The Oscar for best outdoor video goes to…….

This week has been a mental one as we have been out and about shooting video for the website and for a video noobie such as myself, it has been a really interesting experience. I’ve long been a big fan of videos on websites when selling stuff as people get a much better idea how things work and what it looks like in the flesh. Shooting the video has also been a great deal of fun with James and Matt acting as the crew and myself somehow ending up in front of the camera. I’m fairly sure this is down to the beard, but I’ll leave you to make up your own minds if this was a good idea when you see them on the site! James did us all proud with his shooting soup (Beef consomee, Tabasco & vodka) which was totally lush along with some old fashioned scooby snacks.

The product videos were relatively easy but the real toughy so far has been the gear guides we are starting to shoot on helping peole to choose Jackets / Boots etc, they took more than a few takes so every time I see those blooper reels, I have a certain amount of sympathy. Whats going to be interesting is to see what everyone thinks of them, do they help people come to a decision or is there anything we could do better? Stay tuned to Webtogs TV :D

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Think you could make it to the top?

Ben Nevis Challenge

Alzheimer’s Society has set a UK wide challenge to raise money and awareness for thousands of families who are affected by dementia .

700, 000 people live with dementia in the UK alone and avid climbers have been set the challenge to conquer Britain’s highest peak. Ben Nevis stands at 4,409 feet and is located within the heart of the Western Highlands.

If you want to find out more please visit: http://www.alzheimers.org.uk/site/scripts/documents_info.php?categoryID=200257&documentID=477

Or for further information call 0870 417 0192

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What is the absolute minimum to take on a long hike?

Hiking is serious business. Leaving home without the essentials and knowing how to use them is not a good idea. No real adventurer would leave home without these basics:

Maps
If you can’t read a map, and read it well, you don’t belong in the wilderness. Good, colour contoured maps that show elevation, latitude, and longitude are essential. If you’re clueless on how to read it, check out a map reading guides on the net or contact local hiking clubs and societies for a course.

Compass
If you don’t know your north from your south, you can get yourself into trouble in the great outdoors. Again, local hiking clubs and societies might have a course to teach you how to orient yourself to the map using a compass. There’s no need to go overboard when you buy one – all you really need to know is where north is. Our compasses are reliable compasses that works well.

Swiss Army knife or multi-purpose tool
I’m partial to the Gerber Bear Grylls Compact Multi Tool and am firmly convinced that you could brave the ugliest situations with this trusty companion. A good Swiss Army knife also does a great job of tackling the great outdoors and are renowned for they reliability. Open cans, cut bandages, eat with it, repair your gear, fix blisters, and remove splinters…Is there anything it can’t do?!

First aid kit
If you don’t know a bite from a bruise, clue yourself up on first aid. Be it a proper course or asking our good friend Google for some online guides – don’t venture out without basic knowledge. Good, small, lightweight first aid kits are available from most places that sell camping gear.

Torch or head lamp
Useful for finding your way in the dark, map reading and signalling for help at night. You can find some great Head Torches here.

Water and purification kit
Water is essential but what if you run out? A water purification kit is a great way to be able to drink just about any water. Finding out where your water sources are before you start a big trip is also useful.

Waterproof clothing and spare dry clothes.
You can always shed clothing if it’s too hot but not having it when you need it can be life-threatening. Take spare socks too in case your feet get wet.

A way to start a fire
There are several good commercial fire starter kits, or make your own with some lint from your dryer and waterproof matches.

Extra food
Plan what you will need and then bring more. Kendal Mint Cake is especially delicious and keeps the energy up.

Sunglasses and sun screen
Essential for trips in hot weather but even more essential if you are in the mountains above the clouds surrounded by snow.

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The Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show 2009

March sees the annual return of The Ordnance Survey Outdoors Show at the NEC Birmingham. The 2009 guess speakers have now been announced.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes

Know too many as the “World’s Greatest Living Explorer “, Fiennes was the first man to reach the South and North Pole by surface travel. More recently in 2003 he completed 7 marathons in 7 days across 7 continents.

Ranulp Fiennes has been a leading figure within the outdoors community since the early 80’s, helping raise millions for several charities along his way. In 2007 Fiennes climbed the North Face of the Eiger raising an impressive £1.7 million for Marie Curie.

Alan Hinkes, OBE

Flying the flag for Briton, Alan Hinkes was the first Brit to climb the words highest mountain, 14 peaks across 8000m – only 12 other explorers have achieved this!

Alan Hinkes has famously scaled Everest as well as K2 and the third highest peak in the world, Kanchenjunga.

So when is it?

The Ordnance Survey Outdoors Shows runs between 27 – 29 March 2009 and offers a wide range of outdoor (indoor) activities, including kayaking, diving, SCUBA, mountain biking and rock climbing.

To find out more information and check the full list of announced speakers visit http://www.outdoorsshowextra.co.uk/index.php

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Find of the Month – Signed copy of “Who’s Who of Climbing”

Webtog’s team of researchers are consistently crawling the web to bring all our regular followers a unique “Find of the Month” and boy do we have a beauty to start with…

This is every keen explorers chance to own a unique piece of climbing memorabilia – A copy of Who’s Who of Climbing written by Colin Wells! So, I hear you ask? Well this isn’t just any copy of “Who’s Who of Climbing” but a fully signed version by some of the world’s most influential outdoor explorers – Kenton Cool, Alan Hinkes, Ed Douglas, Andy Cave, Colin Prior, Dave Turnbull, Mick Fowler, Alastair Lee, Simon Yates, David Brashears and Lindsey Usher!

This little find can be found on the popular social auction site Ebay – Current bid stands at £57, but you will need to be quick as the auction ends midnight on Sunday (8th February).

Interested?

Enter the code 280307903123 into the search function and start bidding!
The Auction is run by Trail Magazine.

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Late for the New Year as always…..

Well that was a bonzer Christmas and a half, so blooming busy I didn’t even have a chance to blog :) Xmas has been pretty good for Webtogs but as a result I haven’t had a chance to sit and write anything. It’s might be way too late to write this but heres hoping everyone reading this had a happy and peaceful Xmas and NY. It always feels strange but proper saying that to people you haven’t seen for a while after the event itself!

Along with the usual overload of Food and frolicks, lots of gear was exchanged this year as presents. Top of my list are my brand spanking new Scarpa Walking Boots. It has been a while since I got a new pair of boots but my old Zamberlans Boots had finally cracked after a couple of years of abuse. They are ultra stable and have given me a lot more ankle support as well as feeling as light as a newborn. I can’t wait frankly to get them out and dirty. Both Cath and myself also grabbed some Rab Fleece which I am a definite convert to.

Walking wise it’s been a fairly quiet but we did get a lovely stroll on NY eve with ones of the best hoar frosts I have seen for some time, it was so cold it looked like it had snowed. We had some friends from the Netherlands over and it really was a beautiful walk.

Frosty Valley

Some serious Tree Frost!

So here we are, 2009, slightly nervous times with all the economic shenanigans but heres hoping it’s a prosperous and peaceful year for all.

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