Avoiding The Burn

Click on the pictures from anyone on a trekking skills course with Andrew Skurka somewhere in the U.S. and chances are they’re probably all wearing the same or a similar type of top – a sun hoody.

We haven’t really bothered with them over here in the UK ‘cos they look a bit odd. However as we seem to be being increasingly exposed to hot sunny days, and as i increasingly find myself outside on those hot sunny days, plus i’m of fair skin, i thought i’d see what all the fuss is about …

Essentially they are a thin, close but not skin tight fitting, comfy, very lightweight, highly UV resistant, long sleeve top with a hood.

They are designed to stop your entire upper body being susceptible to damaging UV. In the US they are often worn with sun gloves (the clue is in the title). They’re also often worn with a cap / visor under the hood, and then your sunglasses.

They’re comfortable, a bit stretchy, not weirdo tight, and usually in several colours.

Here are a few that are available now in the UK.

Rab Borealis £75 various colours – M&F versions available. This one is slightly different in that it is a thin full zip hoody. Rab don’t state the SPF factor.

Arcteryx Mens Cormac Sun Hoody £70 SPF50. Several colours. I’m using one of these and finding it very comfortable, very breathable, and the hood isn’t in the way at all. I think it’s an excellent simple effective layer.

Arcteryx womens Taema sun hoody £75. Various colours. Doesn’t seem to look out of place in the pub as well as on the hill. SPF50

Orvis Pro Sun Hoody mens and womens. Both £98. The fishermens friend. £98. Various colours. I’ve heard good things about these. A hot day on the water can be very damaging for unprotected skin.


Black Diamond Alpenglow Hoody again available in mens and womens. Funky colours. £75. SPF50.


New in from Mountain Equipment are their Glace men and womens hoodies – similar in design to most of the others, but they retail for about a third less (RRP £50). Good also to see some more funky colours (useful for being seen in the alpine) as well as an all white one for very hot conditions. Note that ME don’t actually state what the SPF factor is for this garment.


Patagonia seem to have stopped selling their excellent ‘Sun Hoody’ in the UK this summer. There are also a few brands (Rohan, Patagonia, Arcteryx etc) that make SPF50 shirts.

Active Fabrics sell SPF 50 fabric in a variety of colours for about £17 metre if you want to have a go at making your own sun protection thingy

Summary – i think sun hoodys are great if, for example, you are belaying a climber and stuck in the sun for ages, or cycling, or trekking. Moreso in areas or activities where there is no shade – like glacier crossings. They remove the need to lather loads of suncream on all the time. We are really good as adults at keeping small kids in sun protective clothing and really poor at keeping ourselves protected. Throw one of these on on a hot day and you’ll do your skin a great favour.

Brainfood …

Some podcasts i regularly add to my brainfood diet ….

and if you look closely through this podcast series from Alastair Humphreys you might find me !!! ….

and here are some audiobooks that i frequently revisit …

and if your world is already full of podcasts and books and what not, (and all the other demands and distractions of life) and all you want is a period of calm … well there’s even a podcast for that. Nature and her noise ….

What are your recommendations ?


An article by Tim Miller about the recent route that he and Paul Ramsden climbed in the Jugal Himal region of Nepal.

They called the 1200m line on the previously unclimbed and unnamed 6563m peak ‘The Phantom Line’. It is perhaps one of the most stunning and beautiful (and serious) lines in recent mountaineering history.


The 258

Hang on a cotton picking minute tha’ said to tha’ sel’ as tha’ sat ont’ Over Owler Tor, what the ‘eck are @hulleys1921 doing down ‘ere on a Sunday ???’

A bit of timetable detectoring and i learnt summat i didn’t know, (scroll away now if you’re never going to want to get the bus from Sheffield in to the Peak) …

So the 271 / 272 does the City – Eccy Rd – Fox House – Hope Valley route on its way to Castleton (with an out and back to Yorkshire Br via Bamford).

The 257 does the City – Crosspool – Ladybower Inn – Bamford – Hathersage – Grindleford – Stoney – Eyam – Bakewell route.

BUT ON A SUNDAY and BH Monday (are you still awake at the back ?) the 258 does a (weird) but REALLY USEFUL route of –

Fox House
Ringinglow / Norfolk Arms
Burbage Bridge
Bamford Station
Yorkshire Bridge
Ladybower Inn
Sheffield / Moorfoot
Sheffield Interchange.

So what ? Why am i even writing this ?????

Because that means from very near Sheffield rail station you can get the bus from the 4th largest City in England to Burbage Bridge and be bouldering 90 seconds after alighting the bus , or have a 15 min easy walk to Stanage. Or walk the family on the Burbage – Higger loop. Or walk right along Stanage and get the bus back from Cut Throat Bridge. Or a really easy accessible walk down Burbage to the Longshaw Estate and bus home from the Fox House. Or walk to a YHA on the Sat and back on the Sun.

And most importantly because Hulleys have been trying their damnedest for 101 (yes, 101) years to connect the big and the little towns and villages with the countryside we love, and we really need to USE or LOSE these bus routes. 🚌✊.

Five Years and Two Days …

So there was i avidly reading the weekly newsletter from @al_humphreys when he credited me (for sending him some links) by linking to a little film me, him, and @i_am_evilgordon did called ‘Curry In A Cave’.

So for old times sake i clicked it. And then i looked at the date on YouTube and realised it was FIVE years (and 2 days) ago.

And over TWENTY THOUSAND people have watched it.

And some of the comments lay in to me for wearing denim.

And some for wearing an Arc’teryx jacket.

And one for sounding like ‘a fukin geography teacher’.

A denim and Arc’teryx wearing geography teacher – i’ll take that.

My biggest take away (pardon the pun) is that time flies and you really ought to meet up with your mates and go and do something in each others company as often as the hectic pace of your lives allows.

Yvon Chouinard (founder owner of Patagonia) still has an annual meet up with the lads he did daft adventures with as a kid – he calls these activity reunions The Do Boys – we all ought to follow suit by reconnecting with friends before its too late.

Any how, after you’ve been to the @al_humphreys website and subscribed to his newsletter ( 😉 ) come back here and watch the little film we made about getting outdoors with your mates (and a very large curry).

Crikey doesn’t time fly …


* sound ON

A little clip from the beginning of my recent holiday, a pedal across the Corran Ferry in Lochaber and along the shores of Loch Linnhe …

The last winter snows are visible on Ben Nevis just to the right of the view up the Loch

The music is ‘Holdin’ On’ by the Lumineers. It became my holiday earworm and was whistled or sung (oftentimes with invented lyrics) a zillion times whilst pedalling along …

Droneography by Dave at Inchree