Our buddie Freddie, by Jenny Olivant

Jenny and her husband Mike have both enjoyed long careers in the RAF, are fortunate enough to be able to take advantage of a variety of outdoor pursuits, and have grown to appreciate the absolute benefit of using good quality kit appropriate to the environment and conditions. The weather never holds them back and after many years they have found Páramo, above all other brands, enables them to get out in all conditions and remain warm, comfortable and dry...

Jenny, Mike and Freddie the Beagle

A dog has always been part of our married life and part of the reason for our many outdoor adventures.
We welcomed our most recent addition, coincidentally, at the start of lockdown last year.

Let me introduce Freddie, our Beagle. After doing our research we decided a Beagle would be the ideal breed for us – compact, (fits in the Campervan perfectly) energetic, intelligent and full of love.
Born on the 27th March 2020, we brought him home on 22nd May and so our new Canine adventures began.

Freddie in the Shropshire Hills

Young Freddie has helped keep us sane, entertained, positive and active throughout the past year and half. The long warm summer of enforced lockdown turned out to be the best possible time to get to know our Freddie. Having to stay home gave us the time to spend with him, to bond and prepare him for his life ahead. Training him was fun too, Freddie loves a challenge. We soon learnt that you have to be persistent and consistent with a Beagle.

At 12 weeks old it was time to introduce Freddie to the greater outdoors. And so, the wonders of his outdoor adventures began. The local park was his first experience of a wide-open space and where he met his first furry pals. Very quickly he was tearing around the park, rough and tumbling with his buddies.

Freddie and his friends

Living amongst the Shropshire Hills, an AONB, we couldn’t wait to take Freddie out and about and show him the sights. We had to build up his walkies time slowly, but a priority was to practice his recall and let him off his lead whenever we could. We started his walks in the nearby woodlands and progressed on to local landmarks such as the Long Mynd and the Stiperstones.

Freddie at Blea Tarn

In between Lockdowns, Freddie was introduced to “Van adventures”. He adapted brilliantly to van life and as soon as we could, we were on the road to Wales, the Yorkshire Dales and the Lake District for a few days here and there. It was such a rewarding experience for us to show Freddie our favourite places and give him a taste for the outdoor life we wanted to share with him.

Freddie’s first longish walk was around Blea Tarn where the wonderful cloud layers and still conditions created a great moody photo opportunity.

As the weather turned more inclement, we donned our Páramo jackets and continued our walk. The comfortable, roomy fit, and good-sized pockets make it the ideal jacket for all our dog walks together, whether short strolls in the park or longer walks across beautiful countryside.

Beautiful autumn

In October we decided to take Freddie on a longer adventure, and we packed up the Van for a three week trip up to Scotland.

Amazing autumnal colours greeted us as we toured around the beautiful Isles of Mull and Skye, the stunning sands of Arisaig, dramatic Glencoe and barren Rannoch Moor.

Due to his young age we were not able to show Freddie the mountain views, so instead we explored the lower hill paths and beaches. Every time the Van door slid open, he jumped out into a whole new world with fresh sights and smells. We even met some Scottish Beagle friends. Freddie loved every minute, taking it all in his stride. Even the wind and rain didn’t put him off and the long cut of our Páramo jackets kept us well protected from the elements. They also kept us nice and warm whilst photographing the stars above the Old Man of Storr one night. Not a soul around, just the eerie calls of the local Stags.

With our Scottish Adventures complete for now, another Lockdown confined the Van to sit once more idle on the drive. With a stay local rule we were fortunate to have the opportunity to enjoy some local snowy walks in the beautiful Shropshire countryside. Chilly winds and icy temperatures were kept at bay with our Páramo jackets and woolly hats whilst Freddie relied on bombing around in the snow to keep warm.

Snowy Shropshire

Every day we gaze at the Shropshire Hills and the distant Welsh mountains, looking forward to the longer brighter days of next spring and summer. Not long to wait now until our next adventure together and the chance for Freddie to explore more of the wonders of outdoor life.

Freddie and Jenny

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Capturing a fleeting moment on Skye

I was delighted to find that Páramo had chosen my image of the fleeting light as their prizewinner from the images in this year’s Take a View Landscape Photographer of the Year Awards book.

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