A mountain navigation workshop using special maps that ONLY feature contour lines – nothing else!Read more... →
If you have visited the mountains of Snowdonia, in particular the area around Snowdon itself, you will probably have come across one of these small, blue circular plaques pinned to a gatepost or stile. Their purpose is fairly self-explanatory, with “CYFEIRNOD GRID/GRID REFERENCE” printed around the edge. Continue readingRead more... →
Back in November 2018 I spent a couple of days working on two articles for VICE – one was taking renowned sandwich chef Max Halley foraging for edibles on a North Wales beach, and for the other I wandered around a damp forest with writer Angela Hui and photographer Elijah Thomas. Each piece was part of a wider project promoting the idea of ‘microgapping’ in the UK. Continue readingRead more... →
The trip to the summit and back was uneventful (apart from my stirring rendition of Auld Lang Syne on the South summit), but as we descended the path out of Cwm Tryfan alongside the stream leading to Gwern Gof Uchaf something strange occurred… Continue readingRead more... →
It seems like 2017 was the summer of location work for Original Outdoors. We have been putting our experience of working in the world of outdoor adventure in North Wales to use as consultants and location scouts for several years, but this was a busy summer for us.
We were contacted by Claudia from German production company Natural Born Explorers for a project they were working on for a European outdoor clothing and equipment retailer. They had already chosen Snowdonia as a general area for their shoot but wanted some help finding locations, gaining permissions and just the logistics of shooting in a different country. After several Skype conversations and emails we narrowed it down to some key areas in the mountains and forests of Northern Snowdonia.
Then it was down to the usual pre-shoot planning – working with landowners to gain permissions for commercial photography on their land, timelines to make sure we had enough time on location to get what the client needed and be in the right place for the ‘golden hour’ at sunset. We also needed to keep an eye on the weather and make sure that the entire crew were equipped for several days in the mountains. Continue readingRead more... →
For a decade our foraging and wild foods courses are filled – but why?
My name is Richard Prideaux, and I am a forager.
It’s not much of a confession really – through Original Outdoors I have been leading foraging courses and walks for a decade or more, as well as working as a supplier of foraged plants from a local organic estate and working with chefs and restaurants to find new ways to use wild plants, fungi and lichens in dishes served to the most discerning of clients. It is safe to say that a large part of my working life outdoors has been linked to foraging and wild food, even if peripherally on our bushcraft courses. But none of that would have been possible if there hadn’t been such a demand for information and training in this ancient activity – so with shops and food suppliers all around us, why is there such a cultural draw towards edible plants and fungi?
I have two theories on this, and they require a little unpacking. They may also be complete cobblers, but allow me to explain… Continue readingRead more... →
Mammut Ayako High GTX Boot Review A hillwalking boot that performs well on the rocks I have been using the Mammut Ayako High GTX boots for a few months and they are sticking equally well to rock and to mud. The full review is on the UKHillwalking.comRead more... →
Diary 1 – Mountains, photos, TV work and MTBs on Snowdon The start of a new project – regular vlogs and video diaries showing what we get up to week to week. In this first episode I talk about working with clients on Ben Nevis, landscape photographyRead more... →
Hunting for the Welsh Bigfoot with The Unexplainers About a year ago we were contacted by a production company producing a show for BBC Radio Wales to provide some training in tracking for the two presenters on a show called The Unexplainers. This isn’t too unusual forRead more... →
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 followedRead more... →
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 parliamentRead more... →
Intermediate Navigation Course Report I’ve just returned from a cold and rewarding trip to the mountains of Snowdonia as part of our Intermediate Navigation Course. There is no such thing as a bad weekend in the mountains (unless it ends with somebody disappearing off over the horizonRead more... →
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 headingRead more... →
Autumn Navigation Courses in North Wales Autumn normally marks the start of the ‘quiet season’ for outdoor companies. The busy summer months have given way to fewer folk in the hills and time to reflect and recover before the everything starting again in the early spring. ItRead more... →
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.Read more... →
Introducing Snowdonia Guided Walks For the past few years we have been running private guided walks in Snowdonia and across North Wales – taking a wide range of clients to both the popular peaks such as Snowdon or Tryfan, and to the quieter and more remote areasRead more... →
New courses from Original Outdoors We like to think that we run some of the finest, most innovative and inspiring outdoor courses in the U.K. – and the range we offer has just got a lot more interesting! Introducing the new Fundamental Outdoor Skills programme. This rangeRead more... →