Tag Archives: Guest Writer

Flamin' Great! Surviving the Original Mountain Marathon…

By Regular Guest Writer, Richard Dunne…

"At the ill fated OMM (Original Mountain Marathon) in the Lakes last October, many people needed rescuing and others stayed in the fells overnight. The deep low pressure that hit was some sort of freak weather event.

The rain was sideways and frozen like sand in your face, the gusts of wind were lifting people off their feet and the flood waters that swelled so quickly were sweeping huge rocks and cars away. It really did turn the 2 day event into a nightmare and it was cancelled half way through day 1 as the storm raged. This video shows what it was really like that day:

However me and my buddy were properly equipped and well prepared and actually enjoyed the challenge of getting back to the starting point safely and unassisted. We had reached the day 1 finishing point on time, unaware of the cancelled status of the event and it was just a case of get yourself back.


While other people stood around, wrapped up in emergency space blankets peering from the safety of farm sheds, we stepped out into the storm with many others and walked back, following the road which was mainly underwater at the time, with regular brew stops and energy bars to keep us going. If we had to, we could have stayed out through the night but it wasn’t necessary.


A Fast Boiler When You Need It – MSR Pocket Rocket


One thing that really helped us that day was my great ‘MSR pocket rocket’. A simple item in your kit that is easy to use, folds up and boils up water really quickly. A real morale booster – when things are too extreme or serious for other methods. The flame is intense, adjustable and won’t blow out. This is a great back up item to have without overloading yourself. We used it too in the Brecon Beacons in January on a 12 mile walk. There’s nothing like a hot drink in -10 winds. For canoeing and wild camping, it’s perfect too. Fast and efficient if you’re in the mood for a no fuss warming up. Recommended. It was about £30 and the gas canisters are a few quid. My one doesn’t have an ignition but that’s where my striker comes in. Flaming Great, and just what you need when things go bad like they did that day.


See http://www.penrithsurvival.com/ for details.

Kind of Blue… May in the Woods

By Guest Writer Dominic – Photographer, Naturalist & Wandering Biker.

“One of my very favourite events of Spring is the magical but brief appearance of dramatic clusters of Bluebells right across southern England. Preferring shade, they flood wooded areas in an instant – like the annual gathering of some Secret Society of Blue. And each year I take pictures.

Blue Carpet in the Woods

Blue Carpet in the Woods

Because I can’t quite believe my eyes: their vibrant colour combining with the bright lime of new beech leaves in an almost surreal display. And because perhaps they might not return..?” Thankfully they do each year which is important as our native Bluebell’s which represent a significant 25% of the world’s Bluebell population – Find out more about Bluebells at the Woodland Trust or head to your local woods before this amazing scene is over!

Lime & Blue colours against the brown of last years leaves on the ground...

Lime & Blue colours against the brown of last years leaves on the ground...

Beech Woods & Bluebells - a Classic British Woodland Scene

Beech Woods & Bluebells - a Classic British Woodland Scene