The perfect Christmas list

Finally all the ideas you need for all the adventurers, runners and generally sporty folk in your life all in one place.
Christmas time can be so hectic everything somehow gets super busy and as if your life wasn’t busy enough on a daily basis with work, family and actually trying to live, you now have to find from somewhere that extra little slot of time to find presents.
This will save you that last ounce of stress; look no further Christmas is sorted, done and dusted!

 

  1. The Proviz reflect 360.1

The daddy of all reflective jackets. Long gone are the days of the little reflective strip across a fluro yellow coat. I have seen these from a car drivers perspective and it wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say they lit up brighter that my car lights! How that is even possible I do not know.

Even better news it that they come in all different combinations you are bound to find the perfect one for you: men’s, women’s, long sleeve, vests, cycling, running, outdoor they are amazing!
http://www.provizsports.com

 

 

  1. Berghaus Asgard Hybrid Women’s Down Jacket2

 

Stay warmer for longer with Berghaus’ innovative body mapped 700 fill goose Hydrodown. Berghaus have packed the down in just where we need it to keep warn and at only £49.99 from sportsshoes.com it’s a brilliant piece of kit at a superb price

 

  1. Oboz Walking Shoe – Mens and Womans3

    Oboz isn’t the biggest brand in the outdoor market however they have made a really great shoe with this one. Both the men’s are woman’s versions come in a range of colours and styles and are bang up-to-date combining bright colours with good technical specifications.

 

 

  1. Asolo GTX

These boots really are the king (or queen) of all boots. If you haven’t tried Asolo it’s 4now time to get them on your Christmas list. Both my husband and I have had Asolo walking boots for as long as I can remember. In the time our ‘walking mates’ have been through two or three pairs of others ours are both still going strong. Fully water proof, super comfy, light and flexible they are brilliant, I have even ran 3 miles in mine (unplanned may I add) but no sore ankles or blisters here!

 

 

  1. Inov8 Tri-X-Treme 2455

 

If you are a female triathlete, circuit/ HIIT enthusiast, or cross fitter you need these in your life. These are my go to shoe as well as my trusted race shoe. The solid sturdy sole is brilliant for the beating shoes get at circuit style training whilst being perfectly flexible for the shock absorption needed while running. Inov8 have put a wide foot hole in these making them really easy to get on when your feet are wet in transition and as well having cleverly positioned drainage channels in the sole allowing water to drain out as you run; preventing the blisters pooling of water causes. How clever is that!  

What’s even better for when you put these at the top of your Christmas list this year is they are less than £30 from sportsshoes.com!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

  1. ASICS FUJI Lightweight Backpack6.jpg

 

I do love a good trainer but enough of the shoes for now, this backpack is an item taken straight from my own Christmas list its self.

Lightweight, small and body hugging, it’s the perfect pack for a trail run or one of those walks where it’s just you a waterproof and your map. Mesh straps ensures the wearer is well ventilated and if that wasn’t enough the fabric is water repellent keeping your valuables safe from sweat and rain.

 

 

  1. Skins A400 Thermal Range7

 

Another favorite out of all the kit I own and something I wear all winter long; at school, to races, up mountains and for training.

A fantastic fit and a top which is comfortable both against the skin and as part of your layering system. Something I would buy time and time again, brilliantly warm and versatile. If you are in need of a decent thermal layer to avoid having to fork out on one that let you down when you need it most, this is the one.

 

 

  1. Buff – Anything from Buff, anything at all!8.jpg

 

I am all over buff, as much as bobble hats have taken the world by storm. The buff range is ever growing and now covers everything from colourful woollen bobble hats to merino tube scarfs. An essential bit of hit for any adventurer whatever the time of year.

 

 

 

 

 

  1. Inov-8 Rain Cover Small Backpack Cover9.jpg

 

Another item pinched from my own Christmas list this year. The perfect stoking filler for any outdoorsy loved one in your life. At only a fiver from sportsshoes.com for the small size this is a brilliant addition to any adventurers’ kit. Stuff this cover in your pocket and in the likely chance (lets be honest this is England) it rains while you’re out it’s at hand to save your valuables. A perfect bargain.

 

 

 

  1. Helly Hansen Wool Graphic Women’s Running Pant10.jpg

Take a look at the beauties! 100% merino wool to keep your warm and allow sweat to wick away from the body. The fabric is slightly moisture repellent (keratin fibers are hydrophobic at one end and hydrophilic at the other), allowing the user to avoid the feeling of wetness.

Helly Hansen have a huge range of patterns out at the moment and matching tops available to complete the look.

 

 

  1. and 12 Over Board 20 Litre Dry Tube11.jpg

Dry bags are an essential in any outdoor kit, have a few sizes in your repertoire and you’ll never be without one. I have lost count of the times dry bags have saved by bacon (sometimes literally12.jpg) and prevented a very miserable soggy night’s sleep.

This is a great set at a great price from sportsshoes.com 3 bags for only £15.99.

Only downside of keeping all your kit in dry bags all the time is unless you are super organised it can be really hard to actually remember in which bag you packed your stuff. Add a window; Genius!! Problem solved.

 

 

 

  1. Goal Zero Nomad 7 Solar Panel13.jpg

 

As much as it is sometimes nice to go off the grid and ignore those calls and texts it’s not always practical. Is there a better way when amongst nature to use it to keep your mod cons powered. I love how this come in a camo skin, as if it will blend in with its surroundings, let’s hope it’s not so hidden it gets lost. The Goal Zero Nomad also boasts a great feature of being able to charge two items at once with the different panel or choose to combine the power and speed up the process.

 

 

 

  1. Aquasphere Polarized Kayenne Goggles14.jpg

 

Whether you are buying for an open water swimmer, once a month pool swimmer or world champion, these are the best goggles you can hope to find. Again this is speaking from experience as something I own numerous pairs of. Kayennes provide a fantastic leak free fit, come in men’s and women’s specialised shape, polarized, coloured or clear lenses and a range of colours. Their larger lenses provide a 180 degree visibility keeping you aware of your surroundings at all times preventing the disorientation that can come with swimming particularly when in open water.

 

 

 

  1. North Face Tent Booties 70015.jpg

Again one of my favourite items of kit and something myself and my husband have both owned for many years and have no intent on replacing any time soon.

These booties come complete with a slightly stiffer sole than you would expect to see on a standard slipper allowing them to be worn outdoors and packed with real down keep your feet toasty warm in the coldest of conditions. These are a lifesaver when camping and are always at the top of my ‘to pack list’.

 

 

.

7 ways to FREE fun!

#GetOutside with your family for FREE or just the car parking fee!

 

We all know how important being active and outdoors is, it’s in the media often enough! Equally we all know how hard it can be to think of new and exciting ideas to get the kids active without breaking the bank! Weekends and school holidays can begin to seem harder than work with young ones in toe and as a parent it is a constant juggle of all the throws of life and being a first class entertainment unit.

It is so important to instil from a very young age all the positive habits of being outdoors, being active and having more to life than just work, home, bed, repeat. As the saying goes ‘Old habits die hard’, make your and your children’s old habits positive ones.

To start you on your way I have complied 8 ways to #GetOutside for free or just the car parking fee. Make a flying start and take on one this weekend:

 

  1. #Selfie Treasure Hunt

All kids love phones, right!? And who had even heard of a ‘selfie’ 10 years ago. This is a great activity I actually even love to do myself, take as many photos as you want of your house, garden, local park, village, where ever you fancy going. Make sure however your photos are close-up and cryptic. The challenge is for those taking part to hunt around for where the photo was taken and then take a selfie in front of that place. I usually give extra points for creative photos; think handstands, human pyramids. This works brilliantly as a fun free and unusual birthday party for all ages and can be as long or short as you want. You could go the whole hog and even have score boards and prizes! Give yourself half an hour to take some pics and you’re ready to rock.
Don’t fancy printing all the pictures off?! Then don’t! Base yourself in a central position and when one selfie is brought back Whats-app the player the next clue, this way as well you see the players after every clue to check they are still ok – perfect for litt’luns.

 

  1. Pooh Sticks

Poohsticks ˈpuːstɪks/ noun

A game in which each player throws a stick over the upstream side of a bridge into a stream or river, the winner being the person whose stick emerges first from under the bridge.

Legendary game, enough said!

 

  1. Go on a walk (cycle/scoot for the kids)

Admittedly this doesn’t always sound that fun and I appreciate some may not even flirt with the idea because of all the paraphernalia associated; where do we go, how do I even plan a route, what do I wear/take/eat..ARGHHHH! Let’s not go!

It doesn’t have to be all that hassle, I am someone who much prefers to go on a walk with a purpose, usually round something or up something. This in no way has to be some military fashion route march; it can actually be very lovely and sociable.
Start with your local reservoir; more often than not they have a very good website detailing everything to put your mind at ease and even have different coloured routes of varying length and difficulty. Choose one you fancy and off you go. They are often gravel paths, so perfect for the kids to take bikes and scooters and how about rewarding yourself with a coffee and cake in the café after you are done. What could be more perfect, fresh air, worn out kids, and CAKE!

 

  1. Printable scavenger hunts

These are an absolute must-remember-life-saver. Going on a long car journey, visiting the beach, a city or simply need to fill a few hours in the garden the options of these are endless. Just google and print! If you really have some time on your hands (firstly please let me know how) you could always make your own but there really are so many out there already done for you.
Why not find one suitable for your local park and have an afternoon of exploring.

 

  1. Frisbee/Football/Rugby Golf

This is my favourite on the list; if you or your kids are footy mad then this is the one you have been waiting for!

It is so simple:

  • Choose a starting point ideally in the corner or edge of a big field,
  • Throw something – a ball, hoop, dog toy, stick…
  • Where ever it lands that is the ‘hole’, players have the get their frisbee or football to it in as least kicks/throws as possible.
  • Once all players are at the ‘hole’ throw again.

Could anything be simpler! If your kids are old enough teach them this, get them to teach their mates and that is summer afternoons and evenings sorted for a long time. Just remember to keep score!

 

  1. Blackberry Picking

No only a free activity but FREE FOOD, awesome!

Autumn is this best time for this, anywhere you find brambles/thorn bushes during late September through to November you will find blackberries. Nearby are usually loads of nettles so looks out for these as a good place to get started. I would avoid any next to roads or where animals gather and the best are always found in the most hard to get to places, of course!
Set off with the beach buckets and spend an autumnal afternoon collecting. Blackberries are packed full of Vitamin C and are at their juiciest at the end of a sunny day when the sun has given the juice a boost.

Tip: Pick the young supple leaves of a blackberry bush in early summer to make blackberry leaf tea. Simply wash a handful and place in a tea pot with boiling water. Leave for a few minutes and serve with sugar to taste. This not only tastes delish but also sooths a sore throat, keep a handful in the freezer for that quick go to remedy.

 

  1. Wet wellie wander

This is a fantastic way to get the kids out of the house on a blustery day. Get togged up but most importantly wear wellies (remember the name)!
Set off with the aim to see who can find the deepest puddle but be careful the only rule is you are not allowed to get wet feet. For this one let the kids choose the route, where do they think is a good place to go? Where have they seen puddles in the past? Put them in charge, they will not only love the responsibility but surprise you.
Who can find a puddle that comes just up to the brim of their wellies without spilling over and in. Will you be the one to get soggy socks!

 

  1. River Dipping

Anything water based is a win with me and this is brilliant to try at all different times of the year, there is so much variety in water courses across the UK. Try this when you are at the beach, at a canal and in a small stream. If you have a little fishing net then fantastic, if not grab a bucket or failing that get ready to get your hands wet. See what wildlife you can find, extra points awarded if you can actually catch it!! Just remember to keep all wildlife submerged in water and place it gently back where you found it.

Tip: Check out idea number 4; scavenger hunt sheets are available online to give you ideas of things to hunt for depending on where you are wanting to look. If you are heading to a reservoir or canal look out for the information boards, councils often display brilliant infographic boards of what can be found in the water and banks surrounding. These are obviously specific to where you are so get your eyes peeled and get hunting. How many can you spot?!

 

Twitter is the best place for minute by minute action from me and all my GB Aquathlon training news not to mention plenty more active ideas! Be sure to pay @sjacksonhorner a visit to get the next part of the story….It’s going to be good J