Saturday, 13 October 2012

Survival Readiness: Cutting Edge of Outdoor Life

Survival Readiness: Cutting Edge of Outdoor Life: Every good boy scout knows about having a decent penknife in his pocket. Today, multi-tools available to outdoor types have come a long wa...

Friday, 28 January 2011

How to Clean and Reproof: Walking Boots

Walking boots are possibly the most essential and personal piece of outdoor kit you can buy, but once you've found that perfect pair you'll want to keep them in tip-top shape.

So often walking boots get slung in a cupboard caked in mud and forgotten about until the next trek. This does reduce their lifespan, and can cause uppers to rot or crack, soles to fall off and general unpleasant odours to form. (Faults caused by neglect are usually not covered by a manufacturer's warranty, which will stipulate that you need to show some respect for the product.)

Thankfully cleaning and re-waterproofing your walking boots is both quick and easy with the right know-how!

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Maldon Mud Race

It’s one of the most quirky events in the sporting calendar - and certainly one of the dirtiest!

The Maldon Mud Race on the Blackwater Estuary in Essex takes place every winter, and attracts some 250 entrants and thousands of spectators each year.

The race involves a 400-metre dash across the riverbed of the River Blackwater on the edge of the Essex Marshes. Participants, many in fancy dress, battle their way through thick, black, oozing mud and shallow waters from one side of the river to the other, often completing the course on hands and knees.

Legend has it that the race, which started nearly 40 years ago, is rooted in far more ancient history. The famous Battle of Maldon in 991, between the Danes and Anglo Saxons, resulted in the loss of the legendary Saxon leader, Britnorth. He was beheaded somewhere along the Blackwater, and although his body was recovered, his head never was. Wading through the thick sludge at low tide, the mud-caked participants of today are said to be searching in vain for the missing head of their long-lost leader.

The ‘Mad’ Maldon Mud Race takes place only when tidal conditions allow, attracting attention from all over the world, including TV cameras from as far away as Australia and the USA.

Last time round it raised over £22,000 for charity.

Unfortunately there's no more spaces left for entrants this year, but if you're free on the 25th April and fancy a laugh for a good cause (followed by an excellent pub lunch) then why not pop down and watch!

Visit for more information.

Friday, 21 January 2011

How to Clean and Reproof: Waterproof Clothing

Over time, dirt from the environment and oils from sweat will 'clog' waterproof fabrics, and the Durable Water Repellent on the outer face of the garment will degrade.

These issues lead to a huge drop in breathability in all waterproofs - from PU coatings like The North Face's HyVent to membranes like Gore-Tex - which can make it feel like the jacket is leaking, when really it's not.

Luckily enough cleaning and reproofing a waterproof garment is very simple and will keep your jacket or trousers performing like new for many years.

Read our new guide on how to achieve the best from your waterproof!

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Beginner's Guide to Base Layers

Base Layers (sometimes referred to as thermals) are the foundation of the layering system, and we believe, the most important layer to get right. You can have the world's most expensive Gore-Tex jacket, but wear a cotton t-shirt underneath and you may as well be wearing a bin-bag for all the benefit you'll feel.

There is a bewildering variety of base layers available on the market today, suitable for all activities and weather conditions from Arctic exploration, to running in the Desert (which is why we don't call them the generic 'thermals'). In this guide we'll look over the main types of base layer, and some of the things you may wish to think about when purchasing.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Tunisia Travel Advice

As you may be aware, Tunisia is experiencing some domestic trouble.

The Foreign Office has advised not travelling there unless absolutely essential.

For more the latest info visit the FCO site