Blog Articles

 
The Hike, the hills and me.
For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Emily from The Outdoor Depot and I confess that, unlike my sporty Husband James, I spent most of my PE lessons as a teenager fake-falling on the athletics track so that I didn’t have to complete the 800mtrs. On leaving school I vowed to avoid exercise and did so successfully until 2012 when, after my second child was born, I decided to try and run a Race For Life 5k. Fast forward 2 years and I had the bug, I’d become an outdoorsy type and I ran the Windsor half marathon. It was a freakishly hot September day, to say I struggled was an understatement and after the finish line I lay on the floor unable to crawl as far as the water point that I could see like a mirage in the distance. I vowed never to do anything so stupid again and decided to stick with shorter runs for health and happiness. Then, one day earlier this year, my lovely friend Tracy told me she was aiming to do the hike this year and asked if I’d like...
14/10/2018
The Art of buying?
So June brings with it our Walking Festival, the school talent show, the World Cup . . . and our bi-annual buying trip! We spent last week up in the glorious Lake District to see many of our most valued suppliers to put together orders for Spring/Summer 2019 and I thought you might like to know why we do it, and how we do it so here is a little insight into our trip. The planning started back in March when dates were announced for several of our suppliers who create a pop up roadshow at a Hotel in Kendal. This is the anchor point which we then work around, attempting to fit around 10 or so meetings into 3 or 4 days. Juggling days and times with various suppliers is a challenge, but then we also throw into the mix arranging cover for the shop, and also care for our children while we are away. It's a fine balancing act which is never straight forward and this year involved some very detailed rotas and a last minute stand in from my sister who moved into our house to ensure our...
18/06/2018
What to buy when the temperature drops!
So here we are with February drawing to a close and yet more cold weather forecast! We thought now might be the perfect time to give you our suggestions on some really clever buys, items that are in the SALE now, that will leave you feeling warm and snug over the next week of freezing weather, but that will serve you well over the years to come too. Quite simply they are smart buys, and here are our top 1. We love a baselayer, we've blogged about them before, and the SALE is a great time to grab a bargain as a decent baselayer can be pricey. We love the Montane Primino range, and the Rab Merino + range both of which are a merino wool blend so will keep you warm but will manage your sweat by wicking away any moisture.  2. An absolute must for winter is layers, if you start with your baselayer you are onto a good thing. Next would be a good quality mid layer to trap the warm air. We have plenty to choose from and with technology improving year on year it may be time to update...
26/02/2018
The Great Insulation Debate
The insulation season is upon us, the time where we all start to feel the chill and dig out our winter base layers. It’s a season of layering, of keeping your body warmth close and not letting the wind whip it away from you. For many people the final piece in the art of layering is an insulated jacket, and the jacket of choice is more often than not a down filled one. But is this the right choice for you, and if it is do you know what you’re buying or even how to look after it? After all, a down jacket can be for life not just for Christmas! To determine what type of insulation suits you best, we ask our when and where will you be wearing it? If you are looking for something to wear in prolonged wet weather then Down may not be for you, we would tend to recommend a synthetic insulator such as the Montane Icarus or Phoenix, or the Paramo Torres range. The Montane range is made using new Thermoplume technology from Primaloft which mimics the structure of down...
16/11/2017
5 Things to do this weekend!
1. Head on over to Ellesmere on Saturday 16th from 11am - 11pm for some full on fun. Whether you take the family or go with friends there's plenty to see and do including lots from our friends at Buy From Shropshire. Tickets can be purchased on line. Click 2. Spend some time messing about on the river! You won't regret a day surrounded by the stunning views of The Severn. Shropshire Raft Tours supply everything you need. 3. Watch the dog tials at West Midlands Game Fair, and while you're there you can have a spot of lunch and browse the retail stands. There's plenty to keep the kids entertained too, check online for details, click here. 4. Scale the heights! From our base in Church Stretton we're very lucky to be surrounded by hills, so pick a summit and head up to take in the views. My favourite is Caradoc as it affords great views of the length of The Long Mynd which you don't always appreciate when you're actually on...
14/09/2017
Top 5 tips for walking with poles.
Top 5 Tips For Walking With Poles: One. Buy a pair:  Using just one pole can lead to an imbalance of weight and pressure on just one side of the body and can cause more issues than it fixes. We recommend using a pair as they provide extra contact with the ground and mirror our natural symmetry giving us more traction. Two. Set them to the correct height: The right height for you is not the right height for your partner, friend, walk leader so always set your poles so that your arm is bent at a 90 degree angle at the elbow. Three. Use the poles to propel you: When walking on the flat or up an incline your poles should be behind you, this utilises under used muscles in the arms and shoulders and If used correctly poles can save around 30 tonnes of pressure off your knees per hour over an eight hour walk. Four. Don't be a spotty dog: As your right arm goes forward so should your left foot and vice versa; opposite arm to opposite leg,  Practice without your poles first then...
22/07/2017
Time to Proof
 So it's June, the sun is blazing and temperatures are set to be the highest for June since the summer of '76 and guess what i'll be doing? I'll be thinking about the rain, and you should be too! All too often we stash away our waterproofs in the bottom of our rucksacks during the summer months, then when we need them the most - when we're on top of the hill and the clouds gather overhead, we find that it's been way to long since we reproofed our waterproofs. We have so many people coming in on rainy days feeling damp assuming that they need a new jacket, but with a little bit of TLC your waterproofs should last for years. Depending on the type of jacket you have, how hard you work it, if you use a backpack with it, and how often you care for it, waterproof membranes can last between 5-10 years. So how do you know if your jacket needs reproofing without standing in the shower today? Easy, take a glass of water or a water spray (or have some fun with the super-soaker in the...
20/06/2017
Choose Outdoor Life.
We have the privilege of working and living in one of the most beautiful parts of the UK and that’s just how we like it! Both of us have previously worked in various roles across the country; James was travelling up and down the motorways daily and could be working in Scotland one day and London the next. I worked in town centres and on retail parks all chocca block with cars and busy with shoppers. At the time we loved it and we buzzed along happily with everyone else, but, with the birth of our first child imminent in 2010 we (ok, it was James!) decided to cut out the stress, the travel and the commute and to buy our own business. Now, I’m not going to lie, I didn’t take it well, not least because I was never an outdoorsy girl, however I really can’t imagine life without our own business on our doorstep. I also can’t imagine how I was ever not outdoorsy, my family regularly quote my 4 year old self complaining about the “smelly old...
05/06/2017
Summer Walking Essentials
  With the bank holiday fast approaching we can start to look forward to longer days, sunshine and exploring our beautiful countryside. So are you set for some summer trekking? We get asked a lot about what is the best clothing for travel or what are the best summer walking shoes. In this quick guide we want to let you know a few of our top picks. First on our list is a great backpack. We stock Lowe Alpine & Deuter among others. Each have their benefits, but the focus should be on the right pack for you not brand. For a short day trip we would recommend a 22-25ltr pack which we find big enough for the essentials. If you are planing on going further or for longer then perhaps consider a larger capacity. Backpacks can be fitted in store if you need more help. Trekking poles are next on our list, with growing numbers of us using them they can really help take the strain off our joints. We have a range that will fold up for ease whilst traveling. Other...
23/05/2017
The Art of Layering
Layering your clothing is an age old way of maximizing your comfort in the outdoors. The idea of this simple concept is that it allows you to make quick adjustments based on your activity level and changes in the weather. Each layer has a function. The base layer (against your skin) manages moisture; the insulating layer keeps you warm; the shell layer (outer layer) shields you from the elements, the wind and rain. You simply add or subtract layers as needed, a real benefit in the changing British climate. Here is The Outdoor Depot’s guide to layering; Your Base Layer: Moisture Management This is your next-to-skin layer. It helps regulate your body temperature by moving perspiration away from your skin. Keeping dry helps you maintain a cool body temperature in the summer and avoid hypothermia in the winter. If you’ve ever worn a cotton T-shirt under your raincoat while you hiked, you probably remember feeling wet and clammy, even though you weren’t getting wet from...
13/12/2016
Montane Spine Race – Britain’s 2nd most brutal fell race overview by Jim Tinnion
Customer and friend of The Outdoor Depot – Jim Tinnion gives a detailed over view of how he prepared and completed one of the most challenging fell races in the UK, including tips and kit selection based on real experiences in his own words. We hope you enjoy this very honest account, if you have similar stories and experiences, from running, walking, mountaineering or cycling etc then we would love to hear about them and include in future blogs. Contact James sales@theoutdoordepot.co.uk Jim is a very active member of Mercia Fell Runners based in Shropshire http://www.merciafellrunners.org.uk/races Spine Race – Match Analysis! I thought I’d finish the second part of the blog first – the blow-by-blow commentary can wait a little while longer (besides I need to get the photos sorted), but this was always going to be a learning experience and the more interesting and important stuff is really the review of the race. What went well General approach...
19/05/2015
What’s in your pack? Top 5 things to carry on the hills
We’ve been hearing a lot on the news recently about the increase in calls the Mountain Rescue teams are receiving either from members of the public or the emergency services who are unable to reach remote hill side locations. It got us thinking about safety and how important it is to pack the right kit when heading out so here’s out top 5; 1. A map and compass and don’t rely on an app on your phone for this one! Some times the old ways are the best ways! Make sure you have looked at the map and know your route before leaving. 2. A whistle. The easiest way to make your self heard when in distress. Learning the signal for rescue is a good idea too – six long blasts, pause for a minute, then six more and repeat. 3.Water. Getting dehydrated can cause disorientation so take water even on cooler days. 4. Spare clothing including hat and gloves – even if the weather is balmy when you start out it can be very different up top. 5. Food. We’re not talking a 3...
15/03/2015
These boots are made for walking!
Are your boots made for walking? More importantly, how do they fit? Here at The Outdoor Depot we do things slightly differently to the majority of our competitors. Walk into one of the large multiples, or even some independent shops, and you will usually be faced with a dizzying choice of boots, shoes and trainers. So how do you choose which is best for you? Many will go on price – not the lowest because we don’t want to be cheap, but not the highest because, well frankly we’d rather not spend that much! Some will go on style – the ones with the funky colour laces or the contrast stitching that caught your eye. Others will go on recommendation – your friend had the Brasher Hillmaster and swears by them, or that guy in TGO magazine said the Scarpa Ranger were the best in test? Well, we ask you to put all that aside. We ask you to ignore what size you have been wearing and to some extent what you have been wearing. We want to see your feet and see what they can tell...
16/06/2011