Test products from Montane: Neo Jacket and Alpha Guide!

On December 18, 2013, in Reviews, by Phil Bovey

Just a quick post this morning to share my child-like excitement at having received not one, but TWO jackets from the ‘Montane Test Pool’ to try out over the festive season!

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Lowe Alpine DryFlo… The Legend Returns

On November 1, 2013, in Reviews, by Phil Bovey

Lowe Alpine DryFlo is back. And it’s better than ever.

DryFlo is a baselayer technology that first hit the market in the early 2000s to universal acclaim. Its superb wicking, cooling and odour-resistant properties came at an affordable price, and were appreciated across the board by professional bodies and customers alike. Sadly, due to the various financial troubles experienced by Lowe Alpine over the past decade, with it’s former owner Aspen battling to cut costs, DryFlo, along with all Lowe Alpine Apparel, ceased production in 2011.

But thankfully this is not the end of the story. Under the new ownership of Equip, production of Lowe Alpine Apparel has resumed. DryFlo is back, and it’s better than ever!

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We’ve got just the route for you for this Walk Wednesday, with a spot of sand, sea and hills on the glorious Isle of Purbeck. Starting at Corfe Castle, you’ll head out for a stupendous 2 day hike. The routes first day (14 Miles) takes in the Purbeck Hills, Swanage and follows the South West Coastal Path for some time, before heading up to camp at Tom’s field camp site. For the second day you’ll again follow the South West Coastal path before heading inland at Kimmeridge bay to follow the downs back in to Corfe (15 miles). We’ve also got alternative routes for the second day with a shortened 5 miles or 12 miles if you need to get back early, or fancy a more relaxing return to Corfe Castle.

Corfe CastleThere is plenty of Parking near Corfe Castle. Our recommendation is to turn left at the bottom of the castle mound heading uphill by East Hill to the walkers car park at SY 963 821. It states no overnight stays, but that’s for motorhomes. Head out of the car park to take a stroll over the Purbeck Hills towards the coast. Follow the Purbeck way along the ridge path on Ailwood Down and Nine Barrow Down. Keep going along Ballard Down and head back along the SWC Path in to Swanage where there’s plenty of scope for luncheon stops should you fancy.

Toms FieldAfter Swanage, follow the SW Coast path out through Durlston Country park, past the castle, caves and lighthouse until you get to Dancing Ledge. Stop a while to watch the one of the best sport climbing spots in the country, there should be quite a few people on the rocks. Leave the sea behind and head uphill to take the path to Tom’s field and relax in the general loveliness of one of the best campsites in the UK. Consistently voted one of the top campsites in the Uk by Cool Camping & The Guardian it is a stunningly beautiful campsite with great views over Swanage Bay from the top field.

Swanage BeachDay Two you have a couple of options, the route we would suggest is the one in pink on the map below. Head out from Tom’s field down to the coast, following the SW coastal path along to Kimmeridge Bay before heading up to join the Purbeck hills and back along to Corfe Castle. If that’s a bit too much for you after day one you can do a shorter route at 12 miles that heads along the SWC path to Rope Lake Head before heading up to Corfe Castle. Finally, a good half day option is to simply head cross country straight back to Corfe which comes in at 5 miles – perfect for those who have a longer journey home or want to be back in plenty of time.

All the routes are available to download on Viewranger, but we’ve also included links to the GPX files below as well (right click on them and select “save link as”) if you want to take them for your favourite device. As always, walking can be hazardous so we would recommend you walk within your abilities and check the route thoroughly before heading out.

Day 1 Corfe Castle to Toms field GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 15 Miles GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 12 Miles GPX file
Day 2 Toms Field to Corfe Castle 5 Miles GPX file

 

Photo Credits:- Corfe Castle Photo – David Bunting – Flickr,  Swanage Beach – R Schofield – Flickr,  Tom’s Field – Treehouse 1977 – Flickr

 

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The Museum FarnhamThis weeks #walkwednesday route is one we have created in Farnham, Dorset and is either a challenging 13.5 miles of walking, or a quick hour and a half on the Mountain bike – whichever you prefer. Set in an Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, Cranbourne Chase, this is a walk or ride that takes in downs, ancient deer parks before delivering you back to a pub of course!

Parking starts at the Museum in Farnham (do make sure you stop in for a pint afterwards, it’s a cracker) and there’s a little bit of up and down to whet your appetite. You start off heading past Chettle Down where you can take a detour to look at an abandoned ancient settlement. View of Chettle Down from Dunspit LaneQuite a bit goes through Harbin’s Park which was once a Medieval deer park covering, more or less rectangular in shape and surrounded by a bank up to 16 feet (5 metres) wide and 5 feet (1.5 metres) high and a ditch over 15 feet (4.5 metres) wide. See if you can spot any of these features as you head around. You come back through Chettle which has been described as the perfect English Village before heading back to Farnham.

Chettle churchWe’ve put a map of the route up beloow, but if you’ve got Viewranger you can download this route for FREE on to your mobile and follow it around. Please note Walking or MTBing can be challenging activities, so do check out the weather and be honest about your level of fitness before setting off.

 

 


© CC The Museum Farnham by Bert 23 – Flickr 
© CC Chettle Church by jfarnhill Flickr
© CC Chettle Down by Toby

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Essential Guide to Walking Kit

On August 12, 2011, in Tutorials, by Gareth

We had fun earlier in the year meeting up with Andy from Walks around Britain and Dave from MyOutdoors whilst up in the Peak District. We were already shooting a short video on a walk around Coombs Dale, whilst we were there, we had a chance to shoot the following short video on what sort of gear you might need when starting walking.

 


 

For those of you new to walking, the video gives a great intro to the sort of kit you will need to take when heading out for a days strolling, whether that be in the hills or valleys. We would recommend at least the following gear, as weather conditions can change rapidly when you are out and about.

- Small rucksack of between 15 & 25 litres in size
- Good pair of walking boots, spend the lions share of your budget on this.
- Baselayer to push or wick sweat away from your body, it should be synthetic or merino wool (not cotton!)
- A Midlayer, generally fleece, either heavy or light depending on the weather and a spare one in case of emergency.
- An outerlayer, usually a waterproof jacket, but can be a soft shell which is a water resistant and wind proof layer.
- Good pair of walking trousers and a pair of waterproof trousers if the weather looks bad. Don#’t wear jeans, if they get wet, they are rather uncomfortable, again stick to synthetic options which are hard wearing, water resistant and dry quickly.
- Compass.
- Map (great guide from Ordanance Survey here on choosing the right map).
- First aid kit.
- Food & Drink as you burn a lot of calories out strolling.
- Hat & Gloves (make it a sun hat for summer along with some sun cream).

This is just a basic list, so take in to account if you are doing anything more strenuous, or if you are heading in to the mountains, you may well need more equipment.

What would you consider essential for your rucksack or clothing when heading outside?

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I’ve done something I haven’t done for several years this week. I walked in the hills with my wife. Doesn’t sound like much does it, but when you factor in that our eldest is now 3, thats nearly 4 years since we have been for a decent walk together, and by that I mean something over 2 miles without blackmailing / cajoling / carrying a tiny guy along as well. It’s been such a long time, it felt a little strange to start off with, but the silence soon lost it’s edge and became the comfortable companionship I had missed. I’m not sure what it is, but hill walking and car journeys always seem to be the easiest places to talk to people. The quality of conversation that you get on the path or the front seat of a long trip, seem to be head and shoulders above the conversations we normally try and fit in to our busy lives. Not having anywhere to go except the journey, the lack of internet, demands of work and everyday life result in communication that is to be cherished.

towards Strines resevoir

The plan wasn’t always for a wander, we woke up at Cath’s folks house and decided when looking at the heavy hoar frost that it would be a stunning day for a wander. Persuading Grandma and Grandpa was done first thing, and the boys didn’t even turn round as we bolted out the door. We needed a gentle, swift wander as we didn’t want to leave the boys all day, so we headed on over to Cutthroat bridge, just up from Ladybower reservoir to park up. We were heading off to a bit of the Peaks I had not been too before, up to Strines reservoir, before heading across to an old favourite, blackhole moor and down to Derwent edge.

salt cellar

derwent edge

It’s been a while since I have been in the hills with Cath, so Monday was a bit of a dreamy day, my memories now I am back at the PC is of the chuckle of many grouse, trying to break through ice sheets whilst giggling, the silent movement of mist and cloud across the heather, and the beauty & majesty of Peak district gritstone. We’ve just been looking at some of the photos we have taken, and it’s lovely to share a smile and memories we have had together again of the hills. Time to plan some more dates, it’s been too long.

in to the mist

icebreaker

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