Archive for the Articles Category

Beware the GWR… The rise of the Facebook guides

Beware the GWR… The rise of the Facebook guides

Beware the Guy With Rucksack (GWR) We’ve seen a troubling rise in online groups taking people into the mountains without training, experience or any of the necessary skills over the last couple of years. There is a term in commercial photography, particularly the type involving models –

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10 Books you need for your Summer Mountain Leader Award

10 Books you need for your Summer Mountain Leader Award

Ten books for your Summer Mountain Leader Award The Mountain Leader award is often seen as the gateway into a career in outdoor instruction in the UK. The effort required to gather enough Quality Mountain Days, to go through the registration, training and assessment process and to

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A ban on foraging?

A ban on foraging?

A ban on foraging? Bristol Council proposes ban on blackberry picking That is one of several mildly alarmist headlines and post titles that I have seen today regarding the proposed plans by Bristol City Council to introduce new byelaws in the parks and some of the open

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Ten Books for Adventure Inspiration

Ten Books for Adventure Inspiration

Ten books for Adventure Inspiration Sometimes you need a push. Something that will make you stand up and say “right, I’m off out for a bit”. Something that will change your ideas and make your feet itch. So many of my adventures, big and small, have begun

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Bear Grylls – a fiction too far?

Bear Grylls – a fiction too far?

Bear Grylls – a fiction too far? Somebody asked me a question yesterday – a question that comes up most weeks with clients, or when people find out what I do for a living: “What do you think of Bear Grylls? Hmmm. Tough one. I normally answer

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The Autumnal Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox

The Autumnal Equinox There are four dates in the year that are important for the natural navigator, and anybody whop wants to live their lives in touch with the seasons – the summer and winter solstices, and the spring and autumn equinoxes. Due to a 23.5 degree

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VIDEO: Water-to-Go – the water filter bottle

VIDEO: Water-to-Go – the water filter bottle

VIDEO: Water-to-Go – the water filter bottle We spotted Dave Shanks from Water-To-Go Ltd doing a demo of their water filtration bottle, turning dirty water into clean drinking water (with an excellent flow rate and inexpensive filter cartridge replacements!). Finding safe, clean drinking water is always a

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VIDEO: Paramo and the new Alta III Waterproof Jacket

VIDEO: Paramo and the new Alta III Waterproof Jacket

VIDEO: Paramo and the new Alta III Waterproof Jacket Richard managed to grab a short interview with Helen Howard from Paramo Ltd at the Outdoor Trade Show 2015 to ask her about the Paramo Directional Clothing System, how Paramo works and the new Paramo Alta III jacket

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VIDEO: Flash flood washes away hiker in Hawaii

VIDEO: Flash flood washes away hiker in Hawaii

Flash flood washes away hikers We don’t normally share videos other than our own, but this one so perfectly captures the phenomenon of a rapidly rising river that it is really worth watching. Most people have a general sense that rivers in spate (i.e. flowing at faster

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Which is more accurate – mils or degrees?

Which is more accurate – mils or degrees?

Which is more accurate – mils or degrees? When folk book on to our mountain navigation courses we send a kit list over which includes something along the lines of “compass suitable for taking bearings, the baseplate type such as the Silva Type 4 is ideal”. We

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Charging Tech in the Outdoors

Charging Tech in the Outdoors

Charging Gadgets in the Great Outdoors For a lot of people technology and spending time in the great outdoors are uneasy bedfellows. For a lot of us one of the main reasons to head into the mountains or the woods or onto the water is to get

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Ten Foraging Books you need on your shelf

Ten Foraging Books you need on your shelf

Ten Foraging books you need in your life Following on from our surprisingly popular blog post featuring the Ten Coastal Foraging Books You Need in Your Life, we’ve put together a list of ten inland foraging books that we recommend. We have been discussing not only foraging

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Ten Coastal Foraging Books you need in your life!

Ten Coastal Foraging Books you need in your life!

Ten Coastal Foraging books you need in your life For the last few years we have made a name for ourselves with Foraging and Wild Foods courses, and we have led hundreds of clients through woods, fields and along beaches looking for food for free. Something that

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How to use a map and compass

How to use a map and compass

How to use a map and compass I spend my days either teaching outdoor skills or guiding people in the great outdoors. It would take a lot for me to be convinced that I don’t have the Best Job In The World ™. I have been doing

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The Importance of Being… a navigator

The Importance of Being… a navigator

The Importance of being a Navigator A few years ago in an interview I was asked by the keen young journalist what my ‘Top 3 Survival Skills’ are. I paused for a moment to consider which I would choose, the immediate needs of water and shelter followed

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Foraging for Wild Garlic

Foraging for Wild Garlic

Foraging for Wild Garlic/Ransoms Wild Garlic (Allium ursinum) is often located through the nose of the forager rather than the eye. The unmistakable smell permeates the air of the woodlands and riverbanks it populates. I confess to probably eating more of this wild plant than any other

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Foraging for Wood Sorrel

Foraging for Wood Sorrel

Foraging for Wood Sorrel Common Wood Sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) is one of those wild plants that draws people into the world of wild food. It might be something thrust under the nose by an enthusiastic friend or family member, urging the wary novice to try. The three

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Wild Camping – Why I am not signing the petition (yet)…

Wild Camping – Why I am not signing the petition (yet)…

Wild Camping Petition – Why I am not signing (yet)… This petition has found itself in my various email and social media inboxes over the last few weeks. It isn’t a new idea – it is at least the second attempt I have seen to lobby parliament

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Replacing the Piezo igniter on a Jetboil Flash

Replacing the Piezo igniter on a Jetboil Flash

How to change the piezo igniter on a Jetboil Flash Disclaimer:The guide below is based on my own experience of performing this task. I am not an engineer, nor do I claim this to be an approved method of performing this task. Anybody following this guide does

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Navigation for Ultramarathons

Navigation for Ultramarathons

Navigation for Ultramarathons Ultramarathons are an area of huge growth in the UK outdoor market, and we are starting to see more interest from clients who want to improve their outdoor skills for this niche area of athletics. Last year we worked with Salim, who was heading

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How to join a mountain rescue team

How to join a mountain rescue team

How to join a Mountain Rescue team… Whilst doing that awful but necessary thing of trawling through a long list of social media feeds earlier this week I came across this blog post from the Ordnance Survey – ‘Become a Search and Rescue Volunteer’. At first glance,

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The importance of experience in outdoor skills training

The importance of experience in outdoor skills training

The importance of experience in outdoor skills training This blog post is prompted by a few events of the last few weeks. The first was a discussion on a social media page about first aid courses, and the relative merits of choosing a provider who delivers a

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Real UK Survival Skills?

Real UK Survival Skills?

Real UK Survival Skills? There is a problem in the UK outdoor skills training world. For most of the last three decades the majority of outdoor skills training came through the mountain or river environment – navigation courses, Mountain Leader courses, instructor courses, kayaking/paddling and so on.

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All you ever wanted to know about ticks but were too afraid to ask…. ……

All you ever wanted to know about ticks but were too afraid to ask…. ……

All you ever wanted to know about ticks (but were too afraid to ask)… There are only two safe ways to remove an attached tick: With fine-tipped Tweezers or with a tick-removal Tool Using your fingers fingers for tick removal is likely to compress the body of

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5 things you need to add to your kit…

5 things you need to add to your kit…

5 things you need to add to your kit (if you haven’t already) I am Mr. Multi-Activity. I walk up/climb mountains, live in forests, journey down rivers in a canoe and ride muddy trails on a bike. I have a personal gear room that contains enough ‘specialist’

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International Distress Signals

International Distress Signals

International Inland Distress Signals In European and North American countries there are commonly recognised distress signals for use by persons in distress to communicate with the outside world: Europe In the mountains and remote areas of Europe a signal (a noise such as a whistle blast, or

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10 things you didn’t know about mountain rescue

10 things you didn’t know about mountain rescue

10 things you didn’t know about Mountain Rescue This blog post is mainly about volunteer Mountain Rescue teams in England and Wales, because that is the area I have direct experience of. But after talking to some international SAR team members I have had the pleasure of

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