Keeping Mountain Rescue Volunteers Safe and Comfortable

Páramo® Directional Clothing is a first choice for UK Mountain Rescue Teams

Sustainable clothing can also be high performance

Páramo Directional Clothing designs high performance functional clothing for people who are active outdoors in extreme weather. In recent years Páramo has received positive publicity for its strong environmental stance: it was the first outdoor brand to both sign up to the Greenpeace Detox Campaign, and to completely eliminate PFC (Perfluorinated Chemical) treatments from its clothing range. It is a less well-known fact that Páramo, for over 15 years, has been the leading supplier of weather protection for UK Mountain Rescue teams.

British mountains are a tough test

They may not be high, but British mountains are well known for their potentially treacherous weather conditions. Cloud and rain can engulf mountaintops in minutes, for hours – and sometimes days – making navigation extremely difficult and dangerous. It can take a very long time to locate lost climbers, walkers, or casualties, and Mountain Rescuers have to be able to rely upon their clothing to keep them safe, warm and dry.

Durability is good news!

Páramo waterproof garments use a fabric system called Nikwax Analogy®. The system is extremely durable and can be renewed several times with Nikwax TX.Direct® in a washing machine. Indeed, many Páramo jackets that belong to UK Mountain Rescue Teams are still working hard after more than 10 years of use. Reliable, durable and functional gear is invaluable for Mountain Rescue – and other charitable organisations – who depend upon financial contributions and government grants for their existence.

In summary…

Páramo Directional Clothing has long been tried, tested and trusted; with durable, comfortable fabrics making its garments suitable for a variety of demanding outdoor situations. However, you do not have to be a mountain guide to benefit from, and enjoy, Páramo. Staying warm and dry in variable conditions and demanding situations can help all of us to extend our comfort zones.

EXTEND YOUR COMFORT ZONE

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From Big Cats to Silver Voles in Mongolia

I’ve been wearing Páramo gear for several years now and it has seen me through lots of different situations. Working as a wildlife camera operator, you’re exposed to all the elements, so the flexibility and choice in the Páramo range has been really helpful. I’m often working at either end of the day, starting out before sunrise and finishing after sunset. Even in warmer countries these times of day can be pretty brutal, so I’m a big fan of layering! The Páramo gear easily allows this. Continue reading

Ski to the Edge sets off: a 600 Mile Yukon Wilderness Expedition

Yukon Government Archives photo shows Alex Van Bibber, Curly Desrosiers and Harry Cooper in the Firth River area in 1948. (Alex Van Bibber collection, 92/28 #15, Yukon Archives)

The late Alex Van Bibber was a child of the Gold Rush era in the Yukon Territories, born in 1916. In 1943, he led the Canoil expedition to find a new oil pipeline route as a result of concerns over the Japanese landing on the nearby Aleutian Islands. We were hugely privileged to hear Alex’s stories first hand as he gave us his last interview in 2014, at the age of 98. He shared tales of rafting to school from their home in Fort Selkirk to Dawson City with him, as the oldest child aged 13, in charge. He later starred in films about the Yukon, ‘Challenge to be free’ and ‘The Last Trapper’, he took the Chicago mob hunting and even took the Kennedy family up Mount Kennedy. His life was full of rich adventures as a guide, instructor and rescuer – the modern day title of ‘legend’ was well deserved.

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Snowshoes, hot tents and contentment in Sweden

Like quite a lot of people, I suspect, I once considered the onset of winter, with the mountains locked in snow, as the end of play. Not being a particularly good skier, deep snow meant a full stop to three seasons of boreal travel. My discovery of snowshoes has radically changed things. Continue reading

Crossing Australia – no weak link

When I pack for an overseas film shoot my first thought is ‘what can I pack that I don’t mind destroying?’. Usually I can expect the shoots to be in pretty extreme environments (think mountains/ deserts/ jungle). As a result I have an enormous drawer full of crapped-out clothing which include: a pair of combat trousers with more stitch marks than a rag doll, another pair which are gaffa-taped together and pretty much all of my shirts have holes in places there shouldn’t be holes. This is what I have worn on adventures for almost a decade – disposable clothing – because nothing tends to survive long in the field when you’re crawling through the dirt and dust, running up mountainsides, jumping in rivers and then sleeping in these same clothes. Continue reading

The right tools

Arriving at any new venue, it is easy to expect that you will be able to capture the perfect “Google” photo – that classic ‘wow’ image that appears when you tap a location into a search engine. It is a natural reaction and one we are all prone to.  But the weather gods are fickle, often conspiring to scupper our preconceptions when we actually get out of the car. Continue reading

If it’s good enough for an otter…

I have been living and working in the Lake District for over 17 years. I teach wilderness bushcraft and expedition skills, instructing on everything from wild foods and tracking to axemanship and woodcraft, spending well over one hundred nights a year living outdoors under canvas in the UK, and travelling overseas to lead expeditions in the colder months, from dry desert to coastal tropical, and from steaming jungles to frozen sub-Arctic environments. Continue reading