Summer has arrived! Long sunny warm evenings spent down the beach are awaiting me. I am super excited for this summer as it is full of microadventures, including surf trips and shepherd huts. However, I am going to look back on the past season and look at my spring favourites 2018.
Manfrotto Off Roader Hiking Bag
One of my top spring favourites 2018 is my Manfrotto hiking bag. After going for a few hikes I found out that my standard rucksack wasn’t quite what I needed. As nice as the bag is I was starting to carry camera kit along with my hiking equipment. Therefore it was time to find a more supportive bag with the ability to safely carry my kit. So many options of rucksacks on the shelves of my local outdoors shops. None of them had the protection I was looking for. After all, my DSLR is my pride and joy so needs extra protection. I took to the internet and eventually came across a Manfrotto bag that ticked all the boxes.
The Off Roader hiking bag has a built-in padded camera case in the bottom of the bag. There is a velcro divider inside the camera case so you can add an extra lens or other accessories without it all moving around your camera. This padded case is completely removable from the bag for those days when your camera is not coming with you. Something I love about this bag is that your camera is easily accessible, with the opening of the padded case having a slot on the outer bag which opens up the side. Just unzip the side opening and remove your camera ready to shoot. Perfect!
A few of the bags other features. The breathable harness design makes the bag lightweight and comfortable to carry over distances in my opinion. A divider in the middle of the bag separates the camera case from the rest of the bag. So you can fill the top section with your snacks for the hike ahead. On the outside of the bag, there are straps to secure your tripod or hiking poles as well as a small front pocket, I use to store my buff and gloves for chillier days. I opted for the 30L bag as I pack extra swim clothes when I hike. However, Manfrotto also offers a 20L version for those with less gear.
In this spring favourites 2018 post there are 2 huge achievements. Firstly I am looking at my 10k hike. This is something I never thought I would achieve, I am not the fastest, strongest or fittest hiker out there. However, I found a local route that was a huge loop, stunning coastal views, ice lolly stop halfway through then a slow downhill following the river to finish. We started near Budleigh Salterton and followed the South West Coastal Path up the cliffs then back down towards Ladram Bay. It was hard work in the warm weather but the views were worth it. Once we stopped at the halfway point of Ladram Bay the mist had started to settle causing the sky and water to pretty much blend into each other. Making for some interesting photographs. Heading up through the park the gentle downhill path back to the start took us though Otterton then alongside the river Otter to finish. A route I recommend for sure, here is the OS Maps route if you are interested in following it yourself.
For some 10k isn’t that far, especially if you are someone who enjoys running or multi-day hikes. However, for me, it’s all about little steps that get us to our end goals. I am unsure what my end goal is maybe a multi-day hike with a wild camp in the middle. That would be pretty cool. I share my thoughts on achieving this hiking milestone in a recent blog post; Thoughts on Reaching the 10km Hiking Milestone. Do you have a hiking achievement that you can share with us in the comments?
Mammut Hiking Boots
These Mammut hiking boots are at the top of my list in my spring favourites 2018. They were gifted to me for my birthday and any excuse to wear them I will take. They are the Women’s Ayako High GTX boots and the first thing that attracted me to them was the colour. It is a gorgeous shade of light blue with pink accents. After I tried them on and walked around the store I discovered how sturdy they are. With the high top boot being built around the ankle it offered me great support. As I have a slightly dodgy knee while walking it can affect my ankle, so offering more support it became more comfortable to hike in these boots. The boot is built with motion control so it might be sturdy around my ankle but still allows for full freedom and flexibility too.
The sole is quite thick and sturdy, you don’t feel all the rocks and sticks you trample over. There is a rubber toe cap too that will prevent scuffs and offer a bit of friction if you are scrambling around on the rocks. The boots also have a 3 zone lacing system, that I find perfect for getting the right tightness in each section when lacing my foot in for a day of hiking. Another reason why this is at the top of my spring favourites 2018 list is how comfortable the boots are. When I have been out hiking I haven’t had many problems with the boots rubbing after I broke them in. It only took a few hikes to break them in as they are not leather boots. Now I pretty much live in them (when I’m not in sandals or wetsuit boots that is!).
The Girl Outdoors Book
A fellow Outdoor Blogger and all round adventure girl, Sian Lewis has released a book for all of us on our adventures. The Girl Outdoors is full of brilliant outdoor adventures that you will want to try. Everything from surfing to campervan road trips to hiking mountains. It’s a perfect read for those rainy grey rest days for searching for new adventures or to take out with you for inspiration while you are away. Made up of 4 sections; Active Outdoors, Wild Adventures, Wild Cooking Crafts and Wellbeing and finally Wanderlust. Within the Active Outdoors section, there are ideas of places you can go do particular activities not only in the UK but around the world. Then using the cooking, crafts and wellbeing section you can learn new skills to accompany you on that next adventure.
This book currently lives in our campervan and therefore is on every adventure with us. It is full of hints and tips that we use when we are away. I particularly like the section on camping food and foraging. Next time we are away there are a few recipes to try, especially the Mexican hot chocolate. I think Joe has his eyes on the Smores recipe in there! The reason why this is on my spring favourites 2018 is because of how easy it is to read. The book is aimed at beginners as well as the seasoned adventurer. So has something for everyone in it. My only warning is that the photos will give you serious adventure wanderlust.
Zip World Titan
Another huge achievement for me over the spring was tackling Zip World Titan. During the late May Bank Holiday Joe and I headed off for an extended weekend in Snowdonia while we were there we tried several of the activities on offer with Zip World. We were gifted the opportunity to have a go on Europe’s longest zip zone. 3 zip wires that take you flying across the national park, trying to admire the view as you go. As someone who was fairly terrified of zip wires, I was not keen on going for it when I was standing at the top of the first 900m zip line. However, by the end of the experience, I was grinning like a Cheshire cat! The team there were super friendly and encouraging to those nervous of the lines, along with a supportive group of mad people willing to ride the zip wires as well, you will all be having a good time. It’s very hard to walk away and not want to have another go on Titan. Next time I am in Snowdonia I will be heading over to Penrhyn Quarry to take on Velocity, the fastest zip line in the world!
If you fancy reading all about this amazing spring favourites 2018 experience with the titan zip zone, have a read of my blog post on it: #Experience Adventure – Zip World Titan. Plenty of information and photos of my adventure there. I also included my video footage from the day too so I can take you flying above Llechwedd Slate Cavern too.
So these are my spring favourites 2018 are there any of your favourites that are similar? Maybe you’ve been on an amazing adventure or got some useful new kit. Be sure to share it in the comments below.
See you next time and happy adventuring!
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