Kit Lists

 

 

 

 

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable challenges a young person can undertake. The DofE expeditions are often a young person's first experience of the outdoors; here at Countryside Ski & Climb we want to make sure that it is an experience that they will never forget, for the right reasons! The equipment you choose can make or break an expedition; using over 35 years of experience we have created a Kit List for each of the three award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) including useful tips and product recommendation.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we adhere to the mantra clever people take less and as such we recommend you carry the minimum kit possible. If you do this your bag will be lighter and you will have less kit to keep track of making your expedition easier and more enjoyable. We have included a number of optional items that can make your life easier or more comfortable; it is down to the individual to decide whether or not the items are worth the extra weight and space in your pack.

Please note that the kit lists cater for all weather conditions the participants may encounter so not all items will be necessary on every expedition.

You will notice that some products have the DofE Recommended Kit logo, this means that the kit is tested and recommended by both DofE organisers and participants. The DofE charity also receives royalty from all sales of DofE Recommended kit, which helps to support and improve the award scheme.

 

Gold DofE Expedition:

The Gold expedition will require participants to be out for 4 days and 3 nights; during those four days they will be required to spend at least 8 hours walking.

Clothing:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Walking Boots Make sure your boots are comfortable, waterproof and provide ankle support.
If you don't wish to buy your own boots we offer a free hire service in store.

Anatom - V2 Vorlich Light Hiking (Mens)

Anatom - V2 Lomond Light Hiking (Womens)

3-5 Pairs Walking Socks They need to be comfortable, cushioned and should have no more than 50% cotton content.
 You can wear good quality socks for multiple days.

Silverpoint - Comfort Hiker Socks

Silverpoint - Merino Wool Mid-Hiker

2-4 Baselayer Tops A baselayer should wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable. They can be made from synthetic materials or merino wool – do not use a cotton t-shirt!

Berghaus - Men's Short Sleeve Technical T-Shirt

Berghaus - Women's Short Sleeve V Neck Technical Tee

1-2 Baselayer Bottoms (if appropriate) A baselayer should wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable. They can be made from synthetic materials or merino wool – do not use cotton leggings!
They serve as good pyjamas that can also be used when you get cold.

CMP - Mens Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

CMP - Womens Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

CMP - Youth Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

3-5 Underwear Make sure you wear something that doesn't chafe and you are comfortable walking all day in.  
1-2 Sports Bras (women) For you ladies this is an often overlooked item that can drastically increase comfort over a day  
Walking Trousers/Leggings Something lightweight and dries quickly – not cotton or denim jeans!
Get something light enough for summer then layer underneath in autumn/winter

Mountain Hardwear - Men's Mesa V2 Pant

Silverpoint - Women's Lilehammer Stretchtec Trousers

Nightwear (Optional) If you can go without pyjamas, you can always sleep in your baselayers.  
Extra footwear  (Optional) Giving your feet a break from your boots at the end of the day is a good feeling.
You can use flip flops or you can use waterproof socks to relax in the evening
Sealskinz - Waterproof Walking Sock
Sunhat (if appropriate) Something comfortable that you are willing to wear! - e.g. baseball cap

The North Face - 68 Classic Hat

Warm Hat (if appropriate) Anything comfortable, ideally not cotton.

Mountain Equipment - Knitted Beanie

Salomon - Logo Beanie

Scarf/Snood A Buff is ideal as it can be used as a hat or balaclava as well Buff - Original - Black
Gloves (if appropriate) Try to get something reasonably dexterous so you can keep them on whilst you are doing things
Waterproof and windproof gloves are ideal.

Sealskinz - Men's Sea Leopard Gloves

Sealskinz - Women's Sea Leopard Gloves

Sunblock (if appropriate) It's not cool and it's not pretty but then again neither is getting sunburnt. Lifesystems - Expedition Sun - Active Formula Sun Cream SPF 25 - 100ml 
Shorts (Optional/if appropriate) A good alternative to trousers if the weather is fine, look for something light and quick drying.

The North Face - Men's Horizon Shorts

Royal Robbins - Women's Backcountry Short

Waterproof Socks (Optional) Can be a very useful if your boots get wet inside – they can also be used as impromptu shoes in the evening Sealskinz - Waterproof Walking Sock
Waterproof Over-Trousers Make sure they are waterproof and breathable and ideally with a thigh length side zip so you can take them on and off whilst wearing boots

Berghaus - Deluge Overtrousers

Berghaus - Women's Deluge Overtrousers

Waterproof Jacket Make sure it is waterproof, breathable and fits well.
A good hood is a must.

Sherpa - Men's Khumjung Jacket

Patagonia - Women's Torrentshell Jacket

 

Personal Kit:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Rucksack 65-70 Litres with a padded hip belt

Vango - Contour 50+10S

Vango - Sherpa 65

Rucksack liner Use a waterproof roll-top bag for complete security from precipitation – alternatively you can use rubble bags (thick black bin bags) Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 70 Litres
Sleeping mat As important if not more so than your sleeping bag for keeping you warm. Vango - Trek Mat Regular
Sleeping bag Make sure it is suitable for the temperatures you will encounter

Vango - Nitestar Mummy 250

Vango - Ultralite 600

Sleeping bag liner (optional) Keeps your sleeping bag fresher and adds warmth Lifeventure - EX³ Cotton Sleeper - Mummy
Waterproof bags Use waterproof roll-top bags for complete security from precipitation – alternatively you can use rubble bags (thick black bin bags), resealable bags or plastic bags

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 25 Litres

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 15 Litres

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 5 Litres

Survival bag You can leave your rucksack outside your tent inside a plastic survival bag to make space inside the tent. Lifesystems - Mountain Survival Bag
Small quantity of money (optional) Don't take too much, you probably won't need it and you will almost certainly lose it.  
Notebook & pen/pencil Useful for navigation and group projects  
Watch Time keeping is key for efficient and accurate navigation Timex - Expedition Camper Black
Sunglasses (optional/if appropriate)    
Whistle Make sure it is 100% plastic.
For attracting attention in an emergency
Lifesystems - Safety Whistle - 108dB
Torch Head-torches are better as they allow you to use both hands

Silverpoint - Hunter XL25 Head Torch

Black Diamond - Gizmo Headlamp

Personal first aid kit Take any personal medication (for allergies etc.), pain relief, an assortment of plasters, energy tablets  and blister plasters minimum. Take as much as you need for the duration of the trip and no more.

Lifesystems - Trek First Aid Kit

Lifesystems - Light and Dry Micro First Aid Kit

Insect Repellent (if appropriate) Your supervisor can advise you on whether or not this is necessary. Lifesystems - Midge and Mosquito 50 Repellent - 50ml Spray
Water bottle(s) (2 Litres) Take a litre bottle and a bladder or two 1 litre bottles so you can distribute the weight evenly.
Take something that won't leak and can ideally hold boiling water (then it can double as a hot water bottle)
Lifeventure - Tritan Flask - 1000 ml
Hydration Bladder (optional) Great for keeping you hydrated on the go, drinking little and often is always better Osprey - Hydraulics™ 2L Reservoir
Knife, fork, spoon Take the minimum you need, you may only need a spoon or spork Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Cutlery
Small pocket knife/pocket tool Mainly used for food prep, not essential depending on what food you take. Scouting - Special Edition Scout Knife
Plate/bowl Go for a bowl, its more versatile. Not essential depending on what food you take.

Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Bowl

Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Plate

Mug A metal mug is ideal as it acts as a hand-warmer while you drink. Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Camp Mug
Box of matches (in waterproof container) A sandwich bag or small plastic box is an ideal container. Lifesystems - Windproof Matches
Wash kit/personal hygiene items It's not a fashion contest, leave the make up at home.
Wetwipes, antibacterial soap or hand gel, toothpaste, toothbrush and talcum powder is the minimum you need.

Lifeventure - All Purpose Soap 100ml

Lifeventure - Soap Leaves

Towel Ideally use a small microfibre towel as it takes up far less room. Take as small a towel as possible if you don't have access to a shower, around the size of a face flannel is ideal. Lifeventure - Soft Fibre Pocket Trek Towel
Food Choose carefully, make sure you like the taste.
Freeze dried or vaccum packed food is great because you don't need a bowl or plate.
No tinned food, glass jars or heavy packaging.

Expedition Foods - Freeze Dried Meals

Wayfarer - Vaccum Packed Meals

 

Group Kit:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Tent(s) Split the tent up and share the weight, it also makes packing easier

Vango - Halo 300

Vango - Zenith 200

Camping stove(s) Often supplied by your provider, make sure you know how to use it. Trangia - 25-1 Ultralight Cook Set
Camping stove fuel in an appropriate and safe container Bring enough but not too much, it can get heavy. Choose carefully you can use gas, bio-fuel or gel.

Fuel 4 - 200 ml Gel Pouch

Cooking pans Among the heaviest items in your pack store them close to your body to help weight distribution Trangia - 27-1 Ultralight Cook Set
Scourers Bring more than one, allows for loss and simultaneous pan washing  
Tea towels Bring more than one, allows for loss and simultaneous drying. Also use for drying condensation in your tent.  
Water Purification (pump/tablets/drops) Only use if you need to – ask your supervisor. Lifesystems - Chlorine Dioxide Drops
Plastic bags Useful for waterproofing, organisation and rubbish  
Toilet paper You are not going for long, don't bring too much. Put it in plastic bags to keep it dry  
Trowel (if appropriate) Only needed if you don't have access to a toilet.  
Maps (1:25 000/1:50 000) Ask your supervisor on which one you need. Ordinance Survey Maps
Compass Only use a DofE approved compass and make sure it works before you go

Silva - Ranger Compass

Silva - Field Compass

Map cases You can also store your compass in the map case to keep it safe Lifeventure - DriStore Case - Maps
Camera (optional) Keep it in a waterproof bag somewhere safe.  
Tick remover (location-dependent – ask your Supervisor) Make sure you know how to use one if you might need to Lifesystems - Tick Remover
Storm Shelter (optional) Great for breaks and lunch stops – keeps up group morale in adverse weather conditions  
Playing Cards (optional) They don't take up much room and provide entertainment in the evenings  

 

FAQ Category: 

 

 

 

 

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable challenges a young person can undertake. The DofE expeditions are often a young person's first experience of the outdoors; here at Countryside Ski & Climb we want to make sure that it is an experience that they will never forget, for the right reasons! The equipment you choose can make or break an expedition; using over 35 years of experience we have created a Kit List for each of the three award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) including useful tips and product recommendation.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we adhere to the mantra clever people take less and as such we recommend you carry the minimum kit possible. If you do this your bag will be lighter and you will have less kit to keep track of making your expedition easier and more enjoyable. We have included a number of optional items that can make your life easier or more comfortable; it is down to the individual to decide whether or not the items are worth the extra weight and space in your pack.

Please note that the kit lists cater for all weather conditions the participants may encounter so not all items will be necessary on every expedition.

You will notice that some products have the DofE Recommended Kit logo, this means that the kit is tested and recommended by both DofE organisers and participants. The DofE charity also receives royalty from all sales of DofE Recommended kit, which helps to support and improve the award scheme.

 

Silver DofE Expedition:

The Silver expedition will require participants to be out for 3 days and 2 nights; during those three days they will be required to spend at least 7 hours walking.

Clothing:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Walking Boots Make sure your boots are comfortable, waterproof and provide ankle support.
If you don't wish to buy your own boots we offer a free hire service in store.

Anatom - V2 Vorlich Light Hiking (Mens)

Anatom - V2 Lomond Light Hiking (Womens)

3-4 Pairs Walking Socks They need to be comfortable, cushioned and should have no more than 50% cotton content.
Good quality socks you can wear for multiple days.

Silverpoint - Comfort Hiker Socks

Silverpoint - Merino Wool Mid-Hiker

2-3 Baselayer Tops A baselayer should wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable. They can be made from synthetic materials or merino wool – do not use a cotton t-shirt!

Berghaus - Men's Short Sleeve Technical T-Shirt

Berghaus - Women's Short Sleeve V Neck Technical Tee

1-2 Baselayer Bottoms (if appropriate) A baselayer should wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable. They can be made from synthetic materials or merino wool – do not use cotton leggings!
They serve as good pyjamas that can also be used when you get cold.

CMP - Mens Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

CMP - Womens Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

CMP - Youth Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

4 Underwear Make sure you wear something that doesn't chafe and you are comfortable walking all day in.  
1-2 Sports Bras (women) For you ladies this is an often overlooked item that can drastically increase comfort over a day  
Walking Trousers/Leggings Something lightweight and dries quickly – not cotton or denim jeans!
Get something light enough for summer then layer underneath in autumn/winter

Mountain Hardwear - Men's Mesa V2 Pant

Silverpoint - Women's Lilehammer Stretchtec Trousers

Nightwear (Optional) If you can go without pyjamas, you can always sleep in your baselayers.  
Extra footwear  (Optional) Giving your feet a break from your boots at the end of the day is a good feeling.
You can use flip flops or you can use waterproof socks to relax in the evening
Sealskinz - Waterproof Walking Sock
Sunhat (if appropriate) Something comfortable that you are willing to wear! - e.g. baseball cap

The North Face - 68 Classic Hat

Warm Hat (if appropriate) Anything comfortable, ideally not cotton.

Mountain Equipment - Knitted Beanie

Salomon - Logo Beanie

Scarf/Snood A Buff is ideal as it can be used as a hat or balaclava as well Buff - Original - Black
Gloves (if appropriate) Try to get something reasonably dexterous so you can keep them on whilst you are doing things
Waterproof and windproof gloves are ideal.

Sealskinz - Men's Sea Leopard Gloves

Sealskinz - Women's Sea Leopard Gloves

Sunblock (if appropriate) It's not cool and it's not pretty but then again neither is getting sunburnt. Lifesystems - Expedition Sun - Active Formula Sun Cream SPF 25 - 100ml 
Shorts (Optional/if appropriate) A good alternative to trousers if the weather is fine, look for something light and quick drying.

The North Face - Men's Horizon Shorts

Royal Robbins - Women's Backcountry Short

Waterproof Socks (Optional) Can be a very useful if your boots get wet inside – they can also be used as impromptu shoes in the evening Sealskinz - Waterproof Walking Sock
Waterproof Over-Trousers Make sure they are waterproof and breathable and ideally with a thigh length side zip so you can take them on and off whilst wearing boots

Berghaus - Deluge Overtrousers

Berghaus - Women's Deluge Overtrousers

Waterproof Jacket Make sure it is waterproof, breathable and fits well.
A good hood is a must.

Sherpa - Men's Khumjung Jacket

Patagonia - Women's Torrentshell Jacket

 

Personal Kit:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Rucksack 60-70 Litres with a padded hip belt

Vango - Contour 50+10S

Vango - Sherpa 65

Rucksack liner Use a waterproof roll-top bag for complete security from precipitation – alternatively you can use rubble bags (thick black bin bags) Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 70 Litres
Sleeping mat As important if not more so than your sleeping bag for keeping you warm. Vango - Trek Mat Regular
Sleeping bag Make sure it is suitable for the temperatures you will encounter

Vango - Nitestar Mummy 250

Vango - Ultralite 600

Sleeping bag liner (optional) Keeps your sleeping bag fresher and adds warmth Lifeventure - EX³ Cotton Sleeper - Mummy
Waterproof bags Use waterproof roll-top bags for complete security from precipitation – alternatively you can use rubble bags (thick black bin bags), resealable bags or plastic bags

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 25 Litres

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 15 Litres

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 5 Litres

Survival bag You can leave your rucksack outside your tent inside a plastic survival bag to make space inside the tent. Lifesystems - Mountain Survival Bag
Small quantity of money (optional) Don't take too much, you probably won't need it and you will almost certainly lose it.  
Notebook & pen/pencil Useful for navigation and group projects  
Watch Time keeping is key for efficient and accurate navigation Timex - Expedition Camper Black
Sunglasses (optional/if appropriate)    
Whistle Make sure it is 100% plastic.
For attracting attention in an emergency
Lifesystems - Safety Whistle - 108dB
Torch Head-torches are better as they allow you to use both hands

Silverpoint - Hunter XL25 Head Torch

Black Diamond - Gizmo Headlamp

Personal first aid kit Take any personal medication (for allergies etc.), pain relief, an assortment of plasters, energy tablets  and blister plasters minimum. Take as much as you need for the duration of the trip and no more.

Lifesystems - Trek First Aid Kit

Lifesystems - Light and Dry Micro First Aid Kit

Insect Repellent (if appropriate) Your supervisor can advise you on whether or not this is necessary. Lifesystems - Midge and Mosquito 50 Repellent - 50ml Spray
Water bottle(s) (2 Litres) Take a litre bottle and a bladder or two 1 litre bottles so you can distribute the weight evenly.
Take something that won't leak and can ideally hold boiling water (then it can double as a hot water bottle)
Lifeventure - Tritan Flask - 1000 ml
Hydration Bladder (optional) Great for keeping you hydrated on the go, drinking little and often is always better Osprey - Hydraulics™ 2L Reservoir
Knife, fork, spoon Take the minimum you need, you may only need a spoon or spork Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Cutlery
Small pocket knife/pocket tool Mainly used for food prep, not essential depending on what food you take. Scouting - Special Edition Scout Knife
Plate/bowl Go for a bowl, its more versatile. Not essential depending on what food you take.

Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Bowl

Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Plate

Mug A metal mug is ideal as it acts as a hand-warmer while you drink. Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Camp Mug
Box of matches (in waterproof container) A sandwich bag or small plastic box is an ideal container. Lifesystems - Windproof Matches
Wash kit/personal hygiene items It's not a fashion contest, leave the make up at home.
Wetwipes, antibacterial soap or hand gel, toothpaste, toothbrush and talcum powder is the minimum you need.

Lifeventure - All Purpose Soap 100ml

Lifeventure - Soap Leaves

Towel Ideally use a small microfibre towel as it takes up far less room. Take as small a towel as possible if you don't have access to a shower, around the size of a face flannel is ideal. Lifeventure - Soft Fibre Pocket Trek Towel
Food Choose carefully, make sure you like the taste.
Freeze dried or vaccum packed food is great because you don't need a bowl or plate.
No tinned food, glass jars or heavy packaging.

Expedition Foods - Freeze Dried Meals

Wayfarer - Vaccum Packed Meals

 

Group Kit:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Tent(s) Split the tent up and share the weight, it also makes packing easier

Vango - Halo 300

Vango - Zenith 200

Camping stove(s) Often supplied by your provider, make sure you know how to use it. Trangia - 25-1 Ultralight Cook Set
Camping stove fuel in an appropriate and safe container Bring enough but not too much, it can get heavy. Choose carefully you can use gas, bio-fuel or gel.

Fuel 4 - 200 ml Gel Pouch

Cooking pans Among the heaviest items in your pack store them close to your body to help weight distribution Trangia - 27-1 Ultralight Cook Set
Scourers Bring more than one, allows for loss and simultaneous pan washing  
Tea towels Bring more than one, allows for loss and simultaneous drying. Also use for drying condensation in your tent.  
Water Purification (pump/tablets/drops) Only use if you need to – ask your supervisor. Lifesystems - Chlorine Dioxide Drops
Plastic bags Useful for waterproofing, organisation and rubbish  
Toilet paper You are not going for long, don't bring too much. Put it in plastic bags to keep it dry  
Trowel (if appropriate) Only needed if you don't have access to a toilet.  
Maps (1:25 000/1:50 000) Ask your supervisor on which one you need. Ordinance Survey Maps
Compass Only use a DofE approved compass and make sure it works before you go

Silva - Ranger Compass

Silva - Field Compass

Map cases You can also store your compass in the map case to keep it safe Lifeventure - DriStore Case - Maps
Camera (optional) Keep it in a waterproof bag somewhere safe.  
Tick remover (location-dependent – ask your Supervisor) Make sure you know how to use one if you might need to Lifesystems - Tick Remover
Storm Shelter (optional) Great for breaks and lunch stops – keeps up group morale in adverse weather conditions  
Playing Cards (optional) They don't take up much room and provide entertainment in the evenings  

 

FAQ Category: 

 

 

 

 

The Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme is one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable challenges a young person can undertake. The DofE expeditions are often a young person's first experience of the outdoors; here at Countryside Ski & Climb we want to make sure that it is an experience that they will never forget, for the right reasons! The equipment you choose can make or break an expedition; using over 35 years of experience we have created a Kit List for each of the three award levels (Bronze, Silver and Gold) including useful tips and product recommendation.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we adhere to the mantra clever people take less and as such we recommend you carry the minimum kit possible. If you do this your bag will be lighter and you will have less kit to keep track of making your expedition easier and more enjoyable. We have included a number of optional items that can make your life easier or more comfortable; it is down to the individual to decide whether or not the items are worth the extra weight and space in your pack.

Please note that the kit lists cater for all weather conditions the participants may encounter so not all items will be necessary on every expedition.

You will notice that some products have the DofE Recommended Kit logo, this means that the kit is tested and recommended by both DofE organisers and participants. The DofE charity also receives royalty from all sales of DofE Recommended kit, which helps to support and improve the award scheme.

 

Bronze DofE Expedition:

The Bronze expedition will require participants to be out for 2 days and 1 night; during those two days they will be required to spend at least 6 hours walking.

Clothing:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Walking Boots Make sure your boots are comfortable, waterproof and provide ankle support.
If you don't wish to buy your own boots we offer a free hire service in store.

Anatom - V2 Vorlich Light Hiking (Mens)

Anatom - V2 Lomond Light Hiking (Womens)

2 Pairs Walking Socks They need to be comfortable, cushioned and should have no more than 50% cotton content.
Good quality socks you can wear for multiple days.

Silverpoint - Comfort Hiker Socks

Silverpoint - Merino Wool Mid-Hiker

2 Baselayer Tops A baselayer should wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable. They can be made from synthetic materials or merino wool – do not use a cotton t-shirt!

Berghaus - Men's Short Sleeve Technical T-Shirt

Berghaus - Women's Short Sleeve V Neck Technical Tee

1-2 Baselayer Bottoms (if appropriate) A baselayer should wick away sweat and keep you dry and comfortable. They can be made from synthetic materials or merino wool – do not use cotton leggings!
They serve as good pyjamas that can also be used when you get cold.

CMP - Mens Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

CMP - Womens Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

CMP - Youth Disegna Seamless Underwear Set

3 Underwear Make sure you wear something that doesn't chafe and you are comfortable walking all day in.  
1-2 Sports Bras (women only) This is an often overlooked item that can drastically increase comfort over a day walking or when sleeping.  
Walking Trousers/Leggings Something lightweight and dries quickly – not cotton or denim jeans!
Get something light enough for summer then layer underneath in autumn/winter

Mountain Hardwear - Men's Mesa V2 Pant

Silverpoint - Lilehammer Stretchtec Trousers

Nightwear (Optional) If you can go without pyjamas, you can always sleep in your baselayers.  
Extra footwear  (Optional) Giving your feet a break from your boots at the end of the day is a good feeling.
You can use flip flops or you can use waterproof socks to relax in the evening
Sealskinz - Waterproof Walking Sock
Sunhat (if appropriate) Something comfortable that you are willing to wear! - e.g. baseball cap

The North Face - 68 Classic Hat

Warm Hat (if appropriate) Anything comfortable, ideally not cotton.

Mountain Equipment - Knitted Beanie

Salomon - Logo Beanie

Scarf/Snood A Buff is ideal as it can be used as a hat or balaclava as well Buff - Original - Black
Gloves (if appropriate) Try to get something reasonably dexterous so you can keep them on whilst you are doing things
Waterproof and windproof gloves are ideal.

Sealskinz - Men's Sea Leopard Gloves

Sealskinz - Women's Sea Leopard Gloves

Sunblock (if appropriate) It's not cool and it's not pretty but then again neither is getting sunburnt. Lifesystems - Expedition Sun - Active Formula Sun Cream SPF 25 - 100ml 
Shorts (Optional/if appropriate) A good alternative to trousers if the weather is fine, look for something light and quick drying.

The North Face - Men's Horizon Shorts

Royal Robbins - Women's Backcountry Short

Waterproof Socks (Optional) Can be a very useful if your boots get wet inside – they can also be used as impromptu shoes in the evening Sealskinz - Waterproof Walking Sock
Waterproof Over-Trousers Make sure they are waterproof and breathable and ideally with a thigh length side zip so you can take them on and off whilst wearing boots

Berghaus - Deluge Overtrousers

Berghaus - Women's Deluge Overtrousers

Waterproof Jacket Make sure it is waterproof, breathable and fits well.
A good hood is a must.

Sherpa - Men's Khumjung Jacket

Patagonia - Women's Torrentshell Jacket

 

Personal Kit:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Rucksack 60-65 Litres with a padded hip belt

Vango - Contour 50+10S

Vango - Sherpa 65

Rucksack liner Use a waterproof roll-top bag for complete security from precipitation – alternatively you can use rubble bags (thick black bin bags) Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 70 Litres
Sleeping mat As important if not more so than your sleeping bag for keeping you warm. Vango - Trek Mat Regular
Sleeping bag Make sure it is suitable for the temperatures you will encounter

Vango - Nitestar Mummy 250

Vango - Ultralite 600

Sleeping bag liner (optional) Keeps your sleeping bag fresher and adds warmth Lifeventure - EX³ Cotton Sleeper - Mummy
Waterproof bags Use waterproof roll-top bags for complete security from precipitation – alternatively you can use rubble bags (thick black bin bags), resealable bags or plastic bags

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 25 Litres

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 15 Litres

Lifeventure - Dri-Store Bag - 5 Litres

Survival bag You can leave your rucksack outside your tent inside a plastic survival bag to make space inside the tent. Lifesystems - Mountain Survival Bag
Small quantity of money (optional) Don't take too much, you probably won't need it and you will almost certainly lose it.  
Notebook & pen/pencil Useful for navigation and group projects  
Watch Time keeping is key for efficient and accurate navigation Timex - Expedition Camper Black
Sunglasses (optional/if appropriate)    
Whistle Make sure it is 100% plastic.
For attracting attention in an emergency
Lifesystems - Safety Whistle - 108dB
Torch Head-torches are better as they allow you to use both hands

Silverpoint - Hunter XL25 Head Torch

Black Diamond - Gizmo Headlamp

Personal first aid kit Take any personal medication (for allergies etc.), pain relief, an assortment of plasters, energy tablets  and blister plasters minimum. Take as much as you need for the duration of the trip and no more.

Lifesystems - Trek First Aid Kit

Lifesystems - Light and Dry Micro First Aid Kit

Insect Repellent (if appropriate) Your supervisor can advise you on whether or not this is necessary. Lifesystems - Midge and Mosquito 50 Repellent - 50ml Spray
Water bottle(s) (2 Litres) Take a litre bottle and a bladder or two 1 litre bottles so you can distribute the weight evenly.
Take something that won't leak and can ideally hold boiling water (then it can double as a hot water bottle)
Lifeventure - Tritan Flask - 1000 ml
Hydration Bladder (optional) Great for keeping you hydrated on the go, drinking little and often is always better Osprey - Hydraulics™ 2L Reservoir
Knife, fork, spoon Take the minimum you need, you may only need a spoon or spork Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Cutlery
Small pocket knife/pocket tool Mainly used for food prep, not essential depending on what food you take. Scouting - Special Edition Scout Knife
Plate/bowl Go for a bowl, its more versatile. Not essential depending on what food you take.

Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Bowl

Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Plate

Mug A metal mug is ideal as it acts as a hand-warmer while you drink. Lifeventure - Stainless Steel Camp Mug
Box of matches (in waterproof container) A sandwich bag or small plastic box is an ideal container. Lifesystems - Windproof Matches
Wash kit/personal hygiene items It's not a fashion contest, leave the make up at home.
Wetwipes, antibacterial soap or hand gel, toothpaste, toothbrush and talcum powder is the minimum you need.

Lifeventure - All Purpose Soap 100ml

Lifeventure - Soap Leaves

Towel Ideally use a small microfibre towel as it takes up far less room. Take as small a towel as possible if you don't have access to a shower, around the size of a face flannel is ideal. Lifeventure - Soft Fibre Pocket Trek Towel
Food Choose carefully, make sure you like the taste.
Freeze dried or vaccum packed food is great because you don't need a bowl or plate.
No tinned food, glass jars or heavy packaging.

Expedition Foods - Freeze Dried Meals

Wayfarer - Vaccum Packed Meals

 

Group Kit:

Item Helpful Information/Tips Product Recommendations
Tent(s) Split the tent up and share the weight, it also makes packing easier

Vango - Halo 300

Vango - Zenith 200

Camping stove(s) Often supplied by your provider, make sure you know how to use it. Trangia - 25-1 Ultralight Cook Set
Camping stove fuel in an appropriate and safe container Bring enough but not too much, it can get heavy. Choose carefully you can use gas, bio-fuel or gel.

Fuel 4 - 200 ml Gel Pouch

Cooking pans Among the heaviest items in your pack store them close to your body to help weight distribution Trangia - 27-1 Ultralight Cook Set
Scourers Bring more than one, allows for loss and simultaneous pan washing  
Tea towels Bring more than one, allows for loss and simultaneous drying. Also use for drying condensation in your tent.  
Water Purification (pump/tablets/drops) Only use if you need to – ask your supervisor. Lifesystems - Chlorine Dioxide Drops
Plastic bags Useful for waterproofing, organisation and rubbish  
Toilet paper You are not going for long, don't bring too much. Put it in plastic bags to keep it dry  
Trowel (if appropriate) Only needed if you don't have access to a toilet.  
Maps (1:25 000/1:50 000) Ask your supervisor on which one you need. Ordinance Survey Maps
Compass Only use a DofE approved compass and make sure it works before you go

Silva - Ranger Compass

Silva - Field Compass

Map cases You can also store your compass in the map case to keep it safe Lifeventure - DriStore Case - Maps
Camera (optional) Keep it in a waterproof bag somewhere safe.  
Tick remover (location-dependent – ask your Supervisor) Make sure you know how to use one if you might need to Lifesystems - Tick Remover
Storm Shelter (optional) Great for breaks and lunch stops – keeps up group morale in adverse weather conditions  
Playing Cards (optional) They don't take up much room and provide entertainment in the evenings  

 

FAQ Category: 

Tell me about the Technology?

The GORE-TEX® membrane is ePTFE (expanded polytetrafluoroethylene) which was invented in 1969 by Robert Gore.  It is a very strong microporous material which has since found multiple uses in industry and medicine as well as us knowing it as a method by which we can make a nice looking outer material for a jacket, become fully waterproof and as breathable as possible.

It is a material that has microscopic pores which are approximately 20,000 times smaller than a drop of water, but 700 times bigger than a molecule of moisture vapour. So, while water in its liquid form cannot penetrate the GORE-TEX® membrane, as moisture vapour it can easily escape through the pores.

Put simply, raindrops can’t come through from the outside but the vapour your body gives off can escape thus keeping you comfortable inside. 

The membrane is bonded to the back of the chosen outer fabric and then another layer of material (known as a backer) is bonded to the membrane or a mesh or fabric liner can be attached to hang loosely against it, in order to protect the membrane itself.

This system requires a build up of humidity ‘pressure’ inside the jacket in order for breathability to function at an optimum level.

GORE-TEX® is just one of several excellent manufacturers of membranes and coatings available on the market today. Many of the Waterproof Jackets & Trousers aswell as Ski Jackets & Pants that we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use various technology from Gore-Tex®

FAQ Category: 

Garments that use GORE-TEX offer the wearer a durable level of waterproofness and windproofness with an optimal level of breathability

Garments that use GORE-TEX® offer the wearer a durable level of waterproofness and windproofness with an optimal level of breathability.  These garments are all about reliable performance for general outdoor wear and they come in several different construction styles and fabrics.

Garments using GORE-TEX® are often a 2 Layer construction.  The term ‘2 Layer’ means that the membrane is only bonded to the back of the outer fabric of the garment.  Then a loose mesh or fabric lining is attached to the inside of the garment to manage moisture build up and to protect the membrane itself.  The reason for 2 Layer construction is because it creates a garment that is very supple and offers a level of comfort and ease of wear to the user at a competitive price.

Sometimes these garments are insulated as well to add warmth or they may have a zip out (sometimes known as 2 in 1) fleece or insulating liner jacket. 

Garments using GORE-TEX can also be a 3 Layer construction depending on the intended end user.  This means the membrane is bonded to the back of the outer fabric as well as the lining, to make one sandwiched piece of fabric. This makes a more durable garment that glides easily over layers and weighs less.

These garments are great for general outdoor use all year round and offer a good level waterproofness and breathability for the recreational user.

Gore-tex® also make other membranes that are better suited to more adventurous terrain or a higher performing wearer, these are Gore-Tex® Active and Gore-Tex® Pro.

Many of the brands that we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use Gore-tex® technology in their Waterproof Jackets & Trousers and their Ski Jackets & Pants.

FAQ Category: 

GORE-TEX Pro is used by leading brands in their highest performing garments where the user requires the best combination of durability, waterproofness and breathability in extended all-mountain conditions.

GORE-TEX® Pro is used by leading brands in their highest performing garments where the user requires the best combination of durability, waterproofness and breathability in extended all-mountain conditions. 

Garments using Gore-Tex® Pro are a 3 Layer construction. The term ‘3 Layer’ means that the outer fabric of the garment has the membrane
(Gore-Tex®) bonded to the back and then a backer is bonded to the membrane in order to protect it. The reason for this type of construction is because it creates a garment that is more durable, lighter, easier to glide over layers and ultimately more breathable - which is what its intended end user requires.

The latest Pro Shell is a 3 Layer construction, which uses a micro-grid backer as opposed to a standard scrim backer on the inside.  This is creating an improvement in breathability by about 28% on previous versions of Pro and makes for a lighter and more supple garment overall.

Gore-Tex Pro® is used in some of the waterproof jackets & trousers as well as Ski Jackets & Pants that we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb.

FAQ Category: 

GORE-TEX Active is used by leading brands in their garments where the user requires extreme breathability and minimal weight while maintaining durability in active, fast and light pursuits.

GORE-TEX® Active is used by leading brands in their garments where the user requires extreme breathability and minimal weight while maintaining durability in active, ‘fast and light’ pursuits.

Garments using Gore-Tex® Active are a 3 Layer construction.  The term ‘3 Layer’ means that the outer fabric of the garment has the membrane (Gore-Tex®) bonded to the back and then a backer is bonded to the membrane in order to protect it. 

The reason for this choice of construction is because it creates a garment that is highly breathable but maintains a higher level of durability than other lightweight waterproof fabrics. 

The backer also allows ease of layering as the garment will just glide over your other layers and means it will stand up to more use with a day sack or hydration pack over its lifetime.

Gore-Tex Active® is used in some of the waterproof jackets & trousers that we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb.

FAQ Category: 

PrimaLoft One is one of the warmest, softest, most water resistant and compressible synthetic insulation on the market.

PrimaLoft® One is one of the warmest, softest, most water resistant and compressible synthetic insulation on the market. The use of ultra-fine microfibres mimics down; warm air is caught in the tiny air pockets that are formed to keep you warm and keep the cold out. This results in instant warmth with minimal weight and low bulk.

The microfibres used in PrimaLoft® One are specifically engineered with a permanent water resistance and create a tight surface tension that resists water penetration. This resistance to moisture gives Primaloft® One some unique properties; it absorbs three times less water than other insulation, dries much faster than down and when it is wet, it's still 24% warmer than any competitive synthetic insulation in the same conditions.

Thanks to the nature of any insulation made from synthetic materials, PrimaLoft® One is more wind resistant than down insulation (although in garments this factor tends to rely on the outer fabric of the piece).
PrimaLoft® One insulation is bluesign® approved.

Many brands that we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use PrimaLoft® One in their insulated jackets & trousers. It is also used in gloves and Ski Jackets & Pants.

FAQ Category: 

PrimaLoft Synergy is a performance insulation that uses a combination of fine and ultra-fine continuous filament fibres

PrimaLoft® Synergy is a performance insulation that uses a combination of fine and ultra-fine continuous filament fibres. This multi-denier construction traps warm air in the tiny air pockets formed between the fibers the same way that down and other synthetic insulation does. Resulting in a layer that keeps the heat in and the cold out with minimal weight and maximum compressibility.

The way Synergy differs to other PrimaLoft® products is the multi-denier construction. This construction makes the insulation much loftier (thicker), this ensures enhanced comfort in sleeping bags and outerwear such as belay parkas. This 'loftier' construction also means improved warmth to weight ratio. The use of two fiber thicknesses, combined with the continuous filament structure creates a high level of durability. So you can be sure that any gear using PrimaLoft® Synergy will be high-loft, high-performing and rugged enough for your next adventure.

The fine and ultra-fine continuous filament fibres are specifically engineered with a permanent water resistance and create a tight surface tension that resists water penetration. This resistance to moisture gives PrimaLoft® Synergy some unique properties; It dries much faster than down, resists moisture well and even if it does get wet, it will still keep you much warmer than any competitive synthetic insulation in the same conditions.

Thanks to the nature of any insulation made from synthetic materials, PrimaLoft® Synergy is more wind resistant than down insulation (although in garments this factor usually relies on the outer fabric of the piece).
PrimaLoft® Synergy insulation is bluesign® approved.

Many brands we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use PrimaLoft® Synergy in their thicker insulated jackets & trousers.

FAQ Category: 

H2No performance standard is Patagonia’s name for their proprietary technology that they use to make their garments durably waterproof and breathable.

H2No® performance standard is Patagonia’s name for their proprietary technology that they use to make their garments durably waterproof and breathable. 

All of the waterproof and breathable fabrics they use offer a very high level of long-term performance and they are backed by Patagonia’s Iron Clad guarantee.

H2No® products undergo the most rigorous testing in the industry in their ‘Killerwash’ program. The Killerwash program basically entails the fabric (pre and post garment construction) undergoing a seriously extended laundering process after which the DWR (Durable Water Repellent treatment to the face fabric) and overall performance of the fabric has to remain at a high level.  This ‘level’ is usually higher than that which is claimed by most NEW garments from competitors. 

Depending upon the intended end use for a garment, Patagonia will use H2No® in either a 3 layer, 2.5 layer or a 2 layer construction;

A 3 layer contruction is when the outer face fabric, the waterproof membrane, and robust inner lining are bonded together. This prevents movement between the layers, which means less wear and tear, increased durability and breathability, and lighter weight.

A 2.5 layer construction is when the outer face fabric and waterproof membrane are bonded but instead of an inner lining or hanging mesh a raised print texture is applied to the exposed membrane, this raised print protects the membrane and wicks away moisture from the inside of the jacket. This type of construction is very light weight and the most compressible way of making a water proof jacket. Although this is a very lightweight way of making a jacket, it is not usually as breathable as a top end end 3 layer jacket, this is because the membrane has to be made more durable to deal with the extra exposure.

A 2 layer construction is when the outer face fabric and the membrane are bonded together but the internal lining is seperate from the membrane. This is for improved comfort and versatility. 2 layer construction is also used when making a waterproof jacket that is insulated as it allows space for insulation between the inner lining and the waterproof membrane.

Many of the Waterproof Jackets & Trousers from Patagonia that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb use the H2No® technology. Patagonia have also used the technology in their Ski Jackets & Pants.

FAQ Category: 

eVent is a waterproof and highly breathable membrane used by many premium brands in their higher performance waterproof garments.

eVent® is a waterproof and highly breathable membrane used by many premium brands in their higher performance waterproof garments.

eVent® is what’s called Direct Venting™ technology. This membrane material has a unique composition that allows millions of tiny, strand-like pores to breathe at their full potential. This allows moisture vapour from our bodies to vent directly to the outside of the fabric in one easy step as it is ‘always on’ in terms of its breathability.

eVent® is unlike traditional membranes as its makeup means it doesn’t require a build up of humidity to trigger the system to work.

Currently, of the brands that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb it is only Sherpa that use this technology in their garments, although that doesn't mean that won't change in the future.

FAQ Category: 

Dry.Q Elite by Mountain Hardwear is a fabric technology that offers the wearer a more comfortable experience over a greater variety of temperatures

Dry.Q™ Elite by Mountain Hardwear is a fabric technology that offers the wearer a more comfortable experience over a greater variety of temperatures (i.e periods of exertion)  thanks to the ‘always on’ performance of the air permeable membrane.  Mountain Hardwear use it in their top end performance waterproofs.

Unlike traditional waterproof-breathable fabrics the Dry.Q™ Elite membrane does not require a build up of heat/humidity to trigger the breathability.  That means no waiting, no clamminess. Whether you are working hard uphill or waiting stationary for sunrise it’s always working.

Mountain Hardwear is a brand driven by providing the best to alpinists, mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts so these garments have to offer the highest level of breathability. These will require correct layering underneath because they are super-breathable and so to some they may seem cooler.

Most jackets that use Dry.QElite use a 3 layer construction. This is when the outer face fabric, the waterproof membrane, and robust inner are bonded together. This prevents movement between the layers, which means less wear and tear and an increased durability and breathability.

However, it is not unheard of for Mountain Hardwear to use their Dry.Q™ Elite fabric in a 2 layer construction. This is when the outer fabric and the membrane are bonded together but the internal lining is separate from the membrane. This improves wearing comfort and makes the jacket more versatile.

One of the reasons we stock Mountain Hardwear here at Countryside Ski & Climb is because of their brilliant technology that is exclusive to them.

FAQ Category: 

Dry.Q Evap by Mountain Hardwear is a fabric technology that brings improved feel and performance to 2.5 layer garments.

Dry.Q™ Evap by Mountain Hardwear is a fabric technology that brings improved feel and performance to 2.5 layer garments. 2.5 Layer garments are designed for those who want the lightest weight waterproof they can find.

The term 2.5 Layer means the waterproof and breathable membrane or coating is bonded to the back of the chosen outer fabric. The membrane still needs protecting so instead of hanging a mesh or fabric lining on the inside (known as 2 layer) or bonding another backer (known as 3 layer) to the inside, a raised print texture is applied to the exposed membrane. This protects it by holding it away from the wearer’s skin and dramatically cuts down the overall weight of the garment.

Mountain Hardwear’s 2.5 Layer garments have the addition of Dry.Q™ Evap on the inside. This is an interior-surface wicking technology that accelerates evaporation inside for greater breathability and comfort. Traditional 2.5 layer construction is not normally as breathable as top-end 3 layer, even though the jacket is lighter. Mountain Hardwear have raised the breathability bar in this category and it cuts out all feeling of clamminess.

One of the reasons we stock Mountain Hardwear here at Countryside Ski & Climb is because of their brilliant technology that is exclusive to them.

FAQ Category: 

Thermal.Q Elite is Mountain Hardwear’s premium synthetic insulation.

Thermal.Q Elite is Mountain Hardwear’s premium synthetic insulation.  It is designed to mimic the structure of down – rigid stems that form a matrix of gaps and softer fibers to fill those gaps.

Thermal.Q Elite uses stiffer fibers to create a unique 3D grid structure and finer fibers to fill in the gaps the structure creates. The result is a synthetic insulation whose structure gives it better compression and rebound, and is 20% warmer than the industry standard of synthetic insulation. 

In addition, as it is synthetic, it is much quicker drying and retains its loft and insulative properties when wet, unlike down.

One of the reasons we stock Mountain Hardwear here at Countryside Ski & Climb is because of their brilliant technology that is exclusive to them.

FAQ Category: 

Mountain Hardwear's Cool.Q Zero technology was created to keep walkers, hikers or elite athletes cool on hot days whilst protecting your skin from the suns harmful rays.

Mountain Hardwear's Cool.Q™ Zero technology was created to keep walkers, hikers or elite athletes cool on hot days whilst protecting your skin from the suns harmful rays. When you sweat the little blue circles on the inside of the garment release an active cooling agent, lowering the temperature of the fabric and increasing wicking, this creates an instant and prolonged cooling effect.

One of the reasons we stock Mountain Hardwear here at Countryside Ski & Climb is because of their brilliant technology that is exclusive to them.

FAQ Category: 

Down is undoubtedly the most efficient insulator used in outdoor clothing, thanks to it's ability to trap warmth while remaining incredibly lightweight.

Down is undoubtedly the most efficient insulator used in outdoor clothing, thanks to it's ability to trap warmth while remaining incredibly lightweight. However it's Achilles heel is its inability to maintain or even trap warmth when it gets wet. To address this short coming Mountain Hardwear have developed their Q.Shield® Down. It's just like normal down in terms of appearance, warmth and weight, but if you were to look at it through a microscope, you would be able to see that each and every individual strand within each plume is coated with a DWR (Durable Water Repellent). This allows the down to resist water penetration. So it stays dryer for much longer, and dries much quicker.

Mountain Hardwear have put their products that feature Q.Shield™ Down into their rain machine that they use to test their tents and waterproof fabrics, just to show that the down will continue to resist moisture even in situations that it was never designed to be in. The result is that these Q.Shield™ Down products have come out of the rain machine faring far better than any non-treated down product and even better than any one expected.

The reason Mountain Hardwear decided to take the effort to create this technology was to address the issue, that down, when used for extended periods of time in moist environments, deteriorated over the course of the trip. By treating the down with Q.Shield™, these products are now performing the same at the end of the trip as they were at the beginning.

One of the reasons we stock Mountain Hardwear here at Countryside Ski & Climb is because of their brilliant technology that they use to create exceptional products.

FAQ Category: 

The external layer and the membrane are a single body unlike traditional manufacture where the waterproof membrane is a separate bootie or insert with space in between.

OutDry® was developed and patented by Italian company Nextec srl, in collaboration with Komatsu Seiren co. Ltd. (Japan). OutDry® technology is a real innovation in specifically waterproof/breathable footwear, glove and pack manufacture. The external layer and the membrane are a single body unlike traditional manufacture where the waterproof membrane is a separate bootie or insert with space in between.

This means that no moisture penetrates the outer fabric, ensuring quick drying and preventing any increase of weight as no internal materials come into contact with moisture. The membrane itself is very breathable, and because it and the outer fabric are a single body there is no need to seal any seams with tape, which is not breathable at all.

This construction keeps a large volume of dry air between the skin and the membrane therefore reducing the risk of condensation. This in turn prevents cooling and potential freezing of moisture that can, in standard construction, be held between the membrane and the outer material.

FAQ Category: 

Icebreaker's new high performance fabric is designed to keep you comfortable in extreme heat and humidity. This revolutionary new fabric combines merino with TENCEL®, a sustainable wood fibre, to keep you cool in extreme heat and humidity.

Cool-Lite feels 40% cooler and wicks away sweat from your body 3 times faster than 100% merino!

FAQ Category: 

FUSEFORM™ CONSTRUCTION TECHNOLOGY

The new FuseForm™ construction from The North Face® utilizes advanced manufacturing techniques that make it possible to weave two material properties into a single fabric. Because it eliminates the allowance, thread and tape of traditional seams, FuseForm™ construction creates garments that are lighter, less bulky, stronger and more durable, and it gives them a clean, modern aesthetic both inside and out. 

  • Engineered from a single piece of fabric, the product has been crafted with less thread and fewer seams.
  • The incredible result is a lighter and more durable product that increases performance where it matters.

TRADITIONAL SEAM CONSTRUCTION
(Overlapping fabric sections, stiching and seam tape)

FUSEFORM™ TECHNOLOGY 
(Seamless, lightweight construction)

FAQ Category: 

Fjällräven have been making down products for more than 40 years. When you buy a down product from Fjällräven you can be 100% sure that the down we use is the result of a process that takes the greatest possible care of the birds’ wellbeing.

As early as 2009, Fjällräven started developing strict routines and guidelines regarding how they handle down. Today they have one of the outdoor industry’s most transparent chains of production where all our down is 100% traceable – right from the newly-hatched goslings to the completed down product. This is why they received an honourable mention from Animal Welfare Sweden for their down handling practices in 2010.

The down used in Fjällräven’s products is a by-product from food production. The guiding principle of their work is to ensure that the birds shall lead as good a life as possible and that all their partners share their views on responsible animal handling. The wellbeing of the birds is the most important component of their down policy – their second priority is that only high-quality down is used in their products. To ensure that Fjällräven’s down is never mixed with down from other sources it is handled in sealed sacks, which are checked in repeated tests at different stages of the production process. We work exclusively with one down supplier, who in its turn works with selected farms and one slaughterhouse. All involved parties work according to the Fjällräven Code of Conduct, which includes regulations on the wellbeing of the geese when they are raised, transported, slaughtered, etc. Fjällräven’s quality control system monitors the process by conducting regular inspections, including both announced and unannounced visits. Conditions are also checked regularly by an independent Swedish veterinarian. The down’s quality and cleanliness are controlled by the independent test institute IDFL, International Down and Feather Laboratory.

Fjallraven's Down Process:

Breeding

Fjällräven has a contracted down supplier in the Yangshou province of China, who buys geese from local farmers in the vicinity. The geese are raised in an environment that is as natural as possible; they can range freely together as a flock and they have access to water that they can swim in. Live plucking and force feeding are totally forbidden. Fjällräven’s quality control inspectors audit the farms regularly and check the birds’ living conditions, their feed and how goslings are hatched and raised.

Transport

Distances between farms and the slaughterhouse are limited. In cooperation with the bird farmers, transport companies and the slaughterhouse, Fjällräven and animal welfare experts have developed a method of transport that is as stress-free as possible for the birds. Together, they are constantly working on improving transport methods so they become even more efficient and safer for the birds. For example, Fjallraven have developed special ramps for loading and unloading and we have trained drivers to drive carefully so as not to cause unnecessary stress to the birds.

Slaughter

Fjällräven’s down suppliers work together with one carefully-selected slaughterhouse that makes sure that the slaughtering process is as gentle as possible. A representative from our down supplier is present during slaughter to ensure that Fjällräven’s down is only taken from birds raised at their selected farms. The down is then collected and placed in special, marked sacks that are then sealed and transported to a separate drying area.
The drying area is only used for Fjällräven’s down. Once the down is dry it is again placed in the Fjällräven sacks and transported to the down supplier for finishing.

Processing

At the down supplier, the down is washed with an environmentally-friendly shampoo and dried in special tumble dryers. The water used is cleaned and filtered before it is released. The down is then placed into a machine that separates it according to quality, after which it is packed in new sacks that are sealed. Fjällräven’s products only use down with a high CUIN (a measurement of the down’s loft and ability to bind air that insulates), all inferior down is sold.
The washed down is tested by the independent testing institute IDFL, the International Down and Feather Laboratory, that affirms its quality. Down samples from IDFL’s tests are saved so they can be compared to samples taken from the finished products. After this, the down is marked with Fjällräven’s name along with its quality, quantity and composition. In this manner, every delivery can be traced back to where it came from. The down is then sent to their factories to be used in the manufacture of Fjallraven products. 

Production

Our factories only use down from sacks marked with Fjällräven’s name for insulation in Fjällräven products. Fjällräven’s quality controllers are on site to make sure that the right down is used when jackets, sleeping bags and other down products are made. Random samples of down are taken and double checked by comparing them to samples taken by IDFL. Once all the steps are taken we have new products that are ready to be sent to their distributers.

Consistency at all stages

Thanks to consistently working closely with a small number of farms, close collaboration with the slaughterhouse and careful handling of the sealed sacks of down, you can be sure that Fjallraven live up to our down promise: only ethically-produced down of exceptionally high quality is used in Fjällräven products.

FAQ Category: 

Terracare Zero is CO2-neutral high-quality cowhide from the Heinen tannery in Germany.

Terracare Zero is CO2-neutral high-quality cowhide from the Heinen tannery in Germany. Their leather is the ultimate statement in quality and sustainability. The Heinen tannery endeavours to create the most sustainable and socially responsible leather possible. The tanning is carried out in accordance with strict environmental guidelines using only CO2-neutral energy. Terracare are a company that take their sustainability and environmental practice very seriously. More information can be found at www.terra-care.de (Please note: unfortunately you may need to translate the page to English)

FAQ Category: 

For over 90 years Hanwag have been renowned for their outstanding fit, this stems from the lasts they use in their footwear. Using different lasts Hanwag endeavours to create a boot to fit everyone perfectly.

For over 90 years Hanwag have been renowned for their outstanding fit, this stems from the lasts they use in their footwear. Using different lasts Hanwag endeavours to create a boot to fit everyone perfectly.

Hanwag StraightFit Last is based on a normal trekking last with slight adjustment to ensure a perfect fit. The toe box is different creating more room for the toes and allowing the big toe to assume a straighter position. This is both more comfortable and bio-mechanically advantageous.

FAQ Category: 

For over 90 years Hanwag have been renowned for their outstanding fit, this stems from the lasts they use in their footwear. Using different lasts Hanwag endeavours to create a boot to fit everyone perfectly. The Bunion last is specifically designed for people who suffer from bunions and struggle to fit into other footwear.

For over 90 years Hanwag have been renowned for their outstanding fit, this stems from the lasts they use in their footwear. Using different lasts Hanwag endeavours to create a boot to fit everyone perfectly. The Bunion last is specifically designed for people who suffer from bunions and struggle to fit into other footwear.

One of the most common problems when fitting footwear especially in women is bunions. The scientific name for bunions is Hallux Valgus, these are boney protrusions at the base of the big toe that often get inflamed and uncomfortable. Many people with bunions struggle to find shoes that fit properly often opting for footwear far too wide for the rest of the foot in order to accommodate their bunions. The bunion last seeks to address this problem. The bunion last is a standard last that has been adjusted to give more room at the base of the big toe and in the toe box. This ensures the rest of the footwear fits correctly whilst accommodating a bunion. The Toe box is also slightly roomier as people with bunions also have overlapping toes and the extra room ensures a comfortable fit.

FAQ Category: 

It is a sophisticated and time-consuming technique that involves the shoemaker pulling the upper over the last and downwards over the insole and affixing this to create a unit. The midsole and outsole are then applied.

It is a sophisticated and time-consuming technique that involves the shoemaker pulling the upper over the last and downwards over the insole and affixing this to create a unit. The midsole and outsole are then applied.

The key advantages of cemented shoes are that they keep their shape and last a long time if cared for properly.

The disadvantage of the cementing technique is that it’s time-consuming to produce, making the footwear slightly more expensive.

If the outsole is torn or worn away, the footwear can easily be resoled. This is fantastic because many customers do not want completely new footwear, as their shoes have now been broken in perfectly and have wonderful memories attached to them. Some cemented construction footwear can last for decades provided the right care and attention. It is true sign of quality and care in a piece of footwear.

FAQ Category: 

You can adapt your outdoor clothing in G-1000 according to the situation and the properties you desire by applying different amounts of wax onto different parts of the garment.

     You can adapt your outdoor clothing in G-1000 according to the situation and the properties you desire by applying different amounts of Greenland Wax onto different parts of the garment. Remember that it is always better to apply several thin layers of wax and then melt them in one layer at a time, than it is to apply a single thick layer. More wax protects against wind and rain. It is therefore often a good idea to reinforce impregnation on sections that are more exposed to wind, rain and wear. Here are some classic examples:

A. Wax the knees and rear of your trousers with a double layer of wax to get good protection where you need it most: when you kneel or sit down when you take a rest.

B. Trousers can be waxed from the knees down to avoid getting wet when trekking in long grass.

C. A jacket that is used for walking can be waxed on the front, shoulders and hood, but leave the back unwaxed so excess heat and moisture that might build up under a backpack can be released.

D. An extended back panel on long jacket can be given a double layer of wax so you keep dry when sitting on wet surfaces.

Less wax gives maximum ventilation. Are you using your G-1000 clothing in warm climates? Then you will most likely want a cooler garment with maximum ventilation. Wash your garment in a machine at 40°C. After two-three washes the wax will be completely washed out of the fabric. Unwaxed G-1000 can effectively ventilate out moisture from inside and keep you dryer. This is more comfortable in the summer for example or when travelling in warm climates.

FAQ Category: 

G-1000 fabrics are impregnated with Greenland Wax. It is good practice to re-wax your G-1000 garments to maintain their weather resistance and extend their lifespan. Overtime the wax will be worn away or washed out – it is usually time for a re-wax after two to three washes. It is a simple process that can be done at home or in the field. Waxing hybrid garments (those with softshell panels) is largely the same apart from the way in which you treat the softshell elements of the garments.

     G-1000 fabrics are impregnated with Greenland Wax. It is good practice to re-wax your G-1000 garments to maintain their weather resistance and extend their lifespan. Overtime the wax will be worn away or washed out – it is usually time for a re-wax after two to three washes. It is a simple process that can be done at home or in the field. Waxing hybrid garments (those with softshell panels) is largely the same apart from the way in which you treat the softshell elements of the garments. Please note: Greenland Wax is intended for use on G-1000 fabric and if you wax conventional softshell fabric it can be detrimental to its performance.

Step 1: Apply

Take a block of Greenland Wax and rub it along the areas of G-1000 fabric with long, even strokes. This should leave behind a thin even layer of wax on the garment. Be sure to cover all areas of the garment you wish to wax. This process is similar to writing on a chalkboard.

Step 2: Melt

In order to impregnate the fabric you must melt the wax. On a hybrid garment you must be care when applying heat as you can damage the softshell; ideally use an iron. The iron must be set to low(one dot maximum) heat with steam turned off (remember to wipe off the iron before you use it on other garments). Run the iron slowly over the waxed areas in order to impregnate the fabric. If you have your iron on a low setting you will not damage the softshell should you run the iron over it slightly, it you wish to be extra careful you can place a tea-towel on the garment and iron through that in order to protect the softshell.

Step 3: Repeat

You can repeat the process again to add more wax to the garment. The more layers of wax you put on an area the more durable and weather resistant it will be however this will reduce the breathability. It is a good idea to put multiple layers on exposed parts of the garment or areas of high wear (e.g. hood, shoulders or knees).

FAQ Category: 

G-1000 fabrics are impregnated with Greenland Wax. It is good practice to re-wax your G-1000 garments to maintain their weather resistance and extend their lifespan.

    G-1000 fabrics are impregnated with Greenland Wax. It is good practice to re-wax your G-1000 garments to maintain their weather resistance and extend their lifespan. Overtime the wax will be worn away or washed out – it is usually time for a re-wax after two to three washes. It is a simple process that can be done in the field. The process is largely the same as if you are using an iron at home the only difference is the melting process.
Step 1: Apply
Take a block of Greenland Wax and rub it along the fabric with long, even strokes. This should leave behind a thin even layer of wax on the garment. Be sure to cover all areas of the garment you wish to wax. This process is similar to writing on a chalkboard.
Step 2: Melt
When using a camping stove to melt the wax hold the waxed area a few centimetres away from a strong flame and gradually move it closer until the wax begins to melt. As it begins to melt stretch out the fabric and move it back and forth to evenly melt the wax. You must be careful not to hold the fabric too close to the flame for too long as you can burn it, you must also be careful not to burn yourself during this process. It is recommended that you remove the item of clothing you intend to wax before waxing.
Step 3: Repeat
You can repeat the process again to add more wax to the garment. The more layers of wax you put on an area the more durable and weather resistant it will be however this will reduce the breathability. It is a good idea to put multiple layers on exposed parts of the garment or areas of high wear (e.g. hood, shoulders or knees).

FAQ Category: 

G-1000 fabrics are impregnated with Greenland Wax. It is good practice to re-wax your G-1000 garments to maintain their weather resistance and extend their lifespan. Overtime the wax will be worn away or washed out – it is usually time for a re-wax after two to three washes. It is a simple process that can be done at home or in the field.

      G-1000 fabrics are impregnated with Greenland Wax. It is good practice to re-wax your G-1000 garments to maintain their weather resistance and extend their lifespan. Overtime the wax will be worn away or washed out – it is usually time for a re-wax after two to three washes. It is a simple process that can be done at home or in the field.

Click here for a seperate guide on how to wax your hybrid garments

Step 1: Apply

Take a block of Greenland Wax and rub it along the fabric with long, even strokes. This should leave behind a thin even layer of wax on the garment. Be sure to cover all areas of the garment you wish to wax. This process is similar to writing on a chalkboard.

Step 2: Melt

In order to impregnate the fabric you must melt the wax. You can do this in anyway you desire but you will attain the best results with an iron. The iron must be set to low/moderate heat with steam turned off (remember to wipe off the iron before you use it on other garments). Run the iron slowly over the waxed areas in order to impregnate the fabric. This can also be achieved with a hair dryer or a camping stove.

Step 3: Repeat

You can repeat the process again to add more wax to the garment. The more layers of wax you put on an area the more durable and weather resistant it will be however this will reduce the breathability. It is a good idea to put multiple layers on exposed parts of the garment or areas of high wear (e.g. hood, shoulders or knees).

 

FAQ Category: 

Utilising environmentally friendly materials (paraffin and beeswax), Greenland Wax is used on all products featuring any G-1000 Fabric.

Utilising environmentally friendly materials (paraffin and beeswax), Greenland Wax is used on all products featuring any G-1000 Fabric. Impregnating a garment with Greenland Wax not only increases its weather resistance it also increases its lifespan and durability. Over time the wax on the fabric will begin to lose it functionality so we recommend that you regularly re-wax your G-1000 product. You can use Greenland Wax to customise the breathability and weather resistance of your garment; this is achieved by putting more layers of wax on high abrasion areas or those more exposed to the elements and less on areas where breathability is paramount.

Click here for a guide on how to wax your garment using Greenland Wax

Greenland wax has been produced according to a secret family recipe in Fjällräven’s hometown, Örnsköldsvik in Sweden since the 1960s. It is a simple combination of paraffin and beeswax. Paraffin is an oil based product that is non-toxic and does not irritate the skin – it actually has a softening effect and helps the keep to maintain its moisture and elasticity. Beeswax is a natural by-product of honey production. The wax is created by heating the paraffin in a large melting pot (fun fact: the same pot has been used since the 1960s!), once it reaches the correct temperature the beeswax is added, it is then poured into forms and allowed to cool before being packaged into cardboard boxes. Every year Fjallraven produces 70,000 blocks of Greenland Wax and every one is crafted in the same pot.

FAQ Category: 

G-1000 has various different iterations in order to cater for every activity and climate.

 

 

G-1000 has various different iterations in order to cater for every need and climate:

  • G-1000 Original – The original fabric used in Fjallraven's clothing, it sits in the middle of their range of G-1000 fabrics being neither the lightest or most hard wearing but it provides a good middle ground in terms of breathability and durability.

  • G-1000 Lite – a lighter weight and cooler version of the original fabric perfect for warm weather activities or those where weight is a concern. G-1000 Lite is woven with rip-stop threads to maintain durability whilst keeping it lightweight.

  • G-1000 Silent a brushed version of the original fabric that is soft and quiet. The brushed finish weakens the fabric somewhat, but in return you get a garment that does not rustle, which is practical for hunting and game preservation work. It is also well-suited for clothing that will be used as much at work as out in the terrain.

  • G-1000 Heavy-duty – the most heavyweight and durable of the G-1000 fabrics is almost impossible to wear out (according to laboratory tests). It is used on backpacks and reinforcements on clothing where ultimate durability is required.

  • G-1000 Eco – All G-1000 fabrics are available in an Eco version which utilises 100% organic cotton and 100% recycled polyester.

FAQ Category: 

G-1000 is Fjallraven's own outdoor fabric; it is versatile enough to be used from the polar regions to the tropics.

     G-1000 is Fjallraven's own outdoor fabric; it is versatile enough to be used from the polar regions to the tropics. G-1000 is a poly-cotton fabric impregnated with Greenland Wax – 35% cotton and 65% Polyester. The 'G' stands for Greenland harking back to the expedition which inspired its development in the 1960s. The fabric is durable, lightweight, water resistant and wind resistant; this makes it ideal for almost any outdoor activity, it is far more preferable to a conventional waterproof garment. G-1000 can even be adapted by varrying the amount of wax you apply make it more durable or more breathable. The only time when G-1000 fabric may not be suitable is when the you are out in the rain for an extended period of time which is when you will require a fully waterproof garment.

Origins:

After the 1966 Scandinavian Greenland Expedition (for which Fjällräven supplied the backpacks and tents) Fjallraven's founder Ake Nordin realised there were shortcomings in outdoor clothing. Ake decided to make a climbing jacket out of a poly-cotton tent fabric he had developed. As it turned out this fabric had all the properties he was looking for: it was light, strong and dried quickly. The only problem was the moisture resistance of the fabric. Ake remember how as a boy he would use the same wax he used on his skis on the seat of his trousers to keep him dry. He began to experiment with a combination of beeswax and paraffin applying it using his wife's hair-dryer. This had the desired effect making the fabric both wind proof and highly water resistant G-1000 was born.

Properties:

  • Hard-wearing – G-1000 is far more durable than conventional shell garments being thorn proof and tear resistant. It will even withstand the spark from a camp-fire so is perfect for camping and bushcraft.

  • Water resistant – The wax impregnation of the fabric makes it highly water resistant and even when G1000 does get wet through it dries quickly so you will not be damp for long.

  • Wind-proof – the Poly-cotton blend alone is wind resistant due to its tight weave and once it has been waxed it is completely wind-proof.

  • Breathable – G-1000 is better ventilated and provides better moisture transfer than even the most technical waterproof-breathable fabrics on the market.

  • UV Protection – G-1000 protects against almost 100% of UVA and UVB rays greatly reducing your risk of sunburn.

  • Mosquito proof – the tight weave of G-1000 keeps mosquitoes and other flying insects away from your skin, perfect for travel or outdoor use (please note: G-1000 Lite is not mosquito proof)

FAQ Category: 

What you'll get out of Superfeet, and the advantage of stepping up to the Custom moulded models.

Countryside Ski & Climb in Stevenage are now one of a very few selected Specialist Outdoor and Snow Sports Stores in the UK to have the brand new Superfeet fitPOD permanently installed and available for fittings.

Although Custom insoles from Superfeet are not a new thing, the fitPOD is. The new fitPOD is designed to make fitting Custom Superfeet more accurate and less intimidating in order to achieve the optimum fit. The recommended fitting time from Superfeet is between 15 and 20 minutes, depending on the kind of insole you are getting fitted, which is a great investment of your time.

By investing in a pair of Custom moulded Superfeet you get the best fitting, most comfortable insoles available from the entire Superfeet range. So if you've had Trim to Fit Superfeet from us before then you can expect everything that was so great about your old insoles but even more comfortable and supportive, keeping you on your feet, in comfort for even longer. If you have yet to get a pair of Superfeet then get ready to join the thousands of people from all walks of life, from professional athletes to Ramblers to office dwellers, who swear by their Superfeet.

Here at Countryside Ski & Climb we have 4 available Custom styles. The all new snowsport specific Custom Carbon Winter, with it's stiff design and heat reflective foil. Another new addition, the Custom Black Pro features merino lining and is ideal for winter wear. An insole designed for every day use, the Custom Fit Black and the classic Superfeet custom insole; the Custom Fit Green.

FAQ Category: 

The hood based on the full dome but with less weight whilst maintaining good warmth.

Based on the Full Dome, but using a combination of box-wall baffles in the over-crown and stitch-through baffles everywhere else, this hood epitomises the art of matching warmth with low weight. With similar internal volume but with a slightly lower front collar, it too can accommodate climbing helmets when needed and also features an internal EXL 'Extra Loft, Extra Warmth' elasticated lining to increase warmth and act as an internal volume adjuster. 

FAQ Category: 

A hood with box wall construction.

Mountain Equipments full dome hood has box-wall construction and is their warmest hood. Its large internal volume and high fronted collar ensures that the Full Dome hood can easily accommodate a climbing helmet when needed, whilst its internal EXL 'Extra Loft, Extra Warmth' elasticated lining increases warmth and acts as an internal volume self-adjuster. 

FAQ Category: 

Long considered the best all-round hood design available, offering the perfect compromise for those who have equal need to wear with and without a helmet. It offers the same over-crown measurement as Mountain Equipments Super Alpine hood so that it will accommodate climbing helmets, but its slightly reduced cranium volume and lower standard front collar means it is better suited to also being worn alone. 

FAQ Category: 

The idea behind the Mountain Hood design.

Mountain Hood:
Designed Primarily for those who do not expect to be wearing a climbing helmet, but who do require the very best protection for mountain storms. It offers a smaller over-crown measurement when compared with the Mountain Equipment 'Mountain HC Hood' and also smaller cranium volume to ensure a precise and secure overhead fit.

FAQ Category: 

Storm Construction is Mountain Equipment's own design that they use when making their high performance waterproof jackets. They have thought of absolutely everything to keep you as protected and comfortable as possible when wearing their jackets.

Staying dry in extreme weather is the purpose of hardshell design. Everything else is secondary to the prime function of keeping you protected in extreme environments. This requires high performance fabrics, but also calls for the very best in functional design. And the some of the very best in functional hardshell design is Mountain Equipment's STORM construction.

All products carrying this signature label utilise a combination of Mountain Equipment's most advanced construction methods and premium components.

All zip entries feature internal storm guards, including Mountain Equipment's recently developed pocket storm guard system to provide the maximum possible defence against water entry. They use the very best and most protective zippers from YKK throughout, fully protective internal pocket edge lamination and bonded seam construction where necessary, coupled with cord-locks, pullers and adjusters that can be used with or without gloved hands.

There are so many factors to take into account when designing a jacket, a task which Mountain Equipment take very seriously in order to provide you with the best weather protection possible.

Seam Placement
Seams can be a potential point of weakness on any jacket. To overcome this, the location of each and every seam is thought out in advance, removing them from key points of wear or abrasion and where possible, removing them entirely. When this is not possible, critical seams such as those found at the hem or formed by a pit-zip being inserted are bonded to make them lower in profile.

Seam construction
Each and every Hardshell uses a ‘top-stitch free’ seam construction. This finely tuned method involves manufacturing each piece of the final product ‘inside-out’, joining panels together with an extremely high stitch count to create a smooth and seam-free outer face that is both exceptionally strong and highly resistant to abrasion. Each resulting seam is then further reinforced by the application of seam-tape.

Face Textiles
Mountain Equipment source face-textiles from Gore-Tex specific to each or their products performance requirements. Densely woven 40 denier and 80 denier twisted Nylon yarns make up their GORE-PRO face textiles, each of which has a smoother outer face to offer significantly better abrasion resistance when compared with other similar face textiles.


Seam construction
Each and every Hardshell garment is meticulously seam taped to guarantee it is waterproof and maximise durability, even in extreme conditions. Mountain Equipment predominantly use seam-tape that is just 13mm wide to minimise weight, increase breathability and reduce stiffness in their garments. Key stress points have additional 22mm seam tape reinforcements.

Bar Tack Reinforcement
Critical stress-points on the jacket are individually bar tacked to prevent seam failure, a common occurrence on less well thought out garments. Mountain Equipment's cuff tabs feature additional bar tacks, positioned at the top of the seam, and not the bottom, specifically to withstand the pull-forces exerted on them in daily use.

Storm Guard
Reinforcement on all main jacket entry points feature internal and / or external storm guards in addition to YKK Aquaguard Zips to guarantee the highest levels of protection. Full length, laminated storm flaps are inserted directly behind the main centre front zip, whilst the pockets use our inner pocket storm guard system. Minimising water entry both with the pocket open or closed, it features a stiffened and laminated guard, coupled with an integrated conical base to capture and divert any moisture away from the pocket lining.

 

FAQ Category: 

The Down Codex is the set of rules that Mountain Equipment want their down suppliers to conform to.

As a specialist down clothing and sleeping bag manufacturer, Mountain Equipment have, over the past 50 years committed a great deal of time and effort to obtain the very best raw materials for their product requirements. They are now directing their focus to also embrace the environmental, ethical and animal welfare concerns relating to our products and raw materials selection. Although they are fully aware that they cannot change everything overnight, Mountain Equipment are working hard with their suppliers to understand everything there is to know about their supply chain so they can take steps to improve it wherever possible.

The Down Codex is a set of rules that Mountain Equipment want their suppliers to conform to:

  • Mountain Equipment obtains top quality down from a variety of sources across the world.
  • All their down is a by-product of the food industry and is obtained after the birds have been humanely slaughtered.
  • There is no live plucking, or live harvesting of their down.
  • No birds are force fed during the fattening process before slaughter.
  • The birds are kept in good conditions and to high welfare standards that very for ducks and geese. They are free to roam compounds and have barns to shelter in with good access to fresh water and natural food. Stocking densities, i.e. how many birds per square metre, are lower than recommended maximums.

Mountain Equipment test each batch of down that they buy for cleanliness, composition and fill power. They use the IDFL to provide this service for them. All fill powers are measures according to the IDFB/Lorch cylinder test method.

How the audit works:

  • For each area audited, IDFL apply Mountain Equipment's set of rules to check that it meets the DOWN CODEX standard.
  • The initial audit for each area requires a certain amount of trust between Mountain Equipment, IDFL and the down supplier. As down is often sourced through a network of dealers and wholesalers this trust is key to obtaining an effective audit as it is essential to trace the supply chain all the way back to the original farms where the ducks and geese are raised.
  • Once the initial audit is completed and checked for DOWN CODEX compliance Mountain Equipment will then take the appropriate action according to the results.
  • I all their rules have been met and they are satisfied that the source is acceptable, they will then share the results with the supplier and tell them that they have passed the audit.
  • The next step is to plan and begin a programme of interim inspections, both announced and unannounced, to ensure that standards are being maintained. This would typically involve one visit per year to the farms in question.
  • If the supplier fails the audit, the results will be discussed with them and a plan will be put in place to see if corrective action is possible. If corrective action is not possible Mountain Equipment will stop buying down from that supplier. Generally they will need to find an alternative source of down that meets their stringent quality requirements before they can change supplier. This process would begin straight away and should not take longer than 6 months. 

FAQ Category: 

Regulator® fleece insulation provides phenomenal compressibility, light weight warmth and moisture transport, whether used alone or as part of a layering system.

Regulator® fleece insulation provides phenomenal compressibility, light weight warmth and moisture transport, whether used alone or as part of a layering system.

Patagonia's Regulator fleece system contains 4 different 'weights'. These weights cover a wide range of temperatures and uses. So regardless of your requirements, there is a fleece in the regulator range for you. Regulator fleeces can be worn on their own, or as part of a layering system. They offer the same amount of warmth as a bulkier fleece, but does so with less weight and more compressibility. Because they keep you warmer and dryer, you will remain comfortable over a wider temperature range, so you need less layering changes and less items, so you'll have a lighter pack.

Regulator insulation comes in four weight: R4®, R3®, R2® and R1®.

R1 has a minimal design and is finely tuned to cover the full spectrum of mountain endeavours. The high/low grid pattern in the fabric traps heat for insulation and wicks moisture quickly and efficiently. The outer face of the fleece has a smooth finish to make layering as easy as possible. Made out of Polartec® Power Grid™ fabric with Polygiene® permanent odor control.

R2 is made with a short-sheared, high-loft fleece and has R1 panels to improve the fit and mobility for extended comfort on long approaches, ice climbs and ski tours. The hollow core fibres provide superior warmth, breathability and low bulk.

R3 is a plush, high-loft fleece that maximizes warmth in really cold conditions with as little weight as possible. Polartec® PowerDry panels at the sides improve the fit and help manage moisture under the arms.

R4 is the warmest fleece in the Regulator range. This piece has a stretchy wind-proof laminate, sandwiched between a high-loft exterior and an R2 grid interior. Because of its windproof properties it is favoured as an outer layer but it insulates superbly under a shell.

FAQ Category: 

What is DWR? What it is and what it does and why it's used so much in the production of outdoor clothing.

DWR or Durable Water Repellent is a finish that is applied to a fabric to repel light rain and snow and to decrease dry times. When a DWR finish is applied to a breathable/waterproof barrier, the finish keeps the outer fabric from becoming saturated so that the barrier can do its job. 

FAQ Category: 

A brief over view of Patagonia's core base layer series.

Capilene® synthetic base layers are the basis for any advanced layering system. With a variety of weights there will certainly be a piece perfect for you in the Capilene® system. Patagonia have worked tirelessly with their ambassadors and field testers, to improve their Capilene® fabrics and their construction. All Capilene® fabrics have achieved bluesign® approval. They all have an improved, consistent fit in every fabric weight; and every weight uses Polygiene® technology to control odor in the garment. They are the best base layer option for high out put activities where you're going to sweat a lot or if you're going to get wet.

Capilene fabrics are all made with moisture wicking polyester, they keep you warm, even when wet, dry quickly, manage moisture, work whether you're hiking all day in the summer sun or belaying on an alpine route. 35% of Capilene polyester is recycled and all the garments are machine washable.

Patagonia make four different Capilene® fabrics for different levels of exertion and temperatures.

Capilene® 1 Silkweight
The stretchiest and lightest Capilene performance fabric. It dries ultra-fast and has excellent breathability. Worn alone it provides 50+ UPF sun protection and a cool drying airflow. When worn under other layers, it wicks moisture and increases warmth if the temperatures are low.

Capilene® 2 Lightweight
This is the fastest drying base layer in the series thanks to a complex weave. It's a great weight for aerobic use in mild to cool conditions, it has an open knit construction that breathes well and wicks moisture. Capilene 2 offers 20-UPF sun protection when worn alone and provides good insulation in cool to cold conditions when worn beneath layers.

Capilene® 3 Midweight
This is probably the most versatile of the Capilene fabrics. It's soft and compressible, it dries quickly, stretches for mobility, resists wear and provides excellent insulation and comfort when worn next to skin. It's a 'do-it-all' baselayer for active use in cool to cold conditions.

Capilene 4® Expedition weight
This is the warmest and most breathable weight in the series. It's made to keep you dry and comfortable in cool-to-cold conditions. It's soft, stretchy and packs down easily to fit in a pack. The oter face has a smooth finish that glides easily under layers and the brushed fleece interior keeps you warm. The gridded pattern allows it to store more warm air than a solid fleece pattern would. It also helps with breathability and compression. 

FAQ Category: 

Patagonia's influential first steps into the use of recycled polyester.

Patagonia's mission statement is “Build the best product, cause no unnecessary harm, use business to inspire and implement solutions to the environmental crisis.” So it's no surprise that Patagonia were the first outdoor clothing manufacturer to adopt fleece made from post consumer recycled plastic soda bottles.

That step, made in 1993 was the first step towards a more sustainable system that uses few resources, discards less and better protects peoples health.

Today Patagonia are able to produce a wider range of fabrics than ever, using recycled polyester. This includes their Capilene base layer range, water proof jackets, board shorts and fleece. Patagonia now recycle plastic bottles, unusable manufacturing waste and worn out garments (including their own) into polyester fibers to produce many of their clothes.

By recycling polyester Patagonia reduce their dependence on petroleum as a raw material. It reduces discards, so landfills last longer and incinerators produce less toxic fumes.  In a sense it can give new life to old polyester clothing that can no longer be worn. It causes less air, water and soil contamination compared to using non-recycled polyester.

If you have an old polyester piece from Patagonia that you think can no longer be worn then you can drop it off in store and we can send it back to Patagonia for recycling.

FAQ Category: 

What is UPF, what is the point and how does it work?

UPF stands for “Ultraviolet Protection Factor.” This value represents the fractional amount of the sun's harmful UV rays that pass through a fabric. A rating of “25” indicates that only 1/25th, or 4% of the UV rays pass through the garment. The higher the UPF rating the lower the amount of UV rays that reach your skin.

One of the strictest tests for rating UPF protection are the Austraila/New Zealand or AATCC protocols. A rating of 15-24 eanrs a product rating of “good”; a rating of 25-29 is “very good”; and a rating of 40-50+ is considered “excellent.”

To achieve these ratings, manufacturers can use a range of strategies that involve yarn selection to fabric construction to the use of surface finishes. Each of these options can be used and will be used depending on the degree of protection desired and the fabric used.

Brands with UPF protection products that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb include Patagonia, Royal Robbins, Sherpa, The North Face and Mountain Hardwear.

FAQ Category: 

Information about Patagonia's quest to use recycled nylon.

Nylon is a fantastic material and can be used to create incredibly durable and high quality products. A disadvantage of nylon fibre is that, like polyester, it's made from petroleum.  Patagonia have been using recycled polyester in their products for over 20 years. It's only in the last five years that they have been able to swap out non-recycled nylon for its recycled replacement. Because of something locked deep within nylon's polymer chemistry, its much more difficult to recycle than polyester. After years of research and development Patagonia are finally making progress with the use of recycled nylon.

The main sources Patagonia get their nylon for recycling are post-industrial waste fibres, yarn from a spinning factory, and waste from weaving mills. They are also experimenting with nylon fibres found in discarded industrial fishing nets.

In 1993 Patagonia were the first manudfacturer of out door clothing to adopt fleece made from post consumer recycled plastic bottles into their line. Today They're still searching for a similar success story with recycled nylon. Patagonia appreciate the challenge that lies ahead but they're committing to the years of evolution that it will take.

Regardless of the breakthrough's that are yet to come, by incorporating as much nylon as possible (even if it's not that much yet) Patagonia can lessen their dependence on petroleum as a raw material source. This means less impact on air, water use and soil contamination. 

FAQ Category: 

Why do Patagonia use recycled wool in their products?

All materials that are used to make clothing and gear have an environmental cost, including wool, Patagonia understands this. The production of wool requires vast amounts of land for sheep to graze, the production then requires energy, water and chemicals to convert wool from freshly shorn fleece from a sheep into clean fiber of consistent quality and then into beautifully dyed wool products.

One way of lessening the impact of wool production is to recycle used wool. Patagonia's recycled wool comes goes through a meticulous sorting of materials into colour categories prior to shredding. By selecting and blending these colours there is no need to go through a dyeing process, which saves water and chemicals.

In addition, recycling wool reduces the land use requirements for sheep grazing. It also reduces waste which means land fill life is prolonged. These new opportunities for recycling wool, compared to using non-recycled wool, contributes less air, water and soil pollution. 

FAQ Category: 

The story of how and why Patagonia have developed their brand to only use 100% traceable down.

The beginning of autumn 2014, is the start of yet another industry first from Patagonia. The use of 100% traceable down in every single one of their products containing down. This means that all of the down, in any product can be traced back to birds that were never force-fed and never live-plucked. This standard provides the highest assurance of animal welfare in the apparel industry. Patagonia began working in 2007 to achieve this feat, and are the only brand to have done so.

The reason that Patagonia have been striving towards 100% traceable down is, simply put, because they want to help improve animal welfare throughout the industry. With this in mind, they have been sharing their work with down suppliers and other brands that also use down. In 2013 Patagonia introduced their first 100% traceable down products and have presented their findings to the rest of the industry.

One of the companies that first led Patagonia to look into their down supply chain is Four Paws, an international animal welfare organization. They have been very supportive of Patagonia's efforts to ensure animal welfare. Patagonia continue to collaborate with and to improve animal welfare industry wide.

A big question that often gets asked is how can anyone ensure every bird is treated humanely? This can only be achieved by examining every single link in the down supply chain.

This starts by auditing parent farms, where birds are raised to produce eggs. This is where the highest risk for live plucking occurs, as animals can live up to 4 years here. Patagonia don't get any down from these birds but as they are part of the chain, responsibility is taken for their welfare.

These eggs are moved to other farms where hatchlings are raised for their meat. These farms are audited to ensure sound animal welfare practices. Down is a byproduct of the meat industry and Patagonia buy exclusively from slaughter houses. After the down is collected from geese that have been killed for food, the down is followed through washing, sorting and processing facilities to ensure proper traceability and segregation from untraceable down. Patagonia continues its audits all the way to where the garments are actually made and they ensure their down is kept apart from other brands, and make sure it's only used in Patagonia clothing.

It's a lot of work and the process doesn't cut costs by any means, but it is how Patagonia can ensure every bird that has contributed to Patagonia's down has been treated humanely.

FAQ Category: 

How Patagonia came to develop their brand and adopting the sole use of Organic cotton in their cotton products and a few other brands that have also begun using organic cotton since.

Cotton is a natural material, that comes from a plant and growing it doesn't really affect anything right? Wrong. There is actually very little that is pure or natural about cotton or growing it. In the 1990's Patagonia looked into their cotton supply chains and discovered these facts. At the time, 10% percent of all agricultural chemicals in the United States were being used in cotton production, grown on only 1% of all major agricultural land. Cotton crops in California alone were dusted every year with 6.9 million pounds of chemicals. The effects of using synthetic fertilizers, soil additives, defoliants and other substances wreak absolute havoc on soil, water and basically any living thing that comes in contact.

Luckily there is an alternative: Organically grown cotton. This method of cotton growing has been used for years. The yeild for these farmers is high and the quality of the cotton grown is equal to or better than conventionally grown cotton. Their methods actually support biodiversity and healthy ecosystems, improve the quality of soil and often use less water. Growing organically does take more time, requires more knowledge and skill and costs more (for now). But it's all worth it.

Since these discoveries Patagonia switched to exclusively using organically grown cotton in their products, and have done since 1996.

Since then, and the development of companies such as bluesign(R), the use of organic cotton is becoming more and more common, especially in the outdoor industry, where our passions depend on keeping the environment healthy. These brands include Krag Rags, Black Diamond, Sherpa, The North Face and of course Patagonia.

FAQ Category: 

The Cocoon™ storage system is Silva's own innovation that allows you to store your headlamp safely and securely without needing to remember a carry case. Cocoon™ storage is integrated into the head band and wraps up the head lamp in a neat package. Another goal of Cocoon™ storage is accessibility; it has an attachment that lets you clip the package onto your rucksack or jacket for easy access. The Cocoon™ package itself is made from an extremely fine mesh material to help keep your headlamp ventilated and free from deteriorating affects of mould and mildew.

FAQ Category: 

Cocona technology primarily maximises the performance of moisture management in footwear and clothing.

The aim of Cocona technology is to improve the moisture management of a product. The fabric spreads the moisture over a wider surface area created by active particles that accelerate evaporation. This reduces dry times and keeps users dry and comfortable in both hot and cold environments.

The same active particles that turn liquid into vapour also absorb odors and are then released with normal cleaning, keeping the garment fresh. They also absorb UV which protects the wearer and protects the garment, which prevents fading and deterioration of the fabric.

FAQ Category: 

Storm have always had a completely fluorocarbon free waterproofing option in their range and their products require the use of less energy and water.

Since the 1930's the textile industry has been using pfc of fluorocarbon based compounds to add a water repellent finish to garments and tents. These compounds were found to have performance advantages over traditionally used waxes and oils. Since their discovery there have been many different formulas for fluorocarbons, each with different advantages and disadvantages.

In 2012 Greenpeace discussed the manufacturing of out door garments and the treatments that are used. One of the formula's (the C8 formula) was particularly controversial in regard to its environmental effects and since then many brands have moved to a less controversial formula called C6. Pfoa (Perfluorooctanoic acid) is one of the synthetic chemicals found in C8 formulas and can be harmful to the end user due to it's potential to be carcinogenic and toxicant.

Since it's creation Storm have used the more environmentally friendly C6 formula because its benefits for being fast drying, stain free and oil and dirt repellent. C6 also has the lowest levels of risk to the end user as it is both pfoa and pfos free. In the Greenpeace report from 2012 Storms “Heat Cure Waterproofer” was recommended and praised by Greenpeace and the product was put at the forefront of the ecological spectrum for water proofing.

That's the chemical reasons for Storms products to be deemed Eco friendly but it also has the benefit of being easy to use in one wash cycle to clean and proof garments. This saves water and energy. Lastly all of Storms products only need 75 ml per wash load which reduces plastic content and the amount of water needlessly being shipped around the world in bottles. 

FAQ Category: 

EarthPositive® garments comply with the fair wear foundation code of labour practices, in accordance with the International Labour Organisation’s conventions, which means there's no poorly paid sweatshop labour.

All Earthpositive® garments are made using 100% organic, Indian cotton, using azo-free dyes and the production process is controlled and certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard.

Under the Organic Standard, farmers and agricultural workers are protected by stringent social criteria, total traceability across the entire supply chain, and by banning the use of poisonous chemicals that can severely damage the health of farmers and their families.

Earthpositive® garments are made with a reduced carbon footprint. They are made in manufacturing facilities powered by green renewable energy, from low-impact raw materials. So they're much better for our world than t-shirts that are made cheaply at the expense of our planet and its people.

At KragRags®, they think it's worth paying a little more to ensure these standards are met and they believe that lovers of the outdoors agree.

FAQ Category: 

Polartec® Wind Pro® is 4 times more wind resistant than traditional fleece but is still extremely breathable. Dubbed 'Super Fleece' because of it's ability to work in such a wide range of conditions; performing well as an outer layer and an insulating mid-layer; and has incredible durability. This is a versatile fabric that can be worn year round for many activities, from hiking, watching the football, to alpine climbing.

By using proprietary yarns and a very tight construction in the outer surface the effects of wind chill is greatly reduced. The surface is also treated with a level of Durable water repellency to help shed rain and snow. The brushed fleece inner surface provides a great warmth to weight ratio and wicks moisture away from the body. Both sides of the fabric are finished for maximum durability and pill-free performance. The fabric will retain its insulating ability and original appearance after repeated use and washing. And because Polartec® haven't used a laminate, the fabric keeps 85% of the breathability of traditional fleece to keep you from over heating.

Brands that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb that use this technology include Patagonia and The North Face.

FAQ Category: 

Polartec wanted to make a fabric that would give the maximum range of motion whilst performing well as a fleece. So they invented Power Stretch. There were many fabrics that allowed great range of motion thanks to their elastic properties, but the difficulty was creating a fabric that had that great stretch, but didn't lose its shape over the life time of the garment

Polartec® wanted to make a fabric that would give the maximum range of motion whilst performing well as a fleece. So they invented Power Stretch®. There were many fabrics that allowed great range of motion thanks to their elastic properties, but the difficulty was creating a fabric that had that great stretch, but didn't lose its shape over the life time of the garment. Power Stretch® always returns to its original shape and retains its form, fit and function. Then because that wasn't enough, Polartec® went ahead and created Power Stretch® Pro, which has all the great features of Power Stretch®, but the fibres are stronger, which creates a more durable fabric with better abrasion resistance.

Polartec® Power Stretch® fabrics feature body hugging fit with 4-way stretch and are very breathable. They wick sweat away from your body to keep you dry which helps to keep you warm without weighing you down. These are some of the most versatile fabrics available in outdoor clothing today. Most of these fabrics used in outdoor clothing use an advanced construction with two unique surfaces: The soft inner layer wicks moisture from your skin to keep you warm, dry and comfortable; the smooth outer layer is a durable, abrasion and wind resistant fabric that allows for easy layering.

Many of the brands we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use Power Stretch fabrics in their garments aimed to used in activities where freedom of movement is key, such as climbing and running. Some of these brands include Mountain Hardwear, Black Diamond and The North Face.

FAQ Category: 

Polartec® Power Dry® was designed with mechanical wicking properties actually built into the product, rather than a chemical treatment that won't last the lifetime of the fabric. This technology was then pushed further when Polartec® developed their advanced grid technology. This gridding allows for air to be trapped between the squares of fabric, as well as in the fibres themselves which creates more warmth. These fabrics also weigh less, as technically there is less fabric there, which also means that the fabric is more compressible.

All of the Polartec® Power Dry® fabrics are made with a bi-component knit construction that uses different yarns on either side of the fabric. This creates two different surfaces: one that moves moisture away from the skin and insulates well, and the other that dries quickly and offers a durable face fabric.

The garments that brands choose to use these fabrics in are designed for high intensity activities such as running, skiing and cycling. Or any activity where it's important to keep your skin dry from the inside out. Because of the durability or Power Dry® fabrics, many brands use them in garments that are designed to with stand a lot of aggressive use, such as climbing or adventure travelling.

Also available in this series from Polartec® is their high performance Power Dry® High Efficiency fabric. Garments featuring the High Efficiency fabrics have superior insulation, breathability, compressibility and weigh less.

Many of the brands that we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use Power Dry® fabrics in their fleeces and midlayers, including but not limited to Patagonia, Berghaus and Black Diamond.

FAQ Category: 

Polartec's Hardface technology can be added to a fabric to increase its durability and water repellency.

Polartec's® Hardface® technology can be added to a fabric to increase its durability and water repellency. The technology is applied with a surface-fusion polymer, so it's a permanent treatment that will last the lifetime of the fabric.
Hardface® dramatically increases abrasion and snag resistance, and improves durable water repellency. It also helps to create a smooth surface which helps to make layering easy. This treatment does not inhibit the breathability, versatility or comfort of the fabric it's applied to. 

Brands that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb that use this technology in their fleeces include Patagonia and Mountain Hardwear.

FAQ Category: 

Polartec created their Classic Micro Fleece material in 1981, at the time it was the lightest, warmest and fastest drying synthetic material on the market. Since then it has been continually used to make durable, quality garments to combat cold weather. Polartec have continued to develop synthetic fleece insulation for over 3 decades, but their classic fleece still has a dominant presence in today's market.

Polartec® created their Classic Micro Fleece material in 1981, at the time it was the lightest, warmest and fastest drying synthetic material on the market. Since then it has been continually used to make durable, quality garments to combat cold weather. Polartec® have continued to develop synthetic fleece insulation for over 3 decades, but their classic fleece still has a dominant presence in today's market.

Polartec® Classic comes in three different weights to provide the right level of insulation for most outdoor activities. Polartec® Classic 100 weight fabrics are the lightest and work excellently as a warm first layer or as a lighter weight sweater, perfect for cycling, running, back packing and spring/summer climbing. Polartec® Classic 300 weight fabrics are the heaviest weight and provide a warm thermal layer for much colder activities such as skiing, winter walking or camping. 300 weight pieces are often worn as an outer layer year round due to its warmth. Polartec® Classic 200 fabrics sit between the other two, it provides more protection than 100 weight fleece but is not as heavy as 300 weight fleece, this makes it a very versatile fabric.

Many of the brands we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb use Polartec® Classic fleece in their ranges. As a result we have a lot of fleece in many colours, styles and fit. So it should be easy for you to find one for you in our fleece range.

FAQ Category: 

Gregory's CrossFlo Dynamic Transfer Suspension (DTS) puts a gap between your back and the pack itself

Gregory's CrossFlo Dynamic Transfer Suspension (DTS) puts a gap between your back and the pack itself. This lets air flow freely, allowing for maximum ventilation and improved temperature management in even the warmest climates and conditions. It also helps to improve breathability of waterproof outerwear in cold and wet conditions.

The way CrossFlo DTS differs from other pack brands ventilation systems is that it creates this gap between the pack and you, without sacrificing the load management. A tensioned steel wire frame arcs over the mesh panel supporting the pack itself and preventing any contact with your back. The Dynamic Transfer Suspension system transfers top-down load forces towards the frame, which reacts with opposing forces to stiffen the system as the pack gets heavier. This ensures that the load is put into your lumbar region, which is where the weight will feel most comfortable. And to help bring the weight as far forward as possible, the hip belt has a large surface area to bring the weight onto your hips.

 

FAQ Category: 

Polygiene is an antimicrobial technology that uses natural silver salt (from recycled silver) in low concentrations to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms in clothing to keep you smelling and feeling fresh all day

Polygiene is an antimicrobial technology that uses natural silver salt (from recycled silver) in low concentrations to inhibit the growth of micro-organisms in clothing to keep you smelling and feeling fresh all day.

Fabrics that don't have a Polygiene treatment allows bacteria to settle into the material where it then multiplies, this is what causes odor.

Whereas in fabrics that do have the treatment, the silver salts that Polygiene use inhibit the bacteria trying to bond to the material and stops them from multiplying in the fabric. 

FAQ Category: 

IPX ratings are guide lines describing how water resistant your head light/torch is compared to being 'Waterproof'

IPX ratings are guide lines describing how water resistant your head light/torch is compared to being 'Waterproof'.

The IP code (Ingress Protection Rating) is made up of the letters IP followed by two digits or one digit and a letter. The IP code classifies and rates the degrees of protection provided against water (and solid objects) in mechanical housings with electrical components.

The digit in the code indicates how much protection the housing offers from the conditions described in the table below. The X in the IPX code means that there is no protection rating regarding one of the criteria i.e. dust, solid objects or accidental contact. This is because it is not relevant when all we want to know is how water resistant the equipment is.

IP Code Protected against Tested for Specifics
IPX-0 Nothing N/A N/A
IPX-1 Dripping water Vertically dripping water shall have no ill effect. Duration: 10 mins
Equivalent to: 1 mm of rainfall per min.
IPX-2 Dripping water when tilted Vertically dripping water shall have no ill effect when the housing is tilted to an angle of 15 from its normal position. Duration: 10 mins
Equivalent to: 3 mm of rainfall per min in slight wind
IPX-3 Spraying water Water is sprayed onto housing at any angle up to 60 from vertical and shall have no ill effect. Duration: 5 mins
Equivalent to: 0.7 litres of medium rainfall per minute
IPX-4 Splashing water Water splashing from any angle against the housing shall have no ill effect. Duration: 5 mins
Equivalent to: 10 litres of rainfall per minute
IPX-5 Water jets Water projected from a nozzle against the housing from any direction shall have no ill effects Duration: 3 mins or more
Equivalent to: 12.5 litres of heavy rainfall
IPX-6 Powerful water jets Water projected in powerful jets against the housing from any direction shall have no harmful effects. Duration: 3 mins or more
Equivalent to: 100 litres of water per minute at pressure
IPX-7 Immersed to 1 meter Water cannot penetrate the housing when it is submerged at 1 meter under water. Duration: 30 mins
Equivalent to: immersion at depth of 1 meter
IPX-8 Immersed deeper than 1 meter Equipment rated at this level will be suitable for continuous immersion but the depth will be specified by the manufacturer. Duration: Continuous
Depth specified by manufacturer

 

FAQ Category: 

SwingArm shoulder straps are a ground breaking design that improves a pack wearers upper body mobility

SwingArm shoulder straps are a ground breaking design that improves a pack wearers upper body mobility. The shoulder straps are connected to each other through the base of the pack, maintaining an even and balanced load across both shoulders.
The mobility gained from this system is unrivaled, it works brilliantly with a hikers stride, skier's turn or an Alpinists reach.

This technology is only available in Black Diamond packs and is usually used along side their reACTIV hip belt system.

FAQ Category: 

Black Diamonds reACTIV hip belt systems are designed to increase comfort and mobility in all directions

Black Diamonds reACTIV hip belt systems are designed to increase comfort and mobility in all directions. By letting the hip belt move independently from the pack itself it stops the pack rubbing against your back, so you can reach further, flex more, and walk or climb harder and longer than ever before.

There are two reACTIVE systems available, the reACTIV and the reACTIVE XP. Both of these systems are exclusive to Black Diamond and are used in their alpine and trail packs.

The reACTIV hip belt system is an ultra-flexible design that is optimized for carrying lighter loads in fast and light situations. The floating pass through design of the belt flexes smoothly in the vertical plane, while its soft construction allows for comfort and mobility in all directions. The swing arm system used in these packs have very slight stretch to improve comfort.

The reACTIVE XP system combines the floating, pass through hipbelt design with stiffer construction and a fixed cable between shoulder straps to increase durability and dial in the amount of suspension movement to account for heavier loads in the vertical world.

FAQ Category: 

Black Diamond's award winning ACTIV suspension systems are unparalleled in comfort, efficiency and load transfer

Black Diamond's award winning ACTIV suspension systems are unparalleled in comfort, efficiency and load transfer. Friction and hot spots don't exist when wearing these packs because the shoulder straps and hip belt moves with you. It also means the packs load stays balanced in the same place at all times without need to adjust it, this lets your body move more naturally in all directions. This results in a more efficient and longer stride, letting you cover more ground, more quickly, more comfortably.

e

FAQ Category: 

ThermoBall is a synthetic insulation developed by The North Face in conjunction with PrimaLoft

ThermoBall™ is a synthetic insulation developed by The North Face in conjunction with PrimaLoft®.  Unlike continuous filament insulation this is comprised of round clusters of synthetic fibre that very closely mimic the performance characteristics of down (approx 600 Fill has been stated) and as a result offers great compressibility with low bulk and weight.  Because it's made from synthetic materials, the fibres are inherently water resistant and so the insulation is able to maintain loft and thermal efficiency when exposed to high levels of moisture.

The North Face is the choice for some of the world's most accomplished climbers, mountaineers, skiers, snowboarders and explorers. At Countryside Ski & Climb we have a extensive range from The North Face including their thermoball technology. 

FAQ Category: 

PrimaLoft® Sport is a premium performance insulation made from fine fibres that trap warm air in the tiny air pockets that are formed between them

PrimaLoft® Sport is a premium performance insulation made from fine fibres that trap warm air in the tiny air pockets that are formed between them, mimicking the natural properties of down insulation.  This results in a lightweight layer that keeps your body heat in and the cold out with minimal bulk.

The fibres used in PrimaLoft® Sport are specifically designed with a permanent water resistance and create a tight surface tension that resists water penetration. This resistance to moisture makes PrimaLoft® Sport more versatile as it can be worn in wet conditions whilst maintaining excellent performance and warmth. This insulation has been used in thicker jackets because of it's loft as well as thinner jackets because of it's great breathability, compression and low weight.

Thanks to the nature of any insulation that uses synthetic materials, Primaloft® Sport is more wind resistant than down insulation (although in garments this factor usually relies on the outer fabric of the piece).
PrimaLoft® Sport is bluesign® approved.

Many brands that we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb use PrimaLoft® Sport in their insulated jackets & trousers. It is also used in gloves and Ski Jackets & Pants.

FAQ Category: 

PrimaLoft ECO is a high loft, thermally efficient insulation, that is made up of 70% post-consumer recycled materials

PrimaLoft® ECO is a high loft, thermally efficient insulation, that is made up of 70% post-consumer recycled materials. It takes about 28 recycled bottles to make 1 kg of PrimaLoft® ECO, that equates to 4 bottles per meter and, on average, about 6 bottles per garment.

These recycled materials are made into fine fibres that trap heat in the tiny air pockets formed between them, mimicking down insulation. The result is instant warmth with minimal weight and low bulk.

The fibers used in PrimaLoft® ECO are specifically engineered with a permanent water resistance and create a tight surface tension that resists water penetration. This resistance to moisture gives PrimaLoft® ECO the ability to be used in wet conditions whilst maintaining high levels of warmth and even if it gets soaked through.

Thanks to the nature of any insulation made from synthetic materials, PrimaLoft® ECO is more wind resistant that down insulation (although in garments this factor usually relies on the outer face fabric of the piece).
PrimaLoft® ECO is bluesign® approved.

Many brands that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb are dedicated to the environment that keeps us loving the outdoors, so the use of PrimaLoft® ECO can be found in many insulated jackets & trousers.

FAQ Category: 

NanoSphere is a naturally self cleaning technology that was developed by schoeller

NanoSphere® is a naturally self cleaning technology that was developed by schoeller®. It mimics the way certain plants leaves repel water droplets and dirt. The leaves keep clean because dirt is simply unable to adhere to the finely structured surface, so it washes off easily when it rains.

By using nano technology schoeller® can transfer this trait to the surface of various textiles. When treated, these textiles show high levels of self cleaning, oil and water repellence as well as high abrasion resistance. When a textile is treated with NanoSphere®, nano particles build a very fine, bumpy structure on the surface. Water, dirt and oil lie on the peaks of the structure and can't form a solid bond to the surface of the textile and so can be washed off easily.

By changing the structure of the surface of textiles, the nano technology provides a level of permanence that you don't get from regular treatments that simply coat the surface of fabrics. This means that the NanoSphere® treatment keeps repelling moisture and dirt after numerous washes, being worn under a pack or scraped along rocks.

Black Diamond partnered up with schoeller® to develop a lightweight, durable stretch woven soft shell fabric with the NanoSphere® technology. This fabric was the primary material used in Black Diamond's soft shell range that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb. The fabric was chosen because of it's superior abrasion resistance, water repellency, breathability and long lasting nature.

FAQ Category: 

Mountain Hardwear created the ghost whisperer fabric to meet the demand for an ultralight, ultra durable fabric.

Mountain Hardwear knew that they needed to make this fabric before they even knew if it was do-able. This need came from their athletes that count on everything to be as light as possible whilst providing a high level of protection, a few grams could mean winning or losing a race or even setting a new speed record or not coming back at all. The process of designing this new fabric from scratch took two years of research and complicated design.

When Mountain Hardwear came up with their ultra-light design, they needed to find a mill that would be able to make it for them. They discovered that only one mill in the world had the technology to do it. The reason that the fabric needs specialist equipment to be made is because the yarns that make up the fabric are so fine. This also means that to maintain strength the yarns must be woven incredibly tight. These factors combine to make the process very slow, in fact it takes up to 10 times longer to weave the yarns used in the Ghost Whisperer fabric than it does to weave a fabric that is made using thicker yarns. But this process is necessary to make the lightest, strongest and best product possible.

Mountain Hardwear use this fabric in their ultra-light running jackets, the fabric is wind and water resistant, and offers enough protection whilst remaining light and strong. The weave is so tight that the fabric is virtually down proof. So it's the perfect material to use in their Ghost Whisperer Down Jacket as it keeps the down in, and wind and moisture out.

One of the reasons we stock Mountain Hardwear here at Countryside Ski & Climb is because of their brilliant technology that is exclusive to them.

FAQ Category: 

How do I Select & Fit products?

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock a range of premium pack brands. This means that the technologies involved in a pack are dependent to some extent on the brand and style.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock a range of premium pack brands. This means that the technologies involved in a pack are dependent to some extent on the brand and style. Hopefully you will find the information below useful in giving you a basic outline of the brands that we stock.

Back Systems:

Osprey:

The ‘Custom fit technology’ is exclusive to our osprey products and its purpose is to optimise comfort and fit. The most developed feature throughout their range is the back systems or ‘Suspensions’. The most common back system used by Osprey is the ‘AirScape system’. The system varies slightly across the range depending on the pack size.

  • “AirScape” packs will have either a grooved or ridge foam back panel with grip mesh covering. This provides superior breathability and ultra-comfortable pack to body contact.
  • Bigger packs will have dual peripheral aluminium rods to stabilise the load and focus weight closer to the body.

The ‘AirSpeed’ system uses a light wire alloy frame with a 3D tensioned mesh back panel with side crescents providing further ventilation. All surfaces in contact with your back are made from either a breathable mesh or perforated waffle foam. This results in a pack that fits great with comfortable uniform body contact and no hot spots.

Black Diamond:

Black diamond packs are built with award winning suspension systems – “ergoACTIV”, “ergoACTIV XP”, “reactive” and “reACTIV XP”. They are incredibly comfortable and efficient. The systems also perform extremely well with load transfer. This is because the shoulder straps and hip belts move with you, preventing friction and hot spots. The load of the pack stays perfectly balanced at all times, without needing adjustment, and allows your body to move naturally in any direction. This enables you to take longer strides meaning you can cover more ground, more quickly.

The Black Diamond suspension systems in a nut shell:

  • The upper body is able to rotate naturally with your gait resulting in maximum efficiency.
  • The ‘Set it and Forget it’ shoulder strap and hip belt system keeps loads perfectly balanced at all times.
  • Active suspensions prevent the loading and unloading feel of traditional packs eliminating sore spots and bruising.
  • With the hip belt tightened for maximum load transfer, your waist is still able to move naturally in three dimensions, even when running or climbing.
  • The system allows you to take longer strides meaning fewer steps helping you to reserve energy.
  • Natural movement distributes the load across more muscle groups and significantly reduces stress on knees and ankles.

Mountain Hardwear:

The packs that we stock from mountain hardware use their ‘CoolWave’ suspension system. This system has air channels and two primary points of contact for the back consisting of breathable mesh. These two points keep the rest of the pack away from the back providing excellent support and ventilation.

The Mountain Hardwear packs also use their ‘On The Fly’ compression system. This lets the user adjust load stability whilst wearing the pack, without restricting motion.

The shoulder straps are ventilated and have a soft edge, meaning that the straps are comfortable on bare skin.

The smallest Packs have a “HardWave Framesheet”. This keeps the back panel flat against your back for a more stable fit. The sheet can also be removed if you’re really looking to save weight.

Vango:

All the packs we stock from Vango are DofE Recommended kit, this is because of the good quality and incredible value. These Trekking packs are primarily designed with DofE expeditions and gap year adventures in mind, so all the packs are made with high quality, durable fabrics that will stand the abuse of a year abroad or a week in the mountains. Vango's packs are made with ample features, from waterproof rain covers to ice axe loops to easy to reach map pockets. If your looking for a pack with a specific feature, these packs probably have it.

Our Vango pack range uses two back systems, the 'Quick Adjust' and the 'Self adjust' systems.

Quick Adjust Carry System:
Contoured internal alloy frame bars are coupled with a webbing ladder arrangement for back length adjustment. Load transfer to the hip area is achieved via the frame system. The Quick Step system offers uncomplicated adjustment, comfort and durability.

Self Adjust System:
Highly tested robust carry system comprising of two alloy bars providing shape and strength. Together with the slidable height adjustable harness these transfer the pack load to the hips. An excellent easy to use, breathable and comfortable system.

FAQ Category: 

Here at Countryside Ski & Climb we have a wide range of packs from a number of different brands. Packs can vary in many ways such as; fit, size and price.

Here at Countryside Ski & Climb we have a wide range of packs from a number of different brands. Packs can vary in many ways such as; fit, size and price. 

The size and features of a pack will generally give you a good idea about what the pack is designed for. For example, a 12 litre lightweight pack, with a sleeve for a hydration bladder is more suited to activities such as; running, cycling or perhaps a short walk on a hot day. Whereas, a 75 litre pack with a custom moulded hip belt for comfort is clearly not going to be designed for running. A pack this size would be classed as an expedition pack, or used for back packing over an extended period of time. On our website all of our packs have information regarding features and design. In store our staff are fully trained on our range so please feel free to ask one of us if you’re interested in trying one on.

FAQ Category: 

Some of the brands we stock make women’s specific packs that have appropriate adjustments in vital areas to ensure the fit is correct.

Some of the brands we stock make women’s specific packs that have appropriate adjustments in vital areas to ensure the fit is correct. The main points of difference are listed below:

The shoulder harness is redesigned with adjusted angles and varying padding thicknesses to create a better fit for a woman’s neck, shoulders and chest. This balances the pack’s load, optimising comfort. For women the sternum strap is very important for equalising pressure across the shoulder straps.

The Hip Belt is designed with adjusted angles and varying pad thickness to create an anatomical fit. The hip belt is also shallower in height to prevent it digging into the ribs or upper thighs when scrambling or climbing. The most important difference is that women’s hips are more conically shaped with a larger difference between the waist and hip measurements. The padding used is also more cushioned to be more comfortable when carrying heavy loads.

Design in women’s specific packs tends to be more streamlined with increased depth in the appropriate places. This allows for more freedom of movement and increases stability by lowering the position of the load to a more desired centre of gravity.

FAQ Category: 

Here at Countryside Ski & Climb we have a wide range of packs from a number of different brands. Packs can vary in many ways such as; fit, size and price. All of our staff are qualified to fit packs and will be happy to assist you wherever possible.

Here at Countryside Ski & Climb we have a wide range of packs from a number of different brands. Packs can vary in many ways such as; fit, size and price. All of our staff are qualified to fit packs and will be happy to assist you wherever possible.

Pack sizing and body measurements:

When looking for a new pack, it is highly beneficial to come in store and try it on. However, if you don’t live near by or can’t make the trip but wish to buy from us online then it is vital that you measure yourself correctly in order get the right pack.

Having the correct sized pack is fundamental to comfort and the performance. The height and weight of someone does not automatically group them into a specific size. People of the same weight and height can still have different torso, hip and shoulder measurements. Take the time to measure accurately by getting someone to help you.

Your torso length is the most important measurement as it will determine your pack size. Many of our packs are available in a range of sizes to fit different torso lengths. In order to gauge your back length, either ask a friend for assistance or come in store and our staff will measure you with our specialised equipment.

Your friend will need to measure the length of your back along the spine. This measurement will be from your iliac crest located at the top of your hip bones to your C7 vertebrae. This is the knobbly bit at the base of your neck when you hang your head forward. Make sure that you keep your back straight whilst being measured. This measurement determines your pack size and therefore needs to be accurate. Your size may differ from brand to brand so you’ll need to refer to each brands specific sizing chart. Alternatively you can come in store or call us and we’ll be happy help you out.

Once you’ve measured yourself and have the correct sized rucksack it’s time to put it on. When fitting it for the first time you want to put about 10kg into the pack. This weight should be well distributed, simulating how the pack will feel when it is full to capacity. To distribute the weight evenly in the pack it is advisable to use a pillow or something similar. Then follow these steps.

  1. Hip Belt. Firstly, ensure the packs compression straps are tightened. Then check that the shoulder straps, load lifter straps, and hip belt are loosened. Put the pack on and buckle and tighten the hip belt ensuring that it is centred over the hip bones. The padded section of the belt should wrap comfortably around the front of your hips.

  2. Shoulder Harness. Now tighten the Shoulder Harness by pulling the ends of the shoulder straps evenly. Make sure that when you pull on these straps you pull downwards and behind you. This will now bring your pack closer to your body and you should feel a small amount of the weight brought onto your shoulders. The shoulder straps should wrap completely around your shoulders. There should be no gap in between your shoulder blades and the shoulder harness. The point of contact between the shoulder straps and your pack should be about 5cm below your C7 vertebrae or inline with the top of your shoulders.

  3. Sternum Strap. Buckle the sternum strap and adjust its position to about 5cm below your collar bones and lightly tighten the strap. This will pull the shoulder straps away from your arm pits and centre them over your shoulders. If you feel any tension across the chest or that your breathing is hindered then you have pulled the strap too tightly. You should loosen it off until it is comfortable.

  4. Load Lifter Strap. The load lifter straps are situated at the top of your shoulder harness. Tighten these to draw the load solidly against your back and to take the pressure off of the shoulder straps. These straps should be at an angle with your shoulders between 45 and 60 degrees in larger packs that carry more weight. In smaller packs these straps tend to be primarily for compression and therefore will sit much flatter. If the pack feels unstable increase the tension of the lower shoulder straps and then tighten the load lifters.

Some of the larger packs that we have in stock from Osprey come with a custom moulded hip belt. We have an Osprey ‘Custom Mould’ oven in store. This allows us to mould your hip belt to your specifications for a truly customised fit. If you purchase your pack online then you can come in store at any time, with proof of purchase from us, and we’ll mould the pack to you for free. If you have a pack that you bought else where and would like us to custom mould it for you then we will happily do it for you at a charge of £20.

FAQ Category: 

In order to help the consumer select the right sunglasses for an intended purpose sunglass lenses are divided into five categories.

The categories are defined by what is called Visual Light Transmission or VLT; this is how much light travels through the lens and reaches the eye. For example a lens with 100% VLT would be completely clear allowing all visual light and a lens with 10% VLT would be very dark allowing far less light through.

The most common lens tints are brown, grey and green; this is because they are 'colour neutral'. This means that the lens reduces overall brightness without distorting colour. 

The five categories are defined as:

Category: Characteristics: Suitable for: VLT
0 Cat 0 lenses are either clear or have a very light tint, they are used for safety glasses or spectacles where you need to see clearly what you are doing.

Safety glasses and spectacles

80-100%
1 Cat 1 lenses are for casual use, used as a comfort filter in cosmetic and fashion eyewear Fashion 46-79%
2 Cat 2 lenses are the most common category found in sunglasses. They provide good protection from visible light and from UV rays for general use.  This lens will have a tint which allows through less light than category 1 but more light than category 3 – for general purpose, watching and taking part in sport General Purpose, watching and taking part in sport 18-45%
3 Cat 3 lenses provide extra protection from both visible and UV light.  These lenses will usually only allow less than 20% of visible light to penetrate the lens.  This means that they will block out 80%+ of light. – for open mountain ranges Open mountain ranges 8-17%
4 Cat 4 lenses provide a high level of protection from visible and UV light.  These lenses are not to be worn when driving as they are too dark.  These lenses will allow less than 10% of light to transmit through the lens.  They are to be used for specific situations only - not for a pair of everyday sunglasses. – for high altitude trekking and mountaineering. High altitude trekking and mountaineering 3-8%

 

FAQ Category: 

Climbing

The International Union of Alpine Associations (UIAA) is the governing body which tells us whether or not gear is safe to use and until what force it is safe. There are 4 specific tests that rope must go through to be approved by the UIAA; fall rating, impact force, stretch and sheath slippage.

Fall factors and tests: The International Union of Alpine Associations (UIAA) is the governing body which tells us whether or not gear is safe to use and until what force it is safe. It has standard tests that gear must pass to be able to achieve the UIAA seal of approval. At Countryside Ski & Climb we are proud to say that all of the climbing equipment that we stock either meets or exceeds these standards.

There are 4 specific tests that rope must go through to be approved by the UIAA; fall rating, impact force, stretch and sheath slippage.

Fall Rating: The Fall rating is the number of falls a rope can take before it should be retired. The UIAA test this by simulating a 1.77 factor fall. In theory a 1.77 factor fall is close to the maximum fall the human body can take (which is a factor 2). The minimum number of ‘falls’ a rope must take in order to pass is 5. All of the ropes we have in stock either meet or exceed this requirement. Generally thicker ropes have higher fall ratings than thinner ropes, as they tend to be more durable. The elasticity of a rope can also affect the fall rating.

The tests that are carried out by the UIAA are thorough because 1.77 factors are extremely big falls! For example in an indoor situation you can never create a fall factor greater than 1, this is because you cannot fall past the belayer. Even on a multi pitch sport climb, providing you remember to clip into bolts as often as you can it is unlikely that you should ever come close to a fall factor of 2. So the reality is that you shouldn’t need to retire your rope after 5 falls as it is unlikely you’re going to have had such big falls. The fall factor can be calculated by the distance fallen divided by the metres of rope between you and you’re belayer or anchor point. If you feel like you’ve come close to having a factor 1.77 fall or are unsure, you should inspect your rope for any signs of damage (see the section below on inspecting your rope). If you have any doubts please come and see us at Countryside Ski & Climb with your rope and we’ll be pleased to have a look at it for you.

Impact force: The impact force measurement is the resulting force that is transferred onto the end of the rope when you fall. The UIAA tests the impact force of a rope by simulating a fall with a fall factor of 1.77. The impact force must be less than 12kn in order to pass UIAA requirements. The maximum fall that the human body can take is a fall factor of 2. Therefore, the fall factor that the ropes are tested to is very high and most climbers will never experience such a fall. Regardless of this, all of the single ropes that we stock have an impact force of 8.9 or lower.

Stretch: There are two methods of measuring stretch. One is a static test. This is where you weight the rope and measure the amount of percentage stretch there is. The second method is a dynamic test. This measures the maximum amount that the rope stretches in a simulated lead fall on it. The maximum amount of static stretch allowed for single rope is 10 %, and for dynamic stretch it is 40%. To put this into context, if you were to hang from the end of a 60m rope and it has a 10% stretch then you will ‘drop’ 6m – that’s a pretty long way down!

Sheath Slippage: Ropes are made up of a core and protective sheath that surrounds it. A poorly constructed rope may end up with the core and the sheath not stretching in sync. This leads to ‘lumpy’ or ‘saggy’ areas of the rope as the sheath gets bunched up in some areas and stretched out in others. This will reduce the durability of a rope as it will cause stress points. If your rope is showing signs of sheath slippage you should consider retiring it, as it is a sign of wear and damage. All of the rope brands we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb produce very high quality products and perform incredibly well in the UIAA sheath slippage tests. This means that premature sheath slippage shouldn’t be a problem.

FAQ Category: 

Climbing Rope is what makes our great sport possible. Rope comes in many different diameters, lengths, weights and colours and we have and will continue to depend on them. Here at Countryside Ski & Climb, we know how important our ropes are and that there can be a lot more to rope than meets the eye.

Climbing Rope is what makes our great sport possible. It is quite literally the lifeline that allows us to push our limits in the mountains or at the local wall, safe in the knowledge that we have a back up for when our forearms cramp, feet slip and gravity wins. Rope comes in many different diameters, lengths, weights and colours and we have and will continue to depend on them. Here at Countryside Ski & Climb, we know how important our ropes are and that there can be a lot more to rope than meets the eye. We feel it is important to run through the facts and settle any doubts or queries that you may have.

Types of Rope: There are two main types of rope that we stock here at Countryside Ski & Climb; dynamic rope and static rope;

Dynamic rope: Dynamic rope is the rope that is almost always used for climbing. The main reason for this is because it stretches. As a result of this stretch it absorbs a lot of force from falls. This makes a huge difference to the safety of the climber for two reasons:

When you fall, the first thing that happens in the system is the rope absorbs part of the force and the remainder of the force is transferred into your top runner (or most recent piece of protection). The fact that your rope has absorbed so much of the force means that less is transferred into your last bit of protection and so it has a more secured hold. Your top runner and protection are the weakest points in the chain so reducing the amount of force on them is important.

Secondly the breaking force of the human body is 12kn, if your body is subject to a force greater than that it can be fatal. Dynamic ropes help to avoid this. It’s for these reasons people never lead climb with static ropes. We have a variety of dynamic ropes in store with different stretch percentages, to meet your preferences and needs.

Static Rope: Static rope is not suitable for climbing as it does not absorb force as well as dynamic rope. This is because static rope does not stretch. The static rope we have in store we recommend as a confidence line. This can be used when you’re out on a demanding walk, a class 4 scramble or with less experienced climbers in the mountains. At only 8.0mm there’s no excuse not to bring one with you.

FAQ Category: 

Climbing shoes come in many different styles that focus on different areas, for example; comfort, high performance or flexibility.

Climbing shoes come in many different styles that focus on different areas, for example; comfort, high performance or flexibility. If you’re looking to get your first pair then you’ll probably want an all round shoe, that is comfortable to wear for evening sessions at your local wall, or long days working the crag. Alternatively, you might be at the stage in your climbing where you’re looking to get multiple pairs of shoes to cater for specific types of climbing or individual routes.

Climbing shoes come with either laces, hook and loop straps or as slip ons. Laces offer the most adjustment, whereas slip ons are the least adjustable. Slip ons and hook and loop shoes are easier to take off and so are the favoured styles with climbers that are bouldering or doing short and hard routes. However, the most important thing is to make sure you get a shoe that fits. All the different types of fastening will only be effective if the shoe fits you. Our staff at Countryside Ski and Climb will take the time to make sure you get a shoe that fits well, if we aren’t confident that the shoe is perfect for you then we won’t recommend it.

How flexible should my climbing shoe be?

It really depends on how you want the shoe to perform. A stiff shoe will give you more support on ‘edgy’ footholds and is better for standing on very small positive holds. A softer shoe flexes more and is better suited to ‘smearing’ and standing on sloped footholds.

Some people find that with a stiff shoe they lose some sensitivity and find it hard to tell how a foot hold feels. However, others find that with soft shoes their feet tire easily and prefer the extra support offered from a stiffer shoe.

Climbing Shoe Technology:

Currently the only climbing shoes we have in stock are from Scarpa who are an Italian based brand that have been designing and making premium outdoor footwear for over 70 years. Our most advanced shoe has a number of technologies that make it a great option whether you’re climbing indoors all day, working the crag or solving a boulder problem. Scarpa use “Vibram®” soles on their most advanced climbing shoes. Vibram is an Italian company that specialises in creating high quality rubber soles for all types of footwear. The sole unit from Vibram for the Scarpa shoe that we stock is called “XS Grip²”. This sole unit is the natural progression from a previous model called the “XS Grip”, which was the choice of many bouldering and sport climbing world champions over the last 3 years. The new version delivers even better grip, with a superb balance and firmness for moderate edging. However, it still maintains consistent performance in all temperatures.

Another technology that Scarpa use is “Bi-Tension”. The “Bi-Tension” system is a reverse slingshot rand that is anchored under the critical toe and connects directly to the heel rand. This actively pulls the power from the toes, rather than cramming your toes painfully into the end of the shoe resulting in immediate performance with less tension. Overall it uses less rubber resulting in less weight making the shoe more sensitive and more reactive.  

FAQ Category: 

When buying climbing shoes also known as rock boots it’s important that you try them on before you buy. Rock shoes vary massively between brands and styles. This is why it’s so important to try them on first! They will usually bear no relation to your normal street shoe size.

When buying climbing shoes also known as rock boots it’s important that you try them on before you buy. Just because you’re a size seven in one brand, it doesn’t mean that you’ll be a size seven in another brand’s shoe. Rock shoes vary massively between brands and styles. This is why it’s so important to try them on first! They will usually bear no relation to your normal street shoe size.

Often, more experienced climbers will squeeze their feet into very small climbing shoes. This is so that their toes bend over at the knuckles creating a stronger position for the toes imitating ‘crimping’ for your feet. This can take a while to get used to and is often uncomfortable at first.

Your shoes don’t have to fit like this. What you’ll be looking for (at first) is a snug fit, all the way round the shoe, but also comfortable. If you’re not comfortable in your climbing shoes, then climbing on small holds will be painful and you won’t enjoy it! When fitting climbing shoes our staff will discuss with you; your climbing experience, your ability and the type of climbing that you do. With this information we’ll be able to recommend the right type of shoe and ensure that it is the correct fit. When trying on climbing shoes expect question such as; ‘Can you feel any pockets of air in the shoe?’, ‘are there any baggy bits of the shoe?’, ‘Is the shoe comfortable around your ankle bone and your Achilles heel?’

These are all important things to consider when trying on a shoe but don’t worry, you don’t have to remember all of it, that’s our job.

FAQ Category: 

You must remember that it is a life-saving piece of equipment and old harnesses have failed on climbers in the past causing fatal results. Therefore, it is important to always check your harness thoroughly before and after use to ensure it is still safe.

You must remember that it is a life-saving piece of equipment and old harnesses have failed on climbers in the past causing fatal results. Therefore, it is important to always check your harness thoroughly before and after use to ensure it is still safe.

It is not usually advisable to keep a harness for more than 5 years. If you’re using your harness every weekend or even more regularly than that then you should really consider replacing it after 2 years. When checking your harness always pay special attention to the wear and tear on your belay loop and tie-in points. The safety of your harness can also be affected by exposure to chemicals, extended exposure to sunlight, extreme temperatures and exposure to sea salt or being left in a damp condition.

If you have any questions or doubts then you can contact us by email or alternatively bring your harness in store and we can happily check it out for you.

FAQ Category: 

At Countryside Ski & Climb we understand the importance of fit so we stock a range of women’s specific harnesses which have appropriate adjustments to ensure they fit correctly.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we understand the importance of fit so we stock a range of women’s specific harnesses which have appropriate adjustments to ensure they fit correctly.

Women generally have a smaller waist-to-leg-loop size and a longer rise. Women also tend to wear their harnesses on their waist whereas men will wear them on their hips.  However, you should not feel obliged to buy a women’s harness if you find a men’s harness more comfortable.

FAQ Category: 

In order for you to be safe and comfortable in your harness it is vitally important that it fits correctly.

In order for you to be safe and comfortable in your harness it is vitally important that it fits correctly.

Check the rise – this is the distance between the leg loops and the waist belt, it can vary depending on the brand and the style. It is also different for women’s harnesses because generally women have a longer distance between their waist and their thigh. It is important that the rise is correct so the harness sits on you comfortably allowing you freedom of movement. There shouldn’t be any pulling between your leg loops and waist belt. If there is you can tighten the rear elastic loops that connect the leg loops to the waist belt to correct the issue. You can also do the opposite if they ride too low. When trying the harness on kick your legs high to see if you feel restricted. If you do, it can mean the harness is slightly small and may need to be adjusted accordingly. Our fully trained staff will take care to ensure that you leave with a harness that fits you properly.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we have a hanging point set up for customers to use. This allows you to make sure your harness is comfortable and fits by sitting in it for a few minutes. You should ideally have a bit of movement to allow you to re-adjust your position easily.

You should also be aware of how you are hanging in the harness. If you are leaning right up against the rope then the rise is too small and needs loosening. Alternatively, if you are leaning right back then the rise is too long and will need tightening. Don’t worry if you’re not sure, our staff will be with you every step of the way to ensure your harness is correctly fitted.

FAQ Category: 

At Countryside Ski & Climb we appreciate how important it is to try before you buy, particularly with climbing harnesses. Therefore, if you are interested harnesses please visit us in store and we will happily assist you in anyway that we can.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we appreciate how important it is to try before you buy, particularly with climbing harnesses. Therefore, if you are interested harnesses please visit us in store and we will happily assist you in anyway that we can.

Generally speaking the three main factors to consider are; weight, comfort and features when choosing a harness. Therefore, it is important to decide what is most important to you.

Weight: In theory when a harness is made lighter, durability and comfort have to be sacrificed to some extent. Therefore, if you’re looking for a harness suitable for long days of climbing multi pitch sport routes you may want to look for something a little more comfort orientated. However, if you’re confident that a lighter, thinner harness is going to be comfortable enough then a lighter harness will be beneficial. The harnesses we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb tend to focus on sport and indoor climbing making them reasonably lightweight but also comfortable. The excellent balance between weight and comfort means that the harnesses are super versatile allowing you to participate in a wide range of climbing. All of our harnesses meet or exceed the recreational climbing safety standards.

Gear Loops: Harnesses tend to have 2 or 4 gear loops. A harness with only 2 gear loops is not going to be suited to climbing where you need a lot of gear such as trad or multi-pitch climbs. So if you’re looking for a harness that’ll do it all then you probably want a harness with 4 gear loops. The harnesses in our range at Countryside Ski & Climb all have 4 gear loops. We’ve decided to stock such harnesses because they are the most versatile. However, if you really like a harness that doesn’t have enough space to carry your rack then all is not lost! You can always wear a gear sling which will give you more space to organise your rack and also take some of the weight off of your harness.

Fastening: All the harnesses at Countryside Ski & Climb have buckles that are self locking. You should also be aware of the tag-end of the belt which is often longer than you’d expect. This is to allow for more wiggle room to get the harness over your hips without un-threading it. This tends to be more noticeable on women’s harnesses because of their narrower waists. The methods for tucking away tag ends again vary between brands. Rest assured with all of our brands the methods used are secure and neat, so there’s no need to worry about it getting in your way whilst you’re out on the rock.

FAQ Category: 

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the three main types of belay devices; tubular, auto locking and figure 8. We have a range of styles of tubular devices from all three of our climbing brands; DMM, Black Diamond and Petzl..

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the three main types of belay devices; tubular, auto locking and figure 8. We have a range of styles of tubular devices from all three of our climbing brands; DMM, Black Diamond and Petzl..

Tubular belay devices are the most commonly used. We sell basic tubular devices from both DMM and Black Diamond and we also have tubular devices with a ‘high friction mode’ from Black Diamond and Petzl. When using a tubular device the rope is folded and pushed through the device and then clipped to the belayer or anchor point. Friction caused by the bent rope’s contact with the belay device slows and stops the rope, protecting the climber from falling. High friction models increase the resistance which is helpful if you are belaying a less confident climber or a climber that is heavier than you.

Advantages: Tubular models are compact, lightweight, cost effective and easy to use. They work well with multiple rope diameters and can accommodate single or double ropes. They don’t twist or kink ropes and can be used for rappelling as well as belaying. High friction models are generally reversible offering a range of friction levels to choose from.

Disadvantages: Some light weight climbers and children can find tubular devices very slow when rappelling compared to figure 8 and assisted braking devices.

Assisted braking devices have a mechanism that locks down on the rope when sudden force is applied to it from a fall in a similar way to a car seatbelt. The rope is threaded through the inside of the device, which is then clipped to an anchor point or directly to the belayer. These devices are commonly used for sport climbing and for gym use.

Advantages: The device assists the belayer in stopping the climbers fall and consequently reduces the amount of effort required by the belayer. However, the device does need some tension to be applied by the braking hand to engage the assisted braking function. The device feeds rope smoothly and makes it easier to lower the climber in a more controlled fashion. This is why they are commonly used in gyms where children may be belaying each other.

Disadvantages: Assisted braking devices can put high impact loads on climbing protection during a fall and so they are not recommended for use when “trad” climbing. They are best suited for use with extremely secure top rope anchors. They can also only be used with supple, 10 to 12 mm single ropes. Further, they should not be used with wet or icy ropes.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the Petzl GriGri 2, one of the most popular assisted braking devices on the market.

Figure 8’s tend to be limited to belaying in top rope setups. They are shaped like the number 8 with one hole larger than the other. A bend of rope is fed through the larger hole and then looped around the smaller hole until it rests on the ‘neck’ of the device. The small hole is then clipped to the climber or anchor with a locking carabiner. Figure 8 devices are generally used as rappel devices. At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the DMM Figure 8.

Advantages: Figure 8’s are efficient and smooth for rappelling. They dissipate heat well and can be used with almost any rope diameter.

Disadvantages: As belay devices, figure 8’s offer inadequate braking for anything but top roping. They also require more attention and effort from the belayer’s hand than most other devices. They can also cause a twist in climbing rope which can make handling rope difficult.

FAQ Category: 

A Belay Device is a piece of equipment that you use together with a carabiner and a rope when belaying.

A Belay Device is a piece of equipment that you use together with a carabiner and a rope when belaying. The rope is fed through the device and carabiner to create friction, this means that if the person you belay falls the rope will not move preventing the climber from falling to the ground. You can also use this device when descending.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the three main types of belay devices; tubular, auto locking and figure 8. We have a range of styles of tubular devices from all three of our climbing brands; DMM, Black Diamond and Petzl..

Tubular belay devices are the most commonly used. We sell basic tubular devices from both DMM and Black Diamond and we also have tubular devices with a ‘high friction mode’ from Black Diamond and Petzl. When using a tubular device the rope is folded and pushed through the device and then clipped to the belayer or anchor point. Friction caused by the bent rope’s contact with the belay device slows and stops the rope, protecting the climber from falling. High friction models increase the resistance which is helpful if you are belaying a less confident climber or a climber that is heavier than you.

Advantages: Tubular models are compact, lightweight, cost effective and easy to use. They work well with multiple rope diameters and can accommodate single or double ropes. They don’t twist or kink ropes and can be used for rappelling as well as belaying. High friction models are generally reversible offering a range of friction levels to choose from.

Disadvantages: Some light weight climbers and children can find tubular devices very slow when rappelling compared to figure 8 and assisted braking devices.

Assisted braking devices have a mechanism that locks down on the rope when sudden force is applied to it from a fall in a similar way to a car seatbelt. The rope is threaded through the inside of the device, which is then clipped to an anchor point or directly to the belayer. These devices are commonly used for sport climbing and for gym use.

Advantages: The device assists the belayer in stopping the climbers fall and consequently reduces the amount of effort required by the belayer. However, the device does need some tension to be applied by the braking hand to engage the assisted braking function. The device feeds rope smoothly and makes it easier to lower the climber in a more controlled fashion. This is why they are commonly used in gyms where children may be belaying each other.

Disadvantages: Assisted braking devices can put high impact loads on climbing protection during a fall and so they are not recommended for use when “trad” climbing. They are best suited for use with extremely secure top rope anchors. They can also only be used with supple, 10 to 12 mm single ropes. Further, they should not be used with wet or icy ropes.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the Petzl GriGri 2, one of the most popular assisted braking devices on the market.

Figure 8’s tend to be limited to belaying in top rope setups. They are shaped like the number 8 with one hole larger than the other. A bend of rope is fed through the larger hole and then looped around the smaller hole until it rests on the ‘neck’ of the device. The small hole is then clipped to the climber or anchor with a locking carabiner. Figure 8 devices are generally used as rappel devices. At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock the DMM Figure 8.

Advantages: Figure 8’s are efficient and smooth for rappelling. They dissipate heat well and can be used with almost any rope diameter.

Disadvantages: As belay devices, figure 8’s offer inadequate braking for anything but top roping. They also require more attention and effort from the belayer’s hand than most other devices. They can also cause a twist in climbing rope which can make handling rope difficult.

FAQ Category: 

The carabiner is a fundamental item to any climber’s rack. However, its strength and function can be reduced severely when used incorrectly.

The carabiner is a fundamental item to any climber’s rack. However, its strength and function can be reduced severely when used incorrectly. Most carabiners are shaped by either bending or forging. They are incredibly strong providing that it’s loaded in the correct direction and the gate is closed.

For example, DMM’s shadow carabiner which is a standard solid gate, when correctly loaded (top to bottom along the ‘back bone’ of the carabiner) can take 24kN of force. However, when it is incorrectly loaded (across the carabiner) it can only take 9kN of force. Also if the carabiner is loaded correctly but the gate is open, it can only take 10kN of force. These are huge differences and can ultimately prove to be the difference between life and death in certain circumstances. This is why it is of paramount importance to ensure that you look after your gear and know how to use it properly.  

FAQ Category: 

Some brands offer a guarantee on a lot of their metal work and hardware. It is important to realise with guarantees that they are only guidelines and are subjective. Therefore, it is important to use some initiative and if you have any doubts or questions about retiring your carabiner please come and visit us at Countryside Ski & Climb and we’ll be happy to assist you

Some brands such as Petzl offer a 3 year guarantee on a lot of their metal work and hardware. It is important to realise with guarantees that they are only guidelines and are subjective. For example, if you belayed for six hours everyday you would wear through a carabiner considerably faster than its guarantee might suggest. This is because guarantees only account for occasional use. Therefore, it is important to use some initiative with guarantees as the life time of a product is heavily dependent on the extent of its use.

If your gear looks like it needs replacing, replace it. A lot of hardware is anodized to extend the lifetime of a product and to indicate when your gear might need replacing. It is important to always check your gear before you use it to ensure that it is still fit for use.

Inspect the body of the carabiner for cracks, marks over 1mm, sharp edges and corrosion. Ensure that the gate opens and closes without rubbing, lines up with the key lock and the spring and hinge work properly. There should also be no corrosion or deformities and the key lock hole should be free of dirt and pebbles.

If you have any doubts or questions about retiring your carabiner please come and visit us at Countryside Ski & Climb and we’ll be happy to assist you where possible. As a general rule however, if you are in any doubts about your gear always err on the side of caution and seek professional advice before using it again.

FAQ Category: 

The carabiner is a fundamental piece of climbing equipment. It comes in many different shapes, sizes, strengths and even colours. There are many different types of carabiners which are designed for specific uses. In order to select the correct one it is vital that you understand the functions and intended uses for different types of carabiner.

The carabiner is a fundamental piece of climbing equipment. It comes in many different shapes, sizes, strengths and even colours. There are many different types of carabiners which are designed for specific uses. In order to select the correct one it is vital that you understand the functions and intended uses for different types of carabiner.

Wire gates are a popular choice as they are very light weight and are also relatively cheap. They are commonly used with quick draws for sport routes in the interests of saving weight where possible. We sell wire gates on their own, in multi packs and in Quick Draw sets.  

Solid gates weigh more, but offer greater durability and resistance to impact than a wire gate carabiner and therefore generally last longer. As a result they are commonly chosen by someone looking to use their caribiner very regularly on indoor walls or at the local crag. We sell solid gate carabiners individually, as 5 packs and in Quick Draw sets.

Curved gates carabiners have a curved solid gate. They are generally used in quick draw sets because the curve makes it much easier to clip a rope into it. We currently stock two models of curved gate carabiners and we sell them as part of a quick draw sets only.  

Screw gate carabiners are a locking carabiner. This means that when it is tightened the gate of the carabiner cannot be opened increasing the overall safety. The locking mechanism makes them more suitable for belaying. Accidents have occurred in the past when the gate of the carabiner has come open causing the rope to escape and the climber to fall. This is why we would advise you to only ever belay with a locking carabiner! We range a few screw gate carabiners in store that are sold individually. We also sell them as part of a set with a belay device which will save you a bit of cash too.  

FAQ Category: 

The carabiner is a fundamental piece of climbing equipment. There are many different types of carabiners which are designed for specific uses. In order to select the correct one it is vital that you understand the functions and intended uses for different types of carabiner.

The carabiner is a fundamental piece of climbing equipment. It comes in many different shapes, sizes, strengths and even colours. There are many different types of carabiners which are designed for specific uses. In order to select the correct one it is vital that you understand the functions and intended uses for different types of carabiner.

A basic Carabiner comprises of two main parts; An oval or D shaped metal ring and a moveable part called the gate. These vary greatly from brand to brand, but they are all very easily identifiable as carabiner.

Basic carabiners can have several different types of gate. At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock three variations; wire gate, solid gate and curved gate. All of these carabiners are load bearing. They are appropriate for use as quick draws (2 carabiners joined by a length of dyneema, or nylon band), anchors and are more than capable to use when attaching gear to your harness, or sling.

Types of carabiner:

Wire gates are a popular choice as they are very light weight and are also relatively cheap. They are commonly used with quick draws for sport routes in the interests of saving weight where possible. We sell wire gates on their own, in multi packs and in Quick Draw sets.  

Solid gates weigh more, but offer greater durability and resistance to impact than a wire gate carabiner and therefore generally last longer. As a result they are commonly chosen by someone looking to use their caribiner very regularly on indoor walls or at the local crag. We sell solid gate carabiners individually, as 5 packs and in Quick Draw sets.

Curved gates carabiners have a curved solid gate. They are generally used in quick draw sets because the curve makes it much easier to clip a rope into it. We currently stock two models of curved gate carabiners and we sell them as part of a quick draw sets only.  

Screw gate carabiners are a locking carabiner. This means that when it is tightened the gate of the carabiner cannot be opened increasing the overall safety. The locking mechanism makes them more suitable for belaying. Accidents have occurred in the past when the gate of the carabiner has come open causing the rope to escape and the climber to fall. This is why we would advise you to only ever belay with a locking caarabiner! We range a few screw gate carabiners in store that are sold individually. We also sell them as part of a set with a belay device which will save you a bit of cash too.  

FAQ Category: 

At Countryside Ski & Climb our climbing range is focused on three areas; indoor climbing, sport climbing and bouldering. Therefore, our FAQ’s will only be covering these disciplines… For now anyway!

At Countryside Ski & Climb our climbing range is focused on three areas; indoor climbing, sport climbing and bouldering. The majority of our climbing FAQ's relate to sport climbing outdoors, however, it is still useful and valid information regardless of the type of climbing that you are looking to do.  

At Countryside Ski & Climb our climbing hardware brands are DMM, Petzl and Black Diamond. They are some of the leading brands in climbing hardware innovation.

FAQ Category: 

The UIAA is the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation who provide reliable safety standards for climbing equipment and advice on medical issues related to mountaineering.

The UIAA is the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation who provide reliable safety standards for climbing equipment and advice on medical issues related to mountaineering. 

All of the helmets that we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb either pass or exceed the UIAA testing standards.

To test the top of a helmet, the helmet is mounted on a wooden model that simulates the human head and a load sensor is positioned on the model’s neck. Then a 5kg weight with a 50mm radius is dropped from a height of 2 metres directly onto the top of the helmet. The subsequent force that is transmitted to the neck is measured and in order to pass it must not exceed 8kN.

To test the front, side and rear of a helmet it is angled to 60 degrees in the direction of the blow. A 5kg weight is dropped directly onto the helmet from a height of 50 centimetres and again the blow cannot exceed 8kN of force.

The UIAA also tests for penetration from rock fall. In this test a 3kg, cone-shaped weight with a 0.5mm tip is dropped from a height of 1 metre onto the top of a helmet. This is a pass/fail test and if the weight penetrates the helmet to the extent that it touches the wooden model the helmet fails.

The stability of a helmet is tested by dropping a 10kg weight attached to a strap to try and lift the helmet off of the model. If the helmet does not stay in place and lifts off, it fails the test.  

FAQ Category: 

As great a servant as your helmet may have been it is inevitable that it will need replacing at some point. It is important for your safety that you inspect your helmet for signs of damage and wear before and after each use to ensure you retire it when time is up.

You should inspect your helmet for signs of damage and wear before and after each use. It is paramount that your helmet is kept in suitable condition. If it is in anyway unfit for use it can have serious consequences on your safety.

You should retire a helmet immediately if:

  • It has sustained a severe impact
  • There are any cracks or dents in the helmet’s surface or interior
  • There is any kind of hole or rip in the webbing
  • The webbing has been burned, singed or melted
  • There is heavy abrasion to the webbing
  • The buckle is damaged or deformed in any way
  • The webbing has been faded from exposure to ultra violet light (sunlight)
  • The adjustment system no longer holds securely
  • The back strap is damaged and/or no longer holds adjustment

If your helmet is not obviously damaged but has slight wear it may still be ready for retirement. If you have any doubts about the dependability or safety of your helmet, retire it and get a new one. Whenever you retire a piece of equipment, destroy it to prevent future use.

FAQ Category: 

You wouldn’t consider cycling down a busy road without a helmet, so why would you climb without one? Whether you are sport climbing at your local crag or venturing a massive 15 pitch route, helmets offer protection from falling rock or ice as well as from a blow to the head during a fall.

You wouldn’t consider cycling down a busy road without a helmet, so why would you climb without one? Whether you are sport climbing at your local crag or venturing a massive 15 pitch route, helmets offer protection from falling rock or ice as well as from a blow to the head during a fall.

There are two basic designs of climbing helmets, suspension or ‘hard hat’ models and foam models. At Countryside Ski & Climb we stock both models in a range of brands.

Suspension models have a hard shell and are supported by webbing. The thick durable exterior works with the suspension system to absorb shock from a rock fall. These helmets are best suited to those who are hard on their gear or wear their helmet very regularly. Suspension models are sturdier and less likely to get crushed in your gear bag. Some models have a foam lining in addition to the webbing for added comfort.

Foam models work similarly to bike helmets as they have a thin shell covering a dome of foam padding. They absorb energy by deforming on impact. This means that they are not as durable compared to suspension helmets. Consequently they are more vulnerable to cracks and dents and they should be retired immediately after a significant impact. Foam helmets tend to be lighter and more comfortable to wear. Therefore, in situations where rock fall is rare or where weight is an issue foam helmets are preferable.

FAQ Category: 

What you need to look out for when getting a helmet fitted.

In store our trained staff will be happy to assist you in choosing and fitting the correct climbing helmet.

Here are a few things we would want you to look out for when trying on a helmet:

  • Your helmet should sit squarely on your head and be snug across your brow.
  • It should feel comfortable, with no pressure points that could cause a headache after a day of wearing it.
  • Some models come in specific sizes, but adjustable, “one-size-fits-many models” are more versatile and as a result can be worn over a hat or a hood.
  • If you intend to wear your helmet for winter climbing then you should try to adjust the helmet whilst wearing gloves.

Chinstraps are vital for keeping the helmet in place. A chinstrap must fasten to give a close fit, preventing the helmet from sliding backwards on your head when looking up and thus exposing your forehead. The helmet should be easily adjustable for convenience when adding or removing layers. Finally, the helmet should feel comfortable because any discomfort may put you off wearing a helmet in the future.

FAQ Category: 

How do I clean and store my gear?

The lifetime of a rope can be hard to determine because there are so many factors that can affect it.

The lifetime of a rope can be hard to determine because there are so many factors that can affect it. Obviously, the more regularly you use your rope the faster it will wear out. You should always inspect your rope before you climb. Look for frayed and abraded sections on the sheath. If you can see any of the white inner core you should retire your rope immediately. If you’re a regular lead climber and have a lot of falls when working on hard routes then you should look for wear between 5 and 20 feet of the ends of the rope. The sheath will tend to be frayed and spongy if damaged. As well as looking at your rope you should run your fingers along it, feel for flat spots (this is where the inner core has been flattened by repeated falls or one long fall). Also feel for nicks in the sheath that might indicate a potential core shot where the sheath will wear away to reveal the core. Feel for dry stiff areas instead of supple elasticity. If any of the above is present it’s a good idea to retire your rope. Always visually check your rope whenever you coil or uncoil it, feeling along the sheath as you pull it through your hands.

FAQ Category: 

It is important to wash your rope regularly, if it gets particuarly dirty be sure to wash it thoroughly. Washing your rope removes abrasive dust from the sheath. This will prolong your ropes life and also improve the handling of the rope.

It is important to wash your rope regularly, if it gets particuarly dirty be sure to wash it thoroughly. Washing your rope removes abrasive dust from the sheath. This will prolong your ropes life and also improve the handling of the rope. If you climb a lot, aluminium oxide can become deposited onto your rope’s sheath as a result of regular contact with aluminium carabiners. You’ll notice this problem when you look at your hands after belaying and they’re black. Regular washing will prevent this from happening.

At Countryside Ski and Climb we recommend putting your rope in a mesh laundry bag, sealing the top with a drawstring and then putting it into the washing machine on a cool wash and long cycle. We range technical gear washes that are non detergent and can be used to wash your rope. However, many people choose not to use soap at all. When you take it out you can either leave it free in a washing basket or loosely coil it on a clean hard floor. Leave it to dry for a few days in a cool dark place. Do not leave it to dry in the sun as the UV rays can damage the rope.  

FAQ Category: 

Investing in a rope bag is highly recommended as it could save you the cost of buying another rope prematurely (rope bags are not nearly as expensive as new ropes).

Investing in a rope bag is highly recommended as it could save you the cost of buying another rope prematurely (rope bags are not nearly as expensive as new ropes). The rope bags that we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb are all of a good quality and developed by leading climbing brands. Therefore they contain all of the features that you would need in a rope bag. Rope bags provide a clean space for you to store your rope. This helps to prevent dust and dirt from finding its way into your rope. Dust and dirt impairs the strength, safety and performance of your rope. Rope wears much faster if it is not kept clean, therefore, a rope bag will increase the life of your rope no end. So get one and use it! All of the rope bags we have in stock neatly fold up into themselves and have handy shoulder straps so that you can transport them easily. It’s especially important to use a rope bag when climbing outdoors or when there’s lots of fine dust or sand about as this will very easily get into your rope.

FAQ Category: 

It is vitally important that you care for your rope because a damaged rope can cause serious consequences.

It is vitally important that you care for your rope because a damaged rope can cause serious consequences.

DO NOT STEP ON YOU’RE ROPE! And for that matter don’t step on anyone else’s rope either. Besides climbing and lowering, nothing wears out your rope faster than stepping on it. As well as cutting the sheath on rocks underfoot, stepping on the rope will also grind dirt and dust into the sheath and core, which increases unseen internal damage to your rope. Take extra care when climbing outside, especially if there are a lot of people or if you have any beginners with you. Make sure that you emphasise to them the importance of not stepping on your rope as it will damage their lifeline.  

Run your rope freely: Whenever possible try to make sure your rope runs freely. Nothing ruins a rope like sharp edges or rough corners. Use plenty of slings to help keep the rope away from the cliff face. If you’re top roping then try to ensure that the master point that the rope is looped through is extended well over the edge of the cliff face. A fall onto a sharp edge can seriously damage or even slice through a rope.

Switching ends after falling: If you do a lot of lead climbing it is good practice to alternate the end of the rope you use to lead and fall on. You want to avoid falling frequently on the same end because falls stretch rope out. Therefore, switching ends allows the rope to regain some elasticity. If you’ve had a considerable fall or a ‘whipper’ then let the rope take a rest. By switching rope ends you’ll prolong your rope’s life.

Use a rope bag: Investing in a rope bag is highly recommended as it could save you the cost of buying another rope prematurely (rope bags are not nearly as expensive as new ropes). The rope bags that we have in stock at Countryside Ski & Climb are all of a good quality and developed by leading climbing brands. Therefore they contain all of the features that you would need in a rope bag. Rope bags provide a clean space for you to store your rope. This helps to prevent dust and dirt from finding its way into your rope. Dust and dirt impairs the strength, safety and performance of your rope. Rope wears much faster if it is not kept clean, therefore, a rope bag will increase the life of your rope no end. So get one and use it! All of the rope bags we have in stock neatly fold up into themselves and have handy shoulder straps so that you can transport them easily. It’s especially important to use a rope bag when climbing outdoors or when there’s lots of fine dust or sand about as this will very easily get into your rope.

FAQ Category: 

All of the packs that we sell are durable and designed to last for a long time. However, it’s important that you take care of your pack in order for you to get the best out of it.

All of the packs that we sell are durable and designed to last for a long time. However, it’s important that you take care of your pack in order for you to get the best out of it. So here are a few tips to optimise your pack’s performance and potentially increase its life span.

  • After each trip clean your pack thoroughly. Remove all of your gear from the pack so you can shake out any dirt. With a damp cloth and if it is necessary a mild detergent, wipe away any marks or stains on your pack.
  • If your pack is wet then you should hang it up to dry keeping it out of direct sunlight.
  • Loosen all of the straps, especially the load lifter straps on the shoulder harness. This will relieve the pressure being put on the seam when it is not in use.
  • Always store your pack in a cool and dry place.

Washing your pack is possible:

1. If your pack has a removable harness and hip belt then take it off prior to washing.

2. Clean your pack and it’s components in a bathtub or a large sink using a mild detergent and warm water.

3. Gently agitate the pack to help draw out any dirt and then give it a thorough rinse.

4. Hang it up to dry outdoors or in a well ventilated area out of direct sunlight. (Prolonged exposure to UV will deteriorate the materials)

We recommend using either “Tech Wash” from NikWax or “Wash in” from Storm when cleaning your pack. In order to protect your pack against UV rays and to add water repellency we would recommend using “Tent and Gear Solar Proof”. All of these products are available in store and from our website.  

FAQ Category: 

Cleaning your harness is vital as it can be easily damaged by dust and dirt which will compromise your safety.

Cleaning your harness is vital as it can be easily damaged by dust and dirt which will compromise your safety. Therefore, try and avoid stepping on it or leaving it on the ground. 

If you do get your harness dirty or if you just think it looks a bit grubby then don’t worry, you can wash it. The best way to do this is to put it into a fabric bag or a pillow case (this is to make sure that the metal buckles on your harness don’t damage the machine). Also, ensure the setting is on a long, cool wash. We stock a range of mild non-detergents that would be ideal to wash your harness in. However, it is also fine to wash your harness without soap if you would prefer.

To dry; take it out of the bag and leave it in a cool and dark place for a couple of days. Don’t leave it to dry in the sun as harnesses are susceptible to UV damage from the sun’s rays.   

FAQ Category: 

To ensure that your safety is not compromised it is vital that your helmet is stored correctly to prevent it from getting damaged.

When storing your gear, ensure that it is in a clean, dry environment, away from direct sunlight and that it is not exposed to heat sources or corrosive materials. Equipment should also be kept away from gnawing rodents and pets. Make sure to protect your helmet from abrasion, crushing force and sharp objects during transport.

The lifespan of the helmets that we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb vary depending on brand and style. It is important to note that all guarantees are subjective and are only guidelines. The lifespan can be damaged by the following:

  • Impact, both severe and mild
  • Abrasion, scratches and general wear
  • Heat
  • Sunlight
  • Corrosive materials

FAQ Category: 

Helmets can be a life saving piece of equipment and in order for it to take care of you it is paramount that you also take care of it.

Helmets can be a life saving piece of equipment and in order for it to take care of you it is paramount that you also take care of it. It is important to clean your helmet when necessary. Wash it in warm water using a non-detergent soap, NOT bleach. You should air dry your helmet keeping it away from direct sunlight before storing. If your helmet requires a full disinfection then it is probably time for it to be retired.

Helmets should not come into contact with corrosive materials such as petrol, battery acid or solvents. Never paint your helmet or put stickers onto it. This is because stickers can have adhesives which degrade the helmet’s shell material. It is important that you do not modify your helmet or try and repair it in anyway. Any modifications will void the warranty and may have a negative effect on its performance.

Good points of practice:

  • Never sit on your helmet
  • If dropped, kicked or stepped on seek professional advice as it might need replacing
  • Do not draw or mark a helmet as doing so can weaken the outer shell.

When storing your gear, ensure that it is in a clean, dry environment, away from direct sunlight and that it is not exposed to heat sources or corrosive materials. Equipment should also be kept away from gnawing rodents and pets. Make sure to protect your helmet from abrasion, crushing force and sharp objects during transport.

The lifespan of the helmets that we stock at Countryside Ski & Climb vary depending on brand and style. It is important to note that all guarantees are subjective and are only guidelines. The lifespan can be damaged by the following:

  • Impact, both severe and mild
  • Abrasion, scratches and general wear
  • Heat
  • Sunlight
  • Corrosive materials

FAQ Category: 

Glossary

The laws and requirements buying knives.

Legal Warning:
Criminal Justice Act 1988, Sale & Marketing of Knives Act 1997 & Violent Crime Reduction Act 2006

It is illegal to sell a knife of any kind to a person under the age of 18. This legislation doe not apply to Folding Knives (this means knives with blades that do not lock open) if the cutting edge of the blade is less than 3" (7.62 cm).

However in addition to these laws, Countryside Ski & Climb has decided not to sell ANY bladed items to anyone under the age of 18.

Lock knives (knives with blades that can be locked when unfolded) are not classified as Folding Knives and are illegal to carry in public without good reason. 

FAQ Category: 

Free Walking Boot Hire for younger outdoors enthusiasts. Just getting into the outdoors? Try this great FREE scheme to help young people take part in outdoor activities, from top local outdoor retailer Countryside Ski & Climb.

Free Walking Boot Hire for younger outdoors enthusiasts

Just getting into the outdoors? Try this great FREE scheme to help young people take part in outdoor activities, from top local outdoor retailer Countryside Ski & Climb

Countryside Ski & Climb has always assisted youth organisations by offering a walking boot hire service. In particular it’s a help to parents, allowing young people to try outdoor activities without the commitment of purchasing boots for growing feet.

We offer the boot hire service absolutely free of charge to schools, scout, guide and youth groups and it's perfect for Duke of Edinburgh award participants. We’re also happy to extend the service to children for family holidays, and will consider occasional free hire to adults too.

How to take advantage of our FREE walking boot hire.

Give us a call on 01438 353 086 or Freephone 0800 353 086, or drop into our store at 118-120 High Street, Stevenage, SG1 3DW

Top quality boots, in sizes from children’s to adults. We will need to measure both feet and the boots will need to be tried on in store.

Available for weekend, week or fortnight hire. £10 deposit refundable on return (see below).

Boots can be reserved, but only for a maximum of one week before the first day of use. Don’t panic, we have plenty in stock. However there may be limited availability during peak periods – big school trips and holidays etc.

The boots are only suitable for walking on trails, paths, moors, fields and fells – please ask in advance if specialist terrain is involved.

Boots are supplied clean and dry. Please return them CLEAN. Loosen laces and remove any mud etc from the outside with a brush and water. Take out insoles and clean with soapy water. Returned boots do not have to be dry but if damp, stuff with newspaper.

Countryside Ski & Climb reserves the right to refuse refund of deposit if boots are not returned in a reasonable/fair condition, or are excessively dirty.

A penalty charge of £5 per day will be applied if boots are not returned within 24 hours of the agreed date.

FAQ Category: 

Like all retailers we have end of season clearance events to make way for new season stocks. We also occasionally reduce prices in season reacting to market conditions.

If you've made a purchase from us within 14 days prior to the opening clearance day or change in price and the item you purchased is now even better value for money, just bring along your receipt and we'll credit the difference.

This price promise applies both in store and on-line, we strive to maintain true value in the products purchased from us.

For ease our online customers can send a message to us via our contact us page with your order number or call us (UK) 01438 353086 or Freephone 0800 298 9975

FAQ Category: 

A history of the new technology available for Winter 2011

Patagonia

For the first time in three years Patagonia is using GORE-TEX in its technical clothing, with several new garments in its winter range. 2011 is very much a season of classic offerings from Patagonia - in addition to having Gore back in the house, there are some retro styles, the down sweater gets new relations, and the merino base layer line is totally revamped. The environmental impact is low, with all styles recyclable through Patagonia’s Common Threads Recycling Program, well over half of the collection made with environmentally conscious fabrics and 36% made with bluesign approved fabrics.

First, the Gore programme: Patagonia is using the world’s best-known waterproof-breathable fabric in its alpine collection and ski/board line.

Fall 2011 brings about the most cutting-edge, technical collection of Patagonia Alpine products to date. Classic styles such as the Super Alpine Jacket and Super Pluma Jacket have been updated, now using GORE-TEX Pro Shell technology. Clever features include a patented Touch Point System for embedding all cordlocks and pressed pleat pockets that allow for full visibility to the ground.

The new Triolet Jacket is engineered with GORE-TEX Performance Shell fabric, using the most durable nylon face fabrics available. The new Winter Sun Hoody provides windproof warmth by combining a lightweight WINDSTOPPER Insulated Shell exterior with 100g Primaloft Eco insulation.

Patagonia also delivers two new soft shell garments, built specifically on the needs of their athlete team. With naming inspired by Chouinard Equipment pitons and ice tools, the women’s Knifeblade Pullover and men’s Northwall Jacket are made with Polartec Power Shield Pro fabric. This fabric package allows for maximum breathability, great weather protection and incredible abrasion resistance.

The Patagonia Ski/Snowboard line gets a complete overhaul with new fabrics, improved fit, new features and bold colours. Two and three-layer GORE-TEX Performance Shell fabrics have been added, including an exclusive recycled nylon-face GORE- TEX fabric in the Primo collection. Patagonia’s Powder Bowl products continue to provide durable performance in hard-wearing conditions, and will now feature two-layer GORE-TEX Performance Shell fabric. Snowshot remains a favourite with progressive colours and prints, and a slightly more relaxed fit for this winter season.

The Ultralight Down Shirt – the lightest piece of insulation ever made – returns for Fall 2011 in the company of the new Ultralight Down Jacket and Ultralight Down Hoody. Designed to wear as insulation or as outerwear, these pieces are made with incredibly light and strong 10-denier ripstop nylon and 800-fill-power goose down. Setting a new standard in lofted insulation, the small, innovative channel design allows for less down to be used, resulting in a lighter jacket that is still incredibly warm. Also new to the Insulation collection is the Hi-Loft Down Sweater, a super warm 800-fill-power jacket, made from all-recycled materials.

Merino wool baselayers return for Fall 2011 and are more durable, more environmentally friendly and better performing than ever. The new merino is a blend of 80% merino wool and 20% recycled polyester, spun as a blended yarn in which the merino and polyester fibers are combined uniformly. This blend gives the fabric a very high tear strength, doesn’t pill, and is slow- washed to allow you to wash and dry the garment without shrinkage. Additionally, this blend creates an optimised moisture management system to keep you dry. All merino fabrics are bluesign approved, chlorine-free and come from a traceable group of sustainable farmers in Australia.

Outdoor Research

Outdoor Research, known as OR celebrates their 30th anniversary this year and Countryside Ski & Climb are one of a select few specialist UK outdoor retailers to stock a comprehensive range of OR clothing as well as their world-renowned accessories.  Winter 2011 brings about the largest redesign of Outdoor Research’s glove line in recent years improving dexterity and warmth. Their hats include new styles incorporating Dri-Release® Wool which brings warmth, great wicking and light weight. (Dri-Release® Wool is an intimate blend of 12% Merino wool and 88% polyester and feels similar to cotton and keeps wearers comfortable, dry and odour free, as the permanent FreshGuard® system prevents odour and bacteria from developing.)

This season OR is now pushing technology boundaries by combining fabrics in garments in order to expand their functionality. Take a look at the Centrifuge Jacket, this takes a mid-layer piece and expands its use range by adding wind and weather- resistant bonded knit fabric in areas exposed to the elements, thus bridging layering with outerwear. Built for highly aerobic alpine activities this is a great piece for travelling fast and light in less-than-ideal conditions.

Salomon

The new Salomon BBR Skis

Salomon, the leader in technical design innovation in mountain sports, introduces a radical new design in alpine skis. The BBR ski is the latest innovation by Salomon ski designer Bertrand Krafft, (aka: BeBeR) the shaper behind their groundbreaking innovations in skiing, the X Scream Series and the Pocket Rocket.  Inspired by the spontaneity and freedom of action found in water sports, the BBR ski offers the liberty to carve, cruise, float and play. BBR is unlike any ski ever made. The patented V shape redefines skiing on all types of snow. An oversized tip and rocker shape enable it to float in powder and adapt to uneven terrain smoothly and predictably. With a narrow waist and pintail, a short radius and short effective edge on-piste, the BBR provides great carving and outstanding edge grip on harder snow. The result is an incredibly playful ski, with great performance in any situation. With BBR it’s all about having fun; this is the ski that helps get you that day on the mountain you’ll never forget.  The freedom and adventure of your best days are exemplified in this revolutionary innovation. Packaged with coordinating Salomon STH 12 bindings.

The New Salomon Goggles

Not satisfied with just the one innovation for winter 2011, Salomon introduce a brand new range of snow goggles this season too. Salomon applied their usual combination of logic, versatility, style and innovation to the collection and Countryside Ski & Climb is pleased to showcase this exciting range.  Salomon’s new X-Tend Frame Technology responds conclusively to the key issues some wearers have with goggles.  Salomon goggles have a reduced frame thickness and thereby they offer a significantly increased field of vision – about 20% more in fact, really giving less frame and more vision.  The Thermo Control System (TCS) scoops air through side vents creating lower pressure which draws moist air out of the goggle interior, keeping the lens clear.  Echoing the Custom aspect on Salomon’s ski boots, Salomon goggles also have a Custom Frame Membrane which sits between the face foam and frame, which makes the goggle adapt precisely to any face or head shape.  The lenses themselves are a high impact resistant polycarbonate (as used in aeroplane windshields) made by BNL, a division of Essilor who are a worldwide leader in lens manufacture.  A very unusual feature of the premium range of goggles from Salomon is their Multi Shining lens, which, featured on the XPRO models, the women’s specific XCESS 10 and the free-ski styled XCITE 10, has the mirror treatment placed on the inside of the lens.  This offers the ideal combination of maximum durability with ultimate vision quality.  There’s a lens for every weather condition and the goggles synchronise perfectly with Salomon’s helmets too.

Salomon Helmets

Thankfully, now not only is it unremarkable (dare we say cool?) to wear a helmet for skiing, it makes sense as they offer the considerable benefits of safety and improved comfort to the wearer.   At Countryside Ski & Climb we offer a wide range of helmets from Salomon, including junior and women’s specific versions (pony-tail friendly!)  In store we can measure you to get the exact fit although sizing advice is also on our website with each model.

For 2011 Salomon have built on their already feature-packed helmet range and concentrated specifically on temperature regulation in their next generation all-mountain helmets.  The Allium 10 Custom Air has the new Thermo Control System (TCS) up vent that really lets your head breathe.  By opening the airflow device to the first position the lining is dried which cools the head but the cleverly distributed air channels avoid any icy feeling.  When the weather warms up, full opening of the airflow device and the TCS up vent allows maximum fresh air to enter, almost like rolling back the soft top on a car!  Continuing from last season, Salomon’s Custom Air helmets all feature the adjustable fit system at the back of the helmet which provides a precise and personalized fit. This was developed with a specialized trauma physician to maintain a snug fit for improved protection during impact but without affecting the wearer’s comfort.  All helmets have a goggle strap channel and most liners are removable/washable.

Berghaus

As a truly independent specialist outdoor retailer, Countryside Ski & Climb has always been early to showcase the more technical, cutting edge ranges on offer from brands as well as stocking a greater choice from their classics.  Berghaus is a British brand that has been at the forefront of outdoor performance wear for over 40 years and their focus remains firmly on creating the very best outdoor products for outdoor enthusiasts across the world. Their expertise rests firmly with mountaineering and fresh ventures into adrenaline sports like trail running and mountain biking apparel look set to stay too.

Berghaus continues to have an enviable collection of athletes on board who work tirelessly to test and push the boundaries of their products.  The athlete Leo Houlding has cemented his position as one of the world’s greatest climbers and he walks in the footsteps of several other prestigious ambassadors who also put their very survival in the trusted hands of Berghaus’ gear.   For 2011 Berghaus’ range of Extrem and Mtn Haus gear reaches a whole new level and it has to be said that although performance is the priority, the range really has that elusive ‘cool factor’ too! Take a look at the new Mount Asgard Hybrid Jacket. This is a lightweight hybrid utilizing hydrophobic down and PrimaLoft® insulation in an innovative way that keeps you warm and dry in the most challenging weather conditions. A Pertex® Quantum shell provides durable water repellency and high wind resistance, PrimaLoft® One supplies insulation to the areas of the jacket most likely to get wet while 700 fill power hydrophobic (water repelling) goose down warms the core.

Osprey Packs

For 2011 Osprey is launching an improvement to its super-popular Mutant 38 climbing pack, updated to include their new ToolLock system. The ToolLock provides an efficient way to attach an ice tool to the pack with a technology based on the Raptor series LidLock, designed to carry a helmet securely. The ToolLock is simple, as Osprey puts it you just “thread the glove friendly ToolLock through the head of the tool and tighten”. All other tried-and-tested features remain the same. 

If you are new to Osprey then Countryside Ski & Climb would be pleased to welcome you in store to demonstrate exactly why Osprey packs are rightfully at the pinnacle of all things pack related.   Osprey has have been designing and building top-quality backpacks for over 33 years. They don't dabble in any other product groups like clothing or footwear so they can concentrate on what they do best - designing and building great packs. Over the years they've learnt a lot about what works on a pack and what doesn't and the entire company is totally focused on the art of carrying things on your back. Experience and specialism counts.

FAQ Category: 

The objective of the independent bluesign® standard is to put a reliable and proactive tool at the disposal of the entire textile production chain.

The objective of the independent bluesign® standard is to put a reliable and proactive tool at the disposal of the entire textile production chain. This means from raw material and component suppliers who manufacture (e.g. yarns, dyes and additives) to textile manufacturers, retailers and brand companies, to consumers – in the name of sustainability and consumer protection.

The basic idea was to create an intelligent, measurable and independent standard by which companies can tackle problems at their roots in order to exclude from the outset of all processess, substances which are potentially hazardous to human health or the environment

This independent standard is applied to the entire production chain because that delivers certainty at all levels, from raw material to the final product in the consumer’s hands. This in turn means measurable economic success for industry and trade while at the same time offering maximum consumer and environmental protection. It is not a light undertaking for a company to have their product or systems accredited but the bluesign® standard is leading the way to a healthy textile future Worldwide.

At Countryside Ski & Climb we will always aim to range bluesign® products if they are available as it is a straigthtforward responsibility we have as our own part in the chain.

FAQ Category: 

If you believe that health and wellness come from the environment, that business is responsible for positive change and that we can leave this big blue planet better than we found it, then you'll love Blue

You may have seen the blue ‘1% For the Planet’ logo on some products we have in store at Countryside Ski & Climb and wondered what it’s all about?  It is the symbol representing a growing, global, non-profit movement of businesses who donate 1% of their sales to environmental organisations worldwide.  The businesses involved today (and joining every day) are from a huge range of back grounds not just the more obvious outdoor industry.  Members include the artist Jack Johnson and some banks and financial institutions are there too.

What is so special about that? Well, in 2001, Craig Mathews (fisherman and owner of Blue Ribbon Flies in Yellowstone) and Yvon Chouinard (owner and founder of Patagonia) realised that it was simply good business to protect the natural resources that their very trades were built upon.  They hatched a plan to encourage as many companies as possible to join up and since its inception; today more than $50 million USD have been given to sustainability. After all, if we wish to have beautiful open spaces, clean rivers and fresh air to enjoy now and in the future, we must look after that which supplies it – Earth.

 

Yvon :30 from 1% for the Planet on Vimeo.

FAQ Category: 

SIGB (Snowsport Industries of Great Britain) is the trade association for skiing and snowboarding in the UK.

SIGB (Snowsport Industries of Great Britain) is the trade association for skiing and snowboarding in the UK. The SIGB organises a range of activities for its members with the aim of generally promoting snowsport and sharing knowledge, experience and expertise.  Countryside Ski & Climb is an SIGB member.

How does Countryside Ski & Climb being an SIGB member benefit you?

Well, SIGB member retailers are specialists.  We are shops that are immersed in the sport and we have the most committed staff you’ll find.  At Countryside Ski & Climb we are active participants in snowsport and we invest in training to ensure you receive the best in a professional and empathic service. We test equipment at every opportunity and we give our time to make sure you get the best advice at our disposal.

If you are thinking of buying some specialist snowsport equipment this winter, it is sensible to do a bit of research.  While the first place most people start is on the internet, there really is no substitute for going into a store to speak to an expert.  The one-to-one experience and two way dialogue where we can ask you relevant questions is the best way to determine what’s best for you.  At Countryside Ski & Climb we do not work on commission and we are passionate about your experience on the snow.

FAQ Category: 

The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) UK is the trade body for manufacturers, retailers and other organisations that provide products and services for the outdoor leisure pursuits market in the United Kingdom.

The Outdoor Industries Association (OIA) UK is the trade body for manufacturers, retailers and other organisations that provide products and services for the outdoor leisure pursuits market in the United Kingdom.  Its role is to provide leadership and promote the outdoors, persuasively representing the industry's interests in all activities at every level and be a high profile, campaigning organisation.

Countryside Ski & Climb is a member of the OIA UK and on the board of directors.

We take our membership very seriously and this reflects on our approach to supporting the broader picture of the outdoors industry in the UK. In practical terms this means as a member we support a vast array of initiatives like programmes to encourage more people to enjoy the outdoors, lobbying and informing on issues pertinent to the industry in the UK and Europe, promoting careers and training in the industry and promoting and collaborating on sustainability and environmental good practice.

FAQ Category: 

Britain on Foot™ can provide you with links to many fantastic activities, share your experiences and keep you updated on absolutely everything ‘outdoors’.

OIA Britain on Foot Campaign Launch Sponsor

Britain on Foot™ is a national campaign with a clear objective: to encourage more people in Britain to get active outdoors. This could mean walking to work, hill-walking, geocaching with the family or even taking up mountaineering.  It does this by encouraging and spotlighting the hundreds of local, regional and national outdoor initiatives that already exist.

The campaign was created and led by the Outdoor Industries Association and Countryside Ski & Climb is proud to be one of its ‘First Funder’ supporting members and is on the board of directors.

How does this benefit you?  The reason this campaign is so important is two-fold. 

First we cannot underestimate the important part outdoor activities play in benefitting the economy; particularly the rural economy, tourism industry and adventure and outdoor industries, all of which make a significant contribution to the overall wealth of our country.  At present, tourism contributes £115 billion to the UK’s income and employs nearly 10% of our population and the outdoor sector is a key part of this as a wealth generator.  We regularly look abroad for our holidays, which means we miss some truly beautiful landscape and fun opportunities right here at home! Britain on Foot™ can provide you with links to many fantastic activities, allow you to upload your own recommendations, share your experiences and keep you updated on absolutely everything ‘outdoors’.

Second and equally as important are the well known benefits of keeping fit (living longer for a start). There is now a huge body of empirical evidence clearly indicating that well-being, mental distress and health are all significantly improved by access to and activity in green spaces and the outdoors. To give this perspective, think of this positive affect as being roughly equal to a third of the impact of being married or a tenth as significant as being employed vs. unemployed*. Furthermore, did you know that at present one in four British children are deficient in vitamin D, which is needed for building strong and healthy bones?  Simple sunlight is a key source of this vitamin as it helps the body absorb calcium and phosphorous from our diets.  So, ditch the car and see what you can do at family level or with your local group, with the help of Britain on Foot™, to encourage your friends and community to get out more – your country needs you!

*Referenced from a study published in the journal Psychological Science by Dr Mathew White and colleagues at the European Centre for the Environment and Human Health (University of Exeter) 

FAQ Category: 

The UIAA is the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, who among other things provide reliable safety standards for climbing equipment and advice on medical issues related to mountaineering. .

The UIAA is the International Mountaineering and Climbing Federation, who among other things provide reliable safety standards for climbing equipment and advice on medical issues related to mountaineering. .

The UIAA is recognised by the International Olympic Committee as the international federation for mountaineering.

Since 1964 climbers have been able to look for the UIAA Safety Label when they buy climbing equipment. The label means that products have been tested to the highest standards. Since 2004 the UIAA has also awarded the Environment Label to those who follow UIAA environmental guidelines when organising activities in the mountains.

All of the climbing safety equipment that we sell at Countryside Ski & Climb either meets or exceeds the UIAA's standards. 

FAQ Category: