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Tips and Tricks From Our Outdoors Experts

  • Wednesday 3rd October, 2018
  • By Kyle

We pride ourselves on the expert knowledge of our Staff have. We’re always asking them for unique tips on how to use Outdoors gear, and boy do they provide. Read on to see if there is anything new you and see if you can learn a new thing or two!

Footwear:

Insoles with arch support aren’t meant to be worn every day! They’re like crutches, training you to keep the arch in your foot. If you use them all the time your foot actually gets weaker.

Leather doesn’t mean waterproof. Water can get in through stitches and seams. A waterproof shoe is made waterproof by the liner behind the outer shoe. That’s why a shoe with a mesh outer can keep your foot dry when you step in a puddle.

The shoe that suits your mate might not suit you. Everyone has feet that are different shapes. Different shoes are also made different shapes. If all your friends wear a certain shoe, that’s grand, but what are the chances you have identical feet?

Support comes from the sole of the shoe, not the ankle. That piece of cloth around your ankle doesn’t support your weight. Think about it… its fabric/leather. Support in a shoe comes from how the shoe cradles your heel. If your heel can’t rock, your ankle can’t rock. Support comes from the sole.

Equipment:

Stuff your sleeping bag! Don’t fold or roll it. If you fold or roll your sleeping bag, it starts to crease in the same spot every time. This causes the fabrics/down on the inside to be pushed away from there, causing clumping and cold spots. When you stuff your bag it creases in different spots every time, causing way less wear!

Red lights on torches are really handy! When you spend a lot of time in the dark, your eyes adjust, and when you shine a white light your pupils dilate to block out the shock of light. After you shine a white light your eyes can take up to 1 hour to revert and adjust to the dark fully again. Red light doesn’t have the same effect on your eyes and allows you to keep your night vision. It’s not as bright as white light, but super useful!

Your body wastes a lot of energy trying to heat up water. On a hot day, a gulp of ice cold water feels really refreshing, but it doesn’t actually cool you down. It makes you hotter! Your body starts generating heat to regulate your temperature by warming the water up. On a hot day, a drink of warm water can work better to keep you cool.
Bonus: Ever sit in your sleeping bag awake because you have to use the toilet? And you’re usually cold too? That’s because your body is using all its heat energy to warm your urine. Just get up and go pee! You’ll be warmer for it in the long run!

Clothing:

Different types of clothing offer different levels of sun protection. A technical light summer shirt in a block colour usually comes with inbuilt SPF 50, but when you add colours and dies to the fabric, that effects the repellency! A plaid shirt, for example might only be SPF 30 because of all the dye that has to go into it!

Watersports:

Did you know that you can run a 20 tonne digger over a RED Paddle Co inflatable SUP? They did it in a youtube video, it’s crazy!

Ever have trouble getting on a wetsuit when its wet or damp? Slip a reusable plastic shopping bag over your feet, they’ll slide right in!

Bonus: Don’t use Vaseline or petroleum-based lubricant, it degrades the glue in the wetsuit and voids your warranty. Body glide (link to product) works!

Buoyancy aids are not lifejackets. A lifejacket will naturally right you in the water (in case you are unconscious or unable to swim). A buoyancy aid floats, gives you a better range of motion, but will not right you in the water!

Travel

50+ deet and 100+ deet are equally as effective! 50+ deet will need to be applied more often but is easier on your skin. You should only really use 100+ deet if you have less opportunity to reapply it, or are in insect danger zones (malarial zones, ect).

You can get suncream with Jellyfish repellent in it! For areas where you want to avoid getting a nasty sting.

Bonus: Apply sunscreen 30 minutes before exposure to water, to allow it to soak in and not be washed off. Always apply insect repellent, at least 30 minutes after applying suncream, it will wash off suncream like water would.  Always apply before repellent too, suncream on top of repellent causes the repellent to not work.

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