Product Review: Arc’teryx Women’s Beta AR Hardshell Jacket

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The UK’s winter season can be mediocre sometimes, so when the temperature drops and the white stuff covers its national parks, everyone flocks outside – including me.   

Arc’teryx kindly lent me their Beta AR hardshell jacket from their Gear Library for the weekend. The scheme enables customers to test premium Arc’teryx kit before purchasing, which is ideal when you’re making investment purchases like hardshell jackets. For the piece of kit I had chosen, the Arc’teryx Beta AR hardshell jacket, I was keen to test it with a hiking weekend around the Brecon Beacons and Gower peninsula.

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Winter Layering and UK Winter Hikes

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I spent the past weekend at the Brecon Beacons, which called for bobble hats and winter layers galore. There’s something cosy and somewhat hygge about walking in winter bundled in enough layers to resemble the Michelin Man.

While packing for the trip, I decided to create a basic introduction to winter layering so everyone can share in the same wintry cosiness. If the thought of preparing for a winter hike leaves you feeling out in the cold, take a look at my guide below.

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10 Things I Have Learned at the Beginning of my Marathon Training Journey

For years, I have promised myself I would one day complete a marathon. Yet life has a habit of getting in the way, and the commitment of training for months to complete such a long distance always made me put it off. With a milestone birthday approaching in 2019 however, I decided that this was the year.

After a few disastrous runs in the past, not to mention completely avoidable injuries, I was keen to do this marathon training malarkey the right way. Cue two months into the training schedule and 25% of the way through, and I have learned several valuable lessons for making marathon training successful and equally, enjoyable. Continue reading

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12 Outdoors Goals for 2019

We’re halfway through January, and by now the anticipation of a new year would have started to wear off. Supposedly it is by this point that many people would have already quit their resolutions for the new year.

If you’re anything like me, the time off over Christmas gives the illusion that I have ample time to do everything that pops into my brain. Run an ultra? Sure. Write those five books I’ve been mulling over? Of course I can squeeze those in. And so on and so forth.

But mid-January hits, and with it the reality check I can only pack so much in one day. So to make new year resolutions more attainable, I’ve created 12 ‘outdoors goals’ that can easily be completed in a month and are centered around having fun. Each goal will also inadvertently help towards any common new year resolutions as well, i.e. get fit, give back to charity, etc.

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Five London Day Hikes for Winter

Richmond Park London day hikes

Limited daylight and wintry weather doesn’t mean your hiking plans have to go into hibernation. With a little forward planning and an early(ish) start, the following hikes can easily be completed from London in a day.

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2018 New Year Resolution in Review: Being More Eco-Friendly

Iceland adventures (90)

Yes, I am one of those people that make New Year resolutions. Nothing too unrealistic, such as ‘I will become a millionaire by March’, but I like to set myself challenges and goals to strive towards throughout the year. Of course, 2018 was no different.

This year, after watching Blue Planet and growing increasingly frustrated at the amount of rubbish I kept finding when hiking around the UK, I decided to make a change. I would break several bad habits to be more eco-friendly and reduce the amount of waste I was producing each day.

In all honesty, it seems convenience and waste go hand-in-hand, and forcing myself to practice more organisation and time management in my own schedule helped me reached my resolution to be more eco-friendly. The past year taught me it was habit more than anything else that prevented me from making most of the changes, and actually after making them I found other improvements in my life were made, such as stressing less about money that was usually wasted on takeaway coffee and snacks.

So guys and gals, listed below are the biggest changes (for me anyway) I made for 2018 in my goal to be more eco-friendly:

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Guide to Hiking the Tongariro Crossing in New Zealand

The Tongariro Crossing is one of New Zealand’s designated Great Walks, and commonly listed as one of the ‘must-see’ destinations to visit in the North Island. With its volcanic alpine landscape and sulfur lakes, it is little wonder Peter Jackson chose it as the location of Mt Doom for the Lord of the Rings films. Continue reading

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Hike the Rob Roy Glacier Track near Wanaka

Only 33 miles from Lake Wanaka lies the Rob Roy Glacier Track, one of the most scenic (and achievable!) hiking trails in this region of the South Island. With waterfalls, rock cliffs, meandering river landscapes, all ending with a spectacular glacial view at the end of the trail, it is easy to get distracted by the beauty of the Roby Roy Track. Just remind yourself the views become increasingly breathtaking the further you venture. Continue reading

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A Magical Kayak Tour Through Milford Sound

After spending the past few weeks sharing all of my adventures in Canada, I am back to talking about New Zealand, and what better place to return to than Milford Sound? Tagged as the ‘Eighth Wonder of the World’, Milford Sound’s rainforest-covered peaks and dramatic waterfalls attract nearly one million visitors a year. While it is possible to catch a ride on one of many cruise ships sailing through the sound each day, early risers with a sense of adventure can have the whole of Milford Sound to themselves, with a sunrise kayak tour.

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Escape the Snowdon Crowds on Cnicht, The Welsh Matterhorn

While Snowdon’s size draws the crowds, nearby Cnicht lies in relative obscurity, despite its beautiful landscape. This ‘Welsh Matterhorn’ offers archaeology, wild swimming and scrambling that can all be enjoyed within a day’s hike, without having to share with others.

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