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Wanted: men for speed dating at Anglesey walking festival

The Isle of Anglesey Walking Festival is due to start this Saturday (May 29th) until June 13th. On the evening of June 3rd, organisers of the festival are holding a speed dating walk.

During the speed dating walk, a man and a woman will be paired up for 10 minutes of the walk before they change partners. At the end of the walk, you even get a glass of wine. At present, the number of women signing up to the event is outnumbering the number of registered men. There are half as many men as women.

So, if you’re interested and fancy a romantic stroll to watch the sunset, get yourself down there. You never know, you may find the love of your life!

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Newly designed Polar Bottles have better “squeezability”

Product Architects has modified the design of its patented Polar Bottles so that they are lighter, brighter and easier to squeeze.

The Polar Bottles feature an insulating layer between two walls of plastic. This construction is key to providing the bottles with the ability to keep liquids cooler for longer. Indeed, the bottles are said to be able to to keep liquids cool twice as long as regular water bottles.

As part of the modification process, the company made changes to the bottle’s grip shape and thinned the two walls so that the inner plastic layer is now 13% thinner and the outer layer is reduced by 15%. These changes, the company claims, make the bottles easier to grab and squeeze – an important feature for people navigating the road or trail and wanting to reach for a quick sip.

Production of the older and thicker design has now been discontinued.

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Join the Ramblers for £1 – new walkers only

As part of the Ramblers 75th anniversary celebrations, the Ramblers are offering the first 30 non-members attending each Get Walking Day walk the opportunity to take advantage of a one year’s membership of the Ramblers for only £1.

Get Walking Day is the Ramblers flagship national walking event and this year’s festival is being held on May 23rd.

A year’s membership usually costs £29.50. By becoming a member of the Ramblers, you will gain access to 28,000 walks per year, discretionary discounts, and a subscription to Walk magazine.

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Download a free backcountry cookbook by Mountain Hardwear

For those looking to try out some new culinary delights on the trails, Mountain Hardwear has created their own backcountry cookbook which contains recipes compiled by athletes and staff from Mountain Hardwear.

The cookbook contains some unique recipes for outdoor enthusiasts to try out on the trails, including the Rock-Daddy’s Backpack Dinner for 2, the Backcountry Hash Brown Casserole and Grease Bombs.

However, the best part of the cookbook is that it is completely free! All you have to do is go to the Mountain Hardwear website and download and print a copy of the backcountry cookbook.

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Brighten up your tent by converting headlamps into lanterns

Mammut, a Swiss specialist in mountaineering equipment, has developed the Ambient Light attachment which is designed to convert its range of Mammut T-series of headlamps into lanterns.

The attachment can be fitted to the T1, TR1 and TXlite, evenly disseminating the light from the headlamps with no additional batteries. At just 28g, it is light in weight and takes up a small amount of space in your backpack in comparison with a traditional lantern or LED light.

Move the lantern to the inside of your tent, and you’ve got the perfect reading light, or use it to guide yourself to the toilets in the middle of the night and lessen the risk of tripping over guy ropes.

The Ambient Light attachment is definitely a handy accessory!

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The Great Outdoors Exhibition 2010

The Great Outdoors Exhibition 2010 is a brand new interactive exhibition for outdoor enthusiasts. It is held at the Riviera International Centre in Torquay, Devon, during May 30 to May 31st, 2010.

The exhibition will offer activities and demonstrations, including a spider mountain, street surfing, surf simulator, laser combat games, trials biking, free-running, free-riding, and uni-cycling.

A day pass to the event costs just £5. For more information head over to http://www.goexpo.co.uk/

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Memory-Map launches the Adventurer 2800 GPS

Memory-Map, a leading supplier of digital maps, has launched its new handheld GPS device for walkers and cyclists, called Adventurer 2800. With a 2GB microSD card pre-loaded with selected Ordnance Survey Landranger 1:50,000 maps of Britain’s National Parks, the Adventurer 2800 is ready to use straight from the box.

Also included with the Adventurer 2800 is 10,000km2 of Digital Map Shop credits allowing you to choose your own areas of mapping from anywhere in Great Britain. You can also use the device with any maps from the Memory-Map V5 range.

The Adventurer 2800 also features a full colour 2.8” touchscreen with high resolution. It comes with Memory-Map PC Software for route planning and map printing, as well as mains and car charger, as well as a lanyard and belt clip.

Ideal for outdoor use, it is waterproof and rugged, as well as lightweight – just 135g (including the battery).

The Adventurer 2800 retails around £260 but the cheapest place we found was Amazon, where it is being sold for just £245.

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Down or synthetic sleeping bags?

There are a number of decisions to make when choosing a sleeping bag but the most important decision is probably choosing the type of insulation. There are usually two options: down filled sleeping bags or synthetic filled sleeping bags. They both have their own advantages.

Down sleeping bags
The down fill is usually either goose down, eider down or duck down. While down sleeping bags are more expensive than synthetic sleeping bags, they may be worth the investment as they usually outlast synthetic sleeping bags if looked after correctly. Down is a natural material and a great insulator. It also has good moisture wicking properties making down sleeping bags more comfortable than synthetic sleeping bags in warmer conditions. On the down side (get it?), if a down sleeping bag gets wet, then you might as well be sleeping without a sleeping bag. Down sleeping bags do not retain their insulation properties if they are wet. But, if you can keep the bag dry, then it might be worth investing in a down sleeping bag.

Synthetic sleeping bags
Synthetic sleeping bags are bulkier and heavier than down sleeping bags, however, they do retain their insulation properties in the event that they get wet. So, if there is a possibility that your sleeping bag may get wet then a synthetic sleeping bag could be the better option!

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Phase one of the Peak District cycle route project begins

The first phase of a major project which aims to encourage more cycling by creating a new cycling route in the Peak District has started.

With a total investment of £2.25 mn, the Pedal Peak District project will convert an old railway line from Bakewell to Buxton into a new cycle route. The investment will also be used for a publicity campaign, promoting the area and encouraging people to incorporate cycling into their health plans.

A planned second phase, which is still under negotiations, will involve extending the route to Matlock.

The route is expected to be open to cyclists, as well as walkers and horse riders, by spring 2011.

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Solar-powered camping products

I can’t remember the last time when I got through a day without using any electricity. In this day and age, we have become so reliant on electricity as a source of power that without it, the world would probably fall into turmoil.

A weekend away camping can be the perfect reminder of how much we rely on electricity (that’s if you decide to pitch up without any electrical hook ups). For many, it is duly missed.

However, many manufacturers have turned their hand to creating innovative products which are powered by renewable energy. And one of the most popular sources of energy for such products is the sun.

Some of the most innovative solar-powered camping products around include the Orange Solar Concept Tent, a solar-powered tent which even has – wait for it – WIFI internet! The tent is made from a photovoltaic fabric which converts solar energy to power gadgets that are stored in a magnetic induction pouch inside the tent. The power is also used to charge a flexible LCD screen with wireless internet.

Another innovative feature of the tent includes the under floor heating system. Yes, that’s right, you’ve read it correctly! The groundsheet of the tent incorporates an internal heating system which is activated once the temperature inside the tent falls below a certain level.

There are also many solar-powered rucksacks on the market which can power small handheld electronic devices such as iPods or mobile phones – useful for when you are up in the hills for a long duration. Other solar-powered camping products include solar-powered radio’s and solar-powered lights.