26 January 2018

Portwest Mountain Gloves

Excellent hard wearing and heavy duty mountain gloves from Portwest. Out on the Burren Hills here on a brisk and chilly Jan afternoon.

23 January 2018

My Spring Nature Diary

Mon 8th Jan : Saw my first snowdrops of the spring in flower!

Sat 20th Jan : Saw my first frogspawn of the spring in a mountain stream, deep in a narrow high glen of the Killarney Mountains.
Mon 22nd Jan : Past two nights, while brushing my teeth outside, I have heard the sound of croaking frogs coming from the front garden, as they lay their frogspawn.

Tues 23rd Jan : Came across the first tiny green buds on a hazel tree.
Wed 24th Jan : Cleared out our front garden 'frog pond' of winter branch debris, built a bit of a stone patio around it, and was visited by this beautiful little grey wagtail!

Thurs 26th Jan : Out in the dark, with a head torch, I came across a small pond with seven little frog heads peering out of the water at me; and seven pairs of frog eyes reflecting back at me! As I stepped closer one by one these heads sank below the water, leaving behind just a few bubbles and swirls.

Thurs 1st Feb : Saw a beautiful large yellow full moon sinking slowly below the Caha Mountain Range this morning, plus a very friendly song thrush in a holly tree.

13 January 2018

Mountain Skills First Aid Kit

What Should Be In Your Mountain Skills First Aid Kit, Or General Outdoor First Aid Kit?

Lots of ideas out there - this is just my personal definitive list of what should be carried as a self sufficient first aider at mountain skills or general outdoor level.

Kit Bag (to put everything in)
Survival Bay/Bivvy Bag
Foil Blanket x 2
CPR Face Mask
Sam Splint (for splinting a sprain/fracture such as wrist/ankle - a separated walking pole will also suffice)
Walking Pole (for splinting a sprain/fracture such as knee/leg)

Storm Shelter/Kissu (make sure it is big enough for your group number)
Triangular Bandage x 4
Sprain Bandage x 4
Wound Dressing x 4 (large wound dressings)
Normal Plasters (lots of, and the cut to size yourself kind)
Compeed Plasters (for blisters)
Antiseptic Wipes
Surgical Tape (great for keeping on plasters/dressings in wet conditions)
Surgical Shears (normal scissors not strong enough)
Sterile Water (for flushing wounds, drinking water from your bottle will also suffice)
Steri Strips (lots of)
Safety Pins (lots of)
Nail Clippers
Waterproof Paper & Pen/Pencil
Latex Gloves (lots of)
Aspirin + Paracetemol + Nurofen

Once packed, I wrap this into two plastic bags, followed by a dry bag, to keep as dry as possible.

Storm shelter I carry separately, or get someone else to carry.

Every couple of weeks I unpack everything and allow to air/dry.

Quite often the pre-made first aid kits you buy are simply too small/too lightweight; and you can often be better off putting together your own first aid kit, piece by piece.

The gear in your first aid kit does not need to be complex, as you can see, but there needs to be plenty of it and things need to be big; such as big safety pins instead of small safety pins, big wound dressings instead of medium wound dressings, four sprain bandages instead of two sprain bandages.

I run outdoor training courses and survival courses - www.outdoorsireland.com - and for specific first aid courses I highly recommend Marie - www.remotewestfirstaid.com.

Nathan - Outdoors Ireland

11 January 2018

Portwest - Dingle Gilet Fleece & Nephin Rain Jacket

I have been using and loving the Dingle Gilet Fleece and Nephin Rain Jacket. Took these photos on a mountaineering/navigation training course recently in the Kerry Hills, overlooking the Gap of Dunloe.

The Dingle Gilet Fleece is just brilliant; very warm, nicely shaped/designed, and lightweight.

The Nephin Rain Jacket is great! Seems pretty breathable. Maybe not as tough as their Malin Rain Jacket and without the handy chest pocket, but a lovely jacket at the same time.

9 January 2018

Sea Kayaking With Porpoise

Sea kayaking off the Kerry Coast three days ago, near Portmagee/Skellig Michael. Porpoise surfacing at 1:30 and 1:40 in this video. Amazing experience and superb conditions!

5 January 2018

Happy New Year

Happy New Year From Leif, Nathan & Dave!

Thanks so much to everyone who joined us in 2017 for a training course or guided kayaking.

Here is the training course schedule for Jan and Feb: http://www.outdoorsireland.com/upcoming.php