Relieve Stress Get Outdoors

Most of the people on this site already appreciate the great outdoors. They take part in sports, hunt or hike for many reasons, but they all do it, in part, because they love to be outside.

At first, not everyone feels the same way. They may feel cold, or exposed to the elements, but in time most people get used to this, and start to really appreciate what nature has to offer.

Eventually, people find that if they do not spend time close to nature that they miss it. Even on a cold day, they feel the urge to get up from a comfy chair, in a warm chair, and go for a walk.

Basically, they have the bug. They are happier when they are outdoors than when they are in a confined space.

Studies show that being outside is actually very good for us. All kinds of people can be helped by taking up a hobby or sport that takes them outside.

This is particularly the case for people that suffer from mental health issues. Numerous studies have shown that outdoor activities are good for those who are suffering from depression. Simple activities like walking and fishing are usually the best way to help people with this health issue to get out and about. They do not require the person to learn a special set of skills, and in the case of walking require no special equipment. Importantly, the activity can be done for just an hour or for most of the day. This flexibility is ideal for someone who may not feel like staying out for long one day.

In time, many people find that they feel well enough to take up a more demanding activity. For example, in time someone that walks will want to start jogging. Before they know it they are going for long runs, and training for a marathon and socialising with other participants.


Get up – Get Out and Enjoy

Our first post is to tell everyone about us and to give you all the inspiration to get out and enjoy the natural world. We love spending time outdoors, and over the years have visited national parks, nature reserves, as well as enjoyed the parks and countryside in our area.

We started hiking in our 20s. It was a cheap holiday, we could take the kids and camp. At the time, wild camping was a good option, so we only had to find gas money. We had to buy some gear too, but we got most of our outdoor outfits in the sales and from our family.

In no time at all we were bitten by the outdoor bug. As our finances got better we started to do it more often. Spending weekends away and we began to try new outdoor pursuits. In no time at all we were canoeing, climbing, fishing and orienteering.

Once we had the outdoor bug we really had it. During the winter we couldn’t do as much as we wanted to, so started to travel. We went on safari, walking in the Alps and sailing. However, family commitments stopped us travelling for a bit, but we still needed our outdoor fix, so hiking in the rain became the norm for us. We also got the skiing bug and tried tobogganing, sledging and all kinds of other winter sports.


As you can see the list of outdoor activities you can enjoy is literally endless, and you do no need good weather to get out and about. We found that provided we bought good quality clothes we had all the protection we needed from the weather. That way we could enjoy ourselves year round as well as indulge our passion for winter sports.

The advantage of getting out and about

If you are looking for a way to get fit and improve how you feel getting up and spending time outdoors is a great way to do it.When you are walking or paddling down a river you burn a lot of calories without really noticing that you are doing it. This is great because there is no need to skip dessert when you are enjoying lunch on your travels.

Not only do you lose weight you stay toned and enjoy better cardiovascular health. Studies have also shown that people who interact with nature more suffer from less allergies and food intolerances.

Being outside is also good for your mental health. People who spend plenty of time outside are generally happier, they sleep better and suffer from less depression.


During our travels we have met all kinds of people. Today, many of our friends are people we met while enjoying outdoor pastimes. In our case it also provided us with an income for several years. We offered coaching and tours in our locale and sold outdoor sports clothing, so for us the great outdoors has been great. It has brought huge benefits to our family, so we want more people to get out and enjoy the same benefits.

We still spend a lot of time enjoying our pastimes, so this blog is just a side project for us. You may hear from us every week or once or twice a month. It depends what we are up to, but everything we write will be designed to help you to choose a outdoor pastime for your family, plan your trips and buy the right equipment.


Travel Pants for Men

The Best Travel Pants for Men

If you are looking for travel pants this is definitely the page for you. We have searched the market and come up with a shortlist of the best pants for men who love to travel.

What are travel pants?

But, before we dive into the list let us first explain to you what we think of as travel pants or trousers. We do so because a quick chat with our friends made it very clear that everyone’s definition of what a pair of travel pants are is different to say the least.

Here is our definition:

A pair of men’s pants that are lightweight and can be tightly folded but still look good when you drag them out of the suitcase or after you have spent several hours on a coach, train or plane. They also need to be functional, i.e. have enough pockets, be comfortable to wear while sitting for long periods, dirt resistant and easy to clean. If possible, they need to be smart enough to wear for social occasions as well as for activities like hiking and sightseeing.

OK now we all know what kind of travel slacks or pants we are talking about we can jump straight to the list, which is in no particular order.

Columbia Sportswear Men’s Global Adventure Pant

These pants are very flexible. They are made from 88% polyester and 12% Elastane and are woven so that they stretch four ways making them supremely comfortable to wear whether you are sitting or climbing.

As well as two front pockets, there is a secure zip pocket on the right thigh that is big enough for a passport. These pants can be dressed up or down, so if you can only take one spare pair with you these work are ideal.

boys-411179_1280They are lightweight, fold up really small, and do not crease as well as being wind resistant. The finish is water resistant and rain just beads and rolls off.

The styling is neutral and apart from the small-embroidered logo at the waist, they could easily pass as dress pants.

Royal Robbins Men’s Global Traveller Pant

These pants are made of 100% nylon. That is good from a wear and tear point of view, but it is not always a good thing from a comfort point of view because there is no elastic element to the fabric. However, these pants are well made and cut well, so they are actually comfortable to wear for travelling, sightseeing and walking, but you would not want to use them for an activity like rock climbing.

They are hard wearing, and are Teflon coated so they stay clean in virtually any circumstance. The material is dot matrix printed, so does not look nylon. It is much softer and the raised bumps created by this production technique ensure the slacks are comfortable and keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.

There are five pockets. The pockets on the thigh and the right back are both zipped. For additional security there is a hook and loop closure system on one of the front pockets.

Outdoor Research Men’s Ferrosi Pants

These traveller slacks are primarily designed for hiking, so have an extra zippered pocket on the thigh. It is well crafted, so the zip and opening lay flat, meaning that if you want to wear these trousers to dinner you can get away with it.

There are also two zipped pockets in the back. On the darker versions, the zips blend in with the rest of the material. However, some users have described the two front pockets as small.

These pants are stretch woven, so are very comfortable to wear and are a nylon/spandex mix, which means they are durable, crease resistant and easy to wash and dry. Perhaps the only drawback is that they are only water resistant not waterproof.

Columbia Men’s Silver Ridge Convertible Pant

No list of men’s travel pants would really be complete without including at least one set of convertible pants. We were not sure whether we should include a set on the list because they do not really tick the box of being able to be worn to social occasions. They are fine for a casual dinner or drink with friends, but you would not want to wear them to a more formal event. That said there are many advantages to travelling with a pair of trousers you can convert into a pair of shorts, so we have included a set and these are a great example of this kind of travel pant.

This pair has a straight cut and there is a removable external belt, so you get a good fit. The material is 100% nylon, so these trousers wear well and feature Omni-Shade UPF 50 sun protection so they will not fade.  Unfortunately, they are not waterproof. If you want pockets there are plenty, these pants have six of them, but none of them are secured by zips.

Buying travel pants can be tricky, but there is plenty of choice and prices have come down. You no longer have to spend $250 to get good quality travel trousers that will stand up to modern travel and still look good.

Trapper Hats

Originally, trapper hats, as the name indicates, where worn by fur trappers.  They originally designed this style of hat.  Exactly how long ago they did so is not really known.  However, it is thought that the hat originated in the USA.

The design of trapper hats

The design of the trapper hat was largely dictated by the materials available and the function it needed to fulfil.  It was originally made out of fur, which of course was the material that trappers had the most access to.  The idea was to make a close fitting cap that did not obscure the trapper’s eyes when they were hunting or moving around a dangerous environment.  It has long ears to ensure that the trapper is kept as warm as possible.  They tie up under the chin to keep the wind out.

Traditionally it was possible to tie the ears of the hat up above the head.  This meant that when he was not so cold you could wear the hat almost as a cap.  In addition, the brim of the hat could be folded back up against the scalp.  Again this was for practical reasons, when it was really cold the brim could be turned down again against the forehead leaving just the bottom part of the face exposed to the elements.

Modern Trapper Hats

Trapper HatToday the trapper hat is still popular with hunters.  It is extremely warm and practical.  Modern trapper hats normally have the addition of a waterproof fabric layer.  However, they have also become a fashion item, so often this layer is purely for display rather than practicality.

Most modern trapper hats are made of fake fur, however in some countries such as the Baltic States real fur is the preferred material.

Where to Buy Trapper Hats

You do not see many trapper hats for sale on the high street.  However, some hunting, fishing, and outdoor activity shops do still sell them.  However, by far the easiest place to find them is online.  There are literally hundreds of sites that sell these great hats, however it is better to buy them from specialist sellers.

Power your RV using Solar

If you are interested in solar power RV tech, this article is for you. Here we are going to explain what kind of solar panels are suitable for use with a caravan or motor caravan. We will also give you an overview of how to make sure that you buy a good quality alternative power system that will last and be reliable.

Why Consider Solar for Your Recreational Vehicle

solar-cells-1218453_1280 Recreational Vehicle Solar PowerBefore we get into the nitty gritty here are some of the reasons to consider investing in a solar kit for your recreational vehicle:

Save Money

Without a doubt, you will save money if you use solar panels when you camp. Campsites charge far more per Kw than you would have to pay per Kw for electricity at home.

This means that it takes far less time to cover the initial investment in solar panels than it does if you were to buy a domestic system for your home. The more you travel the bigger your savings will be and the faster you will get your money back and start to save cash.

The cost of power is only going to go one way, and that is up. Therefore, the sooner you start harnessing the power of the sun the more you will save.

More Freedom

You can use the money you save to travel more and to go further afield. Solar power gives you the freedom to camp in all sorts of places that you would never have been able to consider before.

Not only is it nice to have the extra freedom it is great not to have to pay so much when you camp. You have the option to wild or dry camp, in the areas that allow it, or use the cheaper, smaller rural sites when you really want to get away from things.

Help the Environment

Solar energy is one of the greenest available. If you love the great outdoors and want to do your part to look after the environment, switching to solar is a great way to do it.

Easy to Install

Solar Panels for RVsSolar systems for RVs are extremely easy to install. It is very much a DIY job, so you will not have to pay expensive labour costs.

Quieter and Cleaner than a Generator

If you currently use a generator, you will appreciate that sometimes they can be very noisy. Solar power is clean, silent and there is no need to carry loose cans of fuel.

Cheaper to Buy than a Generator

Many people think that solar panels for RVs are expensive. In the past, this was defiantly the case, but advances in solar panel manufacturing have brought the prices down.

You can buy basic panels for as little as $100, which is less than you would pay for a generator. Naturally, these small panels do not generate a lot of power, but if all you want is a backup for dry camping a couple of small panels should do the trick.

An Overview of Solar Panels for Recreational Vehicles

There are two main types of RV solar. They are fitted and mobile or occasional systems. Fitted solar systems are normally built into the roof of RVs. Mobile systems can be set up anywhere.

Both kinds of systems have their merits. Here is an overview of each of them along with an overview of the pros and cons of each kind.

Fixed Vs Mobile RV Solar Systems

Fixed systems tend to be more expensive than mobile systems. However, they will normally generate more power than mobile panels. This is because the size of the panels is usually bigger.

On average, a panel that is in direct sunlight will generate about 1KW of power per square meter. Fixed systems can be bought that cover the entire roof. However, you have to bear in mind how much sunlight the panels get depends on where you are parked in relation to the sun.

Because the solar panels are built into the body of the vehicle, they are far less likely to be stolen than mobile versions. Some people set up their mobile panels on the floor next to their vehicle, which means if they go out they need to bring the panels in or risk them being stolen.

Tips for Buying RV Solar Kits

Now you know a bit more about the differences between mobile and fixed panels we are going to explain what you should be looking for when you buy a solar kit for your RV.

Is the Solar Kit Powerful Enough

When buying a solar power system you need to think about what you are going to use the power that it generates. If you just want to run the lights, a small TV, and charge a couple of e-readers a 100 watt system will do the trick. On the other hand, if you want to run everything in your RV on electric, the fridge, cooker and heating you will need an 800-watt system.


You need to buy your system from a trusted source. Doing so will ensure that you buy good quality panels that have a guarantee, and importantly one that will be honoured.


If you are travelling a lot and are going to be heavily reliant on your RV solar panel, you need to consider buying a system that includes a monitoring component. That way if your panel starts to fail or needs servicing you will know about it early because the power generation monitor will tell you that the panel is no longer working efficiently.

If you want a good quality RV solar panel kit, we recommend that you take a look at this system. It is competitively priced and is made by an established firm with a good reputation.

Food to Take Caravanning

car-1441979_1280The last thing you want to be doing on a caravaning vacation is slaving over the cooker or worrying about what to serve at the next meal. After all, it’s a time to relax, enjoy the beach or the countryside or just spend more quality time with the family. So, keep things simple, think about your favourite fast but nutritious and tasty recipes that you can adapt and how you can make them in a more confined space.

Eat out as much as you can

Unless you are caravaning in a very remote place, there’s no need to take a lot of foodstuffs and drink with you. Shopping as you need to gives you the chance to explore the local area, support the local economy and try some great foodstuffs and drink that may never have had the chance to before. Most High St supermarkets carry the same basic items, so you should always be able to pick up fresh stuff like milk and bread as you want them.

Take mainly tinned foods with you

Experienced vacation makers will already know how important a good reserve ‘foodstuffs box’ is to supplement the fresh supplies. Non-perishable and tinned products such as dry herbs, cereals, crackers & biscuits, margarine, mayonnaise, dried pasta, instant rice, oil, tinned tomatoes and fish or meat are essential for the basics of a quick dinner. Also, don’t forget things like tea, coffee, hot chocolate, bottled water, sugar, biscuits and other treats that you need.

Try barbecuing instead of cooking inside your caravan

Many caravans now come with an oven and also possibly a microwave but a caravan vacation is a fantastic chance to try out various methods of cooking too. If the weather is warm a barbecue is a great way to cook meat, fish and vegetables and do not forget baking potatoes and hotdogs around the camp fire. Just make sure you take a frying pan and a good sized saucepan in case your caravan doesn’t have them.

Try local foods whenever you can

A self catering vacation is the perfect time to try the local produce like regional fruit and vegetables that are in season and also cheeses, meats, honey, breads, cakes and other treats. Those on vacation near the sea will also be able to buy fresh fish from the harbour of course try the many fish and chip shops about. Do not forget to try the local wines or beers too.

Always have an alternative

When you go caravaning or camping you need to be prepared. It is wise to double check that you have enough gas before you set out. You also need to make sure it is the right type if you are going to be camping in very cold conditions. Some gases will freeze when it gets very cold.

It is always wise to have an alternative way to heat your food in your caravan. That way if you do run out of gas, or your oven breaks you can just get the barbecue out. Or, if it is also raining, or snowing, you can just use the microwave instead.

Camping Across Europe Gets Easier

If you would like to see more of Europe, camping can be a great way of doing so. There are hundreds of thousands of sites scattered across the continent of Europe.

The kind of site you find varies from country to country, however, every country within Europe has very good sites within their boundaries. In most countries, the standards on their sites are extremely high.

Electric hook ups on campsites

Even the most basic sites have electric hook ups, hot showers and good quality toilet facilities. Sites are usually located at the edge of a village or town, this enables you to stroll or ride into town to go shopping or enjoy a meal.

If you are planning to take advantage of the electricity while you are away remember to take the right adaptors. It is not always easy to find and buy the right one that will work with your appliances, so it is important to take one or two with you.

Sports facilities on European campsites 

The very best sites offer far more than the basics. On these sites, you have access to additional facilities such as free internet, on site entertainment and sports facilities. The bigger campsites even have health spas as well as swimming centres. Lots are set in the country, which offers great walking as well as riding and trail biking. By the coast, you usually have access to a range of water sports like sailing, windsurfing, kite surfing and new sports like coasteering. Even inland, you will find water sports like all kinds of fishing and canoeing.

Exploring the tourist sights while camping 

Most sites are situated in the main tourist areas, so they are the perfect starting point for visiting all the sights. If you prefer to stay somewhere less busy you will find plenty of more compact campsites in those areas too.

Camping the modern way

tent-548022_1280The other great thing about camping is that it has changed a great deal in the past decade. You can still take your own tent and equipment and travel from site to site around putting up your tent on arrival. However, more and more campers are deciding to go glamping instead. Glamping is glamorous camping or luxury camping, which is basically luxury camping.


If you go glamping, you do not take your own tent. Instead, you arrive and stay in a ready erected luxury tent. These tents are more like chalets than tents. They have canvas walls and ceilings, but that is all they have in common with traditional tents. They have solid floors and in most of these tents, you get your own bathroom . In the most luxurious tents, full sized baths are included and some are set out just like the penthouse suites available in the world’s top hotels. They have fully equipped kitchens, the furniture in the tent is solid, this means that you get real full-sized beds and wardrobes.

Luxury glamping campsites are popping up all over the European continent, so touring the sights in luxury is inexpensive. This new style of campsite offers accommodation that is every bit as good as that offered by many hotels, but in a country setting.

Ski Outfits – Buying Your First One

Having the right ski outfit is essential if you want to stay safe on the slopes and enjoy yourself.

What You Need For Your First Skiing Holiday

Knowing what to buy and pack for your first skiing holiday can be bewildering for a complete beginner.

Ski wear is expensive, so it is a good idea to borrow someone else’s ski wear for your first skiing holiday if you can. Alternatively hire a ski suit to take with you, many independent ski shops still offer this service or will sell you a 2nd hand suit.

Don’t buy your own ski boots to start with

Don’t buy your own boots, skis or snowboard until you have been skiing a few times. They are expensive and you need to ski for a few weeks before you know which type is best for you. You can hire your boots and ski from a shop in the ski resort every resort has several shops. Make sure that you pre-book your ski and boot hire to avoid disappointment.


It can get warm as well as cold on the mountain

To ski you need to be prepared for cold as well as warm days on the mountain. You need a layer of light, absorbent, breathable under clothes to wear under your ski suit. Many people swear by thermal underwear, whilst other people like to wear leggings and a cotton t-shirt or light cotton shirt. A light jumper that is made of natural fibres like wool or silk can be useful. If you feel the cold a lightweight jumper will be useful, and is easy to slip into your backpack.

Layers are the key when skiing

First Ski OutfitIf you are going to go skiing you need to be prepared for all eventualities. As we mentioned above it can get hot and cold on the mountain. In addition, if it snows or rains you can easily get wet.

You never quite know what is going to happen on the mountain. Therefore, the best approach is to wear layers. The diagram on this page explains what you need to buy and wear to keep you warm when it snows and cool enough when the sun shines.

Buy proper ski gloves

Protect your hands when you ski. A light pair of under gloves will keep them warm and dry, Proper skiing gloves will stop you cutting your hands if you fall over, so buy these too. Skiing goggles and a good pair of sunglasses to protect your eyes are essential. Pack several pairs of skiing socks, one for each day is a good idea. Normal socks are no good for skiing they are too thin and do not protect your shins from chaffing. Buy yourself a good hat; do not rely on your ski suit’s hood to keep you warm.

You really do need special ski wear

Do not be tempted to ski in ordinary clothes some people do it, but if you fall over you will end up soaked and very cold. If you get stuck on a chair lift in ordinary clothes you will be freezing within minutes.

Do not buy a ski suit as your first skiing outfit instead go for salopettes and a jacket.  A ski suit is great, but they quickly go out of fashion and cannot be updated. If you buy salopeetes you can easily update your skiing outfit by buying a new jacket and new accessories.

If you need any additional advice to help you to select the right gear for your first ski trip just leave a comment below, or drop us a line. We have been skiing for decades, so know what you need to be able to safely enjoy this exciting sport.

Coping with Food Sensitivities When Camping

camping food

If like me, you enjoy outdoor sports your food intolerances can be a right pain in the neck. When you are camping, even spending a day hiking, or climbing you need to take your own food.

This becomes tricky when you have a food intolerance because the foods you can take are limited by the fact there are so many ingredients that you cannot eat. Many dehydrated foods and energy bars contain big no-nos for those who suffer from food intolerances or, worse, an allergy.

The problem is that the majority of energy bars and dehydrated meals contain a lot of the most common allergens. That is to say, wheat, gluten, dairy products, eggs and chemicals like MSG. So, grabbing a handful of protein bars is just not an option nor is taking a bunch of pot noodle/pasta foods to give you energy. So, what do you do?

Make your own energy bars

Well often, the answer is to make your own foods to take with you. If you do this, you are in control. You can choose ingredients that you know do not cause an adverse reaction in you and use them to make the food that you take with you.

energy bars

For example, you can make your own energy bars in the form of flapjacks made from grains that you know agree with you. Cake and bread made from gluten-free flour also work well. For a quick burst of energy allergen-free chocolate or homemade date, bars are great.

Make your own vacuum pack foods

Provided you can heat up water, you can use allergen-free pasta to make a quick dish. Experiment at home first.

Pour boiling water over a little pasta in a cup and leave it for at least 10 minutes. Surprisingly it is often cooked through at this stage. If the pasta is still not quite cooked tip away from the water and pours more freshly boiled water over the top and leave to stand again until the pasta is cooked.
Add a sauce to enjoy a warm allergen-free meal. You can make the sauces at home and cook them down as far as possible so that the sauce is concentrated and takes up as little space as possible. Vacuum pack the sauce into individual servings and add a little extra boiling water to create a nice pasta or rice sauce. You can also make boil in the bag dishes and vacuum pack them. Dried fish also works well for those who can eat it.

Take sliced meats with you or preserved meats to give you a protein hit. Boiled eggs work well provided you can eat them. Homemade pastries, scotch eggs, and similar items are good too, but not if the weather is very hot because you will not be able to keep them cool enough to keep them food safe.

Double wrap everything

How you wrap these homemade snacks and meals is extremely important. Take the time to double wrap everything and if something is soft put it in a hard casing. Yes, it takes up more space and is heavier, but at least you know for sure your food will be edible when you come to eat it.


Buying Insurance for Your Horse and Horsebox

Horse Insurance

We know that many of our readers love riding and a significant number of you own horses, so we felt a few articles related to horses and riding would be useful. This one is about buying horse insurance and insurance for your horsebox.

Owning a horse is a pleasure, but it is also a big responsibility. You want to do everything you can to protect your horse and make sure that they are looked after. Here is a quick overview of what can be included in a horse insurance policy.

What does horse insurance cover?

Vets fees – If your horse falls sick or is involved in an accident the vet’s fee can be high. It can be very difficult to cover the cost of getting your horse fit again, so most horse insurance policies cover vets fees. You need to check how much coverage is provided and which treatments are included and which are excluded.

Public liability – Should you be found legally liable for causing injury to someone else while with your horse, or damaging their property, public liability or third party horse insurance will cover the cost of compensation. Accidents happen it only takes your horse to be spooked and run away, so this coverage is important.

Permanent loss of use – this element of a horse insurance policy provides coverage should something happen to your horse and it stops you using your horse for an activity for which it is insured.

Saddlery and tack – This type of coverage covers you if your tack or saddles are stolen or damaged. The damage can be because of an accident. It can also be as a result of a flood or fire, but that type of damage may be covered by your contents insurance.

Horsebox insurance


Good quality horsebox insurance is important. They are an expensive piece of kit that needs a good level of coverage. If you come across a cheap policy, you need to be suspicious and check what is missing from the policy. In most cases, if you read the terms and conditions carefully you will find there is something important missing from the policy.

Buying the right insurance for your horse
Which policy is right for you depends on many factors. Start by thinking about which elements you need to include on your policy.

Shop around

Quite a few firms provide horse and horsebox insurance, so it is important to shop around as you would for any type of insurance. To be able to do this effectively you need to fully understand the policy you are buying and your options.

Where to find out more

This article has been put together with the help of thatsinsurance. The owner of this site has worked in the insurance industry for many years. Importantly, he owns several horses, and has been involved in the horse-riding world for many years. This means that he has an in-depth understanding of horse and horsebox insurance.

He also provides information about travel insurance and other types of policy you may need, so his site is well worth bookmarking.