Welcome to the Field and Trek blog! Here we'll be not only keeping you updated on our incredible offers and news from the outdoor world; but we will be offering hints, tips and advice on some of Britain's favourite outdoor activities!

  1.  

    Running for Charity at The London Marathon 2014

    On Sunday 13th April, the 34th London Marathon took place. With just over 26 miles to run, around 36,000 participants were at the start line ready to compete for their personal bests along with a few hopefuls including Olympic Gold medallist Mo Farah, who were competing to win. The marathon runs around the River Thames and is a very competitive and unpredictable event. With plenty of encouragement from the roaring crowds, participants spent an average of 4 and a half hours completing the course.


    Although the event is predominantly amateur runners, a few keen athletes took part, going for gold in this competition. The winner was Kenyan, Wilson Kipsang, who finished the race in a record breaking 2 hours, 4 minutes and 29 seconds, beating the current record. Olympian Mo Farah came a respectable 8th place with a time of 2 hours, 8 minutes and 21 seconds, only seconds off beating the 29 year record held by Steve Jones.


    Entries for next years London marathon will be opening soon and participants can begin training and raising money for the next event. The marathon is sponsored by Virgin Money and participants can raise money for their own chosen charity. 100% of any money raised will go directly to the chosen cause.


    For regular marathon runners, professional athletes and amateur runners alike, it is crucial the correct training has been undertaken prior to the event to avoid injury and ensure the runner has the endurance to complete the course. Seeking professional advice and training especially for first time marathon runners is highly advisable.

    All participants will be running for several hours and it is important that they are well equipped with the correct clothing and footwear. Failure to wear properly fitting running shoes will result in discomfort and potential injury, so we recommend all runners invest in a decent pair of running shoes before competing. Many participants choose to run in fancy dress on behalf of their chosen charity, it is a fun idea and helps supporters pick them out of the crowds. For serious runners, there are lots of options for running clothing, from base layers to running shorts and other accessories such as head bands that will benefit them during the run and avoid discomfort.


    Visit http://www.fieldandtrek.com/running for FieldandTrek.com’s full selection of running clothing, shoes and accessories.


    Join in on the conversation at www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrekUK or www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrekUK

  2.  

    FieldandTrek.com Take a Look at Cycling For Charity

    As the weather picks up more and more outdoor charity events can take place. The number of events held each year is on a constant rise and is a fantastic way to raise money and get people involved in fun activities for a great cause. This coming weekend is the 5th annual Wrynose or Bust charity cycle in Lancaster. Over the past four years the event has raised over £23,000 and is hoping to raise even more this year.


    On Sunday 13th April three events will be taking place starting at Halton army camp in Lancaster. The event is a cycle across 115, 68 or 36 miles depending on the route chosen. Participants can enter the Wrynose or Bust, the longest route of 115 miles through North Lancashire and South Cumbria, which is thought to be one of the toughest cycling climbs in Britain. The Bay Dash, a 68 mile ride following a similar route, detouring after 35 miles. Or, the final route, The Silverdale Sling is 36 miles following the coastline of Morecambe Bay. All three events start and finish at the Halton army camp.

    The event requires a small fee to participate, ranging from £25 to £33 dependant on the event chosen. Once participants have signed up to the event they are able to start fundraising on behalf of the associated charities for this event which are the Rotary Lancaster, Unique Kidz & Co and CancerCare. If there are other charities cyclists would like to raise money for, they are also welcome.


    Entries for this years event have now closed, but for those interested in the event and thinking of taking part next year, it is important to train and prepare well in advance. With up to 115 miles to ride, it is vital cyclists train to a level of fitness that will enable them to tackle the challenges that this event has to offer. With steep hills and long climbs on parts of the route it is advisable that participants have practised climbs and built up the strength to cycle for long periods of time.


    To help prepare for such an event, cyclists should begin training as soon as possible to allow enough time to build up fitness levels. Regular cycles increasing duration, resistance and climbs will slowly build up fitness and strength. Once this has been achieved, practising the route that will be under taken in the event will improve the time and performance of the cyclist. It is also recommended that cyclists adjust their diet around training, to ensure they have enough energy to fuel each ride and that unhealthy foods aren’t slowing them down or negatively impacting on their fitness levels. 

    In preparation for the event, participants should also remember to get kitted out with the correct clothing and accessories. Cycling jerseys and padded shorts are perfect for this event as the thin layers of protective clothing will be comfortable for the cyclist. Other accessories such as gloves, drinks bottle, helmet and cycling shoes should also be bought in preparation.


    Prior to the event, all cyclists need to check their bike is road worthy to avoid delays or set backs during the event. To check the saddle fitting, when sat on the bike, the riders legs should be almost straight when the heel of the foot is on the pedal. They should also be able to touch the ground with their toes on either side of the bike. The seat and handle bars should not be raised above their safe limits, to check this, the seat post and handle bar stem will be labelled with a minimum insertion mark.

    Join in on the conversation at www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrekUK or www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrekUK 

  3.  

    FieldandTrek.com Take a Look at Walking For Charity

    Each year there is an abundance of charity walks and events that take place up and down the country in hope to raise money and awareness for specific causes, and they are growing in number per annum. A report conducted by JustGiving and ACTIVE Network last year revealed that event fundraising had increased by 8% in 2012 and since 2007 the amount of participants had doubled.
    According to the report, the events that raise the most money are treks, triathlons, cycles, parachute events, swims, runs and walks. Some of those activities, such as parachuting or taking part in a triathlon or a cycling event, require a certain skill, fitness or braveness, where as charity walk is something that is more accessible, to most.
    Many different charities such as the Rotary Foundation, Cancer Research, Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation, to name just a few, all put on charity walks varying in distances from one mile to twenty six, meaning that people can choose a route that suits them.
    The majority of people who participate in charity walks are not experienced walkers and so although walking may not be as challenging or strenuous as cycling or running, it is still important to train prior to the event. The amount of preparation beforehand generally depends on the distance of the walk, for example people who are hoping to take part in a half marathon should begin planning two months or so before the walk, where as people opting for a full marathon should look at beginning training six months before.
    Having the correct footwear and clothing is also important. Walking shoes or running trainers are advisable as they offer ventilation, comfort and support, it is also best to bed them in during training sessions so as not to be suffering with blisters around the course. Walkers are also advised to layer up with breathable t-shirts followed by fleeces, hoodies or jackets that are lightweight and easy to tie round the waist or stuff into a backpack.
    Walkers should also ensure to keep hydrated throughout, so a large water bottle or even an hydration pack, depending on the length of the walk, is a necessity. It is also advised to drink plenty of water beforehand.
    FieldandTrek.com have a vast selection of walking footwear, clothing and accessories, these can be found online at http://www.fieldandtrek.com/walking. Join in on the conversation at www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrekUK or www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrekUK

  4.  

    Why Camping in the Easter Holidays is a Do

    Many schools around the UK will break up for the Easter Holidays next week, making it a popular time for families to go away, either for the full duration, or just for a few nights. FieldandTrek.com take a look at why camping is the perfect holiday for families this Easter. 

    According to a VisitEngland survey in 2012 – Short Term Domestic Trip Tracker Easter 2012 – a third of British adults said they were planning on at least one night away, and 72% of them said they would taking a trip in England opposed to venturing abroad.


    England has a lot to offer in terms of sightseeing, adventure parks, history and relaxation so it is not surprising that people would opt to stay in the country. Staying in a hotel or Bed and Breakfast is always an option, but camping is often less expensive and, more importantly, it is fun.


    Taking children on a camping trip during the Easter holidays is not just about going on a family holiday, it is about providing your children with an enjoyable and educational experience. They will get the opportunity to help pitch a tent, safely start a camp fire and feel free to enjoy the outdoors thanks to the vast amount of grass, woods and land that campsites have to offer.


    Some campsites also have farms on site and during Easter children will be able to witness lambing and learn about it first hand. Many farms also allow children to feed the farm animals and get involved in looking after them, which is great for learning more about nature.


    Campsites, or fields where you can freely just pitch your tent, are situated all around England meaning there is often a lot more choice when it comes to choosing the location, in comparison to finding a hotel. Camping also means that people can stay in between villages or towns making it generally easier and more accessible to visit different areas and take part in a range of different activities.


    FieldandTrek.com have a range of camping equipment and accessories check them out online. Join the conversation at www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrekUK or www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrekUK

  5.  

    Quench More Than Just Thirst With Hydration Packs

    The busiest months for marathons and charity runs in the UK are April, May, September and October, making March a busy month for either last minute preparation or early training. Keeping hydrated whilst on the move is something that every athlete and runner needs to think about . Leading outdoor retailers FieldandTrek.com take a look at how to make being hydrated easier.

    All runners will know it is essential to be hydrated before, during and after a race, or training, but carrying a water bottle isn’t always the best option. Not only are they awkward to carry but also the capacity is often around 500ml, where as for marathon runners the ideal capacity should be between two and three litres.


    Hydration packs are an easier and simpler option for marathon training as they leave the runner hands free and fit simply on the back like a rucksack. Also, many feature much more than room for a hydration bladder, all to make a runners life easier.


    The Camelbak Octane Scudo bag features an inbuilt bladder and can hold up to three litres of water, making it ideal for long distance runners. It also features a safety whistle, pockets to the hip, a media pocket and overflow storage, meaning runners can store energy bars and essential first aid equipment which is especially important if out training alone.


    However, for runners who don’t require as much storage and are after a more lightweight pack, then the Karrimor XLite 2 Plus hydration pack is perhaps more ideal. With a capacity of two litres, this hydration bag boasts a narrow but long design and does feature a zipped pocket to the front where runners could fit personal items and small snacks.


    The main points to consider when choosing a hydration pack is that the capacity suits the distance that will be undertaken and that it has enough pockets and space to store all other necessary items when training such as food and a mobile phone.


    Both hydration packs can be found online at FieldandTrek.com, along with their full range of hydration and rucksacks. Join the conversation on their social networks: www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrek.com and www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrek.com

  6.  

    Treat Your Feet With FieldandTrek.com

    Now that the nights are getting lighter and the weather is picking up, going out for a run becomes much more appealing, and with summer holidays in the pipeline, it is a time when many people take running up in a bid to lose weight. However, it is essential that new runners take care and time over choosing the right running shoes.


    The process of choosing the right pair of running shoes may take a while but there are a lot of key points to consider before making a purchase. It is essential that running shoes are supportive, have the right sole for purpose and are responsive. FieldandTrek.com offer all types of running shoes for different purposes, and include brands such as Karrimor, Solomon, New Balance and Nike.


    Although new runners usually start off on the roads, for those who fancy a challenge straight away, or who are used to walking trails then trail running may be an option. For this type of running specialist trail running shoes, like the New Balance 7 10 V2 trail running shoes at £45.00 are ideal. These offer an Acteva Lite midsole for supreme cushioning which is a necessity when running over rough terrains, coupled with plenty of ventilation areas for a comfortable run and a grip sole for traction.


    Nike Plus running shoes are a model of shoe that allow runners to keep track on their progress. Perfect for new runners who are keen to ensure they get the most out of each sessions and improve, the Nike Plus technology also enable runners to keep communicate with one another which is great for motivation. Ranging from £39.99 to £74.99 there is a style to suit most budgets and include the Lunarglide, Pegasus and Lunarfly models.


    For beginner road runners it is important to look for running shoes that will withstand repetitive strain due to the flat and hard surfaces. The Karrimor D30’s incorporate technology that aims to provide maximum shock absorption on impact and a TPU shank to the arch for extra underfoot support which is also important to avoid injury. Ranging from £60.00 to £79.99 the Karrimor D30’s do combine the latest technologies to improve performance and are ideal fro first time runners.


    For the full range of running shoes from FieldandTrek.com. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter

  7.  

    Find The Seat That Fits

    There has been a lot of focus around cycling recently, including the success of the track cycling World Championships, build up to sport relief and the constant push to drive more people out of cars and onto bikes in order to help the environment. However, for anyone thinking of taking up cycling or taking it to the next level, it is important to choose the right bike.


    People often make the mistake of choosing the cheapest, prettiest or most available bike and don’t always think about the specific qualities they need to posses, depending on the use. MuddyFox are specialists in all disciplines of cycling and have a wide range of bicycles, available on FieldandTrek.com, that are suited for commuters, tricksters and off-roaders.


    For people who either currently use a bike to commute to work or to get around town then a road bike like the MuddyFox Fixie at £149.99 is ideal. Benefiting from a lightweight frame, single speed design and wheels that are fitted with stick road tyres, this bike is quick and smooth, as well as being very easy to maintain, making it great for casual cyclists.


    Alternatively, for someone who prefers to go off the beaten track and perform the latest stunts then a BMX bike is the ideal choice. The MuddyFox Double Deuce BMX bike at £100.00, from FieldandTrek.com, offers everything that is needed to cope with rough and uneven terrains and can be put through its paces. Featuring a slick freestyle frame, front and rear U-breaks, a three-piece crank set and rear stunt pegs this bike boasts all the qualities a stunt bike needs.


    Cross-country and off-road biking is great for improving fitness and working on major muscle groups. For this type of biking mountain bikes should be the choice of weapon. With mechanical breaks and 24 Shimano Acera gearing, the MuddyFox Turbulence mountain bike at £199.99 has been especially designed to take on some of the toughest trails around. This bike also benefits from a lightweight frame and front suspension forks for an easy ride.


    Using a bike that is intended for a specific purpose not only means cycling will be easier, but it also means there is less chance of injury.


    Visit FieldandTrek.com for their full range of bikes. Join in the conversation at www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrekUK or www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrekUK.

  8.  

    GPS’s The Lowdown

    GPS’s and navigation systems are undoubtedly very useful, not only for everyday life, but also for scientific advancements and tracking. With this in mind there are therefore many reasons why we love GPS’s,

    FieldandTrek.com take a look at some of their special features.
    With scientists using them to determine the size of an earthquake and biologists using them to track animals through migrations the navigation system has come a long way since it was first used as part of a project of the U.S. military in 1978. Now, they are part of everyday life with people all over the World using them in cars and on foot to help plan and direct their route.


    There are a wide range of GPS’s available on the market that all have various qualities and specialist features to help make life easier. An increasing amount of walkers are now using GPS’s, and although some people speculate that this will stop people from learning key compass and map reading skills, when used appropriately they can be very useful and contrary to popular belief, they still require navigation skills.


    The Garmin GPSMAP 62s is ideal for serious adventurers. Featuring a durable and waterproof shell, this GPS boasts a 3-axis tilt-compensated compass to ensure precision, coupled with a built-in worldwide basemap with plenty of memory to store 200 maps. This navigation system also benefits from area calculation, sun and moon information, photo navigation and automatic routing.


    Suitable for casual walkers and adventurers, the Memory Map Adventurer 2800 comes with a 2GB micro SD card with pre-loaded Ordnance Survey® Land Ranger® maps of selected British National Parks. This GPS also benefits from Memory-Map PC software for route planning and map printing.


    Geocaching is the perfect family activity and for families that are new to the new-age treasure hunting then the Garmin eTrex 10 Geocaching Bundle is ideal. The device is waterproof and has a battery life of up to 25hours, coupled with a Worldwide basemap and sensitive GPS receiver with HotFix and GLONASS support. The kit comes with all the necessities to ensure that the geocaching adventure can start straight away.

    Visit FieldandTrek.com for their full range of GPS’s and Navigation Systems. Join the conversation on their Facebook and Twitter pages. 

  9.  

    FieldandTrek.com Explore Beyond The Shore

    Fishing has many sides to it and, although it is sometimes dubbed as a boring sport, the likes of sea fishing is anything but. Not only doe they provide the opportunity to delve into deeper waters and leave the shore behind but they can also be quite dangerous.


    Some people love nothing more than relaxing by the side of a river bank on a Sunday afternoon, and while this is lovely, some require more of a challenge and a change in scenery. Going further afield and venturing beyond the shore once in a while provides a bit of variety and new experiences.


    Sea angling by boat or kayak is not only fun, but there is also a greater opportunity to catch rarer species than shore anglers such as fish from the ray family, tope and sharks. Underwater structures such as wrecks, reefs and sandbanks are an excellent habitat for fish and you find will that they vary in species.


    For sea anglers who plan to delve into deep waters and aim to catch large fish then boat rods and reels are a necessity, like the Fladen Charter boat rod or Shakespeare Salt boat rod as they have tremendous power, balance and resistance. Fly, bait and lure fishing can all be used to entice sea fish, but fly fishing is becoming increasingly popular and is definitely worth a try.


    Some of the dangers around sea and salt water fishing is, quite obviously, the weather. Always check the forecast for how strong the wind is forecasted to be, and in which direction it is expected. Summer is the opportune time for offshore fishing but that doesn’t mean it will be plain sailing. Waters may be calm in the morning but, as with anytime of the year, this could all change in the afternoon.


    There are many charter boats and trips, as well as clubs for saltwater fishing and they are a great way to try out offshore fishing and can be great fun!


    Visit FieldandTrek for their range of fishing tackle and join the conversation at Facebook and Twitter

  10.  

    The Fabric Matters

    Recent reports from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland have announced that wearing cotton clothing poses serious risks to suffering from hypothermia when out trekking in the winter. With this in mind, Fieldandtrek.com take a look at what mountaineers, expeditionists and serious walkers should wear during the bitter months.


    The main reason why cotton is not a suitable fabric for winter activities is because as soon as it begins to rain, snow or gets a little wet, its insulation properties no longer exist, causing the skin to cool down very quickly. This in turn could cause hypothermia.


    When out walking in harsh weather conditions it is vital to be prepared and wear the correct clothing. Many waterproof and breathable items are constructed from modern polymers and laminated with a polymer membrane called polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) and polyurethane, so always check before purchasing waterproofs that they are constructed with these materials. When it comes to waterproofing and fabric being breathable it is also best to look out for jackets and trousers with eVent® or GORE-TEX® properties as they work to wick away any moisture.


    In terms of insulation, microfleeces are much more insulated than a normal fleece, which is crucial when out in the snow or facing tough conditions. Down fabric, whether it’s goose or duck, is also desirable as it aims to retain both warm air and cold to ensure a comfortable temperature.


    On a whole, synthetic materials are lightweight, strong and durable which is everything that is required from outdoor clothing. However, nylon is not the best option when it comes to protection in the outdoors. Although it is lightweight, tough and keeps water from seeping through, it also doesn’t allow any moisture to escape. Therefore, any sweat that builds up on the inside will stay there which won’t be very comfortable.


    Wearing waterproof, breathable and well insulated clothing may seem like common sense, but sometimes it can be overlooked and wearing the wrong materials could pose serious health risks.


    Visit http://www.fieldandtrek.com/walking for FieldandTrek.com’s range of suitable clothing. Keep up to date with their latest news and views online at their blog