July 23, 2014
by Michael

What to Take with you when Mountain Climbing

mountain-climbingSo, you’re thinking about going mountain climbing, huh? Well, it’s not just the rain which you need to look out for when you’re staying in the mountains; it’s the temperature. Yeah, it gets pretty cold up there, especially at night so, if you’re planning a week-long trip, you need to be prepared. However, clothes aren’t the only important thing in life (hard to believe, I know) caffeine is probably more important. You caffeine junkies will probably be nodding your heads vigorously at this but, if you’re a caffeine sceptic, let me bring you around to my way of thinking.

Can’t Get Enough Caffeine

You see, when you’re up in the mountains, you tend to get up kinda early and go to bed quite late so you get a little bit tired after a while. If you’re mountain climbing all day, you do not want to fall asleep, do you? Come, on, that’s a one way ticket to death. So, that is where coffee comes in. A cup with breakfast, a cup with lunch and a few cups in between should see you through the day, from dawn until dusk. In case you need any more persuasion, you might like to know that, caffeine also improves your reflexes so, if necessary, you can run from those ghastly grizzlies.

Clothes Shopping

Now that we’ve established the importance of coffee, it’s time to move onto the all-important equipment. It is time, my friends, to go shopping. Come on, who doesn’t like a bit of shopping? However, before you dash out of the front door and to the car, you need to have a list of things which you need to buy. So, here is my helpful list which I have compiled after years of mountain climbing experience; I would hate for you to make the same mistakes I did.

First things first, you’re going to need a waterproof, windproof jacket. You want it to be insulated and, for heaven’s sake, make sure that it has a hood. After all, if it rains, you don’t want your face to freeze off, do you?

If you’re a woman, it’s worth mentioning the importance of taking a synthetic rather than a cotton sports bra. Trust me when I say this; you do not want to be wearing a cotton sports bra when you’re climbing up a mountain. Don’t question it, just go with it.

You’re also going to need a pair of windproof but breathable trousers to stop your legs from getting wet. After getting caught out in the rain mountain climbing in a pair of shorts, I cannot stress the importance of this enough.

In Case Of An Emergency, The Mint Cake Is Located…

Now, in terms of food, whether you’re going out for a day or several days, you must pack at least one item which is obscenely high in calories. I’m talking about mint cake here. If you get lost, that baby will keep you alive for days so make sure you pack some. Hopefully, it’ll be left at the bottom of your bag but, if you do get lost up a mountain, you won’t want to be left without it.

June 4, 2014
by Michael

The Pros and Cons of Listening to Music on Your Next Hiking Adventure

music-outdoorsEveryone likes good music. Listening to your favorite tunes can inspire, invigorate, and lighten your spirits, making bringing along an mp3 player or an iPod a popular choice for people who jog, bike, and a host of other outdoor activities. But what about listening to music when you hike? Does having a playlist of songs filling your ears rather than the sounds of nature take away from or gratify the experience? In short, it really comes down to where you are and the purpose of your hike.

Benefits of Bringing Music With You On a Hike

I’ll put it simply: I love bringing music along when I hike. It gives me energy and excitement that I might not have otherwise enjoyed. Especially when the hike is more about the exercise than it is about enjoying some new, beautiful environment, listening to music can make the experience that much more fulfilling. Studies have shown that the right music really does give you a boost of energy and adrenaline, making you able to go the extra mile on your next hike. Besides this, listening to music is just plain enjoyable. It can help pass the time and can lighten your spirits, allowing you to fully enjoy the hike.

Downsides to Bringing Your Music Along

Hiking is a wonderful experience. It provides a way to connect with the great outdoors, to get in touch with our deep, psychological love of nature and the world around us. Sometimes, electronic voices can ruin that experience. If you’re going somewhere new and exciting that you’ve never been to before, somewhere that is dripping with natural beauty that you hope to enjoy, maybe it would be a good idea to leave the music behind. Listen instead to the birds and the squirrels and other sounds of the forest. They are music of their own. Anytime I’m going hiking at a place where I really want to get the full benefit of the scenery and environment that it provides, I usually leave behind my electronic devices (except a cell-phone for emergencies). Some of my most enjoyed and memorable hikes have been times such as these. If you think you are going to a place where the sounds of the world around you might be more enjoyable than your favorite tunes, you are probably right.


Bringing music with you on your next hiking adventure can be a rewarding experience. If you choose to do so, pick a playlist that is upbeat and energizing. Or maybe you could try one that compliments the serenity of the nature around you. In short, don’t be afraid to experiment a little with what music provides you the most enjoyment while hiking. Also, don’t be afraid to leave it behind entirely. The shrill cry of a bird, the babbling of brooks and rivers, the blowing of a dear or barking of a squirrel that you spooked: each of these are music of their own, and often times more enjoyable than any you could bring along.

May 4, 2014
by Michael

How I found the ultimate outdoor backpack

If you are anything like me, you’ve probably been searching for the ultimate outdoor backpack for some time – but are more than a little bit disappointed with the way that the search is going.

It’s not like there are too few top-of-the-line outdoor back tech solutions out there, but the reason that the search is so difficult is precisely because there are so many!

When I first bought a new outdoor backpack maybe 10 years ago or so, only a handful of manufacturers were producing anything of note – but nothing could be further on the truth today. This forced me to go back to the drawing board, so to speak, and really assess what I was looking to get out of the perfect outdoor backpack.

And I think I’ve done just that!

I chose the right bag for the task at hand

Understanding that I was going to use this backpack for hiking, camping, and maybe a little bit of “general purpose” personal storage, I was really able to narrow down the wide variety of selections out there.

Today, you’re going to find a lot of niche-based backpacks even in the outdoor world. Bags made for climbing, bags made for camping, bags made for ultralight hiking, and just about anything else under the sun. In fact, the true general-purpose outdoor backpack has just about disappeared!

However, I knew that I was going to want to carry hiking supplies (bit of water, some food, and an extra battery for my cell phone amongst other things) and that it would also need to carry my camping gear, clothing, and it would be nice if it worked for everyday use when I wanted to travel with my laptop.

In fact there are now may bags available which are designed just for protecting your computer. If you are looking to find the best laptop backpack then check out this resource for some reviews.

Your needs may be different than my own, which is why you really want to figure out what kinds of utility you’re hoping to get out of your backpack. This will make the initial selection process that much easier!

Waterproofing was absolutely everything

I also knew that waterproofing was going to be a critical factor in my purchasing decision. Today’s waterproofing solutions are far, far better than anything else that’s existed before (even if it’s not 100% full proof).

However, some options are better than others, and I went for the most waterproof option out there appeared we’re talking about double seems, waterproof zippered compartments, and a whole host of other features to make sure that if I ever did slide my laptop into the bag it would be protected no matter what kind of whether I encountered.

I tested all outdoor backpacks fully loaded before making my choice

Finally, it’s important one to stand that almost all backpacks are going to feel fantastic on you when they are completely empty – it’s when they’re filled with “stuff” that things start to get a little bit uncomfortable.

I had the luxury of loading up each backpack I was considering in person to feel how the weight would be distributed at how comfortable it would be, but if you’re unable to do so (like maybe your shopping online) look at the reviews to figure out what you’re going to be getting into as far as fit and finish is concerned.


March 5, 2014
by Michael

How to get Fit for your Outdoor Activities this Year

No matter how much you enjoy kayaking, surfing, paddling, diving and other amazing outdoor activities you are always limited somewhat by your physical fitness. If you are out of shape then some of these activities can be pretty tough work, and may take some of the enjoyment out of them. Just imagine how much more rewarding a physically intense activity such as kayaking can be if you are in great shape and able to really push hard and make the most of what the fast flowing waters throw at you. Well all you need to do is stick to a good fitness regime, sure you will need some motivation to do that but that is easy when you have a end goal. Of course doing outdoor activities will get you somewhat fit anyway but most people aren’t in a situation where they can do that regularly so they need to head to the gym or even more convenient is to purchase fitness equipment for your own home.

How to Get Fit in the Comfort of your own Home

For me the best way to stick to a fitness regime is to buy my own fitness equipment for my home. This way I will feel guilty if I don’t make good use of it since it can be fairly expensive, and this forces me to put in the hours each week. I have tried quite a few different machines out but for me nothing comes close to a rowing machine for a full body workout. Not only do these babies work your heat and lungs but they also tone your muscles, so you are killing two birds with one stone here. I decided to go with the highest rated rowing machine in the world which is the Concept2 Model D, it is pretty expensive but you get what you pay for. I love using this rower, it is fantastic quality and provides a fun and enjoyable workout.

Of course there are many other ways to workout at home to suit everybody’s budget, you could purchase a cheap exercise bike, some dumbbells even workout without equipment doing push ups and other exercises. Whatever way you choose the most important thing is to keep at it and the next time you head out on an adventure you will be able to tackle everything mother nature throws at you and ensure a very good time.

Over to you

Now it’s time for you guys to make a decision, you can of course just keep in your current shape whether good or bad and still enjoy everything the outdoors has to offer. Or you can make a decision to really make the most of the mother nature and get fighting fit for your next adventure holiday. I know which one I would choose.