Tag Archives: #mygearstory

The really useful gloves – Rab Power Stretch Gloves Review

I don’t like shoes, socks or gloves. I do understand now that, as I no longer live on a tropical island, at the very least I am expected to wear shoes and socks, in the Winter. I am just coming to terms with gloves.

In the last few years I have trained as a Swift Water and Flood Rescue Technician, and I also host Open Water Swimming Holidays, in Winter as well as Summer. So I know a thing or two about cold hands. Continue reading The really useful gloves – Rab Power Stretch Gloves Review

Review of Gerber Suspension Tool – Chipping Barracuda Giblets off my stern ladder

Old vs New
Old vs New after over 10 years of use

At ProAdventure we sell the Gerber Suspension Tool for £49.99.

I can’t remember what mine cost, but I do remember feeling very, very grown up when I got mine. I was in my 20’s living in the Caribbean working on yachts. One thing that is guaranteed about yachts is that they break. All parts of them, all the time, all over the place. I had had enough of asking the captain all the time to borrow his leatherman to tighten up a lose hinge, open a clevis pin so the mast didn’t fall down, open a beer…. the list goes on. So next time I was on a island that had a shop, I walked in and said “can I have a leatherman, Please?”. I was not aware that there were more than one kind of these mystical man tools, as every time I had been (reluctantly) handed said tool, it was a “leatherman wave”, I now learned. Being a non conformist, and also knowing that my new tool might quickly go missing if it looked similar to the rest of the crews tools, I looked at other options. I had found that when I had used a leatherman tool before as pliers, I was frustrated that they didn’t bounce back to the open position as normal pliers would do, but the suspension of the Gerber takes care of that. This is a massive plus to anyone not familiar with the handling of a multi tool or some one with a very low tolerance for faff, both me.

I have now had this tool longer than I care to mention, it has chipped dried barracuda giblets off my stern ladder, tightened up every squeaky part of every boat I’ve ever worked on, dug stones out of my boot, dug gravel out of my knee, fixed my bike brakes- many times (see knees), sawn off sticks, cut off bits, open boxes and cut up bread at a posh catering gig where I could not find a bread knife. I have abused this tool, dropped it, sunk it, never cleaned it, pried the knives and been impatient with the pliers, but it lives on! Alas the case is pants, I’ve broken loads. Gerber have posted me replacements, to be fair, as I have ripped the belt loop of them through what I consider normal wear and tear (mainly in my life- tear).  So if you plan to carry it on your belt, buy a better case for it before you reach for your hip and find a sad gap. I now just keep it in my pocket, I’m used to it living there. We do have a range of other cases in the shop that will fit this tool well.

Would I replace it if I lost it- yes. Would I recommend it, yes. To whom? Well everyone really… If you are used to multi tools then they are solid and hard to break, and if you are new to these then this is handy, intuitive and looks good too.

You Can buy your Gerber Suspension Multi Tool Here



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

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

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