Extremities shares vital technology of a glove knowledge

Arming yourself with enough knowledge to choose the right kit for outdoor pursuits can sometimes be difficult - especially when it comes to gloves.

The technology of fabrics and design detail can be complex and baffling, so outdoor gear specialist Extremities has created an easy need-to-know video guide to help enthusiasts make informed choices.


The guide at www.extremities.co.uk explains the benefits of modern specialist fabrics, such as Gore-tex, Windstopper, Polartec, X Block and X Dry. It shows a number of experiments to illustrate key fabrics' properties as well as outlining the advantages of particular design features.

Explains Carolyn Budding, director of Extremities: "Quality gloves are a significant investment, and time spent understanding the technical detail can mean the difference between a wise purchase and one that doesn't quite meet all your needs."

So, understanding the functions and benefits of different fabrics and ensuring you pick gloves with the right design features for your particular requirements makes sense.

For example, skiing and trekking gloves need a supple leather palm and fingers extending to the forchettes with extra reinforcement around the thumb crotch area for added durability.

While adventuring in extreme climates means a one handed wrist closure and pull cord at the cuff are essential to maintain warmth. 

Our guide is designed to help outdoor enthusiasts find the right gloves for every situation and make an informed decision.

To watch the Extremities 'Technology of a Glove' video, visit www.terra-nova.co.uk/p/the-technology-of-an-extremities-glove

New 10th anniversary LifeStraw Steel water filter

LifeStraw® Steel, the first stainless steel LifeStraw water filter designed to celebrate the brand's 10th anniversary, is now available to consumers in Europe.


The personal water filter is an advanced version of the LifeStraw personal filter introduced in 2005. It is encased in a durable and sleek, metallic blue and silver stainless steel exterior, and features a two-stage water filtration process which reduces chlorine, bad taste and odor in addition to removing bacteria and protozoa.

Along with the original LifeStraw personal filter and the LifeStraw Go refillable water bottle, LifeStraw Steel is an ideal gift for outdoor enthusiasts and international travelers. All LifeStraw water filters are also appreciated by socially-conscious consumers - for each LifeStraw water filter purchased, one school child in rural Kenya receives safe water for an entire school year.

LifeStraw Steel is lightweight and portable, weighing just 113 grams and measuring 20 centimeters long by 2.5 centimeters wide. In the first stage of the two-stage filtration process an activated carbon filter traps chlorine, while the second stage features hollow fiber technology to trap pathogens, and let only filtered water escape. LifeStraw Steels meets US FDA standards, is chemical free and requires no electrical power or batteries.

The launch of LifeStraw Steel coincides with the second annual mass distribution of high-volume LifeStraw® Community purifiers to schools in western Kenya without access to safe water on school grounds. This distribution is made possible through LifeStraw's program, Follow the Liters. Through this program, a portion of the revenue from each LifeStraw consumer product sold is used to provide one school child in a developing country with safe drinking water for an entire school year. 

This year's Follow the Liters distribution program began in rural Kenya on November 2. Over a seven-day period, 14 teams including trained health workers, visited 330 schools in Kenya's western province to distribute 2,549 LifeStraw Community water purifiers and educate students and teachers on safe water practices. Combined with last year's distribution, more than 361,000 school aged children in the region now have sustainable access to safe water.

Vestergaard's exclusive European distributor, WaterNLife, has been a valued partner in the Follow the Liters program. WaterNLife is a family owned company that provides products for sustainable living.  LifeStraw Steel is available for sale on www.lifestraw.com and will be available in retail stores in Europe and through e-tailers.  

LifeStraw's Backstory

The first LifeStraw water filter was introduced by Vestergaard in 2005 for public health use in developing countries. The filter converts microbiologically contaminated water into safe drinking water that meets US EPA standards for water quality. Since then, the LifeStraw brand has expanded to include additional water filters and purifiers with more features (e.g., higher volume, safe water storage) for use in households, clinics and schools. In 2011, Vestergaard began selling its LifeStraw filters to consumers for use in outdoor sports and recreation. Since that time, the brand has expanded the product portfolio for this market.  The simple, easy-to-use, durable design that makes LifeStraw products so effective in harsh conditions is also what makes it so appealing to developed world consumers.

LifeStraw® is manufactured by Vestergaard (www.vestergaard.com), a Swiss-based global company dedicated to improving the health of disadvantaged people with game-changing solutions that fight diarrheal disease, malaria, HIV/AIDS, and neglected tropical diseases. In addition to LifeStraw products, the company manufactures PermaNet®, the leading long-lasting insecticidal bed net that helps prevents malaria and ZeroFly® products to enhance food security.

Top ten tips to tackle winter tent care

A good quality tent is a great investment and one which, if cared for properly, can last for many trips. Just a little time and effort and a careful care regime when you store your shelter will undoubtedly pay dividends.


Here, Carolyn Budding, director of world-record breaking tent specialists Terra Nova Equipment and Wild Country Tents, gives her top ten tips on how to pack away and care for your tent to ensure winter does not take its toll on your kit.

1. Check it out:

Unless you're a die-hard all season adventurer, most of us pack away our tents during the winter. Lay out the tent in a covered, dry space and look for any early signs of wear and tear which may require attention. Reputable suppliers will be able to carry out minor repairs relatively cheaply for you and extend the life of your tent.

2. Dry it out:

Check that the tent is dry, re-lubricating zips as necessary. Remember, eyelet tapes take longer to dry than the tent fabric, and dampness (which can cause mildew) may be trapped in the folds of the tent when stored.

3. Seam check:

If a tent with taped seams is stored wet for long periods, water can react with certain chemicals in the seam tape, causing the tape to lift, coating to breakdown and eventually decompose. Check those seams are totally dry before storing.

4. Tackle mildew:

If mildew occurs (identified by black marks and a mouldy smell), sponge the affected areas with a mild solution of tent cleaner, then sponge with soapy water, rinse and dry thoroughly. Never use detergents as these may harm the proofing. If not caught early enough, permanent damage to the fabric and proofing will occur.

5. Clean up:

Before storing over winter we recommend that you regularly use tent cleaner or pure soap to clean your tent. Wash it in the bath or a tub of warm water, rinse any soap or cleaner away and dry thoroughly in the shade. Never machine wash or tumble dry your tent or use a hair dryer.

6. Salt issues:

If you have been camping near to salt water, wash your tent in plain clean water or add a little tent cleaner. After cleaning, reproofing the outer will improve its water repellence. It is better to use a re-proofer with a built in UV protector if you can.

7. Poles apart:

Take time to check over that vital part of the tent, the poles.  On older poles the elastic tension can reduce and result in slippage, if this is the case you can re tension the elastic inside the pole. Always ensure that the poles are stored dry; dampness assists corrosion which can lead to pole breakage. If corrosion has occurred, clean off with a cloth and re-lubricate with Zip Lube. Do not use oil or grease as this will attract dirt. Periodic lubrication should be undertaken, even if corrosion has not taken place. Another word of warning on salt water. All aluminium alloys will corrode if exposed to a salt water environment, even sea spray. Wash them thoroughly in clean water, dry them and lubricate. This may be necessary even if camping some distance from the shore.

8. Protect:

Protecting the proofing of your tent is a vital part of your care regime. Steering clear of detergent to clean your tent is important, but you should also avoid the fabric coming into contact with fuel, oil and chemicals of any kind, as the stains from these may be impossible to remove and will probably attack the fabric and damage the proofing.

9. Store wisely:

Do not store your tent near sources of heat; remember lofts and garages can become very warm during summer months but lofts can also be very warm in the winter as heat rises in your home. That's why it's important to periodically air your tent to prevent the fabrics from adhering to each other and affecting the performance of the tent. Store in a cool, dry place.

10. And finally:

To ensure longevity and optimum performance, when next spring arrives and you venture outdoors again, avoid pitching under trees at all costs as the sap may fall onto the flysheet and it is almost impossible to remove.

For more tips and information on caring for your camping equipment, visit www.terra-nova.co.uk

KEEN and Respect the Mountains embark on new adventure

The UIAA, the International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation, is delighted to announce the extension of its activities in mountain preservation through the recent addition of the Respect the Mountains campaign.


Over the past decade, Respect the Mountains has acted as a guardian of the mountain world raising awareness through the practice of seven cardinal rules: book smart; travel wise; support sustainable practices; be a respectful and responsible mountain tourist; 'leave no trace'; reduce, reuse, recycle & upcycle (RRRU) and spread the word.

The UIAA is proud to inherit this significant challenge aimed at ensuring greater sustainability in the mountain tourism industry. Respecting the needs and wishes of mountain communities will continue to be a core component of the project in parallel with research, innovation and educating young people about preservation to ensure mountains continue to captivate future generations. As part of its strategy for the future the UIAA will organise educational projects during the ski season and clean-up events in the summer months.

"Adding Respect the Mountains to our range of activities is a significant step," explained UIAA President Frits Vrijlandt, "the project will be aligned to our long-established commitment to mountain protection. We actively encourage our member federations to organise Respect the Mountains initiatives in their respective territories."

Respect the Mountains has worked tirelessly to promote sustainable mountain tourism both by encouraging supporters to raise donations and through recruiting a global network of volunteers. On a practical level they have spearheaded the Envirotrek CleanUp series dedicated to collecting litter from mountain and nature areas across Europe. These grass roots mountain clean up events have been held across various European Mountain destinations since 2009, with the UK hosting events in Snowdonia and in the Lake and Peak Districts in recent years. The 2016 program of activity will be announced over the coming months.

The UIAA will be supported in this venture by outdoor footwear brand KEEN, specialists in sandals and hiking shoes, and long-term supporter of the project. Since its creation in 2003, KEEN has been an active supporter of good causes working with non-profit organisations around the world building stronger communities and a healthier planet and actively working to inspire responsible outdoor participation and land and water conservation.

Perry Laukens, KEEN Marketing Director EMEA, commented: "KEEN is excited about the new direction of Respect the Mountains and we hope that with the help of the UIAA we can help raise the voice of Respect the Mountains to make sure that more people keep our playgrounds clean and learn about the seven ways to reduce our impact, whilst building a sustainable future." 

ElliptiGO: Taking running to a new level

When you first stand beside an ElliptiGO it is really quite intimidating: it's surprisingly large and leads you to wonder how on earth you're meant to get up on it. Never fear, there is a way and it is remarkably simple. All it requires is for you to muster a small amount of courage before you place one foot on the pedal and push off with the other. That's it - you're off.

The ElliptiGO originated in America. At the age of 32, Bryan Pate, a former cyclist and triathlete lost the ability to participate in the sports he loved through hip and knee problems - we're sure there are many who can sympathise with this. He called upon Brent, who was a mechanical engineer, former Ironman triathlete and competitive ultra-marathoner, to help him create a low-impact running device, and thus the ElliptiGO came into existence. It's designed to mimic the running motion, though as you 'run' along it initially feels far from natural. But if you concentrate on the movement you will see that it does indeed come very close. The lack of impact makes the movement feel much freer.

Keeping your body in an upright and relaxed position, the movement soon comes to feel very easy and natural. Working in a similar manner to a bike you can flick through a range of gears to make your workout as hard or as easy as you like. The gears mean that tackling hills is not an issue either, which was something that we had been rather worried about. However, there was no need to worry as when in a low gear it flew up and was great fun riding down, too. Being somebody who struggles with impact in my knees when running I was in my element.

We got chatting to Squash Falconer, who has won the ElliptiGO EU championships for 3 years in a row. In 2013, she also undertook a 3000 mile record breaking challenge on her ElliptiGO. Starting in Liverpool she crossed into Holland, Germany, France and could be seen on it up in the Alps! She finished her journey in Paris, having met some incredible people, improved her fitness and learnt great skills along the way.

She confirms that it takes about 10 seconds to get on and start to ride and only a further 5 minutes to become an accomplished rider. Having been nervous about running beforehand due to the many injuries that often come hand in hand with running, she feels there simply aren't any downsides to using it. Feeling that it has complimented every other sport she has undertaken, improving fitness, body tone and strength, she wholeheartedly recommends it to anybody who is interested. The only downsides that she can think of are the initial costs involved and storage.

We have to agree - it's a really great workout and without the normal pressure on your body that running causes you can really push yourself whether your aim is recovery, training or weight-loss.

Idai Makaya, ElliptiGO UK advises on training:

'There are as many ways to train on the ElliptiGO for running races as there are running, so the 'training plan' outlined here is pretty generic. As a rule of thumb the ElliptiGO should be used according to duration and effort levels when training for running events - rather than the traditional mileages and paces used in running. The most scientific way to do this is to use a heart rate monitor, so that your riding efforts can be matched to your running efforts. Perceived effort is also an option - albeit less accurate.

To match a running session to an ElliptiGO session, the athlete should focus on using the same heart rate (or perceived effort level) and match that to the amount of time they would run for, with one particular difference. Because the ElliptiGO workout is impact-free, if the runner wants to match a running workout the ElliptiGO session should be slightly longer. One hour on the ElliptiGO, at a specific effort level, would approximately equate to the conditioning from 45 minutes of running (at that same measured intensity).

Once this 'algorithm' is understood, it is worth being aware that because the ElliptiGO is an impact free effort - using the same muscles used for running - it makes some sense to increase training volume rather than just match what you'd do if you were running. This ideally means using a ratio of 1:1.5 when substituting running sessions with ElliptiGO sessions.

Runners have different training needs. Injury-prone runners need to substitute runs with ElliptiGO rides, to keep running mileages lower and reduce injury risk. 30-50% of a runner's total training hours can be substituted in this way with the expectation of improving performance (compared to running only). More resilient runners can use the ElliptiGO simply to add quality but impact-free miles to their total running training (either as a second workout for the day, or to substitute complete rest days with easy rides).

ElliptiGO workouts can be added to a running programme as a warm up ride (before running) and also as a long warm down or second full duration session (immediately after running). They can also be used on alternate days, aiming for 50-100% longer duration (compared to runs). And they can be incorporated as a second workout of the day (with a run in the morning and a ride in the evening). Many runners ride the ElliptiGO to work, run at lunch and then ride home again. The mix is almost infinite.'

Have any more questions? Drop us an email at tr@bauermedia.co.uk