Sport Relief 2018 Challenge

This year Adam will be taking on a challenge for Sport Relief, and the best part is that he doesn’t even know what the challenge is yet…because YOU have the power to decide his fate!

So here’s the plan:

– we will post out on Twitter our ‘challenge Adam’ tweet.
– you guys RT like crazy, because the number of RT’s will directly correlate with the extent of his challenge.
– on the 16th March Adam’s Challenge will be announced; general ideas at the moment are; 1RT = 10 Burpees, or maybe 1RT = 100m added to a run … it depends heavily on the number of RTs we get! But for sure we will be pushing Adam to the limit, probably beyond his limit because we want to make him suffer…obviously. So if you have any other ideas…drop them in the comments!
– then keep an eye out during Sport Relief Week, for updates, and to witness Adam getting obliterated by your challenge!

Obviously while you’re here head over to the Sport Relief Website to make your donations, or to just find out more about the great work they do.

Let’s get to it…

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Summit Snappr Launch!

We’re super excited to be announcing the launch of our project Summit Snappr on the 26th June.
(We’ve chosen the 26th as we’re going to need a pick-me-up after completing the Orwell Challenge on the 25th – a 25 mile day hike in Suffolk!)

All the details and how to join can be found by clicking though the image below; which if you want to part of a massive online community to enable massive environmental action to reduce litter on the UKs mountains, then you need to be clicking for sure!

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We’re had such an awesome response from the hiking community so far; and we would love for you to join us too!

As the UK summit season quickly approaches we thought it would be a good idea to talk with our friends over at Three Peaks Partnership to get an understanding of the impacts of the ‘novelty challenges’ that on the one hand bring thousands of people in touch with the U.Ks landscapes, yet can be the plight of the season for others, and that’s not entirely unjustified either – with over a TONNE of trash being collected last year from the peaks…

 

 

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What was the driving force behind the partnership being founded? Was there one particular bad year for litter / mess etc or was it a slow build up of local frustrations?

Rich Pyne (Rich Mountain Experiences, Ben Nevis) was working on the Ben back in 2013 when he came across a huge pile of abandoned rubbish – an all too often occurrence. That started an idea and soon he was in touch with me (Kelvyn James, Mountain Services, Scafell Pike) and Kate Worthington (RAW Adventures, Snowdon) and together we got the ball rolling on what has become the largest organised mountain cleaning event in the UK – The Real 3 Peaks Challenge.

Without the partnership what would the Three Peaks look like?

Last year we collectively moved past the tonne collected barrier – think about that for a moment – how much does one empty plastic water bottle weigh….

My team on Scafell Pike take in excess of 50 bags down every year – but in 2016 we actually saw a slight reduction – I think that is down to a combination of now knowing where to look, having gotten the really old stuff off the hill – and the message getting out there.

Pictured below is the first haul from 2013 which inspired the creation of the partnership…and we can see why! 

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Why do you think there is an issue with litter / misuse of the peaks, education, attitude etc?

There’s no simple answer; many events are now encouraging people into the hills who simply aren’t equipped mentally or physically – and often they just don’t know or understand the impact that dropping litter has. I think (& I base this on comparison to the work I do oversees) that we are still along way behind in educating clients and the general public on the wonder of our natural environment – how special it is – and the part we all have to play in keeping it so. (Check out some of our posts on Ben Nevis & Snowdonia to see what’s on the doorstep!)

 

 

Do you think that mass ‘challenges’ can dilute the authenticity of our summits; or are they a force for good in opening the eyes of the masses to the incredible landscapes on offer in the UK?

Anything we do to offer, develop or encourage a love of the outdoors in our clients, friends or strangers is a good thing – interaction with nature should be a key part of everyone’s lives – the challenge is to do so responsibly.

But – the quick fix nature of the way many challenge events are promoted is counter productive to this – and oddly it’s probably also poor business!

Having made well over a hundred ascents of Scafell Pike I can tell you that the middle of the night is not the best time to climb England’s highest point – instead I’d rather encourage clients to take their time, to spend some additional time absorbing the area – maybe wandering slightly off the beaten paths, spend some money in the local businesses – take the time to fall in love – so that they come back again – rather than looking for the next 24hr fix.

What’s the first thing someone planning the 3 peaks challenge should consider to keep their visits as Eco friendly as possible?

If you carry it in – carry it out.

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So..how can people get involved?

Visit our Facebook Page – work out which mountain you’d like to come help out on, gather up your friends – and get in touch, we’d love to hear from you.

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So go for it…sign up and take on The Real Three Peak Challenge – or take on some of the cracking advice here, take your time and learn to fall in love with your own backyard (Unless of course you’re not based in the U.K. – in which case come along and see what we’re hiding over here!)

 

10 Tips for Safe Hiking

1. Start small and choose the right trail for your fitness level.

Select a hike a little shorter than the distance you can normally walk on a level or paved surface. To estimate the time required to hike the trail, figure a pace of roughly 2-miles per hour. Next, review the elevation changes and add an hour to your estimated hiking time for every 1000 feet of gain. After you’ve been out once or twice, you’ll have a sense for what distance and elevation changes work well for you.

2. Familiarize yourself with the trail.

Once you have selected a trail, obtain a map of the area and review reports and data. There are some excellent online resources available. Find out if the trail is a loop, or if you’ll have to backtrack or spot a second car. Take note of any intersecting trails where you could potentially make a wrong turn. I also like to look for a good lunch spot such as a lake or peak with a view.

3. Check the weather.

Leading up to your hike, and again a few hours before, check the weather. This will give you valuable information on how to dress and what to pack. If the weather is forecast to be awful, it will give you the chance to change plans instead of getting surprised on the trail.

4. Tell someone where you will be.

It’s important that someone not on the hike knows the itinerary and what time to worry and call for help. Note I didn’t say, “when you expect to be done.” The “worry time” may be several hours later than your planned finish to allow for slow hiking, amazing views, or perhaps a sore ankle causing a delay.

Another option is to carry an emergency device such as the SPOT tracker, which allows you to summon emergency assistance by satellite. One caveat, devices like the SPOT are not an excuse to shirk responsibility for your own personal safety – they are a backup.

5. Pack the 10 essentials.

The 10 essentials have gradually shifted from a list of items to a list of systems. These are the systems you should pack to stay safe in the outdoors, including facing a potential overnight. Depending on the length and remoteness of your hike, expand or minimize each system. For example, on a short summer hike near services, a compact emergency blanket should be fine. However, a remote winter hike would require something more extensive. Here are the 10 essential systems:

Ten Essential Systems

  • Navigation (map & compass)
  • Sun protection (sunglasses & sunscreen)
  • Insulation (extra clothing)
  • Illumination (headlamp/flashlight)
  • First-aid supplies
  • Fire (waterproof matches/lighter/candle)
  • Repair kit and tools
  • Nutrition (extra food)
  • Hydration (extra water)
  • Emergency shelter (tent/plastic tube tent/garbage bag)

This list may look daunting, but once you tailor it to your hike, it won’t be so bad. Many of these things are what you’d pack for a picnic.

6. Wear the right shoes and socks.

Painful feet can ruin a hike. Invest in quality hiking shoes and socks. This doesn’t mean heavy leather boots, there are a lot of “light hikers” available that require little break-in compared to the old hiking boots I started with. Also, don’t skimp on socks and for goodness sake….no cotton! Wool or synthetic socks are the way to go. Also pack blister dressings just in case.

7. Dress for success.

Once your feet are taken care of, dressing right is key to comfort on your hike. Skip cotton anything, it gets damp and stays that way leaving you feeling clammy and causing chafing. Instead go for synthetics. To easily adjust for your temperature and the weather, wear layers that you can add or shed as needed. Lastly, pack an extra warm layer beyond what you think you’ll need, preferably something that will block wind too.

8. Keep it light.

Okay, now that I’ve told you to pack all of this stuff, I’m going to tell you to keep you pack light. This means opting for the lightest of each item. For example, a travel size tube of sunscreen instead of the NoAd 16-ounce tube you found on sale.

9. Pace yourself.

When you first get on the trail, you may feel like powering forward like a hero. However, you’ll be a zero by the end of the day if you don’t pace yourself. Instead, pick a pace you can maintain all day. It might feel a little awkward at first, but after a few miles, especially uphill, you’ll be glad you saved your energy.

10. Leave no trace.

The beautiful trails we love will only stay beautiful if we care for them. Take time to read the Leave No Trace Seven Principals and follow them. It’s up to every outdoor enthusiast to take care of our natural spaces.

Source: http://blog.liftopia.com/10-essential-hiking-tips-beginner-hike/shoe

Stand-In Dork Required – Apply Within!

Last week we bid farewell to Remy; he’s off to solo around Asia with nothing but his backpack and camera. We’re not convinced he’ll get up to much; literally the guy is asleep way more than he’s awake – (see loving montage below) –

 

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So while he’s off for a 6 month nap in Asia; we’re a man short – and well, three’s a crowd. So if you fit the criteria below – get yourself over to the contact page and let us know in 30 words or less why you should become Remy 2.0. Applications should a) make us laugh b) make you sound awesome and c) give us 4 reasons to say yes.

Can you:
– spare time on occasional weekends for a hike
– enjoy idiot banter in car journeys
– eat two meals from a 2 for £10 menu (post-hike)
– get up and down a mountain without medical assistance
– do one armed pull-ups (neither can we but we try – well, Remy can, but he weighs like 7 stone. Probably)
if so..then we want to hear from you. No joke, we’re genuinely looking for a stand-in member of Dorks On a Hill (also if we like you more than Remy, we can replace him on a permanent basis).

Doah x

Lessons Learned Adventuring the UK

Whether you’re part of our glorious island nation or you’re considering a trip to our shores (before we go into full Brexit mode and ask Trump to build some walls for us!) we thought it might be useful for us to share some of the things we’ve learned from adventuring across our stomping ground.

Geography:

Okay so let’s just get some geographical basics out the way for those reading this from foreign lands; the UK – made up of Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England. Four entirely different countries, all with different languages (although English is spoken throughout, accents and dialects can make things tricky for even native speakers…just bare this in mind if you’re struggling with the language!) we’ve had entire conversations up in Scotland without having a clue what’s going on…also trying to converse with a Welsh speaking stag-do was equally as baffling. eu-united_kingdom-svg

Transport

As crazy as it may seem; it was cheaper for us to get return flights to Italy than it was for us to travel up to Scotland…go figure. So that being said you can gather it’s not exactly cheap to get around the UK. Fuel prices seem to increase the further north you go, and the further into the wilderness you go – for reference current fuel prices are around £1.20 per Litre.

If you’re relying on public transport you’ll pretty much need a second mortgage to do any serious travelling – again for reference I’m a 1hr 40 min drive from London – return ticket is an eye watering £100+ if bought on the day. Advice here is book early…really early.

There’s also plenty of coach routes with National Express – which although take an absolute age to get you anywhere are a much more cost effective way to get about.

Failing all that…you could always walk!

Kit

It’s true that we have an obsession with the weather – and for good reason too! Although mostly mild conditions and temperatures can vary widely – which is what makes packing your kit such a pain in the backpack. For any trip in the UK you will need layers, waterproofs, probably sunscreen, and some more waterproofs. On Peaks such as Ben Nevis snow can be found at the summit all year round – and so due precautions need to be taken.

Accommodation

The UKs best kept secret…the Youth Hostel Association (YHA). Run by enthusiastic and helpful staff up and down the UK; cheap beds…pretty decent breakfasts, but everything you could want to get in from the elements. They can get booked up; especially in peak season, so plan ahead – or like we do…take tents and play it by ear!

One of the major bonuses of the UK is its size; you’re never too far from the creature comforts – so as long as you’re adequately prepped for your hike, climb, or trek…you’re pretty much gonna be just fine…and if you get completely stuck – don’t forget it’s just a 2 hr flight to reach the sun drenched coasts of the med!

Doah.