Review of Peak UK Paddling Gear

 

Peak Kit – Review June 2012

 

A little about me to start with, so you know who is writing this. I am a director of Pro Adventure Activities in Llangollen, which is a not for profit outdoor centre and I am an aspirant Level 5 canoe coach. I have been boating for 28 years, paddled around the world in canoes and kayaks and have worked in the outdoors for over 20 years teaching pretty much everything.When it comes to abusing kit I am right up there with the pro kit destroyers, outside 5 days a week most of the year whether it be boating or biking for myself or instructing or guiding expeditions. So my kit gets put through the mill and only the stuff that works gets kept and used and used.

 

I got my current set of peak kit 2 years ago now, and they have been well and truly used and abused.I have been using peak kit on and off since I started paddling. Not exclusively as you don’t do you, you get what you can afford as and when and as you progress, your requirements change. But I was lucky enough to get a Pro-deal with peak in 2010 which enabled me to kit myself out in a 1 piece creeker dry-suit, a River Guide BA, a creeker dry cag, Multi sport pants and multi sport jacket.

As a UKCC coach educator, WWSR provider, 4 Star provider, White Water Coach, expedition guide and a kayak and canoe Paddler I thought this would be the best mix of kit to enable me to do all my coaching and my own personal paddling.

Where to start? I guess with the bank kit.

 

The multi-sport pants and the jacket are really well designed and so functional that they are always in my kit bag.Whether im biking, walking, teaching climbing or team building they are there.The Pants fit well, and with the large zip opening at the bottom are very easy to get over boots.They do the trick of fitting over trousers really well, but also being worn just over boardies or thermals equally well.The Velcro and neoprene ankle seals are surprisingly waterproof, as I found out and regularly test lol!

 

The jacket is lightweight, windproof and surprisingly waterproof considering how light it is.This jacket is so versatile that it gets worn for coaching, paddling, walking, biking and even going out and shopping.My only gripe with the jacket is the hood, as hoods go, its awesome, adjusts well and fits over a helmet easily, BUT, it didn’t stow anywhere which was slightly annoying, but good news the new version is stowable. A big thumbs up.

They are called multisport and in my opinion they work well in every sport I have tried. These are a MUST for anyone who is outdoors often.

Creeker 1 piece dry-suit. Well as a white water paddler, WWSR provider and someone who likes to be comfy while boating, a dry suit is an essential bit of my kit.Which get used on average 5 days a week for nearly 6 months of the year.

The creeker suit, when I got it, was new on the market and plenty of people were dubious of the zip location, especially for a canoeist. I saw it as the best place for it, as it meant easy to get on and off, a built in pee zip plus it didn’t get in the way of putting BA’s on.Also acts as a useful changing robe in bad weather.

From the first time I put it on, it felt comfortable, didn’t restrict movement and after a little adjustment to the neck seal, easy to wear for the day.The material felt tough but supple and the seams looked well done.After2 years of use, I can happily say my initial thoughts were correct. The zip is awesome and works well( just remember to used the lube that comes with it occasionally), The material still looks new and none of the seams have failed.

Since having it I can honestly say it has never leaked. Its not been washed or re-proofed and is perfect!! My only gripe with this bit of kit is that the elbow pad pockets, after being in the water can collect water and when you lift your arms up it runs out. Not a big issue at all but annoying. As you get water running everywhere.

The River guide BA is quite simply, in my mind, the best BA on the market.I have had and used many other types and they are all good, but they don’t get the accolade of the BEST.This BA manages to fit cavernous pockets, fantastic cut, easy adjustments and perfect fit, on well built product.Put simply perfect.The front pocket happily consumes the following – Boat saw, 4m Tape, 2 x Krabs, 2 spare drain bungs, spare foot plate bolts, waterproof note book, knife, glasses holder and a digital camera.Yes, honestly all that and still close and does not effect the fit or hamper paddling or swimming.

The creeker long Cag is possibly the least used bit of my kit. This is because the dry suit and multi sport jacket do such a good job that the cag just doesn’t get used that much. But on the few times I have worn it, it has been amazing.The fit, cut and quality is that you would expect from Peak UK.

I feel I can say all this as I have to pay for my kit, and there fore don’t have to say nice things.As a result of my using Peak UK kit, I have seen my staff and customers start to change over to using it.This I feel is the best confirmation of how good the kit is.

To get your PeakUK Paddling Equipment go to the ProAdventure Store, if they don’t have what you need in stock they can soon get it for you.

Richard Witheridge
ProAdventure Chief Instructor
#mygearstory

Tai Chi in the Snow – A Week in the Swedish Wilderness – Snow Shoes, Pulks and Dried Food

 
Every few months we get an email from OAS, the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia, they are eagerly received by the shop staff keen on some training in the wilds of Sweden or Norway. This March was my turn for a trip away in the snow. After hunting  out what information I could on what boots were suitable for snow shoeing and what I could get from our suppliers at the end of a cold winter season I ended up with a pair of I ended up with a pair of Hi-Tec Winter Boots and some Rab Down Booties for in the sleeping bag in the cold northern nights.

Continue reading Tai Chi in the Snow – A Week in the Swedish Wilderness – Snow Shoes, Pulks and Dried Food

Why I choose Gransfors Bruks Axes – a brand review

 

Gransfors Bruks Small Forest axe and Sheath

There’s a lot of thought that goes into what we choose to stock in the shop, and we don’t start with commercial concerns. Recommendation and customer requests are way up there in the decision making process, along with the people we deal with. Adam, Daniel and Gabriel are the people behind this Great Swedish brand and Gabriels approach is superb. He wanted to create the best, and to do it morally, honestly and responsibly. Continue reading Why I choose Gransfors Bruks Axes – a brand review

Tried and Tested, The Kelly Kettle Reviewed – boiling water from twigs in minutes

 

We are long term users of storm kettles for our bushcraft and canoe courses, and sell a lot to schools, youth groups forest schools, outdoor centres, fishermen canoeists etc.

Due to strong customer demand and the new whistle we stock the Kelly Kettle in Stainless steel.

Continue reading Tried and Tested, The Kelly Kettle Reviewed – boiling water from twigs in minutes

ProAdventure’s Second Generation Bringing in the funds for Sport Relief with a 22 mile sponsored walk on Ruabon and Llantisilio Mountain

 

Bethany, first born daughter of Peter, ProAdventure’s founder organised a 22 Mile sponsored walk for sport relief.

Bethany, Emily, Mae, Barra and JJ completed the walk with Daisy joining in for the last mile, have been in charge of snacks at the checkpoints for the first half of the walk.

bmap

Here is the route, a big circle from Llangollen, via Worlds End, Llandegla Forest, the Offas Dyke Path, the Ponderosa on the Horseshoe pass.

bendo

And here is the evidence from Endomondo, but add a bit more as Beth forgot to turn the app on from the beginning.

bfinish

Still looking amazingly fresh they made it back to base in a good time and wend on to enjoy well deserved marshmallows around the fire.

So far they have raised over £700 through person to person sponsorship for sports relief, if you would like to support there weary legs then here is a link to their sponsorship page. https://my.sportrelief.com/sponsor/soaring-comets-big-walk

#myadventurestory

Lighting up the Darkness with the Petromax HK500 Paraffin Lamp – 400 watts of light in the darkness – Review

 

Petromax HK400 Lamp on a table

The Petromax Lamp is the best-known High-Pressure Light in the world. Its name originates from Max Graetz who invented the lamp at the beginning of the 20th century. Millions have been produced since then. Nowadays people are still fascinated by this lamp, which is handmade of more than 200 individual pieces. Fishing boats illuminate their catch with its impressive power of up to 400 watts and travellers tell their tales in its light. Continue reading Lighting up the Darkness with the Petromax HK500 Paraffin Lamp – 400 watts of light in the darkness – Review

OAS Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia September 2014 – The Stockholm Archipelago – Sea Kayaking and sunsets

 

P1050335

A few months ago Pete and Lesley offered the retail staff at ProAdventure the opportunity to attend the Outdoor Academy of Scandinavia, a project initiated by the Scandinavian Outdoor Group (SOG) to offer comprehensive outdoor staff training. Basically this meant understanding and using products in the great Swedish outdoors. On this trip we would be using Tentipi, Light my Fire, Peak Performance clothing, and Point 65 Kayaks.

P1050258
This was a opportunity I didn’t want to miss! Along with my colleage Mark, we headed to Stockholm to join the rest of a group of about 30 others (the group included retail staff, journalists and tour operators) for our 4 day adventure in the Stockholm Archipelago.
The trip began with the usual meet and greet, then we headed off for a guided bike tour of Stockholm. Next was a 2 hour boat trip to an Island in the Archipelago called Uto. Our arrival was met with the very friendly owner of the hotel Uto Vardshus where were staying that night. We were given a fabulous meal and got to know more people in the group. I was pleased to have sat next Patrik from Tentipi..I had emailed him occassionally over the last few years working at ProAdventure and it was a pleasure to put a name to a face!
The next few days involved different activities.  A guided hike along the coastline of the Island, followed by a 10km cycle ride. Next was another hike though the forest, and a talk on the geology and nature of the the island (this was Marks idea of heaven-someone who was as interested in rocks as he is!)

P1050266

Our camp for the night was at a small beach (my idea of heaven-an outdoor swim!). We were given some extra kit to use while out in the wilds..Light my Fire meal kits, a water bottle, lots of Sporks!, a fire steel and a Maya stick. All of which were obviously used for making a fire and eating our tea! We also had a lesson in putting up our Tentipi for the night..good to see the expert Patrik do it!

The Ultra Light Tentipi Prototype Tent

Next day was a cycle again, then using the Point 65 kayaks and sea kayaking to a smaller island. Again we were sleeping in a Tentipi ..this time a light one, which I hadn’t done before so it was a good learning experience for me. I  also got to see a prototype of the new Super light tentipi that will be produced next year-designed a lightweight 2 man Tentipi for trekking.
An early start the next morning sea kayaking back to Uto and attending our retailer workshops, followed by a very exciting RIB boat ride through the islands of the Archipelago to the island of Grinda. This was the last night of our stay and involved relaxing in a sauna, eating lots of crayfish, singing merry tunes and drinking schnapps…we were here for work…honest!
Seriously though..it was an amazing opportunity to be outdoors in Sweden using products we sell in the shop. Mark and I know more about Tentipi and Light my Fire than we did before and can relay our experiences with them to our customers:-)

Anna

P1050346-001