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Showing posts from November, 2021

Kit Focus – Voited CloudTouch & Fleece Blanket Review

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The Voited CloudTouch and Fleece blanket are the ultimate camp blankets—if I had one as a Scout, I would have been the envy of the entire troop. Insulating, water and stain resistant, packable, and machine washable; they are the most versatile and comfortable camp kit I have used in a long time. The Voited CloudTouch 4-in-1 PillowBlanket is a luxurious outdoor blanket that is built to last. It uses recycled 50D Ripstop REPREVE® fabric on one side, and luxurious CloudTouch™on the other. CloudTouch™ is a 100 percent recycled high-loft insulation fabric that is soft and fluffy, with the feel of real wool; yet it is eco-friendly (made from recycled plastic bottles), lighter, lower bulk and faster drying than traditional sheep's wool.  The Voited Fleece PillowBlanket™is another innovative 4-in-1 product: acting as a blanket, pillow, sleeping bag or poncho. It uses the same 100% Recycled 50D Ripstop on one side, then a soft and moisture wicking Polar Fleece fabric on the other. Both of t

Kit Focus – 361 Yushan 2 Trail Running Shoes Review

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There are very few pairs of running shoes that I would run an off-road marathon in, having only worn them for 15 kilometres previously. I did just that with the 361° Yushan Trail Running Shoes, back in 2019 on the Challenge the Wight event. They were, and are still, the most comfortable off-road trail running shoes that I have worn to date. My fond association with the 361° brand came after trying their Strata 3 Road Running Shoes in early 2018; they proved to be incredibly comfortable, stable, and supportive straight out of the box. I have subsequently run over 700 kilometres in them. When I signed up for the ' Challenge the Wight ' night marathon, I was well aware that my shoe choice would not only play a part in comfort, but also whether I would even finish the event. Due to a relatively collapsed arch and a wide toe spread, I have suffered from repeat problems with cramped or blistered toes, and vulnerable ankle joints—I was the kid who had to wear boots to school (b

A Year Behind The Paddle – Sea Kayaking Adventures 2021

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Kayaking has been a passion of mine since I was a child—I spent many great summer evenings messing about in boats with the Sea Scouts. Then, after a time away dedicated to other outdoor pursuits such as rowing, sailing and (of course) cycling, in 2018 my kayaking was rekindled. A Valley Etain 17.5 RM was my first expedition level sea kayak, and the boat I used for the Round The Island Kayak marathon back in 2019; a 92-kilometre non-stop paddle around the Isle of Wight to raise funds for a local children's cancer charity. The lockdowns of 2020 saw me reaching for the paddle on a more regular basis, as I looked to add as much diversity to my life through varied outdoor sports. Honing my paddling skills during this period, combine with great memories of the 2019 Round The Island paddle got me thinking about the next sea kayaking challenge that might be on the horizon. Kayak racing has never really been on the agenda for me, but I have always enjoyed seeing how far and how fast

Kit Focus – AKU Alterra Lite GTX Waterproof Hiking Shoes and CEP Compression Hiking Socks

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The AKU Alterra Lite GTX Waterproof Hiking Shoes are designed for hill walking and leisure wear; rated for anything up to a 'moderately difficult hike'. For me, they are the perfect winter walking shoes; with waterproof protection, superb breathability, and the versatility that they are not out of place on a wide variety of terrain. The AKU Alterra Lite GTX is made primarily of leather, with a Gore-Tex lining to ensure waterproofing and breathability. Inside there is a comfortable Ortholite insole to provide support for your foot, while the moulded EVA footbed offers cushioning and further support. The underside sole is a robust rubber tread that will find traction on a wide variety of terrain. The sole also features enhanced protection from stony paths and sharp scree. The Alterra Lite GTX fit very well, with the foot feeling well supported in the insole. The adjustable lacing system allows you to tailor the volume within the shoe to keep your feet comfortable in a var