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Weekly Trip up Snowdon?

Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa), Gwynedd is the highest mo...
Image via Wikipedia

Andrew Craig has completed an amazing year of climbing completing 52 walks to the top of Snowdon in Wales.

The 43-year-old firefighter conquered Wales’ highest mountain weekly in 2010 and in doing so raised over £15,000 for cancer research.

Over the post 12 months he’s had to deal with a range of weather conditions including snow, ice, fog, heavy rain and heat, with the latest walks taking the longest time to complete. His path took him from his home in Caernarfon at 5am, then seven miles to Rhyd Ddu before making three, four mile ascents using the Snowdon Ranger path.

The route back was five miles into Llanberis before another seven miles back to Caernarfon.

“Its been hard work but very enjoyable, he said. “I’m glad to have done it. I’ve seen the mountain at its worst and at its best – I started in deep snow and ended it in deep snow, but we’ve had everything in between.”

“Everyone’s been fantastic. Its a big effort and I appreciated the support, especially from my wife, Lynne. This challenge was really her idea.

“One of her best friends died from the disease and another was diagnosed with it a couple of years ago and she suggested we do some fundraising

“The lads at Travis Perkins took on the challenge. During the year we’ve organised some events including dying our hair pink and staging a charity ball.

“But the walks have been the main focus and the lads from work have accompanied me on several. The most inspiring hike was one in early September when I led a group of ladies up the mountain.

“Many of them had never been on Snowdon before and one of them had recovered from breast cancer. There were tears in my eyes that day,” he said.

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Blacks Free Delivery voucher code

Ready for the sales at after christmas we have a voucher code for Blacks giving your free delivery. Sales are set to launch on Christmas day on the site and using the voucher code below you can also get free delivery. Valid from today (24/12/2010) it ends in the new year on 04/01/2011

Code – hxza

Good luck with finding a bargin!

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Win £1000 of Blacks vouchers

We’ve just come across this great competition to win £1000 worth of Blacks vouchers. All you have to do is click here to enter the competition.

Just imagine all the gear you could buy with £1000 –  a new rucksack, some brand new walking boots, a top of the range waterproof jacket….you’d be completely set up for the outdoors!!!

Good luck!

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Stuff sack or Dry Sacks?

Kifaru Compression Sack
Image by Pig Monkey via Flickr

If your planning on backpacking or camping for a while you might want to get a stuff sack or a dry sack. But what exactly is the difference from a stuff sack and a dry sack?

Stuff sacks are essentially for compressing  down clothes in your back to save space. Often the sack with have a pull cord on the top and then straps around the the side to reduce the size of the sack. Depending on the clothing in the sack you can reduce by a large percentage. Stuff sacks on the whole are not waterproof and this is where dry sacks come in.

Dry sacks are waterproof, to seal the top often the top will fold flat around velcro several times. Then buckles at the top of either side clip together to stop the top opening. Packed correctly they can be submerged under water and keep the insides dry.

So which one to pick? If your not planning on swimming with your backpack, it’s waterproof or it has a waterproof cover then a dry sack isn’t going to be a great help to you. It can be great if your swimming or have a wet clothes to keep them away from dry gear.

Compressions sack really help when your on a long term trip and need to fit as much into your bag as possible. The ideal solution is to have one each in your pack and if possible get a dry sack with compression features.

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Last minute Christmas gifts

Camping in Amsterdam

Image via Wikipedia

If your still looking for last minute Christmas gifts then how about some camping or outdoor gifts. Here’s some ideas for under £15 that you can get in time for the big day.

1) Torch – For 9.99 you can pick up a 9 LED torch which is great for all sort of accessories. Click here

2) Small day bag – Great for documents, laptop or going to the shop. best of all only 14.99. Click here

3) Berghaus Wash Bag – For 19.99 the Berghaus wash bag is great for campers or anyone travelling around. It folds out with a mirror, pockets and also a hook. Click Here

4) Gerlert Hot pad warmers – Click and they get hot and warm up your hands. Great if you get the bus or walk to work. Click here.

5) Berghaus Food Flask – Only 9.99 for a food flask that keeps hot foot hot and cold food cold. Great for camping and taking food to work. Click here.

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Essential performance properties in ski clothing

January and February are peak times for ski trips, especially in the February half term. Ski trips can make a great outdoors holiday for families, groups of friends or couples.

To ensure that you are prepared for your trip, make sure that you are equipped with the appropriate clothing and equipment. There’s nothing worse than being on the slopes and finding that your equipment has broken or that your jacket is completely soaked through because you decided not to opt for a waterproof jacket.

So here’s a list of some of the performance properties which you should consider when purchasing ski clothing:

  • Water resistance – This is self explanatory. Skiing when wet can be uncomfortable and lower your body temperature which may result in a cold.
  • Wind resistance – The wind can send chills down your spine especially if you are skiing at high speeds down a mountain. Opt for a wind resistant garment to help you to stay warm.
  • Moisture wicking properties – This is a particularly good feature for next-to-skin garments like baselayers. This property will help to regulate your body temperature and keep you comfortable and dry.
  • Breathability – To keep warm, it is necessary to wear a lot of layers. But breathable garments can help to make your clothing just that little bit more comfortable to wear.
  • Lightweight – You are bound to be wearing a number of layers when on the slopes, so lightweight garments won’t weigh you down and can  sometimes give you that extra flexibility when manoeuvring.
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Benefits of Travel Bags

If your planning a long trip you might want to think about taking a travel bag rather than a standard ruck sack. Travel bags have several features that ease travelling and help you on your way.

  • Attached day back
    You don’t want to be using the big bag during the day, so a day pack is great for day trips. It attaches to the back of the main pack so when your travelling you don’t have to carry a day pack on your front.
  • Travel zips
    Travel zips feature feature lockable loops and are heavy duty. This allows your to lock up when your backs in transit.
  • Compression straps
    Around the side of the back compression straps reduce the size of the bag and keep your belongings fixed.
  • Hidden pockets
    For tickets, passports etc can all be hidden.
  • Wheels
    Not great all the time put in a airport it’s great to be able to wheel about.
  • Base compartments
    For boots, dirty washing you can keep then in a separate department.
  • Adjustable back straps
    You can carry the back on your back, straps adjust for a better fit.
  • Back straps cover
    When not using the straps you can cover them up with a fabric flap that zips up. This stops the straps being ripped or caught when in transit.
  • Full opening main pocket
    You can open the main pocked fully so you don’t have to get everything out to get items from the bottom of the bag.
  • Top and side handles
    Pick it up either way

So plenty of reasons for using a travel pack. We’ll be adding reviews of travel bags over the next few weeks.