Sunday, 22 December 2013

Five Weirs Walk: Sheffield

The Five Weirs Walk follows the River Don through the lower Don Valley in the South Yorkshire city of Sheffield. The section I walked with a friend who had recommended the walk was from Meadowhall through to the Wicker area of Sheffield. This covers the five weirs the walk is named after. It's not a scenic walk in the strictest sense, like say a walk in the Lake District, or Peak District. But it is a very interesting walk with a lot of history and some little gems. There are some nicely carved benches, historical buildings covering Sheffield's primary industry, steel works. There is a Bailey Bridge and the Cobweb Bridge running through the Wicker Arches.

Thursday, 28 November 2013

A Walk Along The Edge, with Lunch Thrown in.

I'd been to Snake Woodland a couple of times before. I'd been up Snake Path before. But I'd never walked along the ridge overlooking Ashop Clough, the northern edge of the Kinder Scout plateau. Today was the day.

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

My first Autumn walk around Langsett and some gear testing.

I took the opportunity at the weekend to get out around Langsett Reservoir and test out some new boots and the Food on the Move meal previously reviewed. Autumn has finally set in properly around here. A very late year.

The batteries on my camera decided to run out early into the walk so I had to revert to my phone. I was surprised to find it has a pretty good panoramic setting. A quick preview and initial impressions of my new boots to follow.

Saturday, 16 November 2013

A New Kid on the Block........Mountain Trails Moroccan Cous Cous with Chicken.

The colder months are here and I like to take a stove and something to eat with me. It's a good way to warm up and get some energy. I like to take a freeze dried meal with me, Fuizion being my favourite. But these meals are quite expensive for a quick meal out on a walk. Well I've found a cheaper alternative, Mountain Trails.

Friday, 1 November 2013

Good News............Their Back, Fuizion Freeze Dried Food!

Fuizion are back. The makers of what I think, and a lot of others do too, of the best freeze dried meals out there, have stock again. It's good news to hear, and below is a photograph of my order that arrived this morning. Thanks to Hendrik Morkel at for spotting their return and posting on his blog.

Fuizion freeze dried meals can be purchased at

Friday, 4 October 2013

One of the best even better? A Quick Look at the Sawyer Squeeze Mini

They've gone and done it, Sawyer have made a lighter version of the Squeeze filter. Called the Sawyer Mini, it costs a little less, and you guessed it, it's smaller.

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Product Updates - Good and Bad

Mountain Fuel

Mountain Fuel, the Welsh supplement and food company are currently in the process of updating their website. According to the email I received, they are also updating their product line. Hopefully, the energy bar they had mentioned quite some time ago on their website will appear. The new website hasn't appeared yet, I was told the end of September. So possibly another few days and something should be online. Time will tell.

Fuizion Freeze Dried Meals

This isn't good news. Having looked through the entire product range on the Fuizion website they have nothing in stock. Looking at their Facebook page, they have ceased trading. They say they are unable to make a profit, which would permit further investment. This may be down to what I consider quite a low price compared to the quality of the meals when considering similar products. This is a great loss to the outdoor industry, and my taste buds. I wish Tony and Alison, the people behind Fuizion, all the best.

Sunday, 29 September 2013

Less is More? The Petzl E+LITE (2013)

Back in April 2012 I reviewed the Petzl E+LITE. Since then, Petzl have upgraded the head torch. Or maybe more to the point, have put it on a diet. But is lighter with less features better? Let's see.

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

The Roaches, a lot of weather and too many wind farms

The Roaches, a few miles north of Leek, at the South West corner of the Peak District in Staffordshire. They are a quite unique rock formation unlike anything I have seen before. I went there at the weekend, I will need to go back.
Hen Cloud

Saturday, 7 September 2013

Blown Away by the Alpkit SkyeHigh 600 - A Review

Sleep is an important part of our lives, it's essential. Sleeping outside with only a couple of layers of thin nylon between yourself and the elements can bring up all sorts of issues. The simplest is being warm enough that you can manage a night of restful sleep.
So as lovers of the outdoors, many of us opt for a sleeping bag. Now it gets complicated, the various manufacturer's temperature ratings being a bit of a mine field. There has been a bit of a revolution lately, with the manufacturers trying to simplify the temperature ratings on their bags. I sleep very warm, and regularly find myself asleep with my bag fully unzipped on a chilly, clear summer night. Yet some people are the complete opposite and have to wrap up in the same conditions.
Then comes the! A good quality and sensibly weighted sleeping bag can be your single most expensive piece of gear. I can buy a car that would probably last me 12 months for the price of some of the expensive sleeping bags. I'm not knocking these more expensive bags as they are essential in many environments and situations. But there is an option that won't break the bank and will keep you warm in those cold nights. They aren't the lightest, maybe not the most efficient, and not the most flashy looking. I'm talking about Alpkit's SkyeHigh series of entry level sleeping bags. I'd just like to make it clear that I have no connection with Alpkit, and have bought the sleeping bag with my own money around twelve months ago. I opted for the SkyeHigh 600 due to the times and places I intended to use it, 3 seasons in the UK. For 4 seasons I would go for maybe the 800 here in the UK. I went with a long bag with a left zip, to give me enough room, and a zip I can easily operate.

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

Bamford Edge to Stanage Edge with Bits of Everything

At the weekend I headed out today with some trepidation. The weather looked like it really didn't know what to do. And it didn't, all the time I was walking along Bamford Edge and the northern end of Stanage Edge. It was very Take Away Special, bits of everything, rain, wind, sunny skies, hot, cold and humid. The only thing it didn't do was sleet and snow. I was back in millstone country.

Bamford Edge from Win Hill Pike earlier this year.

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Alpkit Glowe Lamp Review

Maybe not so important in the Summer months, but seeing where you are going in the dark can be quite important. When I'm camping and the sun goes down, I like to have a read before I head off to the land of nod. It helps me relax. But seeing what you are reading is important. But my little two man tent would be overkill for a large lamp. In comes the Alpkit Glowe.

Monday, 29 July 2013

When your blog becomes someone elses.

I decided the other day to do a search on the net and see what activity my blog is having. I was quite shocked to find at least a dozen of my posts had been ripped and posted onto another blog without crediting me as the source. That's text and photographs, including the post about my accident and injury to my arm, which I take personally. I have posted a few of the links below so that anyone interested can take a look. I say this because it looks as though they are doing the same with other blogs too. Although there seems to be no recent activity.

The other blogs posts:

My posts they ripped:
I wonder what other people think. What do my fellow bloggers, not the ones who take others hard work, think about this kind of activity? Have you experienced the same? In my opinion, it's un-ethical, and probably theft in some way.

Friday, 19 July 2013

The Sawyer Squeeze Filter System - Initial Review

I have a frequent issue when walking, especially in weather like we are having currently (July 2013 and yes, it's actually hot and sunny). If it's hot, I drink a lot. So I decided that I would like a couple of options for when out walking, as long as there is a known water source whether it be a stream, river, pond or lake. Carrying two to three litres of water, whether in bottles or an hydration bladder is not the best. And if planning a longer trip, such as several nights in Norway as I am, then an alternative is better. And as light as possible can always be an advantage, as long as there aren't too many compromises. So one option I want for is the Sawyer Squeeze. I took it with me on a recent Lake District visit to give it a test.

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Derwentwater......a change of pace

The scenery around Derwentwater, like most of the Lake District, is extremely picturesque. But I personally think that zipping past it in a car, or on a coach, isn't the best way to see it. The best way, for me, is to immerse yourself in it, walk through it. Derwentwater itself is around 3 miles long and one mile wide. Scope for a nice steady walk.

Sunday, 7 July 2013

Scafell Pike...a perpetual challenge.....endless views.

It was the first day of July, and after a poor start, the weather did get better, and I was lucky to be stood at the top of Scafell Pike at the time. Standing 978 m (3,209 ft) high with a prominence of 912 m (2,992 ft), Scafell Pike, as many will know, is England's highest mountain. Although originally known as Pikes of Scafell, due to an Ordnance Survey map error, it is now known as Scafell Pike with subsidiaries of Ill Crag and Broad Crag.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Gordale Scar to Malham Cove....without a scratch

The landscape above Malham has to be, for me, some of the strangest and yet most stunning scenery in the country. And not just Malham Cove. The limestone features really make this area worth walking through. Plus the occasional challenge along the way that just may get your heart beating a little faster. And caused me to break one of my own primary rules......but was worth it.

Monday, 17 June 2013

Great Whernside.........I got there eventually!

Situated to the north east of Kettlewell on the east side of Wharfedale in the Yorkshire Dales, Great Whernside stands a whole two meters higher than Buckden Pike. While I was in the Dales last year I went to check Great Whernside out, but was put off by low clouds. Wanting to see the views from up there I delayed my return visit until we had some good weather. And boy did I drop on the first week in June.

Friday, 14 June 2013

Powerpax Battery Storage Quick Review

What can I say, they keep your batteries together. They are light, the bare minimum needed to keep your batteries organised. They work really well, easy to push in and remove when needed. If they have one downside, they clearly aren't waterproof. So you still need to put them in a sealable bag or similar to keep water off your batteries. And for the small amount of plastic they are made of, they aren't particularly cheap at around £6 each. But they are available in glow in the dark plastic, but again, not cheap.
Are they worth it? If you want to store a lot of batteries I would look else where. For a few batteries for someone backpacking or hiking they aren't too bad. They also seem to be called Storacell by the same manufacturer.

Saturday, 8 June 2013

Chew Reservoir from Dove Stone Reservoir and an Amazing Ridge Walk

The start point, Dove Stone Reservoir, a Peak District reservoir in the Parish of Saddleworth. The target, Chew Reservoir, once the highest constructed reservoir in England until 1971 found at the top of Chew Valley. Then onto one of the most enjoyable ridge walks I've done yet. I went a few weeks ago to have a go.

Firstly, a word of advice, arrive early. Dove Stone reservoir is extremely popular. And at only £1.30 to park for the day, I can see why. It's well located, has a public convenience and attracts ice cream vans and mobile burger bars.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

Good Weather at Last

Finally the Summer is here and my run of bad luck with weather is broken. A couple of walks to post on my return plus a couple of gear reviews.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Montane Medusa 32 Review

I have both a Talon 22 and a Talon 44. The 22 is great for summer walks and the 44 for winter, when more equipment is needed. But I decided that something between them would be good for longer summer walks, where I would be carrying more water. Also something with a slimmer profile for scrambles and getting through the annoying 'hook on to your bag any way they can' gates and stiles. Montane released a range of packs last year and decided I would have a look at the Medusa 32. I tried one out at the local outdoor retailer and decided it was worth a try. At 32 litres it fell nicely between the packs I already have.

Saturday, 11 May 2013

Ultimate Survival's Wetfire Tinder Review

We don't have much in the way of real wild countryside left here in the UK anymore except in the north of Scotland. We are also limited on where it is permissible to have an open fire in the countryside. So the means to start a fire easily isn't exactly an everyday required skill. It doesn't mean that learning the relevant skills isn't fun. And it will come handy on those summer days when you decide on a barbeque. Or it may be just a man thing.
There are many materials and techniques that can be used to start a fire, but there are two primary factors that I've found can hinder a fire starting, wind and water. A fire needs air, but if it is too windy, initial ignition of the source will be difficult. Getting out of the wind is generally easy, as long as your environment permits. Any damp conditions may not be quite so easy. WetFire tinder from Ultimate Survival is supposed to address the water and wind issue.

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Jetboil CrunchIt Review

Too regularly, convenience comes at a cost. Often, that cost is waste, both material waste and energy waste. One particular convenience I always find hard to know what to do with easily is gas cartridges, the Butane/Propane mix canisters many of us use with our stoves. There are ways to dispose of the canisters, but puncturing them easily, and safely is quite difficult. A hammer and screwdriver may well be one way, but how safe is hammer metal surfaces together near the possible remnants of what was in the canister? Well I've found my solution to the problem which also allows for the canister to be more easily recycled.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

And the winner is......Win Hill!

Located in the Peak District, sitting like a guardian over Ladybower Reservoir, Win Hill, with a peak of 462m, isn't particularly high. But it does pose a challenge, and reveals some spectacular views. A walking buddy likes Win Hill a great deal and we went up there the other weekend.

Monday, 8 April 2013

A Snake, Snow and a Plane Wreck.

It will be brief, but I made a return to the Snake Woodland and the Snake path. I had a reason, an aircraft wreck. The wreck is of a B24 Consolidated Liberator, a heavy bomber used during the Second World War. There were more B24s built by America in WWII than any other plane with over 19,000 built.

Thursday, 28 March 2013

Nighthawk Ultralight Preview

I got hold of one of these from to give it a try. It has a claimed output of 20 lumens for a run time of around 48 hours. It can either be clipped to a hat or attached to a finger using the provided Velcro attachment. I'll be taking it camping in about six weeks and will do a full review of how useful it was and how effective it's output is in a practical situation.

Monday, 18 March 2013

Chrome shines!

Chrome Hill, while not made of chrome, really does stand out. Parkhouse Hill next to it has even more character. They have the look of mountains with the dimensions of medium sized hills. And it's only due to the much appreciated good graces of local farmers that we have access.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

The Monsal Trail.......short but sweet.

Heading West from the Derbyshire town of Bakewell and following the valley of the Wye River for approximately 8.5 miles, the Monsal Trail is a fairly new feature. The Trail was opened in May 2011, so it has only been in existence for a couple of years.
This outing was only going to be a quick visit. I'd gone with a walking buddy with plans for us to return in the Summer for a longer walk.

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Pull up a Chair and Enjoy a Pyms.............The Goyt Valley

I was recommended a walk around the Goyt Valley by a work colleague. I will be returning for more walks around there. It's rich in history, steeped in character and full of views. Here is my first walk in this area.

The Goyt Valley was originally the location of a whole community including small industries and a railway. The word Goyt, according to the Goyt Valley website at possibly comes from the old English words gote or gota. Whether this is true, I cannot substantiate it, looking the words up on the Internet doesn't show any results, although I did only take a brief look. The valley is now the location of two reservoirs, Errwood Reservoir, and the larger, lower, Fernilee Reservoir.

Friday, 22 February 2013

Jetboil ZiP Review

It's taken a while, but I decided to splash out on a Jetboil. I wasn't keen on spending quite a lot on a SOL Ti, and I'm glad I resisted. I went for the ZiP model, but was it money well spent?

Friday, 15 February 2013

Froggatt Edge......finally!

There are a series of edges, all following a similar geological path to the east of the village of Hathersage in Derbyshire. The edges are in the Dark Peak section of the Peak District and include Stanage Edge, Millstone Edge and Froggatt Edge. These three edges have been popular for many years, for more than one reason. Firstly, they were quarried for their grit stone to make millstones. The more recent is as a place for rock climbers. These edges see a lot of climbers, I myself having climbed at Stanage on numerous occasions, albeit many years ago. I've previously walked both Stanage and Millstone Edges, but not Froggatt Edge. I cured that shortfall at the weekend.

Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Trangia Triangle Burner Stand Review

I like gas stoves, but in the winter, the cold temperatures can be a problem. In the winter of 2011 I was discussing stoves with a backpacker I got talking to in the Dales. It was early October, the camping season was coming to an end, and the early mornings were cold. The gentleman I was talking to was having problems with his gas stove, it was very cold, so pressure in the gas canister was low. The flame on his stove just wasn't cutting it. He had to stuff the canister down inside his jacket to try and warm it up. There are alternative forms of gas, using an 85% Iso-butane/15% Propane mix, such as Snow Peak's GigaPower Fuel, but I find them harder to get hold of than the standard gas or alcohol.

Saturday, 26 January 2013

A Local Winter Walk

Last weekend I enjoyed a walk around the local area. I was just about rid of a nasty cold that had caused persistent coughing and just fancied a morning out without going too far from home.
The scenery was quite nice, deeper snow would have been nicer, but I did enjoy getting out. The temperature was more like what i prefer, I can manage my body temperature more easily in these cold conditions. As ever, the snow added something to features of the landscape.

Saturday, 19 January 2013

A Misty Start with a Clear Finish

I went for a little bimble around Langsett last weekend with a walking buddy. The weather started off misty but cleared up after about an hour.

Saturday, 12 January 2013

112 Emergency mobile number

We hope it never happens, but there may come a time when you are out in the middle of nowhere and you are unfortunate enough to need the emergency services. You've fallen and hurt yourself, got lost, or one of the many possible scenarios. How would you go about contacting the emergency services. Most people in the UK should be aware of 999, for the USA, 911, etc.

Saturday, 5 January 2013

New Years Update

Loads to review, walks to do. Off to Skipton today......hope the weather holds up.

I'm looking at gloves, stoves, hats (a surprise on this front) and other gear over the next couple of months. Some long term stuff, some new, some in a different direction.