Category Archives: Outdoor Pursuits

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.

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.

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.

Buying Outdoor Boots

outdoor boots

What to Bear in Mind When Buying a Pair of Outdoor Boots

If you walk, hike, ride, take part in motocross or a long list of other outdoor sports you need good footwear. Specifically you need a good pair of boots. Here we take a quick look at what you need to bear in mind when you are buying any pair of boots.

Always buy quality

New boots are often expensive, so it is important to take your time and buy the right pair. A high quality pair of boots will last you for years, so you do not want to be stuck with an unsuitable pair, or a pair you do not like the look of.


Buy a pair designed for the job

The most important thing to consider before you buy a pair of boots is what you want them for. If you want them for work and are a construction or factory worker, you need to buy a pair with safety features, such as steel toecaps, ant-slip and anti-puncture soles. Hikers should buy boots that have thick but flexible soles and are made of good quality leather. They also need to have good ankle support, be waterproof and easy to lace up.

Buy boots that suit your foot type

If you have flat feet, high arches, bunions or unusually wide feet make sure that you take those conditions into account, so that you do not end up a pair of boots that makes things worse. Only buy boots that are made of breathable material so that your feet do not get damp and become susceptible to fungal diseases such as athletes’ foot. If the boots you like are not already waterproof treat them with a waterproofing spray before you wear them to ensure your feet always stay dry.


Buy your hiking boots in the afternoon

To get the best fit, buy your boots in the afternoon rather than the morning. Your feet swell slowly during the day, so if you buy your boots at the end of the day you can be sure that they will not be too tight. Take a pair of socks with when you buy your boots even if it is in the summer. That way you can be sure that they will not be too tight during the winter. Try both boots on, with the socks and lace them up completely. Walk around the shop for a while to make sure that they are comfortable and look good.

Look after your boots

To motivate yourself to look after your boots, buy the polish, brushes and deodorising spray you need to look after your boots once you get them home. Clean them on a weekly basis and check the heel and sole for signs of wear. If you find any wear, get it repaired immediately. Doing so quickly will mean that the repair is cheaper and that your feet and back do not suffer. Wearing footwear with worn heels means you are walking lopsided which can lead to bad posture that in turn leads to back problems.

Buy good quality boots, that fit properly and are built for the job and you will not suffer with foot problems. Look after them and you will in the long run save money and be able to enjoy your sport, hobby or pastime even more than you do now.

What is Glamping?


If you have never heard of glamping you are probably wondering what on earth it is. Well it is nothing to do with woodwork and clamps, if that is what you are thinking. Glamping is a clever new word made up from the term glamorous camping. It is basically camping with all the luxuries from home.

There are no half measures in the glamping world

If you have a huge trailer, you can enjoy a low-end form of glamping, by taking some of your home comforts with you. However, the experience you get if you camp this way is not really that different from ordinary camping and probably would not be considered by most as glamorous or luxury camping.


No fuss luxury camping

Real luxury camping means visiting a campsite with tents that have been pre-erected for holidaymakers and are full of all of the best quality mod-cons. They are rented out by the week or the night. All the campers have to do is to turn up with their clothes and move in.

It is very much like staying in a caravan. However, when you go glamping the tent you stay in is decked out more like a hotel room than a caravan is. You usually get proper beds with full linen, a built in shower and a full size toilet.

Romantic glamping

romantic glamping

The top end tents include a canopy bed and may also have a luxury bath included. Some providers place the bath opposite the bed, so that you can enjoy taking a bath while watching TV while your partner relaxes on the bed.

Glamping for the family

family glamping

Luxury tents are primarily designed for couples. However, more and more providers are catering for families, by including separate areas for children in the tent.

Self-catering glamping

If you want to cook for yourself, you can. Most tents have a small kitchen and indoor dining table included. However, if the weather is nice you can cook outside. Most sites have barbecue areas and in some parts of the world, they even still include a gas barbecue with each tent. Each tent has a wooden deck and outside eating facilities.

Most luxury tents have wooden floors meaning they are warm and cosy even if it is raining outside. There is no tripping over lumps and bumps in the floor, which is a problem in a regular tent.

Despite being really, luxurious glamping is relatively inexpensive. It is slightly more expensive than taking a holiday in a standard pre-erected tent, but not to the point where most people cannot afford them.

Unique experience glamping

There are many different forms of glamping. The big providers in Europe like Eurocamp have been providing pre-erected tents for many years. They now set aside a quite area and erect luxury tents with all of the mod-cons. This is glamping in its most basic and vanilla form, but there are more exciting ways to try glamorous camping. Here is a list of a few of them:

safari glamping

Safari camping
Festival glamping
Tree houses (not strictly camping or glamping, but still fun)

treehouse glamping
Tepee camping
Ice camping

Ice glamping

If you have bad memories of camping giving glamping a go is well worth trying. It is a great way to learn to love a tent and experience the great outdoors, without having to give up any of life’s little luxuries.