Category Archives: Reviews

A review of campsites along the South Downs Way

Camp for the night
Camp for the night

Here is a list and review of each camp site that Ishai and I stayed at during our hike across the South Downs Way. We carried our own tents (sharing a two-man tent), stove, food and water and always booked the camp sites before arrival.

We covered the South Downs in four weekends, arriving on a Friday afternoon at the first site, walking to the second campsite on the Saturday afternoon, and then continuing the walk to a train station to return home in London. (Incidentally, if you are planning to do something similar, investigate a Friends and Family railcard to save a small fortune on rail tickets).

This required a fair amount of research beforehand. The first source was the Official South Downs Campsites and hostels. This was compiled in 2013 and doesn’t include some of the campsites that we stayed in (I asked the owners to add their campsites to the guide). Continue reading A review of campsites along the South Downs Way

Meru film review

Meru film posterLast night I was invited to a pre-screening of a new film called Meru. The pre-screening was organised by The North Face, one of the sponsors of the film.

The film itself was fantastic – edge of the seat stuff. It’s a documentary with interviews and pure first-person recording – no camera crews or drones. But it’s still exciting. At one point I jumped out of my seat just as everyone else in the cinema winced. I don’t want to give anything away, so there are no spoilers here. Continue reading Meru film review

Staying hydrated on hikes

Once this water has been treated it will be good enough for humans
Once this water has been treated it will be good enough for humans

When you’re re drinking two litres of water a day in Europe on long hikes, or 4-5 litres a day on Kilimanjaro it’s easy to get sick of the taste of water.

I use SiS hydration tablets for long hikes. They don’t offer any energy (i.e. they are calorie-free), but they taste nice (which encourages you to drink more) and replenish good thingies in your system. During the summer I was getting some cramps on cycling commute and after using these (one every other day) I stopped getting cramps.

As with all these things, try them before you go hiking. Continue reading Staying hydrated on hikes

Berghaus Men’s RG1 Shell Jacket long term review

Snowdon in the Snow
Snowdon in the Snow

Both my wife and I have used the Berghaus RG1 Shell Jacket for a couple of years now, and they are the best everyday waterproofs we’ve owned.

This is a waterproof top layer – there is no insulation, simply a fabric mesh inside. I prefer this – it means you can wear it for protection against a summer shower without overheating, and wear a fleece underneath during the winter. Continue reading Berghaus Men’s RG1 Shell Jacket long term review

Film review: Everest

Everest the movie - will it inspire or scare you?
Everest the movie – will it inspire or scare you?

My Dad, Uncle, two sisters, cousin and I all went to the cinema to see the newly released film, Everest at Vue in Swiss cottage. Everyone was so excited and we didn’t know what to expect.

At the beginning of the film I thought that the story line made it very obvious that somebody was going to die by the way the climbers said goodbye to their families, I had a couple of ideas who it was going to be.

It was interesting seeing what type of equipment they brought and how they had planned the climb. It was very sad seeing how many people had died before they climbed Everest and actually realising how dangerous it is. Continue reading Film review: Everest

How to pack clothes in a rucksack

This is how we have been taught to pack clothes in a rucksack when we go camping at Scouts.

It works for a single night (in fact, it works even better for a single night), or a 9 day summer camp. It is just as applicable for lightweight camping such as a microadventure, or a family camp.

An extra tip is to put 3 or 4 days of clothes wrapped in this way, into a large Ziploc bag to keep them waterproof. Continue reading How to pack clothes in a rucksack

Book review: Bear Grylls Two All-Action Adventures (Everest and the Atlantic)

Two Bear Grylls stories in one book. Advice: start reading this on the way home from school/work on a Friday, and clear your weekend
Two Bear Grylls stories in one book. Advice: start reading this on the way home from school/work on a Friday, and clear your weekend

We’re both big fans of Bear Grylls, and this book looked interesting. Plus, both Ishai and I have read Mud Sweat & Tears by Bear and liked that.

This book is incredible addictive. There are two stories – the first is about how Bear climbed Everest and the second is his North Atlantic crossing.

We’re more into walking and climbing than sailing, so the first story appealed the most.

Both the stories are action packed, and touch upon some of the detail of his expeditions, so you get a good picture in your mind of what the environments and conditions are like for both the adventures.

There are several page of photos in the book as well, which help put faces to the names of the people in the stories.

This is an inspiring book for children and adults, easily readable and thoroughly recommended. We struggled to put the book down.

The plan for this weekend’s #Microadventures

Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys - I can't wait to put this book into action
Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys – I can’t wait to put this book into action

Presumably, if you’re reading this blog, you like outdoor adventure. If you haven’t read Microadventures by Alastair Humphreys, go to the library or just order it from Amazon now.

Microadventures consist of a most-simple overnight stay in a field somewhere. No need for a tent – use a bivvy bag instead. No need for food – get dinner from a pub nearby and breakfast from a café nearby. With no food, it means no camping stove. Microadventures should be basic.

At this point people I’ve spoken to have a Marmite moment. You’re either wondering “COOL!” or “That sounds like a tramp – why would you do this?“. If you fall into the latter group, read another article on this site. I won’t be offended. Continue reading The plan for this weekend’s #Microadventures

The best campsite in the UK – it’s in Snowdon

Tent with a view
A great view to open your tent to in the morning

A few years ago we decided to camp in Snowdon. Up until then we’d always found a B&B nearby.

After a little hunting around, we booked the Snowdon Base Camp, also referred to as the Snowdon Inn or the Cwellyn Arms because the camp site owner also owns the pub of that name (as well as a few properties in the tiny village of Rhyd-Ddu).

It is a magical camp site. Continue reading The best campsite in the UK – it’s in Snowdon

13 Top Tips for Camping in the Rain

One surprise outing during our wettest summer camp was to the local laundrette
One surprise outing during our wettest summer camp was to the local laundrette

This year we had our wettest-ever Scout summer camp. It’s not one of those awards which one looks back on with any smiles or pride, other than the thought that “we made it” through the camp.

Although rain isn’t welcome during any type of camping, it’s inevitable here in the UK. Some of the prettiest places in the UK are in the top 10 wettest places.

So it’s worth being prepared. Here are some top tips about camping in the rain. I’ve split the tips into two sections – kit related, and at-camp related. Continue reading 13 Top Tips for Camping in the Rain