29 November 2015

Mountain Skills 1 In Killarney Next Weekend

Mountain Skills 1 in Killarney next weekend, covering map reading, navigation techniques, equipment and dealing with getting lost. Nicely intensive weekend course but also beginner friendly.

Click Here For More Details
Click Here For Course Syllabus

To Book Please Contact Nathan On 086 860 45 63

27 November 2015

Top Rope Climbing In Gap Of Dunloe

Top Rope Climbing In Gap Of Dunloe On Our Current Lead Climb Course. This Is On Top Of A Beautiful Crag Called 'Rescue Rock'.

Great Exposure & Views Through Gap Of Dunloe!

22 November 2015

Fixing A Reversed Compass

1. A compass can sometimes become reversed; or to be specific the moving needle within the compass can sometimes become reversed.

2. This happens if the compass has a bang, or is exposed to a magnet.

3. To fix - take a magnet, such as a fridge magnet, and stroke along the compass needle.

4. One stroke should do the job. Stroke the magnet from south to north, then lift away from the compass.

5. Storing several compasses together is not ideal, but if this is the case store them parallel to each other so all needles are aligned.

6. With this in mind it shows that it is good to carry two compasses if you are out by yourself; or have two compasses within your team if there are a few of you out.

Nathan Kingerlee - Outdoors Ireland

18 November 2015

Rose-Hip & Sloe-Berry Scones

Rose-Hip & Sloe-Berry Scones

450g Flour
75g Sugar
125g Butter
125g Rose-Hip & Sloe-Berry
1 Egg
Teaspoon Salt
Teaspoon Baking Powder

1. In a large bowl mix flour, sugar, salt, baking powder.

2. Rub in butter.

3. Mix in hips and berries.

4. Whisk an egg into milk and add mixture to bowl. Add extra milk if needed.

5. Mix together well and scoop dollops of scone mixture onto a pre heated baking tray.

6. Have baking tray lightly dusted with flour beforehand.

7. Place in pre heated oven at gas mark 5, or 190 degrees, for fifteen to twenty mins.

8. On top of these scones before baking I added a little bog myrtle for seasoning.

Nathan Kingerlee - Outdoors Ireland

17 November 2015

Final Training Courses Of 2015

Learn To Lead Climb : Starts 21st Nov

Mountain Skills 1 In Kerry : 5th & 6th Dec

Crampon & Axe/Snow & Ice Skills : 12th Dec

Mountaineering Rope Work Skills : 13th Dec

Mountain Skills 2 In Kerry : 12th & 13th Dec

Mountain Skills 2 In Wicklow : 19th & 20th Dec

For Details Or To Book Please Contact Nathan
On 086 860 45 63 Or Here

16 November 2015

Thinking Of France

Our thoughts and prayers with France at the moment. We meet a lot of really awesome French tourists each summer, and are hoping they are all alright.

12 November 2015

What If I'm Wrong?

Took the below quote from an article in Backcountry Magazine regarding a Snow & Avalanche Workshop in Seattle.

Ask More Often: What If I’m Wrong?

Margaret Wheeler, the second woman in the U.S. to complete her IFMGA certification, also delved into uncertainty, discussing overconfidence and overexposure in the mountains. “Uncertainty is underrepresented in our decision-making process,” Wheeler said, suggesting we should do more to quantify what we don’t know before making a backcountry decision. “Ask: What is our list of uncertainties?” Wheeler said. “We have to match increased exposure with increased vigilance.”

Really interesting piece and I think we can borrow it here for either personal mountaineering/climbing/kayaking or as part of our professional guiding for mountaineering/climbing/kayaking.

Ask 'What If I'm Wrong' or 'What If Things Go Wrong' in terms of having some simple response actions planned in advance of something going wrong.

Nathan Kingerlee

6 November 2015

Winter Mountaineering Training (Minus The Snow)

This Wed 11th and Fri 13th Nov we have two days of Snow/Ice Skills, or Winter Mountaineering Skills, minus the actual snow!

We will be looking at axe and crampon fitting, axe and crampon use, mixed ground skills, equipment, gps, emergency abseil, emergency belay and roped moving together.

This can be used as the first step of training for hill walkers looking to hit the snow slopes of Ireland or Scotland, before completing a fully fledged Winter Mountaineering Course. No previous snow/ice experience is needed.

The price is €160 per person and each day will run 9am - 5pm. Equipment will be provided including crampons, axe, harness, helmet.

To Book Please Contact Nathan On 086 860 45 63

5 November 2015

Mountain Skills Tip: Map Memory

Map Memory is a great technique for mountain, forest and kayak navigation. This is a technique to practice and get good at!

Because you are navigating from memory it allows you to focus mainly on difficult conditions you may be tackling; such as raging weather, snow work, impenetrable forest or big waves.

With care it also allows you to navigate longer legs than the usual 15 min or 500 meter rule, good for when conditions are difficult, or you need to put the head down and cover big distance.

1. Study your map as normal and plan your leg as normal.
2. At a minimum you need timing, tick off points and cut off point.
3. Finally, just before you put away your map, take a memory 'photo' of your map route.
4. Keep that photo firmly in your memory and track yourself across the photo as you make progress.
5. Your map memory/photo progress is backed up with your timing, tick off points and cut off point.

Simple but effective technique, keeping your hands free, and you making progress. With practice you can recall a decent map photo from your memory and track yourself pretty well; recognising expected features, ticking off expected features and changing tack when needed.

Nathan Kingerlee - Outdoors Ireland

4 November 2015

Bushcraft Weekend With Outdoors Ireland

Written By Charelle Holleman.

For as long as I can remember the great outdoors has intrigued me. So when someone told me that I could go on a bushcraft weekend I jumped at the opportunity! In September I was able to join Nathan and his group at the last minute to go back to basics for a weekend.

We met on Saturday morning at Jarvies Rest Pub in Killarney where were given an idea of what bushcraft actually was. But before we got down to the nitty-gritty, the question was asked why we had decided to go out on this weekend in the first place. For me it was just to go out, learn a thing or two and have some fun. I have had some bushcraft lessons in school so I had an idea of what to expect, but learning things and actually putting them to use are two entirely different things!

There were some things I had heard of before, but a lot of what Nathan told us was new to me. There was, for instance, the survival pyramid with at its foundation the will to survive, followed by the knowledge and skills needed, the ability to improvise and lastly your gear or survival kit. I had never thought of it that way, I assumed it referred to your most basic survival kit – a knife, some rope, tinned food... But then again, people have survived with only the clothes they were wearing. The will to survive stuck with me as well… I mean, I watch Discovery Channel and I have seen those extreme survival shows where people managed to survive for months with no gear, no knowledge – nothing.

So, after our little briefing we headed out to Lough Guitane (thank you Google Maps!) where Nathan parked the car and we continued on foot. Along the way to where we were going to spend the night Nathan showed us what you could eat and what could be used for tinder. It was really interesting to see how much of what you see around you you can actually eat! I personally really liked the nettles and thistles (there’s a part inside the flower-head you can eat and it tasted a bit like hazelnuts, yum!)…

At around five in the afternoon we arrived in a valley called Cappagh (Google Maps, what would I be without you?) where Nathan showed us how to build our shelter.

First, you had to find a spot and Nathan found me just the perfect place to set up. There was this really low-hanging branch I was able to use as a ridge-beam for my shelter. It was going to be a very tight fit, but that was the way it was supposed to be – to keep the heat inside.  So then I had to find branches for the sides of my shelter. It took me a while to find enough, but the fun was just about the start, because the next step was to collect enough bracken to make the shelter water and wind proof.

It took so long to get enough bracken for my shelter, and after a while I got so frustrated that I just wanted to quit. But then the survival pyramid came to mind with at its base the will to survive... Now, of course, this situation was entirely safe, but at that moment I realised how important it is to have a positive state of mind. So in the end it took me about five hours to get my shelter finished, but the feeling of frustration was nothing compared to the pride and fulfillment I got out of building my little hut.

After our dinner – consisting of baked beans and a penguin bar – and sitting around the fire for a while I went to bed. Now, like I said, my shelter was quite small, so getting in was a bit tricky. And then there was this little slope I had built it on as well… Sensible people would have made sure their head would be high and their feet would be low. Unfortunately, I am not one of those people. Now just imagine, if you will, sleeping head down on a bed of bracken and lying inside a sleeping bag of synthetic, friction-less material… This combo resulted in me sliding head first out of my shelter whenever I moved.

Sometimes I would wake up during the night, notice that my head was poking out of the entrance (again!) and I would try to wriggle myself back inside (again). I kept thinking to myself that if anyone had been watching my struggle against gravity they’d be having a very entertaining time. I couldn’t use my hands to push or pull myself in – there just wasn’t any room – so I must have looked like a fish out of water – flopping around helplessly in an attempt to wriggle myself back inside. But the struggle was well worth it – because inside my shelter I was warm and comfortable and I slept like a baby.

The next morning we had breakfast – spaghetti-loops and warm fruit we had collected the day before. And after we cleaned up camp we got to make our own fire. This was very exciting for me, because so far I had never been very successful in lighting a fire with a fire-steel. So when I managed to build my fire and light it within the first five tries I was over the moon! I remember sitting by my fire and thinking: this is my fire, I made this… And again this feeling of pride washed over me.

It is interesting how such a small thing as making a fire or building your own shelter can give you such a feeling of accomplishment and how important it is to be grateful for these little things. We tried to light birch bark as well which was a bit harder but I think we all managed to do it (although it took me half an hour, but that’s beside the point!).

After the fire building we headed back to the car. To civilisation. I was happy to go back – the prospect of having a nice hot shower and a comfortable couch looked very appealing to me – but I was also a bit sad to go. I loved sleeping beneath the stars and getting away from the daily bustle. I enjoyed the peace and quiet…

Thank you, Nathan, for this amazing adventure!

Crowberry (Empetrum Nigrum)

Crowberry (Empetrum Nigrum)

Crowberry looks a little like Fraughan or Bilberry but its low growth and narrow leaves are helpful in distinguishing it.

It is found hidden among the heather on the Irish mountains.

Crowberry is edible, but has a bitter taste. The berries are harvested in arctic regions for use in cooking.

Crowberry grows in acidic soils in shady, moist areas. It can be grown for the edible fruit, as a ground cover, or as an ornamental plant in rock gardens.

The fruit is high in anthocyanin pigment, and can be used to make a natural food dye.

After waning popularity, Crowberry is regaining its reputation as an edible fruit. It provides a steady crop and the gathering is relatively easy. Cooking enhances the flavor. The fruits make good pie and jam.

In subarctic areas Crowberry has been a vital addition to the diet of the Inuit and the Sami. The Dena'ina (Tanaina) harvest it for food, sometimes storing in quantity for winter, and like it mixed with lard or oil.

The fruits are usually collected in autumn, but if not picked they may persist on the plant and can be picked in the spring. They keep well in a cool place without any special preparation.

The Inuit and Native Americans mix them with other berries, especially blueberries.

The leaves and stems are used in Dena'ina medicine for diarrhea and stomach problems; they are boiled or soaked in hot water, and the strained liquid drunk. Some claim the fruit juice is good for kidney trouble.

In Dena'ina plantlore in the Outer and Upper Inlet area of Lake Clark, the root is also used as a medicine, being used to remove a growth on an eye and to heal sore eyes. The roots are boiled and the eyes are washed with the strained, cooled tea, to which a little sugar may be added.

In Labrador, where the name 'blackberry' is used, the smoke of the burning stems and leaves is used to smoke fish, notably Salmon, Sea Trout and Arctic Char.