Walking / hiking news from around the web

Ivanhoe Way Challenge

I've plenty of information here about the Ivanhoe Way, but if you'd prefer to join an organised group and raise money for charity at the same time, you could join the third Ivanhoe Way Challenge on Saturday 15th June, 2013.

The challenge, organised by Richard and Angela Bebbington is for participants to walk 37 miles, around the Ivanhoe Way in 15 hours. There is a £17.50 entry fee per participant, teams are to consist of between 2 and 8 members and participants are encouraged to get sponsorship. Money raised will go to Wishes 4 Kids.

Applications are now open, apply at http://ivanhoechallenge.co.uk/application.html

vibrating, ankle-worn compass

Vibrating, ankle-worn compass

For hands-free navigation, this compass straps to your ankle and gives you a vibrating indication of magnetic north.

You'll have to be handy with a soldering iron as it comes in kit form. It runs off a battery which is charged via USB.


hiking boots incorporate emergency fire-starting kit

Bright spark of an idea

If I were a 'dragon' I'm not sure that I'd back this idea, but it did make me smile.

These boots come in several styles, all incorporating an emergency fire starting kit in a hidden compartment in the sole.

An all-weather fire starter seems like a great idea but the need for the secrecy remains a mystery to me!


ash leaves emerging

UK's Ash trees threatened by imported disease

The ash, our fourth most common tree species, is under threat from a disease called 'ash dieback'.

The government agency Fera hope to stop the spread of the disease by tracing infected trees and ordering owners of the imported trees to destroy them.

Fera feel that they can contain this outbreak, but have asked that symptoms be reported to them.

Symptoms include black spots that can turn into cankers on the tree's bark, brittle dying twigs and branches and leaves turning brown or black and wilting before dropping off.


Police forces urge walkers not to rely on smartphones

Police forces urge walkers not to rely on smartphones

Using smartphones could have dangerous, even fatal results say the Northern Constabulary, the second force to issue such a warning.

Short battery life and the technology being insufficient makes taking to the hills with little equipment and no experience dangerous.

The smart advice is to invest in a map and compass and learn how to use them. Click through to read the rest of this story on Ordnance Survey magazine.


Baladeo ultralight multi-tool

Baladeo ultralight multi-tool

By tool we're talking the all-important eating irons. This stylish and light combination from Baledeo gives you separate knife and spork with bottle opener and can opener.

Click through for photos and Gizmag's review of the product.


Google Trekker

Walking routes in Street View style

Would you wear this backpack while you walk for the benefit of your fellow walkers (and couch-walkers)

Gizmag reports on the 18kg backpack which produces Google Streetview images. It will be photographing US national parks, canyons and other places of interest. There's no word about bringing this to the UK (though I have volunteered....)

Nature Valley have already mapped some trails in this style as I reported a while ago.


Wales coast path logo

Wales full coast path open to the public

This week the new Wales Coast Path has officially opened to the public.

The new long-distance trail is 870 continuous miles following the Welsh coast as closely as possible.

The official guide divides the path into 8 sections with many points of interest on the way.

This path perfectly complements the Offa's Dyke National Trail which follows reasonably closely the ancient border between Wales and England.


Bare feet

New barefoot path opens in Helston

Ordnance Survey Leisure reports that Godolphin House in Cornwall has opened a multi-textured 'barefoot trail'.

Already popular in Europe, barefoot walking can be therapeutic as well as putting you more in touch with your surroundings.

read more

Honolulu hiker drank sweat to survive in mountains

This is dedication. After being lost and running out of food and water, hiker Mike Bowen was rescued by helicopter.

But he asked to be put down on a ridge so that he could finish the hike himself!


Hawaiian waterfall and pool

Hiking Hawaii

As much as I love walking in the Wales and the Peak District, I've not seen anything quite as beautiful as this waterfall and pool.

This will only be a dream for me but this site, Unreal Hawaii, is dedicated to outdoor life in the 50th State and is a wonderful browse. Click 'hikes' to explore routes from easy to extreme.

Visit Unreal Hawaii

Nature Valley Trails screenshot

Virtual hiking

Another story about hiking in far-away places, this website is fascinating for its Google Streetview-style interactive images, which allow you to virtually hike a number of trails. You can pan around or simply click 'autoplay' and sit back and watch.

The site has lots of routes in Yellowstone, Grand Canyon and Smoky Mountains National Parks.

Visit Nature Valley Trail View

Tent at night

Nine tips to help you pack lighter

For a day hike, it's probably not a good idea to cut down on water and food to save weight but for a bigger adventure then the balance changes a little and it will be more important to think about minimums and lightweight alternatives.

Even if that's not your type of wakling, this is an interesting read. Andrew Skurka gives us nine tips for cutting down on weight (and cost too!) including making a stove from a cat-food tin!


Winter Hiking in The Narrows, Zion National Park

Video: Winter Hiking in The Narrows, Zion National Park

Hiker Jerry King has walked, and at times waded, the picturesque Zion Narrows hike during the winter.

Jerry makes terrific videos and this one is fascinating. he describes the drysuit that has to be worn as like a giant rubber glove!


Brecon Beacons webcam

Brecon Beacons webcam

Not such a nice day in the Beacons national park as I write this, as we can all see thanks to the Brecon Beacons webcams.

The park authority has two cameras, at the Mountain Centre visitor centre and Craig-y-nos Country Park.

Just visit the page, check out the weather today and feel inspired to walk up those hills!


Hiker Adam Nutting

blogpick: Questions about the trail

USA hiker and blogger Adam Nutting dreams of walking the Appalachian Trail.

In this enjoyable blog, Adam answers some questions he's regularly asked about his long-distance hiking.

In the top three are 'Will you take a gun' and 'Are you afraid of bears'.

I've met some scary-looking bulls in fields, but this does make walking across fields here in the UK seem very safe.

His 4-point action plan for dealing with an unlikely bear attack is very funny, and I hope (as he suspects) he never has to put it into operation.


CLA Spokesman Andrew Blois

Landowners call for 'radical shake-up' of public rights of way system

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has produced a controversial new report calling for the current rights of way system to be simplified.

They suggest making it easier to make minor changes to the official map of our paths, known as the 'definitive map'.

The Ramblers' Association are against the plans, feeling that the current system supports a balance between landowners and walkers.

I'd support their plans where it makes it easier to divert paths for reasons of safety, or to avoid boggy ground, but I would be worried that it might make it easier for landowners to divert historic paths for their own privacy or convenience.


View over Prestop Wood, National Forest

Webcam on National Forest now live

A project I've been planning for years is now live. Check the current weather in The National Forest and see some great skies / sunsets.

Webcam on Prestop Wood, National Forest

Greenfield Mills heritage site

Heritage site to be fenced off to allow right of way to be re-opened

A heritage site is to be fenced off to allow the adjacent right of way to be re-opened.

Greenfield Mills heritage site has been closed since last summer after a spate of vandalism made the buildings unsafe.
Safety barriers and viewing points at the site have been destroyed by vandals.
A few weeks ago the site was in the news after suggestion of using bees to deter the vandals. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-16645223

but now Flintshire Council have agreed to pay for a protective fence around the site. The fence will be put up as soon as planning permission has been granted.


Family walking

Winter walking in comfort and safety

Walking shouldn't stop when the frost and snow starts, providing you plan properly.

This article from the Ordnance Survey discusses all the measures to take so that you can enjoy your walk while keeping comfortable and safe.

Read more

Winter Sunset Desktop / Wallpaper

Winter Sunset Desktop / Wallpaper

As I've walked over the last year or two, I've snapped away at some of the beautiful views and things growing and living in our countryside.

I took this new sunset image in early Jan and I've added it to my desktop / wallpaper images.


Walk a marathon for breast cancer

Cancer Research UK's night-time walking marathon, Shine, is taking place in London on 1 October and Glasgow on 10 September.

The walk is at night and through the capital, lit up to support the cause.

You can choose whether to walk a half marathon or a full marathon, and you can also choose which cancer you want to beat.

Find out more (London) or Find out more (Glasgow)

Free Desktop / Wallpaper

As I've walked over the last year or two, I've snapped away at some of the beautiful views and things growing and living in our countryside. Occasionally a picture makes a good desktop / wallpaper image.

at Find out more

New route added - Rutland Water Normanton - Empingham Circular Walk

This walk is a short distance and mostly uses good surfaces but has fabulous views, and so will be ideal for new walkers or those unsure about venturing far off the beaten track. Alternatively, the loop can be used to add a few extra miles to the main reservoir circular walk.

at Find out more

Easter Blaze near Brecon Beacons

Firefighters were called to the Penderyn area to tackle a large blaze between Rhondda Cynon Taf and the Brecon Beacons. it is believed to have been started deliberately, and one of a regular series of arson attacks every Easter.

Find out more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-south-east-wales-13159106

New Authority for South Downs National Park

A new authority launches today with the responsibility for protecting the natural beauty of the new South Downs National Park

The park covers an area of 1,600 square kilometres.The South Downs Way is one of 15 National Trails in England and Wales and was the first bridleway National Trail in England. Its 160 km is also the only National Trail to lie entirely within a National Park.

Find out more at http://www.southdowns.gov.uk/
and South Downs Way

Osprey webcam at Lyndon Nature Reserve

Rutland Water is home to the first Ospreys to breed in England for 150 years. Lyndon Nature Reserve, on the south bank of Rutland Water has placed a webcam so that you can see the birds.

You can enjoy the real thing from hides at Lyndon Nature Reserve.

View this spectacular live webcam at http://www.ospreys.org.uk/

Protesters celebrate forestry U-turn

Controversial plans to sell 258,000 hectares of state-owned woodland in England have been abandoned.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said that the government had "got this one wrong" and that they had listened to people's concerns.

Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-12488847

Campaigners opposed to forestry sell-off

The Government has said that plans to sell or lease publicly-owned forests will not affect current access rights.

However, campaigners are worried about future ownership, about access and the care of the wildlife.

Three quarters of those polled by YouGov opposed the plans.

The Forestry Commission has 150,000 hectares of land in England

Read more at http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-12287175

National Forest company safe from government cuts

The National Forest company employs 20 people and aims to transform its area of Staffordshire, Derbyshire and Leicestershire by converting one third of the area to woodland.

It was not named on the list of quangos set to be culled by the Government and looks forward to continuing its good work.

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