Outdoor Provisions

(Unsolicited). Subscribed.

Why ?

Because for an always-on-the-go lifestyle they are the best things i’ve eaten (in probably 25+ yrs of eating ‘energy’ products).

Because there’s zero crap in them or in their wrappers (and the postal packaging is all zero plastic and fully recyclable).

Because my energy needs are seldom a spike and more often ‘slow release’ for hours on end.

Because they fit easily in the glove box / rescue bag / bum bag / pannier / pocket.

Because it works out cheaper per item to subscribe.


Work In Progress

Ain’t no party like a post-equipment exam party.

On a wall in a place i worked in in my first life was a quote:

‘To be satisfied with norms is fatal’ – Rommel.

One of those pithy quotes that stays with you for twenty + years.

Approaching half way in my 18 month aspirancy for the local mountain rescue team, my latest exam is ‘Equipment’. Five vehicles. Probably >250 individual items of equipment on each of 3 of them, and >100 items of equipment on the other two. What is it ? How is it used ? How is it stored / cleaned / repaired / serviced ? So the immersion takes over.

Another quote, this one from P Company also resonates: ‘Fear of failure must be greater than fear of the apparatus or task’.

And so it was like it always was, heaping pressure on myself, reading books, and watching videos, and days and days spent learning by rote, and asking a zillion questions, and always a ‘why ?’.

Never satisfied with norms. A fear of failure.

And even though you know you can’t know any more, the self-induced pressure gnaws away. I passed.

I went for a pint and a posh ploughmans.

The journey continues. Technical rescue next. Then nav examined at night in winter.

There is a quote from the philosopher Pascal: ‘The parrot washes its beak even though it is clean’.

Tomorrow we go again ….

New tricks to an old dog ..

Wandering the Edges the other day, a friend on the MR team showed me his ‘ski-mo’ way of tying a bowline (ie it can be done in big gloves). For someone that has spent 40 years making the rabbit come out the hole and go round the tree …. this was a religious moment !!

thread rope round anchor
make a loop with the ‘long end’
with the bit of the long end nearest you make another loop and push it up through the first loop
like this
take the short end of the rope and pass it through the loop that you just
pull on the two parts of the long rope ie the bit before and the bit after the knot (not the short end) to tighten the knot
Use the short end to tie a stopper knot on the long end nearest the anchor

* okay you may need to remove gloves to tie the stopper knot …. but probably not if you’re using >7.5mm rope (as opposed to the cord in these pics)

** the tail emerging from the stopper knot on a bowline should be longer than 10x the diameter of the rope

***always always always tie a stopper knot on a bowline that has a human attached to it ….. i witnessed a fatal climbing accident at an indoor wall door when a bowline unthreaded whilst the climber was lowering off the wall


For a forthcoming technical rope rescue exam as an aspirant in the local Mountain Rescue Team i have been wandering the many local gritstone edges looking at the availability of giant boulders to use as rope anchors for technical rescues.








etc etc etc …

On evenings like these (by which i mean a slight breeze to keep the midge off) it’s a delight to wander ….

from Gardom’s
from Millstone

Troodos and Beyond …

When social media pops up a reminder of a time before Brexit when i was able to skip happily around Europe and guide people on walking explorations of wonderful places.

Apparently four years ago i was very lucky to live in the Troodos Mountains of Crete for a month, and spent most of my time guiding walks in the National Park there. Occasionally i’d head to the coast but would soon scamper back from the blazing heat to the relative cool of my refuge at 6000ft. I also led a few tours of UN monitoring line between Cyprus and the Turkish North of the Island.

Almost all of my guiding is done here in the UK now. If you’re interested in learning outdoor skills in order that you can head off on your own adventures, or you would like to be guided on a walk of any duration – please get in touch ….


I don’t assess DofE expeds much anymore, but i do make an effort to help out when Bromsgrove School do their Bronze. A good friend of mine runs their DofE and Cadets.

So back down to yon end of the Peak for a two day journey from Teggs Nose via Shutlingsloe to Gradbach, and then via the Roaches to Leek.

Seeing and hearing teenagers in awe of the view as they sweat their way up on to the Roaches, and stop to admire Staffordshire beneath them, makes it worthwhile.

I photographed and impromptu engagement, and found a pub with a water sommelier. And nature. Lots of colourful, loud, running and calling and flying and hiding nature. Meadows in rude health. Curlew, cuckoo, sky-lark and co. in cacophonous song.

Good to be out.

Until next time ….