Paddle to your tent but mind the Bees….

Well what a lovely summer we are having. What’s that? You disagree? Better head over to Webtogs to get stocked up on waterproofs then, the lad below wishes he had!

Tent Canoeing

Despite the rain, there has been some brief moments of happiness. Helping one of our friends move house last weekend revealed a hidden treasure in the shape of a bumble bees nest. We had to dismantle his shed when we heard an all consuming buzzing starting to come from below the right corner of the floor. Dreading the fact it could be wasps, we gingerly lifted the final boards to reveal the bees nest below. I had never seen one up so close before, watching such fantastic animals who have had such a hard time of viruses and our polution recently was awesome. The colour of these bees was really vivid, a jet black front giving rise to a burnished organge at the tail. Suffice to say we covered them gently back up afterwards with some spare wood and left them to bumble about their business with large grins on our faces.

Bess nests go buzz buzz buzz

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She’s off again!

Helen Lloyd, our sponsored endurance cyclist of ‘takeonafrica’ fame, will be departing these shores en route to France from Poole ferry terminal on Monday 20th July. If anyone would like to come along and join the rest of us to wish her well, we are meeting Helen at the terminal building at 1130 am. Please come along and support this unique and worthwhile endeavour.

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Up the world’s biggest creek without the proverbial

One lucky member of the webtogs crew (flight costs and medical not withstanding) has been accepted onto the support crew for one of the worlds most extreme endurance events. The jungle marathon is a 200km stage race through the Amazon Jungle in Brazil, you may have seen the 2008 race on ITV 4′s extreme events program the other night. Although not new to the jungle, our lucky chap is busily bashing his chest and moving all the office plants into the adjacent toilet and running the hot water tap – something to do with acclimatisation he says!

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She’s off!

Helen Lloyd of ‘www.takeonafrica.com’ has finally set off on her marathon two year journey. Due into Poole on Friday 17th July, Helen has left home in Norfolk on a short warm up before catching the ferry  for the Continent on Monday 20th. We will be waving Helen off on Monday along with the local press, local well wishers and friends and family. We wish Helen all the best on her long journey and look forward to her frequent updates on both her website and here on the webtogs blog.

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Watch out for the cows!

It was interest that I read about this latest story about a Woman trampled by a herd of cattle back in 2002. She has been awarded £250,000 having sued the farmer, although this is now pending appeal.

Without wishing to sound too much like disgusted from Tonbridge Wells, am I alone in thinking that when we walk in the bautiful places of the UK we need to accept some responsibility of the risks that are incurred when walking through fields? I’m guessing that most Dog owners know to leave their dog to run around if something one tonne or larger comes running towards them. I know that if a load of cows had young in with them, I would be walking well away from them, same if there are a lod of bulls in the field too.

Walking and hiking in both low and high places always carries an element of risk and I am unsure about putting this risk back on to Farmers as we have with this case here. I can foresee situations coming up where if farmers feel that they are exposing themselves to too much risk by letting walkers use footpaths that run through their fields, they may try and get legal redress to restrict access. This is aside from my feeling that it is unfair in the first instance to push it back on the farmer……

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Dean Karnazes – the fittest man in the world?

I was out running around my new home town of Shaftesbury – which is pretty hilly to say the least, but after warming down, stretching etc (not!) but I did have a shower and a packet of crisps! Anyway, idly surfing/searching (working) the web for a local running club later that evening I came upon this truly amazing character.  Needless to say, I have put away my cheese and onion six pack and trying even harder to sprint up Gold Hill (the one from the Hovis advert) to the cafe at the top, mmm – Dorset clotted cream teas’ …

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Newport H2′s reviewed in Motor Boat & Yachting

We’ve just got a sneak peak from our friends at Motor Boat and Yachting about a review they have done on the Keen Newport H2′s. It’s coming out in next month’s magazine but Dave Marsh their technical editor has kindly sent us across an advance copy.

As a boater, I normally hate sandals. They often feel flimsy and unsupportive, and their soles rarely grip well. Most crucially of all, exposed toes are a liability on a boat. A single clumsy contact with a deck cleat can render you immobile for ages. Designed by an American sailor, Martin Keen, specifically for boating, I bought these Newport H2 sandals from Webtogs for one reason only; because the toe protection looked so sturdy. In practice, they’ve excelled in every area.

The sturdy toe caps are great, you won’t suffer even if you slam into a sharp metal object. They are ridiculously comfortable, at least on my feet . From new, I wore them for two days without a break, with and without socks. These broad H2’s would obviously suit wide feet, yet thanks to the soft stretchy lining (Keen call it ‘hydrophobic mesh’, I’d call it neoprene) and the bungee-like laces, they feel uncommonly supportive on my standard issue perambulators too. Despite this good support and the snug ankle strap, they are very easy to flick off. All told, I’ve never owned sandals as comfortable.

Good grip is paramount on a boat. I tested these on a teak laid deck, and a diamond pattern glassfibre deck, in the dry and the wet. Keen’s non-marking sole (it deserves this description) is much harder than on any deck shoe I’ve encountered. Most noticeable was that its wet weather grip generally seemed almost as good as its grip in the dry. On the teak, in the wet, it was possible to force the H2s to slide along the grain. But across the grain and the rubber sealant strips, with my weight pressing down, the H2s wouldn’t budge at all. Their lateral grip was excellent too, as was their resistance to twisting. On the wooden pontoons, and on surfaces ashore like concrete, tarmac, carpet and flagstones, my H2s were as grippy as anything I’ve ever worn.

Other useful features: H2s can be machine washed, they seem very sturdily constructed, replacement laces are available, they come in half sizes and three different colours, there’s a no quibble 60 day return policy, and the people at webtogs could not be more helpful. One thing to note. The open pattern on the H2’s soles tends to pick up and hold small stones, between 1mm/5mm diameter. So if you’re returning from the beach, check your soles before you hop back onboard. They dry out quicker than thick leather deck shoes, but unsurprisingly, nowhere as fast as all-plastic Crocs.

Mine are only two months old, so I can’t comment on their longevity yet. You might struggle to get into the Royal Yacht Squadron wearing sandals, but otherwise I can’t recommend these too highly. For day-to-day boating, I’d take these in preference to most deck shoes.

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