Fancy a £500 adventure grant? Sure you do!

If you’re like us, 9 times out of 10 it’s the finances that put a spanner in the works when trying to figure out that next big adventure; and also if you’re like us you then wonder what the hell you did with  all your money in your early 20s (and why did spending £100s every month on tequila shots seem like a valid use of money!!)

The usual ‘adventure blockers’ seem to be finances, time, and skill. Well here’s an opportunity which will wipe one of those blockers of the list…no it’s not a time machine, but what it is, is a pretty awesome £500 Adventure Grant from Intrepid Magazine.

 

 

This is an Adventure Grant with a difference; as Intrepid Magazine editor, and all round adventure junkie, Emily Woodhouse explained –

“…[She] wanted to go on an adventure. Specifically, she wanted to climb unnamed mountains in Kyrgyzstan… 

She didn’t think it was safe to do that on her own, because she wasn’t an experience mountaineer. Trouble was, she also didn’t have enough money going spare to afford to be on a trip with a guide. She looked into grants, but time after time they said that commercial tours weren’t eligible.

Then she remembered a story about a man who couldn’t sell his stately home…

No one would give him the full price for the house – it was too expensive for most people who wanted to live there. Instead, he sold £2 raffle tickets until he raised the value of the house and then picked a winner. Your dream home for £2?! Wouldn’t that be amazing?

Why can’t the same thing happen for adventure grants…?”

Well now thanks to Emily, the same thing can happen for adventure grants; the set up is pretty straight forward, in a nutshell, the total Adventure Grant fund needs to reach £1000 – and it is made up from budding adventurers ‘buying’ a raffle ticket – so £1 = 1 Raffle Ticket (although you can enter as many times as you like to boost your chances!)

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What is an Adventure Anyway?

There’s no selection criteria, no entry forms. It really is as simple as throwing in a quid (or more!) for your chance to win the £500 grant! Of course there are a few PR bits to go along with it, which is no biggie, and the details are in the FAQ section on the CrowdFunder page.

So what the heck are you waiting for?

No seriously why are you still reading this?

Go already!

 

 

In Review: The Primal Pantry – Almond & Cashew Raw Paleo Bar

If you’re like me, you must be a pretty awesome,  you’ll find the ever saturated nutritional snack isle more a source of confusion than convenience. It literally feels like there’s a new brand on the shelf every week, and for me anyway, it’s getting to the point where I’ve begun to just think ‘oh forget it’.

So for that reason, I am taking it upon myself, in the name of ‘the outdoor and adventure’ community, to snack like I have never snacked before and review a product plucked from the nutritional snack isle each week. I will be marking each (out of 7 summits) on taste & texturecost, and bang-for-your-buck (nutrition).

So without further ado – first up I have the Almond & Cashew Raw Paleo Bar – from The Primal Pantry.

 

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TASTE & TEXTURE: 

(6/7) Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ 
Spot on. (that was easy)…but honestly the blend of flavours is great – and due to the ‘basic’ nature of the ingredients there’s really not much else to unpack on this point. I did find the bar a touch on the small side, but larger 45g bars are also available.
Something that often bugs the hell out of me is getting bits stuck in my teeth, especially if I’m on the side of a mountain without a tooth pick, or possibly with a tooth pick, but with huge gloves on! I’m pleased to report a zero, on the ‘stuck in the teeth’ scale, and I gave it a really good chew too.

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COST:

(6/7) Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ 
When The Primal Pantry Founder; Suzie Walker, is quoted on the Primal Pantry website saying “We should stop asking why real food is so expensive and instead question why processed food is so cheap”  you might expect to be digging deep into your pockets. But with an average cost per bar of 62p well…that’s cheaper than a Kit-Kat.
I’m sure the cost will vary, but I managed to get that on offer in a supermarket; even at the normal list price it works out at 75p per bar.

 

 

 

BANG-FOR-YOUR-BUCK:

(4/7)  Δ Δ Δ Δ
Despite tasting superb, and being really relatively cheap, I was found wanting after just a short time, perhaps the larger bar would do the trick, but I can’t help but think I would be a little disappointed after one of these out on the trail. I could easily scoff the whole packet in one, paleofest, sitting.

Typical Values Typical Values per 100g Per Bar
Energy (kJ/kcal) 1909/458 573/138
Fat 27.0g 8.0g
(of which saturates) 3.4g 1.0g
Carbohydrate 39.2g 11.8g
(of which sugars) 35.7g 10.7g
Fibre 4.8g 1.5g
Protein 12.1g 3.6g
Salt 0.02g 0.01g

 

FINAL WORD:

(5/7) Δ Δ Δ Δ Δ 
Certainly a decent enough snack bar, would it make it into my hiking backpack? In honesty no. But I see this more as a straight-swap bar for those impulse snacks (I mentioned a Kit-Kat earlier, and my god am I a sucker for a Kit-Kat) well I’ve found my new go-to bar for those ‘at the counter’ impulse buys.

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Ben Nevis Summit vLog [2016]

Dug out from the archives is our vLog taken from Nevis back in 2016; at the time it was our tallest peak, we learned a lot on Benny, and the memories although not ‘enjoyable’ are fond ones.  We would love to hear some of your Benny Memories too! I’m everyone has an interesting story to tell; or indeed that Ben Nevis gave them a good story to tell!

Hope you enjoy this vLog which was filmed by David:

 

The Adventurers Christmas Wishlist

We know how hard it can be for family and friends to pick the right gifts for the adventurer or outdoor lover in your life…(and by outdoor lover I do mean lover -of -the-outdoors, just to clarify!)…believe us, we’ve had the useless socks, the novelty this, the ‘haha oh gee thanks’ that – so here’s our Adventurers Christmas Wishlist – from stocking fillers to the big kahuna presents, there’s something for everyone…and Santa if you’re reading – please see below!

To make things mega easy, we’ve included links for you to go ahead and buy all the products listed – simply click on the images and voila!

Merry Adventuring One and All

Awesome Tech:

Having the right gadgets when out on a hike or adventure, can not only make the experience even more awesome, but in some cases can even save a life…the GPS Unit is a tech-item you should find in every rucksack!

 

GoPro Hero 6

£499.99

 

 

 

Fitbit Charge 2 Heart Rate and Fitness Wristband

£120

 

 


Rock Jaw Clarito Lightweight In-Ear Earphones Finished In Aluminium – British Engineered

£19.99

 



Garmin eTrex 10 Outdoor Handheld GPS Unit

£75.00

 

 

More Awesome Tech

Kindle e-Reader

£59

 

 

More Portable Tech for the Journey

Threads for the treads:

For the outdoors, it is vitally important to have confidence in your clothing (believe us we’ve had our fair share of clothing malfunctions!)  Below are some picks of the bunch that we think would be a welcome gift this Christmas!

Rab Sanctuary Jacket

£144

 

 

 

 


Under Armour Men’s  Tech 1/4 Zip Long-Sleeve Shirt

£18

 

 

Merino Wool Hiking & Trekking Socks by DANISH ENDURANCE, Performance Socks for Outdoor Enthusiasts

£11

Knitted Wolly Beanie Hat Style Skippy Batty with Ponpon Men’s Women’s Winter Warm SKI Snowboard Hats

£10

 

 

More Outdoor Clothing

Gear

From athlete to the rugged adventurer; the kit we use defines us – here’s a selection of kit which should tick all boxes…but there are links for more options!

 

Fjällräven Kånken Backpack

£50 – £100

 

 

Mountaintop 80L Hiking Backpack/Travel Daypack/Climbing Rucksack,83 x 36 x 25 cm

£80

 

 

More Awesome Back Packs

Water Bag Hydration Water Pack Hydration Bladder Up to Take 2 Litre Water

£7.50

 

 

Pair of Trekrite Antishock Hiking Sticks / Walking Poles – Black

£19

 

 

Solar Charger, BERNET Portable Solar Power Bank with 2 Input Ports (Lighting & Micro)

£28

 

 

Just for a Laugh /  Stocking Fillers:

Okay so I know I said forget the novelty gifts…but what would a stocking be without the naff prezzies!

Emergency Poncho!

£3

 

 

Wiper Glasses…to keep your vision clear during those sudden down-pours!

£5.99

 

 

Carabiner Stainless Steel Camping Mug

£3.50

 

 

Spork! This genius item of cutlery has a welcome spot in any rucksack…

£1.66

 

Hopefully we’ve taken some of the stress out of finding the perfect gift for the adventurer in your life this year!

Teamwork: How to not be that guy.

img_20161101_223220Spending prolonged amounts of time with a small group of people can have its challenges – especially when the pretext is that you’re all good friends. Unlike in the workplace, where you’re free to dislike one, two, or all of your colleagues. There’s a lot at stake here – not only years of friendship potentially undone within a weekend of camping; but it’s in your interest to maintain that friendship – it could be the difference between launching a rescue attempt to save your sorry ass – or them enjoying some extra tent space and the additional food supplies!

remySo here’s some tips to not only keep your friends – but ensure you’re not abandoned hill-side by your team.

1. Don’t be annoying for the sake of being funny – okay so obviously there’s just some moments during a 12 hour drive, or 3 hour flight where someones going to be fast asleep with mouth wide open; these moments should be enjoyed by all [click here for evidence] but just know when a jokes a joke, and when you’re being an absolute…twit?

2. Just be cool – I mean being cool is in direct opposition to being a Dork, so I guess we would struggle with this one; but essentially just keeping an eye out for everyone; well, in our case Remy – as you can see (left), when he’s not asleep he can look sad. Maybe he is sad. We didn’t think to ask. Poor Remy.

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3. Know yourself – If you know you’re prone to getting hangry (in our case this is Mike), keep yourself fed! Otherwise you’re not only going be spending alot of time feeling grouchy, but also your team will think you’re being an idiot. So really this is just being aware of what annoys you, and basically making sure you’re not putting yourself into situations where you’re going to turn irrational and irritable – applicable to smokers, coffee addicts, and the sleep-needy.

4. Know your mates – so we’ve learned through experience, that Dave really hates The Adam and Joe Show podcasts. We learned this by exposing him to them for around 7 straight hours on the way home from a weekend hiking in Scotland. We don’t listen to Adam and Joe Show podcasts now…because we’re nice like that, sorry Adam and Joe.

5. Space. We all need some Space – this is true, we all need some space, but y’know what – you’re not gonna get any, especially in a small hatchback stuffed with 4 guys, hiking gear and camping equipment! So what needs to happen here is for you to let-go of your personal space needs – reduce your personal boundaries and just deal with it. The important thing to remember is that it’s not the other persons fault that they’re in your space. So don’t get moody with them!

There’s loads more I’m sure; take our poll so we can finally decide, name, and shame!

Mt.Toubkal Our African Adventure: Pt.3 (Toubkal Breaketh the Man)

Its 4am. The stars are out. There’s no light in the Refuge, and everyone’s started to bustle about…it can only mean one thing. Nope, not hammer time…it’s summit time.

This is it, I think to myself, whilst taking a glance in the mirror…I’m doing this thing. It was a weird almost third person moment, catching a look at myself, padded out in layers; woolly hat, head torch, and walking poles – I kinda felt pretty badass, like an actual mountain climber or something.

Anyway; I’ll go back to it being 4am….so everyone’s lacing up and getting ready, we only have about 30 minutes before breakfast so no time for messing about, but also, no one wants to be messing about at 4am…like, it’s not your average morning, where maybe you lose a sock or something.

So we make our way down for breakfast, which was like THE most salty porridge type dish you can imagine, like, even for me and Dave…seasoned salt eaters (see what I did there)…it was too much – but the bread was good! They also served us oranges, I packed mine for later…and after a mint tea; Mohammed gave us the low-down of how things would go that morning, and we set off.

It was of course freezing cold; but it didn’t take long for us to strip off a layer as the incline was steep from the start; luckily under the night sky I had no episodes of vertigo, which was awesome, because usually I’m terrible as soon as I feel any level of exposure!
We had been climbing for around an hour and a half, when Mohammed let us have a breather, but also so he could pray. This was an incredible rest break, as we all sat quietly, switched off the head torches, and gazed up at the stars. If I wasn’t so cold and out of breath it would have been even more enjoyable I guess….

As we continued up the valley to the Toubkal ridge; we could see the sun begin to rise, turning the peaks behind us a dim glowing red; at this stage however I’m not enjoying the views, as I was suffering pretty badly with altitude sickness; coming up the valley I struggled to keep my breath, and on a couple of occasions had to really go-in on myself to control my breathing to stop from passing out…at this point…I pretty much hated hiking and for the first time ever, I even considered never hiking again, I gave some real serious thought to just quitting the whole thing…I was over it.
(contrary to the smile, although maybe I was smiling at the thought of just going on normal holidays, and not being on the face of a 4000M mountain.) mkesh d

As we reached the ridge, which you can see in the photo, we had some amazing, although hazey views of the Atlas mountains…again, I wasn’t in any state to enjoy this moment, but I’ve had a look at the photos, and I can confirm it was amazing.
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The ridge walk was not so steep, and with the sun now on us, must have been a couple of degrees warmer, although I had lost all feeling in two of my fingers (but I have Raynaud’s so that was to be expected!). It also signified the final stretch…”20 Mins” Mohammed shouted…

It was at this point I was pushing through a barrier, like, in no other situation have I ever done something, or physically pushed myself, that I didn’t feel like I wanted to do. In my head I was spotting all the cosy looking rocks that I could sit under and wait for everyone to summit and get me on the way back down…yes, that’s right…in my head these ice cold jagged rocks looked cosy. I’m talking ‘Nans armchair on a winters day next to an open fire with a knitted blanket and hot cup of coacoa cosy’.  I took out my last protein bar for the final push, however, it was frozen solid, and after chocking on it several times, I thought…well fuck you then…and that marked the end of the protein bars involvement in my trip, and my story.

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(Remys altitude face & some jagged cosy rocks) 

After pushing on for what felt like an eternity, the summit was finally in sight; 50 paces away at a guess, and bang. suddenly the strangest wave of emotion came over me. You may or may not have known that I had booked this trek to raise money for my Grandad, who sadly, a week before we flew out, passed away. This no doubt hit me at this point, I felt somehow with-him for a moment, before also feeling exctatic that I had reached the summit on a personal level.

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We had all made it, even the guys who had reservations, our trekking gang, pictured below, all made it, and some even managed to smile for the photo too!

summit

We didn’t hang-out for long up on the summit, what with it being -6C and the potential for rain later in the day Mohammed was keen to get us all back down to refuge for lunch.

I was somehow buoyed by making the summit, and felt in much higher spirits than even just 10 mins prior; and no doubt descending was easier on the cardio than ascending, even if more punishing on your legs.
Easier maybe, more dangerous, for sure. mkesh3

As we slowly made our way down the icy summit ridge; I crossed paths with a hiker making his ascent, he’d put a foot wrong, and with some not-so-cosy looking cliff faces to his right, and me to his left, I looked on as he fell face first into the ground; falling rigid, as if he was literally scared stiff…luckily for him, our guide, and another, were close by and assisted him to safety.

“Okay”, I thought to myself…”no slipping mate”.

As we continued slowly down, the heat began to rise, and before long we were stripping back the layers again…blood was once again in all my fingers, and breathing was much improved…and to turn this moment from good to amazing…out came that orange I packed at breakfast…which I ate like a savage, biting through the peel.

The novelty of the heat, soon wore off, and it was a long trek back to the refuge, down varied terrain.

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During one cliff-side water break, we asked our guide, Mohammed, how long it would take him to summit and return to the refuge if it wasn’t for us slowing him up…
okay…so before I tell you; we’re on pace at this point to complete the summit in just short of 7 hours…

Mohammed – “so in 2009 I did a competition, and was up in 50mins – down in 20. so 1hour 10 mins in total”.

SAY. WHAT.

DOWN in 20 MINS …. as you can imagine, the guy suddenly becomes our mountain God. Like that’s some serious mountain running.
The photo below is taken at the very moment that this conversation is happening…good times!

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Alas, we return to the refuge, not in 20 mins, but still in good time for out-of-shape westerners I guess…and in time for lunch…which was the most welcome meal you can imagine; of bread, pasta, fish, veg, tea, rice, lentils…just everything.
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So…there you have it..Summit complete and I’m back in one piece.

Was it horrendous? Yes.
Was it amazing? Also Yes.
Was it hard? Yes (Yes yes yes)
Was it worth it? Hell Yes.
Would I do it again? When’s the flight?

Toubkal was a crazy one…our first 4000M summit, no doubt one we will remember for the rest of our lives. The world is full of amazing things…make sure you don’t miss it.
As that famous photographer Wayne Gretzky once said –
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”

So make sure you take yours!