the field and how to develop practical and effective risk management strategies. It is particularly well-suited to group leaders and supervising staff, helping them to recognise and minimise risks associated with the use of vehicles overseas.

    Alongside corporate benefactors Land Rover, the RGS offers a practical two day driver training course covering driving and safety techniques for those undertaking research, expeditions or fieldwork in remote areas 24-25 October and 13-14 December. 2010 participant review:
    “A most enjoyable, informative and practical course, providing a no-nonsense approach to planning and developing safe, off road driving skills.”

    For details of either course, see


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