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The Camping Survey 2014

At ProCamping we love a good infographic and the team at GoOutdoors have outdone themselves with the 2014 Camping Survey which presents research they did on 2831 British Campers.  How much do you fit the norm or what do you do differently.  We’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments!

Some of the key findings included

48% of those surveyed had been camping for over 20 years, and 20% for less than 5 years, so quite a mix of veteran campers and new.  The most popular age group for camping is 30 – 49 which covered more than 68% of those surveyed.

The most popular place for camping was shared between Pooley Bridge and Keswick.  Here in the Procamping tent we were discussing our favourites, its a struggle to pick just one, but probably camping ontop of the rugged Pembrokeshire coastline.  What are your favourite camping spots?

Its not just about traditional camping either, theres a whole host of camping ideas that people are trying including – Wild camping, Glamping, Yurts, VW Campers, Snowholing, Teepees, and more!

Of course its the camping stories that we love the most, thats what makes camping so fun, you always have a story or experience to share.  Without further ado here is the Survey, let us know what you think and your Camping experiences and favourites in the comments!

GO Outdoors - Camping Survey Infographic - FINAL

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News and Events

The Outdoors Show

The Outdoors Show

Yesterday I visited the Outdoors Show.  The 2013 Outdoors show is being held at the Excel in London and is marketed as 1 ticket 4 shows, combining the Outdoors Show, Active Travel Show, London Boat Show and London Bike Show.  This meant there was plenty to see and do, it would be easy to spend the whole day at the Outdoors show alone!

The Outdoors Show alone has over 100 exhibitors, this ranges from manufacturers showing off their latest outdoor equipment to outdoor associations and there are even bouldering walls to climb and Zip wires to fly down.

As well as getting to see the latest in outdoors products and companies there were a great selection of speakers in the various stages.  Some of the speakers I enjoyed listening to included

Helen Skelton – Helen Skelton is not just a children’s TV presenter on Blue Peter, she also holds two Guinness World Records for her adventuring – these are for kayaking 2010 miles down the entire length of the Amazon river on a solo journey, achieving a Guinness World Record for the longest solo journey by kayak.  Her other record is for a 500-mile trek to the South Pole, both of these experiences were for Sport relief.

Charley Boorman – Charley Boorman first appeared on my radar when I saw the epic TV program Long Way Round, in which he and Ewan McGregor motorcycle round the world.  This trip Charley said made a spike in sales of the “adventure” motorcycle industry by 65%, he spoke of how the Long way round came about and went on to discuss his other adventures, including the Race to Dakar.  Charley is currently appearing in a new series on Channel 5 – Charley Boorman’s South African Adventure seeing Charley travel over 6,000 miles across Africa on his BMW GS Adventure motorcycle.

The Wild Britain Stage – The Wild Britain Stage was hosted by Ordnance Survey.  At this stage there were a range of inspiring speakers and also talks on essential outdoor skills including Map reading, GPS, Bushcraft and more.

Those are just a couple of the many talks and events.  Some of the stands I enjoyed included meeting Cassandra the writer of The Glamorous Girls Guide to the Great Outdoors which she launched at the Outdoors show, the Beyond the Beaten Track outdoor provisions company where there were several tasty ration packs / camping foods to try.  In fact at times I felt it could be called the Good Food show!  I also loved the Grasshopper foods stall who make tasty porridge and soups in innovative vacuum packed “pop up” bowls.

Also I got plenty of ideas for adventures for 2013, the Great Glen Trail was a particular favourite a 79 mile trail across Scotland from Fort William to Inverness mainly following the towpath of the Caledonian Canal, there’s something for everyone here with opportunities to complete all or part of the route on foot, bicycle or canoe!

My only complaint about the The Outdoors show, which isn’t really a complaint as it was great, more of an observation was the lack of camping companies there.  When I think “Outdoors” I think camping, but the only tent supplier there was Robens (who had a fantastic selection of tents up) and there were no stove companies and few outdoor clothing companies (no big names).

That said The Outdoor Show makes a great day out, whether you are interested in planning an adventure, just having a browse, or a day out there’s something for everyone… and that’s just the outdoor show, once you’re finished there you have 3 other shows (Bike, Boat and Active Travel) to go round which I haven’t even mentioned here!

 

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News and Events

Reasons to Hike the Appalachian Trail

We found this great infographic from Hiking Boots.com and had to share it.  They have listed 35 reasons why you should walk the Appalachian trail.  But first what is the Appalachian trail?  The Appalachian trail is officially known as the Appalachian National Scenic Trail, it is a marked hiking trail in the USA from Springer Mountain in Georgia and Mount Katahdin in Maine.  The total length is approximately 2,200 miles (3,500 km) and crosses through 14 states, but slight changes to routes mean the trail length is often changing.

So why walk the Appalachian Trail?  (as if you need ask), Hikingboots.com offer 35 reasons, here are a few of our favourites.

  • It takes 5 months and 5 million steps to walk the trail.
  • Clingmans Dome is the trails highest point at 6,700ft, a great place to watch the sun rise!
  • The Hot Springs resort and spa with its steaming mineral bath with legendary healing powers.
  • Laural Fork Gorge with its 75 ft waterfall

and of course at the end you can tell people you have walked over 2,000 miles and completed the trail.

Appalachian Trail

Walked the trail?  Leave a comment and share your advice or favourite experience upon the way.

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News and Events

Merry Christmas from ProCamping

We want to wish all our readers a very Merry Christmas!  We hope Santa brings you lots of shiny new camping gear!

Today we decided we’d share something Christmassy and fun with you.

You may have seen on the news earlier this season and the above video where Santa got stuck while abseiling down from a shopping centre roof.  This isn’t the first time it has happened, a quick google and you’ll find that Santas everywhere are getting their beard stuck in their gear.  fortunately though Petzl (makers of Headlamps) have produced a handy guide for abseiling Santas everywhere!

Petzl’s Holiday guide gives Santas everywhere health and safety tips for the Holidays!

I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas!

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News and Events

What to wear for Tough Mudder

Image from Tough Mudder

So you’ve signed up to The Tough Mudder Challenge.  Good Luck!  We’ve put together this guide of What to wear for the Tough Mudder or similar sporting events. Our overriding guidance though is to train in what you will wear on the day, and choose what you will be happiest with.

Shoes

Starting at your toes shoes are perhaps the most important part of your outfit.  It is also the part of the outfit that provokes the most discussion.  The first thought is that a the Tough Mudder will ruin your shoes so wear something old, but equally many would argue that it is possible to clean shoes and that the last thing you want to do is skim on footwear for the big event.  Look for a decent pair of trail running shoes, trainers or the likes are no good as you will slip everywhere, whereas a pair of trail shoes will afford you some grip in the mud and won’t clog up.  That said ensure they are laced up tight, double or even triple knot them as the mud will do all it can to take your shoes from you!

Socks

You’re going to want socks to protect your feet from blisters, but within minutes of starting they will become wet so its best to look for short quick drying athletes socks.

Bottoms

For the bottom half of your body our advice is to just go for a simple pair of lightweight shorts.  As your going to be wet and muddy lightweight shorts will dry quickly and they aren’t going to drag you down.  If you went for a full length set of jogging bottoms they’re just going to soak up the mud and water and weigh you down.

Tops

A form-fitting baselayer is best.  Don’t be a mad man and try to run it shirtless – that could get painful if you take any of the electrified obstacles.  A simple base layer will be fast drying, help wick sweat from your body and unlike a T-Shirt won’t weigh you down when wet.

Other things you may want to wear

Those are the essentials, but depending on the weather you may want to consider some other items also.

Leggings

We are generally against wearing too much as anything extra could become wet and heavy, but if you are running at a particularly cold time of year you may want to wear a set of skin-tight quick drying leggings which will give you warmth and comfort.

Compression Sleeves

If you’ll be running up and down mountains you may find compression sleeves.  Compression sleeves will help your blood circulation and can give you better performance or at least save your calves!

A Hat

Theres no hard and fast rule around Hats, if you’ve trained in one and your comfortable with it then wear it, if not then don’t, just be prepared to lose it with all the crawling and scrambling!

A Camelbak

Again this comes down to training, if you have trained with a Camelbak and are going to be comfortable with it then bring it, equally if you can’t run several miles without hydration then you may want to consider a Camelbak too, most Tough Mudder events have drink stations, but you don’t know how long you’ll be running inbetween!

Gloves

Another personal choice, some would say don’t wear gloves, as they are only going to get wet, but on some of the obstacles you’ll be scrambling around so gloves will help provide some protection to your hands.

What else do you need?

A Drybag

Take a drybag to keep a change of clothes in, you don’t know where you’ll be able to leave your stuff so keep it protected from the elements.  Equally at the end of your Tough Mudder you can throw all your wet and muddy gear in so that they don’t mess up the car!

A change of clothes and shoes

It sounds obvious but the first thing you’ll want to do after the event is change your clothes, particularly your shoes.

Money

There’ll be stalls to buy food and drinks after the event or commemorative Tough Mudder gear!

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News and Events

Camping Gear Then and Now

We stumbled upon this great infographic from Eastern Mountain Sports entitled Camping Gear Then and Now.  The Infographic compares kit from years gone by to modern times.  It’s fair to say things have changed quite a lot.

For the most part camping gear and equipment has got far more technical, fabrics are now engineered, they are designed to wick moisture, have watertight seams or have down fillings for better warmth to rate ratios.

In other areas I would argue technology has completely replaced traditional skills with paper maps and compasses being replaced by GPS systems or even just a smartphone with google maps!

Leave  comment and let us know “Is this for better or for worse?” Certainly I won’t complain about a modern sleeping bag or tent!  But I think that maps and compasses are still important skills to know, you can’t always rely on technology!

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News and Events

Cold Water Swimming Championships 2013

If you’re looking for some cold adventure it might be closer to home than you think!  On the 26th January 2013 South London Swimming Club will be hosting their 5th UK Cold Water Swimming Championships at Tooting Bec Lido.

This is a biannual event which has become a key feature of the calender for cold water swimmers, but first timers are welcome too!  Water temperatures get as low as 3°C so half the challenge is persuading yourself to jump in let alone swim!

There are a variety of races, from the traditional “head-up” breaststroke, the freestyle dash and relays to the 450 metre challenge for the really fool hardy.  But it’s not all cold!  To help the competitors recover there will be a Finnish sauna available after the races as well as good food, a host of stalls and entertainment going on throughout the day.

To Enter visit the South London Swimming Club Website here

The video above shows a taster of what you can expect.  If you take part or head along for the atmosphere why not take some pictures and write us a review!  Send it to hello@procamping.co.uk

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2012 Kendal Film Festival Winners

The Kendal Mountain Festival is a staple event in the calendar each year, it’s the main social event in the UK for Outdoor lovers and markets itself as the biggest in the world.

The core of the festival’s program is the mountain film competition.  From over 200 entries 50 films are screened, some premieres, all competing for 10 awards.  Additionally the winning films go on tour around the UK in the Craghoppers Best of Kendal Film Tour.  Alas I wasn’t able to attend the Mountain Festival but have enjoyed scouring the web to find out more about several of the films and watch their trailers.

Find below a full list of the winners of the 2012 Kendal Mountain Film Festival with trailers of their films.  There were a couple we couldn’t find so if you have any information please leave a comment.

Grand Prize – Justin Jones – Crossing the Ice – casandjonesy.com.au

Cas and Jonesy are two Aussie mates who describe themselves as making an adventure out of life.  This includes kayaking a few oceans, climbed mountains and hit dirt tracks all round the world.  In Crossing the Ice the film which won the Grand Prize in the 2012 Kendal Mountain Festival Cas and Jonesy attempt the first ever unsupported trek from the coast of Antarctica to the South Pole and back. Starting with very limited experience they spent months researching, consulting with experts from all round the globe, training in the Arctic and NZ, rehearsing the skills they would need to survive in the highest, driest, windiest and coldest place on Earth.

Prize Categories – Climbing & Peoples Choice – Wide Boyz – hotaches.blogspot.co.uk

Wide Boyz premiered at the 2012 Kendal Mountain Festival.  Wide Boyz follows two climbers Peter Whittaker and Thomas Randall from Sheffield, England, who take on the hardest Offwidth wide cracks in the world.

Prize Category – Mountaineering – The Old Breed – theoldbreedmovie.com

The Old Breed is a documentary short film about the first ascent of Saser Kangri II, located in the Eastern Karakoram.  At 7518 meters high, SKII was the second-highest unclimbed mountain in the world. It was climbed on August 24th, 2011, by the American team of Mark Richey, Steve Swenson, and Freddie Wilkinson. Besides being one of the highest first peak ascents ever accomplished in alpine-style, the climb is notable for the fact that Richey and Swenson were fifty-three and fifty-seven years old, respectively, at the time of the ascent.

Prize Category – Mountain Adventure – Autana – posingproductions.com

Adventure climber Leo Houlding and film maker Alastair Lee join climbers Sean Leary (USA) and Jason Pickles (Salford) to head deep into the Amazon in an attempt to make the first ascent of the east face of the remote tepuy; Cerro Autana.  Follow the team of redoubtable characters as they find their way up the jungle infested rock face as they are amazed not only at the climbing but a luxury wall camp in the incredible Autana Cave system just below the summit of the tepuy (highest elevated cave system in the world).  An adventure unlike any other, adventure film making takes another step into the unknown.

Prize Category – Culture – Capetown – (We can’t find an official website – if you know it leave a comment and let us know)

Capetown is a short film telling the story of pup, Capetown, in her 1st season racing in the ancient Cumbrian sport of hound trailing. Shot over 9 months it gives an insight to the passion and dedication of a special group of mountain people and their 4 legged friends.

Prize Category – Adrenaline – Where the Trail Ends – wherethetrailends.com

Where The Trail Ends is a film following the worlds’ top freeride mountain bikers as they search for un-ridden terrain around the globe, ultimately shaping the future of big mountain freeriding.  This unparalleled story documents man’s challenge of mother nature and himself showcased through a cast of colorful characters. This is the most progressive and ambitious mountain biking ever attempted resulting in an entertainment adventure unlike anything experienced before.

Prize Category – Short – The Warrior – forgemotionpictures.com

The Warrior is part of the “Of Souls + Water” series.  The Warrior is episode 4, Growing up on the North Shore of Oahu, surfing was Christopher Peterson’s life. He fought for his place in the sport, for family, and for friends. When his grandmother called and asked for help, he left the islands – only to find tragedy.  He has not surfed in the ocean for over 6 years. Now he discovers solace and release surfing the rivers of the American West.

Prize Category – Judge’s Special Prize – Verticalmente Demode – verticalmentedemode.com

Prize Category – Adventure Film Academy – The Extra Mile

(No information available – If you have any please leave a comment)