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Duke Of Edinburgh Scheme and Scouts Equipment

The Duke of Edinburgh scheme was founded so that all children and young adults from every home, regardless of their financial background would be able to take part in outdoor activities of a testing nature thereby strengthening their self confidence and sense of worth. Being able to navigate in the hills, set a tent up and cook for you in the outdoors, as part of a group, teach these qualities and also working as part of a group. The sense of achievement after an expedition at whatever level helps to motivate young people to achieve more in all aspects of their lives as well as engendering a love of adventure. The Scouts as well have always emphasised the benefits of getting away from the conveniences and pressures of modern life.

When young people go out on the hills, it is essential that they are equipped with the right equipment and clothing. This does not mean that they have to have the latest and most expensive clothing. Some well known brands are now regarded as fashion and street wear, and whilst they are very good technically, they are very expensive, to a degree that is not needed for the conditions in the UK.

There is plenty of good quality clothing and footwear that will be quite adequate for most DofE expeditions and the Scouts at very reasonable prices. For example, Regatta makes excellent coats that are waterproof and breathable. HI-Tec make hiking boots that are strong, with good gripping soles at prices that won’t break the earth. A tent does not have to be the latest and most expensive model, the weight can be distributed among the group, one member carrying the poles and the other the flysheet. There are plenty of good quality stoves that are lightweight on the market, by Gelert, Vango, Coleman and Highlander.

When buying boots and clothing the important point to bear in mind is that they should be waterproof and breathable. That does not mean having to buy the latest Goretex jacket for £200.00! There are plenty of good boots starting at around £40.00 and waterproof shell jackets for around the same money. A good fleece can be as little as £10.00. The way to dress is to wear layers, that are made from manmade materials that will wick, that is transport moisture away from the body and can be evaporated away through the waterproof and breathable outer shell, and in this way the hiker is kept dry and warm. Also a good outer shell prevents heat loss due to the wind chill factor.

Singers Outdoors have lots of bargains and good technical clothing , footwear, tents and other gear suitable for the Duke of Edinburgh Scheme and Scouts on the website at www.singersoutdoors.co.uk and also if you ring us on 01772-44001 we will always be happy to give our advice based on many years experience.

How to get the most out of you Coleman and Campingaz Coolbox

How to get the most out of you Coleman and Campingaz Coolboxes and How to look after them.

Coleman and Campingaz make some of the best static Coolboxes on the market and used properly the Xtreme range of coolboxes can keep food and drink cold for up to five days. The first point to consider is purchasing two coolboxes, one food and one for drink. Match the cooler size to the size of the group, a 54 quart cooler should be adequate for two or three people for two days.

When packing your coolbox, use a bit of common sense.

  1. Prechill drinks and food – the ice will last longer if the contents are already chilled. Prechill the coolers by placing ice cubes inside an hour or so before packing in the cold food and drink.
  2. Put ice in last – cold air descends so put cans and bottles first then cover with ice.
  3. Used crushed or block ice – Crushed ice cools food and drink fast, blocks of ice last longer. As an alternative to block ice, prefreeze drinking water or juices in clean milk jugs, this wil help to keep food cold and provide a source of cold drinks as they melt.
  4. Put foods in chronolgical order. Pack foods that will be consumed last on the bottom and work upward, storing food that you will need first on the top. Store perishable foods such as meat and dairy products directly on the ice. Keep foods dry by using sealed plastic containers or zip-closure plastic bags.
  5. Obviously keep out of the sun! Ice lasts twice as long in the shade. Only open the lids as and when strictly necessary, and close right away to keep the cold air in. Insulate the coolbox with blankets, coats, sleeping bags when travelling to help keep cold.
  6. Don’t drain the cold melted water. This just melted ice will help to keep the contents cold almost as well ans the ice and helps to keep the ice that is left from melting. Drain only wehn necessary and try to top up with more ice.
  7. Use dry ice to keep food cold by placing on the top of the food. Be careful to wrap dry ice in heavy layers of newspaper. Do not let dry ice come into contact with the interior liner or you hands.

Cleaning your Cooler or coolbox.
When you have returned from your trip clean the inside of the coolbox with a mild solution of soap and water. To remove stains, use baking soda and water to clean the inside.

Remove odours with a diluted solution fo chlorine bleach and water. If the odour persists, wipe the interior with a cloth saturated with vanilla extract then leave the cloth in the coolbox overnight. Always air-dry the coolbox with the lid open before storing.

Follow these guidlines and you will get the most out of your coolbox and enjoy cold drinks and fresh food on your camping trips and picnics.