Aircraft wreck visits – Peak District

Martin is proposing to facilitate guided walks within the Peak District, for those interested specifically in locating ‘Over Exposed’ the B29 crash site located near high shelf stones on Bleaklow. Very reasonably priced at £30 per person, you can be sure of a fun day out and safe return.(rather than depending on calling out the Mountain Rescue team)

Additionally, Martin will spend dedicated time using his expertise from his time as an Instructor with the Ultimate Navigation School to deliver the same but with specific navigation training to help build confidence and competence in aspects of land navigation. Again reasonably priced at £75 per person.

Our fees charged will support the ongoing website development and support our two chosen charities Mind and Fix the fells.

Please feel free to Contact us via our website.

Martin&Chris

 ‘January 2022 – Here we go’

 

Here we are in January at the start of another year of fabulous challenges and adventures, both Chris and I would like to wish you every success in the great Outdoors in 2022 and beyond.

We know all of you appreciate the value of nature, wilderness, and the different activities we can do in it. This last period with Covid has taught us to appreciate and value nature even more than we previously did and realize how dependent we are on being out in it. Nature has helped us all in numerous ways through the Covid period, and we hope that despite the difficulties, it has unleashed a new spirit of adventure Outdoors for everyone.

This Month we are looking back at a few of our favourite things of 2021.

1. PositiveOutdoor365 was born in April and our website took its first ‘leap of faith’.

2. Our first blog – Edale Skyline.

3. Safe Navigation – Blog.

4. Blog – Windmill walk with Chris.

5. Blog – Invasion of the Lake district. (specifically Rannerdale Knotts)

6. Our session on Outdoor Preparation .

7. Scotland road trip – With the Fesh Air Leadership Company

There was so much ground covered by Chris and I during our first 8 periods, it was difficult to hone it down to our firm favourites. We love our section on Previous tips giving you a flavour of some of our escapades throught the period.

We recapped our major charity push from 2019, (Project944 blog), we had a session on Couch to 5kms in the Glyders, the UNS team got out for a day around Chrome hill and the Dragons back and then lastly specifically for me, I really enjoyed my session on ‘Aircraft Hunting’ in the Peak district, specifically revisiting Navigation using contours, more on aircaft hunting later!!

This January why not get outside even more for the year?

Getting outside for 30 mins a day ?

Making plans to hit the hills and do it .

Start a walking group up with family & friends.

Spend some time helping in the hills cleaning up the rubbish with a group of volunteers. (carry it in, carry it out)

Also this month !!!!!

Martin is proposing to facilitate guided walks within the Peak District, for those interested specifically in locating ‘Over Exposed’ the B29 crash site located near high shelf stones on Bleaklow. Very reasonably priced at £30 per person, you can be sure of a fun day out and safe return.(rather than depending on calling out the Mountain Rescue team)

Additionally, Martin will spend dedicated time using his expertise from his time as an Instructor with the Ultimate Navigation School to deliver the same but with specific navigation training to help build confidence and competence in aspects of land navigation. Again reasonably priced at £75 per person.

Our fees charged will support the ongoing website development and support our two charities Mind and Fix the fells .

Please feel free to contact us via our website.

Martin&Chris

December 2021 – It’s been an interesting year!

Incredible really isn’t it, here we are already part way through the first week of December in what can only be described as a bit of a roller coaster ride for all. The stuff of nightmares via a pandemic, rules and regulations that may have (or not in our case) prevented us all from getting into the great outdoors as much as we would probably have liked, and more nonsense to close the year out with variant number 3572!!!

On a much, much brighter note, Christmas is a fabulous time, not least of all for catching up with the family, and certainly for me, enjoying the best dinner in the world on Christmas day itself!

Talking of Christmas, it can be a time where its difficult to determine what would be a great present to buy for your nearest and dearest, so on an ‘outdoorsy’ note here’s a few thoughts that may help you to find that special present, that will most definitely be appreciated (and not returned in January) for your respective partners!

Stuff.

Dark nights generally mean it’s time to check our torch of choice, what with early dark mornings and darkness creeping in by 4:30 in the afternoon, what better than spoiling someone with a fantastic new headtorch from LEDLENSER.

Even better if you quote this promotional code you’ll get 15% off too!

www.ledlenser.co.uk

PO365LL15 – 15% discount

Walking Poles:

Next on the wish list, how about a fabulous new pair of walking poles to help with that stability as your trudge through the variety of slippery surfaces underfoot.I personally ‘road tested ‘these earlier on in the year, flip to our tab on outdoor preparation for more details of poles by Mountain King, also they have given a promotional code that will get you 10% off your purchase.

www.mountainking.co.uk

OUTDOOR36510 – for 10% discount

Base layers:

Layering up: we have both experienced a huge variety of base layers in our outdoors experience, but by far and away the most comfortable merino wool, best fitting and extensive range belongs to Brubeck. They have something to suit most outdoors activities and my favourite at this time of the year is the Brubeck Thermo LS shirt, its really toastie, and a brilliant start for layering up on these cold winter’s days!

www.brubeck.co.uk

Gloves:

Hands get cold very quickly, and particularly so if its blowing a hoolie and raining simultaneously, as Chris and I were recently reminded of on our Thirlmere trip in the lake district national Park!

Now, there are a variety of excellent branded gloves out on the market, and its very much about brand preference and weather its fit for choice or purpose.

I’m going to point you toward a brand you may not be familiar with called Ejendals, who have a fabulous Swedish heritage in manufacturing protective equipment in extreme climates. Furthermore, they have been about since 1949 so they really do know their stuff!

These two beauties are code number 7792 and 295, they are excellent, durable, waterproof and definitely won’t break the bank to purchase at less than £20.

www.ejendals.com

Eyewear:

During the winter the wind, glare and cold are all a proverbial ‘pain in the posterior’, but there are a couple of brands here that have fabulous goggles from their winter sports ranges that are really top drawer.

UVEX & Bolle:

Taking care of your kit:

Now would be a good time to ensure that your waterproofs are still waterproof, and it’s a truism that the better care you take of your gear, the better it will look after you. Not only that, but we need to ensure we care for our kit longer to aid with the whole issue of sustainability.

www.nikwax.com

Navigation:

Given that we will be spending perhaps a little less time outside during the damp and horrible weather, it’s probably a great time to brush up on the navigational skills! What better than buying the most comprehensive land navigation manual written by lyle Brotherton.

This is a fabulous , easy to follow instruction manual for anyone wishing to build their confidence outdoors, I should know, I’ve taught from this manual for many years!

www.shavenraspberry.com

Maps:

How good are your current range of maps, are they ‘thumbed’ to death, battered by the wet and wind with all the associated rips and tears?

Both Ordnance survey and Harvey do a great range, we have used both and each has their own respective merits.

The best place I have found to buy these from, and at a reasonable price point, is as follows:

www.dash4it.co.uk

Outdoor leadership:

If you are feeling that in your business environment the old methods of ‘chalk and talk’, and dull training and development methodologies have seen better days, how about really putting yourself ‘out there’, literally and getting in touch with Dave at the Fresh air Leadership co.

An experience with well qualified, well-rounded facilitators that will help you de-clutter and gain new, fresh perspective on Leadership.it ‘ll help you be a better you whatever your particular quest in life looks like!

You can find Dave on:

www.freshairleadership.com

or email – dave@freshairleadership.com

Our journey through 2021

When we started positiveoutdoor365, it began from our quest to enable people to be safe and well when venturing outside into the beautiful country parks that exist for our benefit.

We had no idea where this would go, (a bit like Chris’s navigation at times!!) however we have been overwhelmed by the fantastic engagement you have made with our site, your interesting feedback, some new thinking on our web content, but in the main we have loved the fact we have achieved global engagement, which we did not anticipate for one minute, and an increasing number of hits on the site have made the project all worth while!

As you can see from the graph below, we are reaching the dizzying heights of 14,000 hits per month, truly mind blowing, and since inception we have recorded 80,341 hits on the site.

Thanks for engaging with us on the journey, we appreciate your views and feedback and of course, many thanks to the brilliant sponsors and supporters that have been with us from the outset.

If you want to partner with us on Footwear, Rucksacks, or as a generic provider of a comprehensive range of outdoor wear, we would love to hear from you.

2022 and beyond.

Next year, I am proposing to facilitate guided walks within the Peak District, for those interested specifically in locating ‘Over Exposed’ the B29 crash site located near high shelf stones on Bleaklow. Very reasonably priced at £30 per person, you can be sure of a fun day out and safe return.

Alternatively, and should there be sufficient interest, I will conduct the same but with specific Navigation training to help build both confidence and competence in aspects of land navigation. Again, reasonably priced at £75 per person.

The fees charged will support the ongoing website development and support of our two chosen charities Mind and Fix the fells.

Please feel free to contact us via our website.

Thanks

Martin and Chris.

Rucksacks

Your rucksack is an important item to any hiking trip, but with such a bewildering array to choose from, which one do we need? To be honest, we could write a book over all sorts of excellent brands, we certainly have our own personal preferences, but the simple answer is you need to find what you feel you need for the hike or what you are aiming to do for your trip or adventure.

Your rucksack choice is a personal thing!

So, to start, there are mainly four size ranges to look out for, and this is normally determined by what style of day out you are having. This is a simple overview of different capacities and their most appropriate uses.

10L to 25L

Mostly used for trail running or fast walking and long-distance walking, but can also be used for a small hike when just carrying a drink, food and waterproofs or anything else lightweight that you feel is needed for your outing.

25L to 45L

This sort of rucksack is typically used for an all-day walk but also has the capacity to support an overnight stay in a hut, bothy or B&B etc. The incremental capacity is helpful for items you need for cooking, sleeping and of course, your food. If you can afford it, and are competent in self-sufficiency outdoors, the purchase of Ultra-light gear in this size of rucksack is a great space/weight saving option.

45L to 65L

This big boy is starting to take on serious meaning, rucksacks with this much capacity are designed for 1 to 3 days hiking for staying outdoors . This one takes all the gear required for the trip, Food, clothing, tent, sleeping bag/mat etc, etc.

65L to 120L

Used for big adventures when you are staying or going on a trip for a long time , Mostly used in high mountain trips when warm and cold gear is required and extras for all sorts of conditions. One of the drawbacks with this much capacity can be the tendency to over pack, adding to the weight carried, its at that planning moment you really need to be ruthless about desirable and essential items for the trip!

In our experience, despite the vast array of choice, we tend to find that the most widely used is the 25L to 45L , this you will find, is an adequate an all-rounder and used by hikers who get to learn what they need to take from years of experience enduring different types of weather and trips.

We all have our own items and gear we like to take, but the first rule before your trip is planning what are the essentials that you need for your trip, anything else after that is a plus! (See Outdoor preparation, what to carry in your rucksack).

Things to look for when selecting your rucksack of choice.

ABS system (adjustable back system ) which you can adjust to the length of your back for a comfortable fit.

Air flow system, which is a space between your back and rucksack that keeps air circulated and keeps sweat away from your back, this is typically a mesh net system.

Compartments and pockets, Look for one that has a compartment for a hydration bladder, side pockets ,mesh side and front pockets, lid top pocket and some hip belt pockets. You will quickly determine where you want to stow your most accessible accessories (jelly babies)!

Rain cover, normally on most rucksack fixed underneath of rucksack. (remember a rucksack is never 100% waterproof, so therefore be prepared to use drybags for your gear or even plastic bags to keep things dry).

Hip Belt, helps to evenly move the weight to your hips and back .

Chest strap, keeps the rucksack steady while walking over uneven ground etc.

Walking poles/ice axe Loops for fixing them safely to rucksack.

The above details are the minimum aspects that most decent rucksacks will offer, the best way to find and fit a rucksack, is to visit a good outdoor shop who will be prepared to help ‘fit’ your choice appropriately to your frame.

Our choice, Chris is a big Osprey/Berghaus/Mountain Equipment fan, and for me My choice is either Deuter/Lowe alpine or for lightweight days Mountain equipment.

Lake District Invasion 2021 – Positive Outdoor 365

Having collected Chris from Manchester Airport on Thursday, Friday morning was our start day for the venture back north to the beautiful surroundings of the Lake District National Park.

It has been some time since we last ventured into this glorious area of England, I’m sure everyone can understand why.

Our destination for our small holiday home was Thirlmere, specifically Leatheswater, which was a lovely little one-bedroom cottage with great views of Thirlmere from the lounge window. (Available via Cottages.com)

Friday – Travel Day

After a leisurely breakfast and checking and re-checking our kit, we eventually set of Northwards aiming to arrive in the Lakes around 2:00pm. A quick stop at the local supermarket to buy the odd bits that we needed for the stay, and we were off.

The Lakes is really accessible from Manchester with a journey time of around two hours, but as we were in no rush, we headed directly for Ambleside to make a compulsory stop at the ‘Apple Pie Cafe’ to let Chris savour the delights of, quite possibly, the most delicious Sausage rolls in the World!

Sausage rolls suitably demolished, washed down with a nice Cappuccino, and we were good to go!

The route from Ambleside to Thirlmere was only short and soon we were heading out of Grasmere on the A591 and enjoying the spectacular view that the lakes have to offer.

We arrived at our destination early but were fortunate enough to be greeted by our host, Phillip who happily allowed us to check in, as the venue was already prepared for us! Great!!!! We quickly sorted all our stuff from the car and headed out for some Navigation refresher training just to ensure we were sharp!

Training Session

We exited the accommodation, after several quick pictures and dropped out of the back of the venue which is conveniently situated right on the bank of Thirlmere. After less than a kilometre we were at the underpass on the A591 where we could see the vast bulk of Helvellyn off to our right.

We had chosen to use the Harvey SUPERWALKER XT25 maps for this excursion, so the familiarisation session would be a helpful before we went off to do some serious play on Saturday.

Our observations from the Harvey maps were as follows:

Good bits:

  • Lightweight and easy to fold
  • Clear and well-marked features
  • Waterproof
  • 15m contour lines makes them slightly less cluttered
  • Colour coding on contours and rocky outcrops

Observations:

  • Does not contain all details
  • Some smaller streams unmarked
  • Some footpaths not marked

Overall or experience with these maps was positive, and we concluded that some of the intricate details that you would find on an OS Map, had been sacrificed for the more prominent features and clarity on the Harvey Map.

Pacing and timing sorted, with a few attempts at locating specific features on the map and we were done.

Day 1 – Helvellyn Headwind

For the initial day out, we planned out a large day that would start with a ‘stomp’ up White Stones Route to Helvellyn Lower Man and onwards to Hellvellyn. Our original plan was to knock off the summit and progress along to Whiteside, then Raise and exit via Sticks pass.

All great plans aside, the weather had a different idea of what was going to be feasible on this Saturday morning. After ‘puffing & blowing’ uphill to get to the White Stones Route, we started to enjoy a warm welcome to Cumbria via some fairly serious Horizontal rain and winds that were gusting around 40-50 MPH. This was going to be tough!!!!

We pressed on and eventually joined the main tourist route to the top, which had a variety of parties of willing victims battling the elements to summit!

This was tough going, the constant rain, the wind and the wind chill factor was taking its toll on us. So much so, despite the perfect poses on the mountain, the realistic ones (see below) captured Chris and I hiding behind the rocks to gain a little relief from the elements!

We eventually summited in line with the initial plan, hitting the trig point at approximately 2HRs and 15mins from the start. Heading briskly to the shelter we grabbed a quick drink of warm Vimto, attempted to swallow a sandwich and layered up to ensure we did not lose any body heat to the elements!

Key learning point here, the major failure of the day was having cloth-based gloves. With wet and cold hands trying to don these was an absolute nightmare! When we did return to our cottage one of the first actions was to replace these with more robust gloves that would cope with the weather to avoid any similar unfortunate experiences!!!

Executive decision time, given the challenging conditions, the visibility and the relentless pounding from the wind and rain, I decided that we would ‘bale out’ and exit the Mountain via the most direct route, so off we set.

Even though we had (excepting our gloves) some good outdoor wear, we had still been challenged by the environment. You will imagine then, our horror, as we encountered a variety of ‘day trippers’ heading up the Mountain in trainers and tracksuits etc…

Time to find some food and a warm drink…

Day 2 – Customise the car day

Having checked a variety of weather sources, we decided that we would remain below 500m today as the cloud was down low, preventing any chance of views at all. This coupled to the likelihood of rain throughout the day, meant it really was going to be a small route with, hopefully, some opportunity to capture some new pictures for the website.

We waited until the worst of the weather had passed, then jumped in the car to head off over to Honister pass, to get a view of the pass and then head on to Rannerdale Knotts for our wander.

The weather had resorted to ‘minging’, the rain was very heavy, light was low and the visibility from the low cloud was less than helpful as we navigated our way down the pass.

Passing many sensible motorists along the way, we located passing places and steadily progressed to our rendezvous point for the start of our walk.

On route, there is one particularly bad bend at Hause Point, where, unfortunately, we encountered a nugget driving too fast for the conditions and the narrow road that we were on. As we pulled over as tightly as we could to the Dry-stone wall, there was the horrible sound of metal against metal as ‘coco the clown’ has decided rather than reverse, he would move forward making an even narrower gap…thanks for nothing Nugget!!

Having examined the damage (small dent and paint scratches) and deciding that there was little more that could be done, we parted on our separate ways.

At this point I was reminded of a saying that has always stayed with me, “Life is like a bubble, watch out for pricks”.

The walk:

We parked at Hause point in the little parking area adjacent to Rannerdale Knotts and headed Northeast along the small path to locate Squat Beck. The weather was ok, although the constant stop/starting rain was a bit of a nuisance and at one point Chris’ camera would not function as the screen was so damp, he could not open it to capture pictures!!

This is a fabulous little walk, up the valley for approx’ 1.5KM, which was a beautiful location, this coupled to the majesty and awe of the mighty Grasmoor with its top shrouded in mist was quite a sight to see.

On another day, fitness and weather permitting, this would be an ideal start point to tackle Whiteless Pike, Grasmore, Eel Crag and Wandope all in one session, but not today.

Instead, we headed up onto low bank and on to Rannerdate Knotts. It did not disappoint!

We had a little fun along the way, although the wind was a little too strong to capture my singing along the way (good job I might add) but our collective view was that despite it being only a low level walk, the views and beauty of the changing autumnal colours had made it all worthwhile.

We captured some fabulous views of Crummock water and back across Buttermere to the nose of Fleetwith Pike, all in all, despite a ‘bumpy’ start it had been a great day.

Time for some fish and chips….

Day 3 – High Tove ‘Bog fest’

We needed to start the day by de-camping from our holiday cottage, which was a relatively straight forward exercise. It had served us well, the location was perfect with an abundance of fabulous walks, hills, and mountains right on the doorstep, I’m sure we’ll be back.

Today the weather was much the same as Sunday, so we elected to remain low and venture off to the other side of the lake (Thirlmere) and wander up to High Tove.

An easy wander out onto the little track at the back of the premises lead us along the lake to take us around Great How and on to the small road at the end of the lake.

As we walked along the road the bulk of Raven Crag loomed large in front of us. We captured a few pictures of the now redundant car park and log pile and wandered on towards Armboth.

There is a clearly marked footpath opposite the car park at Armboth, so we gently plodded up the path paddling in the stream along the way.

This is a truly beautiful little walk, sheltered on the left by the huge spruce(?) trees coupled to the lovely sounds of the water crashing down Fisher Gill through the trees, it made for a very mindful walk towards the top.

We broke free of the cover of the tress onto the open aspects of High Tove. It’s a relatively open area but it is very, very damp!

We made it to the way stones on the top of the fell, had a quick drink and exited. Our plan was to have a few hours on the fells and be back in reasonable time to start our return journey to Manchester.

We both enjoyed the two lower-level walks and captured several great views along the way.

In summary, whilst the majesty of the High tops cannot be questioned, there is still much beauty and fun to be had at lower levels.

Time to exit, thank you Thirlmere you have been truly beautiful.

Martin & Chris

PositiveOutdoor365