How to pack your car for trips to university

Congratulations on getting to university! Or maybe it’s your son or daughter that has made it. Either way, well done you. Seriously, this has been a strange couple of years for those in education and even getting through A-Levels and BTECs has proven a battle. Choosing to go on to university and broaden horizons during a pandemic is a move not to be understated. So, congratulations to all new students and to their families who helped get them there. Now the fun really begins!

But first, you need to physically get there. 2020 saw a lot of online learning with the majority of young people learning via mainly virtual classes. 2021 will see a return to campus for many students, while some universities are looking to blend online and in-person teaching we hope that 2021 is a better year for students and the teaching profession alike.

Campus life can be a lot of fun and for many this may be the first time living away from family. University is a learning experience in many ways and one of the first lessons is planning and organisation.

We at HandiWorld are often asked about good ways of transporting pretty much anything. So here are our top tips for getting your, or your young person’s kit to university (and back again).

Photo by Victoria Heath on Unsplash

Top tips for packing for university

Rationalise

Do you really need everything you want to take? Make a list of all the things you will actually need, and be sure to consult any lists that have been provided by the university. If you’re in halls of residence, you will be provided with certain items such as a microwave or kettle and you may not have to take your own. If you’re in a shared house, worry about buying items like a toaster later. Someone else may already have brought one, or you can club together for one and save space in the car. Remember to dispose of any unwanted items responsibly.

Don’t take every outfit you might ever need, just in case. The wardrobe space in the accommodation may not be anywhere near what is available at home. More clothing can always be brought if needed at Christmas or half-term.

You will likely be able to buy your stationery supplies from a campus shop or somewhere nearby and probably at better prices than your normal high street, so don’t worry about overstocking on these too early.

Extra capacity

If you need extra space for everything you want to take, then look at a roof-top box or bag for the car. You will do the trip to university, and back home again at least once for every year of study, and maybe also at Christmas and Easter. It’s worth investing in decent kit that you can use for other purposes throughout the year. If you’re tight on space back home, a roof bag is easier to store than a solid roof box – have a look at our HandiRack, HandiHoldall, and matching HandiDuffel bags.

The sort of items that we find people use soft roof boxes for are lighter items such as bedding and shoes. The HandiDuffel bags provide extra weather protection and are especially good for keeping at university and using as storage under the bed or on top of the wardrobe.

You can find more information on our soft roof boxes, inflatable roof bars, and storage bags at https://www.handiworld.com/soft-roof-boxes-roof-bars/

Bags are for life

Forget hard-shell storage tubs and make friends with bags. When packing for university, always have a roll of black bin bags to hand, and a few smaller carrier bags. Storage tubs are great for transporting fragile items but most things you will take can be wrapped in bags and pushed into cubby holes, under seats, and put on top of each other in the gaps. Pretend you are playing Tetris and make the most of every available inch of space. Just make sure everything is secure so it’s not moving around while you’re driving.

Coming home

Once you’re at university and you’ve survived the first year, then you need to come home again. Try not to accumulate too much extra stuff during the year and you should have no problems getting it all back in again.

Put any dirty laundry in bags on the bottom, and then any heavy items like books. Don’t bring anything back home that you’re going to end up throwing away or replacing anyway – dispose or recycle it at university in the accommodation bins. Some universities do end of term disposal days and provide skips. If your university is one of them, plan ahead and take advantage of this.

You could also sell any items in good condition or donate to the local charity shop rather than lug them back home. Get familiar with eBay, Gumtree, Facebook Marketplace and Freecycle!

Photo by Baim Hanif on Unsplash

Most of all – practice, practice, practice. Once you’ve done this a couple of times, you will be an expert and surprise yourself how much you can get into one reasonable sized car. And all the very best for the next few years – may your lectures be enlightening, your essays be compelling, and your roommates be fragrant!

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Why stand up paddleboarding is good for your health

It’s no shock to find out that the covid-19 pandemic has had an impact on mental health. The changes to our routines and social interactions, fear and anxiety of the impact of the virus itself and juggling work and schooling arrangements have taken its toll on the best of us this last year or so. The pandemic really has been devastating for so many and it may take a long time to overcome the damage and to navigate our way to a new ‘normal’.

One casualty of the pandemic has been physical activity levels. Sport England’s report into the impact of Covid-19 has found that people reduced their exercise and activity levels in 2020, mainly through reduced opportunity and dwindling motivation. Fitness habits changed as fewer people went to the gym and did other indoor activities such as swimming. As we move through 2021 however, the appetite for activity is returning, and outdoor activities are booming, especially those that don’t require a regular subscription payment. You can see Sport England’s research at https://www.sportengland.org/know-your-audience/demographic-knowledge#coronavirus-7919

In 2020, an activity which really grew in popularity was stand-up paddleboarding. You can be forgiven if you’d never heard of this before but if you haven’t heard of it by the summer of 2021, then maybe you’ve been living under a rock because IT. IS. EVERYWHERE, even dinosaurs are paddleboarding!

We talked about the rise of paddleboarding last year and it seems that 2021 will be another year of growth. More and more people are working out the positives of water based outdoor activities and paddleboarding is easy to take up. Soon, paddleboarding might even be on the NHS. Recently, it was announced that people in Nottingham could be prescribed paddleboarding and other waterside activities to boost both physical and mental health.

Photo by Tower Paddle Boards on Unsplash

But why is paddleboarding such a good thing to be doing? Here are five reasons why paddleboarding could be the ideal activity for both physical and mental health this year:

  • It’s done on the water. Water has amazing qualities. It’s therapeutic and peaceful and has a different impact on your body than other forces. Falling into water is (usually) less painful than hitting a patch of concrete or tarmac, though you should still take care of hazards and wear appropriate safety clothing. Water is often located in places away from modern stresses amongst nature, and indeed the theme for Mental Health Awareness Week this year revolved around how vital to well-being nature and outdoors can be.
  • It’s easy to get into. You need a paddleboard, which you can hire if you’re not sure about buying straight away, and some suitable clothing. That’s about it. The rest is a little practice. It doesn’t matter if you’re not good at it straight away, and that’s part of the fun.
  • It’s a good overall physical workout. It works your arms and your core, and helps with balance and co-ordination.
  • The SUP community is really friendly and welcoming. You never know, you might make a new friend or three in the process.
  • It’s good for social distancing and it’s always outdoors, so much less worry about virus transmission. Unlike contact sports, it’s an activity that thrives on distance from other people and it can be done with as many or as few people as you like.

Where can you paddleboard in the UK?

The UK is abundant with inland waterways and plenty of coastline. There are lots of water sports centres in and around the UK where you can learn to paddleboard, though you don’t need to have lessons. You can just find your own waterway and teach yourself, however, you will need to check that you’re allowed to use it. Check out the information from the Canal & River Trust and British Canoeing for more information about accessing the UK’s waterways.

Photo by Larkin Hammond on Unsplash

Check out these articles for more ideas about where to paddleboard near where you are:

A guide to paddleboarding in London

11 epic paddleboard locations in Wales

Top 5 best paddleboarding spots in Northern Ireland

While paddleboards are inflatable and don’t take too long to inflate and deflate, if you keep yours inflated and prefer to travel ready to go, our HandiRack is ideal for when you just want to load up and go. Our inflatable HandiRack roof bars can be fitted to most cars in minutes and can help to safely transport you and your paddleboards, kayak or canoes wherever you need to go. The British summer can be unpredictable at times, it’s always important to find ways to maximise your leisure time.

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HandiWorld – Lifting and Handling Tips

Lifting and moving loads and objects is something we all do every day and frequently without thinking. Often, it’s not until something goes wrong and we suffer a pulled muscle or a strain that we’re reminded just how important it is to look after our backs. We’ve collected together our top tips on how to take extra care when moving heavy or awkward loads to try to make sure lifting can be as safe as possible.

We’ve seen some excellent advice on lifting and handling objects safely from the NHS which can be found here: NHS Lifting Tips and for guidance on lifting and handling at work, the Health and Safety Executive have these: Good Handling Techniques

If you know you have to move a large load, do be sure to check the weight of it first. Plan your route and ensure that any trip hazards or obstacles are cleared out of your path to avoid extra time managing the load you’re lifting. If the load is too heavy for one person, enlist the help of another person or consider using additional lifting aids to help. Our CAMBA Moova and HandiMoova 2in1 are designed to take some of the strain of lifting and moving, when objects are just too tricky, bulky or heavy to manoeuvre alone. Our innovative CAMBA technology, means the karts/trolleys we have will walk up and down stairs and across bumpy and uneven terrain. Sometimes it’s important to let something else do the bulk of the heavy lifting for you.

Once you’ve cleared your route, pick up the load smoothly, avoiding any jerky movements that can cause strain and pressure on sensitive areas of your back, shoulders and neck. Bending through your knees and keeping the back straight is important; let your legs take the weight as you get into position to protect your back. Keeping your back straight and taking small steps while you move can help to keep the weight evenly balanced and distribute the load pressure equally.

Where you can try to keep your load close to you, this keeps the centre of gravity as central as possible protecting you from over reaching and strain. Some loads can be bulky, misshapen and awkward to get a firm grip on, keeping control of your hold will help you move smoothly and serve to further protect your back.

If you twist while lifting you can cause injury to yourself, sometimes this can be quite severe. Anyone who has ever suffered with a back injury will tell you it’s best to avoid it and it can take a long time to repair. Keeping your back straight with good posture will help you to focus on not twisting. Put the object or load down in the same smooth manner as you lifted it, try to let your knees bend as you bend down.

These tips remain the same if you are using lifting or moving equipment such as our HandiMoova 2in1 to take the weight for the main part of the move. Lift your object into the trolley or kart you are using and once at your destination follow the same procedure to safely unload. Safer lifting really could help to protect and maintain the health of your back.

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The HandiWorld Guide to Father’s Day 2021


Photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash

After a year that none of us are likely to forget, lives are just beginning to return to a form of normality around the UK. With that in mind we see that Father’s Day is just around the corner and it’s an ideal time to decide what to buy as a gift this year.

If you’re looking to move away from the usual gifts and give something different that makes an impact, we’ve got some HandiWorld suggestions for you. If you, like many others enlist your Father to help with lifting, carrying and moving loads, our first suggestion might help with the strain of that lifting and handling.

The HandiMoova 2in1 Load Carrier is adaptable, versatile and efficient. It transforms in seconds from a 2-wheel hand truck to a 4-wheel platform trolley. This means that not only can smaller loads be easily manoeuvred, but for those times where larger bulkier items need moving your Dad will easily be prepared for both.

Fully collapsible for flat and easy storage, the HandiMoova 2in1 will fit in most car boots for those times when you call home asking for Dad’s assistance.

Next up is our bestselling HandiRack.

Our HandiRack inflatable roof bars should be on every Dad’s wish list this year. Inflatable, easy to install and remove, they can be used for all of your travel and leisure needs. A strong, safe and innovative solution for a multitude of transportation and leisure problems.

No need to worry when there’s a change of car either, as they fit almost every make and model. You can find out more about exactly which cars the HandiRack fits here:

https://www.handiworld.com/handirack-car-guide-europe/

Another fantastic use for the HandiRack is if Dad likes water sports (or is ever enlisted to take you canoeing, kayaking or paddle boarding). The HandiRack can be quickly inflated and essential sporting equipment securely transported to your destination. To round off the brilliance of this product as a gift, the box is a great shape for wrapping!

Our final suggestion for the Fathers who love their outdo

or sports, is our CAMBA Kart – All-terrain kayak, canoe and SUP trolley.

We know all too well how tricky that final bit of the journey can be once you arriv

e at your destination. Negotiating tricky terrain can often be the most difficult part of the trip, including heading back up to the car after a great day out. The CAMBA Kart is different to other kayak carts; it features clever CAMBA patented technology that keeps the Kart balanced at all times, and makes it much easier to negotiate obstacles and rough terrain. Suitable for use with canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, it is designed from the strongest materials to ensure the best performance. You can find out more about this incredible CAMBA technology here:

https://vimeo.com/397428275

Whatever you’re planning on doing to treat your loved ones this Father’s Day, we do hope it’s a very special day for you all, from the team here at HandiWorld.

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Dog Car Seat Covers

Canine Adventures: Testing the HandiWorld Dog Car Seat Cover

Today, we have a guest blogger Carly who is here to tell us all about her dog Pickle and her experiences using our car seat cover for dogs.

“Pickle’s first experience of the car came on the day we picked her up from the adoption centre in March 2020 to join her outdoorsy, adventurous adoptive family. Freshly washed, she was carried into the back seat and settled down with my husband whilst I drove us home. We hooked her onto the seatbelt with her car harness, gave her a furry blanket as a dog car seat cover to protect her from slipping but she still spent the entire journey crushed up to my husband and whining for the 15 minutes it took us to get home. Relieved to be out of the car and into her new home, she bounded out into our garden to explore her new surroundings.

We took our time introducing new things to her routine, walking on a lead, meeting new people, exploring the garden – she took every new development in her stride even though it sometimes pushed her boundaries more than she liked in the first few weeks in her new home. The first breakthrough in becoming more adventurous came the day she was able to sit in the car on her own, suddenly we were able to travel together without another passenger in the car to keep her still and a whole new arena of adventures opened up.

We’ve now had six months of interesting adventures together and car journeys have become Pickle’s favourite activity. Her excitement as she bounds into the car and sits patiently to be hooked into her seatbelt harness is delightful, an everyday reminder of how far she has come in half a year.

When I upgraded my car three months into our adventures, I was worried her enthusiasm for the car she had come to know and love would be diminished, but, fear not, she loves the new one as much as I do! What my new car didn’t enjoy was its regular coating in mud and dirt from a dog who was learning to play in the great outdoors. Mud, dirt and anything smelly she could possibly have picked up along her walk are transported with her at every opportunity.

Having a dog car seat cover was a requirement I had not expected when we got all our doggy accessories, so we had to get our hands on one pretty quickly to protect the new car. Pickle was very excited to see her dog car seat cover arrive in the post (she loves the post being delivered!) and we soon got to work installing it so she could adventure ASAP.

The dog car seat cover went in really quickly and easily, fitting around the headrests with easy to use clips and allowing us to close the seatbelts to attach her harness over the top of the cover. Within 5 minutes Pickle was packed up for her next adventure and ready to go.

No longer does Pickle skid around on her blanket in the back seat spreading mud and muck with her, she jumps straight onto the cover (a feat she couldn’t have done when we first got her as her legs were not strong enough) and is contained safely and cleanly within it. It’s easy to remove so her dirt can be easily removed when humans need the car too. No longer having to clean the seats daily with an endless supply of wipes makes my day easier too and Pickle can get as dirty and disgusting as she likes on her adventures without me having to worry. And I am looking forward to the day I upgrade my car again and don’t have to apologise to the car dealership for the state of the seats!”

Thank you, Carly (and Pickle, of course) and we hope you continue to have many years of adventuring ahead with your new car seat cover for dogs. Thanks so much for all the pics of Pickle exploring her new world.

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CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

Why the CAMBA Moova is different to other hand trucks

Our CAMBA Moova is different to other hand trucks. We haven’t so much reinvented the wheel but used our CAMBA wheel technology to create a hand trolley which is less effort to move and provides greater control for the operator. If you need a better solution than your current sack barrow provides, then consider the CAMBA Moova.

Here’s why the CAMBA Moova is different to a regular hand truck…..

  • It provides better stability. The CAMBA wheel technology means the wheels are constantly adapting to the unique footprint of each wheel, keeping your load stable at all times.
  • It can go up and down stairs. As each wheel works independently of the other, getting up and down stairs is a much easier task.
  • It makes easy work of unstable terrain. The CAMBA Moova was designed with a variety of surfaces in mind. It makes easy work of hauling across mud, sand, gravel, and grass, making it an ideal tool for use in the garden, on a beach, or on a fishing trip. It’s perfect for festivals and camping trips too.
  • It can carry up to 100kg in weight. That’s around 45 standard house bricks, and way more than enough for a family tent with poles and everything.
  • The wheels are puncture-proof. One (or two) less things to worry about!
  • It folds down for easy storage. The handle is telescopic and the wheels fold in, meaning it takes up less storage space.

The CAMBA Moova is a great option for a range of activities, for both leisure or work. It is designed to work with our HandiDuffel 135 litre or 95 litre, giving you even more options for storing and moving your gear.

It has been designed with the user in mind. With features like a rubber grip handle and a simple to use push-button release, the CAMBA Moova is very user friendly. The ergonomic design is sympathetic to the human operator and places less strain on muscles and joints.

Watch our video to find out more about how the CAMBA Moova works on different surfaces and to see the CAMBA wheel technology in action.

If you’re looking for something to help you move a kayak, a canoe, or a paddleboard more easily, the CAMBA Kart uses the exact same CAMBA wheel technology. Check out the CAMBA Kart here https://www.handiworld.com/camba-kart-all-terrain-kayak-canoe-sup-trolley/

So, if you’re needing something to get some stuff from here to there with less hassle, then the CAMBA Moova could be exactly what you need. It is different to regular, traditional hand trucks but it’s designed with so many things in mind, not least you, the human, as an integral part of the whole hand truck co-operative kit. For some tasks, a traditional hand truck just isn’t up to the job. Could the CAMBA Moova be the innovative solution you are looking for?

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CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

5 of the best uses for the CAMBA Moova Hand Truck

Great news if you’ve pre-ordered our brand new CAMBA Moova – they are landing with us, and then with you, very soon! Thank you for your patience – it’s been a funny old year, hasn’t it? Hopefully, you haven’t missed out on too much you would have used it for and there will be plenty of opportunity in the future to use the innovative hand truck that is our CAMBA Moova.

The CAMBA Moova is an improved HandiMoova, our popular sack barrow. It has a carrying capacity of 100kg and is designed to handle all sorts of terrain from gravel and sand, to mud and grass, and even up steps. It has British designed and patented CAMBA wheels which allows movement of objects of all kinds with minimal effort. It folds down when not in use to save space too!

But just what can the CAMBA Moova be used for?

The CAMBA Moova is a fantastic gardening trolley

As a hand truck that can easily navigate mud, grass, kerbs, and gravel, the CAMBA Moova makes an ideal gardening trolley. Whether it’s shifting heavy planters, sacks of topsoil, or taking the rubble out, it’s comfortable tackling the type of terrain the typical UK garden can throw at it.

CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

Heading for the beach? The CAMBA Moova is an excellent beach trolley

The innovative CAMBA wheel technology makes hauling across sand a piece of cake. Which is a good job because the last time we did a family trip to the beach we had soooooo much stuff. Food, a beach shelter, enough buckets and spades to keep an entire class bubble entertained, towels, some other stuff I have no idea why we needed…. And it all needed to be kept free from water and sand. The CAMBA Moova is ideal for use with our waterproof HandiDuffel, so whatever you need to get down to the beach or seafront, this is a perfect combination.

CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

Looking for a festival trolley? The CAMBA Moova is as ready for it as you are.

When you’re not sure which festival trolley to buy, think about what you will actually use it for. When we’ve been to any major UK music festival we’ve mainly used a trolley for getting our stuff from the car park down to the camping area – which can be anything from right next to door to in the next county – and then back again. So it needs to be something which can take as much as possible in one go over what can be challenging terrain on arrival, fold up small to stow away, and then handle the even more challenging terrain packing up again. The CAMBA Moova makes easy work of mud, whether wet or dry. And there will be mud.

CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

Put the CAMBA Moova to work in the workplace

The CAMBA wheel technology makes the CAMBA Moova a little different to other trollies; it can go up and down steps. While it may not be able to get around on its own – not yet anyway! – the tech makes hauling the trolley up and down steps less strenuous and with more stability.

If your office is on a different floor to your warehouse, or your showroom area on a different to your loading bay, the CAMBA Moova can help you get your essentials from where they are to where they need to be. Could you use a sack barrow like this in your workplace?

CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

Keep on moova-ing with the CAMBA Moova

Moving home is a stressful time. It really is. There’s so much to think about and to do. Whether you’re using a moving firm or doing a DIY removals job, the CAMBA Moova will come in hugely useful in getting your boxes into your shiny new pad that bit quicker. Is your new place a first floor flat? The CAMBA Moova is great on stairs. So whether you’re moving your kids into their first student digs or moving on to your retirement pad, the CAMBA Moova can earn its keep. Once you’re done, it’ll hang in your new home happily (not taking up too much space) until the next time!

CAMBA Moova Folding Hand Truck

If you’re looking for something that’s more like a wagon, check out our HandiMoova 2 in 1 load carrier. It can carry up to 135kg over more predictable terrain, with a choice of 2-wheel or 4-wheel use. We are taking orders over at  https://www.handiworld.com/handimoova2in1/

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Surfing for Beginners

Surfing is a popular activity. It is estimated that around 500,000 people in the UK surf regularly. Are you one of them?

If you’ve never surfed before and want to start, here’s our guide to surfing for beginners in the UK.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Where to surf in the UK

The UK has a coastline of over 12,000km, so there are lots of options for surfing. However, the best spots are generally found in Devon and Cornwall, North Yorkshire, Northumberland, and South Wales with a few surfing schools located in Scotland and Northern Ireland, as well as the Anglian coast.

There are also artificial surfing lakes around the UK, such as Surf Snowdonia and The Wave in Bristol.

Check out Surfing England’s website for more information about surf schools in England. https://www.surfingengland.org/english-surf-schools/

Are surfing lessons expensive?

Surfing lessons are similar to driving lessons, except you don’t need so many of them and you don’t need to pass a test at the end! You can be up and surfing with only one lesson, though the norm is for two or three lessons to get confident.

Prices are around £25 – £30 per session (1 or 2 hours) and you can get discounts per person if you are taught in a small group rather than 1-to-1, or if you book a block of lessons. There isn’t a lot of price difference around the UK, but you might be able to get better value in other parts of the world. Maybe you can combine learning to surf with a holiday abroad, or in the UK?

For the lowdown on some of best surfing schools in the UK, take a look at Lonely Planet’s recommendations at  https://www.lonelyplanet.com/articles/the-best-places-to-learn-to-surf-in-the-uk

To learn what to expect from surfing lessons, check out this handy article on learning to surf at Porthcawl Surf School by Little Stuff

Photo by Sincerely Media on Unsplash

Surfing holidays UK

If you want to combine learning to surf with a holiday, then you can do that, either abroad or right here in the UK.

Surf Snowdonia, as an example, has glamping lodges where you can stay while learning to surf on their 300-metre surf lagoon. Read: Glamping at Surf Snowdonia by Otis and Us. If glamping isn’t for you – the Hilton Garden Inn will be opening on site from April 2021!

Going abroad is a great option for learning to surf. You can get some good prices on both the holiday and the lessons by exploring holidaying in places like South Africa, or Mozambique. Alternatively, you can learn to surf in Hawaii, the most iconic of surfing locations, but that might cost you a little more!

The HandiRack, our universal inflatable roof bars, are a great way of transporting your surfboard.

HandiRack - Surf Board

Will surfing be in the Olympics?

Surfing has been added to the sports at the Tokyo Summer Olympics 2020, though these will now start in July 2021. It will be on a real ocean rather than a wave pool, and the inaugural event will be Shidashita Beach in Japan. Riders will be judged on the quality and difficulty of the moves they perform while riding the waves.

You can find out more about surfing at the 2020 Olympics at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surfing_at_the_2020_Summer_Olympics

Can surfing be dangerous?

Surfing is generally considered a safe activity but with all watersports, there are risks such as drowning, and being hit by other participants or equipment.

You can reduce your risk by….

  • Wearing appropriate surfing PPE such as a wetsuit, a helmet, and a floatation device.
  • Making sure your equipment is in good repair, and choosing a board which has flexible fins and a blunt nose, or fitting a nose guard to your board.
  • Wearing sun screen and drinking plenty of water to stay hydrated
  • Warming up and cooling down to prevent muscle strain
  • Having someone with you or nearby at all times – you should not surf alone.
  • Following the rules and etiquette of surfing

But don’t let any of this put you off – here are 7 Good Reasons you Should Surf

Have we inspired you to start to learn to surf?

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Stand up Paddle Boarding for Beginners

Stand up paddleboarding is an activity growing fast in popularity. Whether this is due to the coronavirus (stand up paddleboarding is a good social distancing activity) or something else, we are not really sure, but we’ve certainly seen a lot more people out and about doing just this. Have you ever been stand up paddle boarding?

What is stand up paddleboarding?

Stand up paddle boarding (or SUP) is like surfing but isn’t. Instead of using waves to propel yourself like in surfing, you use a paddle to push yourself along still waters or waves. You can paddleboard on a lake, a river, or the ocean. You can stand up on the board, or kneel if you prefer.

It originated in Hawaii and has been around for hundreds of years, though the modern version dates from around the year 1900.

Photo by Matt Zhou on Unsplash

Is stand up paddle boarding difficult?

Stand up paddleboarding is very accessible as an activity. It doesn’t require the skill of surfing, and is easier to get into than kayaking. It’s suitable for people of all ages and it can be taught in a few hours, unlike surfing where you often need multiple lessons for a sustained period of time to really pick it up.

Have a look at this article from Isle, Surf and Sup to learn more about how easy it is to get into stand up paddleboarding – https://www.islesurfandsup.com/is-paddle-boarding-hard/

How to do stand up paddle boarding

Stand up paddleboarding is basically standing or kneeling on a board while using a paddle to propel yourself. It’s all about balance and momentum – like cycling. There’s not much else to it. Learn to balance yourself. Learn to move from a kneeling position to a standing position. Get the hang of paddling and turning your board in a different direction. It’s all about practice.

Here’s a great video from Tin Box Traveller

What stand up paddle board to buy

Getting the right sized paddleboard is important. Longer and wider boards provide better stability but might be difficult to paddle, especially if you’re short and lightweight yourself. Wider boards are good for increased stability in moving water – such as rapids.

Bigger boards are more difficult to store but inflatable SUPs are available and these provide good stability too.

The HandiRack, our universal inflatable roof bars, are a great way of transporting your SUP.

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

HandiRack Inflatable Roof Bars

Have a read of this article from PumpedUpSup to learn more about ideal SUP sizes – https://www.pumpedupsup.com/blogs/news/what-size-sup-board-is-right-for-you

Photo by Grant Durr on Unsplash

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding

What to wear when stand up paddle boarding is kind of important but there’s not really specialist SUP wear – it’s the same stuff you’d wear if you were surfing. A wet suit is good but then swim-shorts and t-shirts are fine too. The plan isn’t to spend too much time in the water anyway!

You should wear a floatation device, especially if you are not a strong swimmer. Children should certainly wear one.

If it’s a cold day (or even if it’s not) you might also want to wear thermals. The water can be cold even if the sun is shining.

On your feet, water shoes are a good option. Bare feet are fine, until you fall in and need to walk on the bottom of the riverbed.

If it’s a hot day, then don’t forget your sunscreen and shades.

It’s also important that you get a board leash – like in surfing – so your board stays close to you if you fall in the water.

Where to go stand up paddle boarding

There are lots of places around the UK to go stand up paddleboarding, but like kayaking, you might need a license to access some waterways. While some stretches of water are public access, many are under the control of the Canal & River Trust, the Environment Agency, the Broads Authority and a number of other waterway authorities.

You can get a temporary licence (30 days) from The Canal & River Trust https://canalrivertrust.org.uk/enjoy-the-waterways/canoeing-and-kayaking/paddle-boarding-the-basics or an annual membership from British Canoeing which includes a licence for a host of managed waterways around the UK and liability insurance – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/news/2019/stand-up-paddle-boarding-on-canals-and-rivers

Check out the list of locations covered by British Canoeing membership and those not included to find a suitable place near you – https://www.britishcanoeing.org.uk/go-canoeing/access-and-environment/licensing

The CAMBA Kart, our innovative board and paddlesports trolley makes getting your SUP to the waters edge much easier.

CAMBA Kart Paddlesports Trolley

Is stand up paddleboarding safe?

Stand up paddleboarding is as safe as it can be for an activity that is physical and done on water, which can be unpredictable. It’s important that you, as with other watersports, respect the water and take notice of the safety advice from your instructor.

Check out safety advice from the RNLI at https://rnli.org/safety/choose-your-activity/stand-up-paddle-boarding

Are you a stand up paddleboarder?

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8 At-home Activities to Keep the Adventure Spirit Alive

We know what it’s like when you’re yearning to get out and enjoy the great outdoors but circumstances mean you’re stuck at home for now. Whether it’s a global pandemic, lack of funds, or work commitments keeping you from going too far, there are activities you can do which will help satisfy your craving for adventure (for now, anyway).

Here are 9 outdoor and adventure activities you can do at home.

Build a climbing wall

A climbing wall for you or the children can be done outside or even inside if you have enough wall space. While you probably don’t have the space for a full climbing rig, you can set something up for a spot of bouldering.
Take a look at https://thecreatedhome.com/diy-climbing-wall to see how you could set something up indoors.
Outdoors, you will need a solid wall or some sizeable pieces of wood and some climbing studs. You can buy these online, for example at https://www.amazon.co.uk/Climbing-Holds

A climbing wall can be a considerable expense but it also makes a good project which will help you while away a few hours. A well-built climbing wall can last a very long time too, so this is definitely an investment in both time and money.

Do some back garden camping


A firm at-home favourite is back garden camping. There’s nothing like sleeping under canvas and in your garden is still a good way of getting your body clock in sync with nature. The downside is that you don’t really get a change of scenery, but on the upside, you get a toilet nearby and you know who’s used it! You can also get away with not having to take lots of equipment and supplies with you and you will never have the problem of not having taken suitable clothing.

Have a read of our blog post – Camping Equipment List: What camping gear do I need?

Do some back garden cooking


Cooking on an open camp fire or even using your regular gas camping kitchen is a change from your home’s kitchen. Food always tastes different when it’s cooked on a camping stove and it always reminds me of being outdoors and on holiday. Back garden cooking is always good preparation for cooking when camping if you’ve not done it before.

What can you make?

Well how about hot dogs or burgers, and s’mores for dessert? I like making fried chicken wraps and one pot meals like vegetable curry are always a winner.

Check out these camping recipes from Mini Travellers for some more ideas https://minitravellers.co.uk/12-delicious-camping-recipes

Hold a back garden festival


If you really want to get into the festival spirit then why not hold your own backyard festival? As well as the tent you can also put on some music, play your own, and do some crafting too. Face painting and festival hair always make my children ridiculously excited. What would you do at your own personal festival?

Have a look at https://minitravellers.co.uk/10-festival-themed-party-ideas/ for some festival themed party ideas.
Read this https://tinboxtraveller.co.uk/how-to-throw-garden-festival/ for tips on how to throw your own garden festival by Tin Box Traveller.

Hold your own cycling event


Indoor cycling is a great way to exercise when you can’t get out and about but isn’t it boring when they only thing you have to look it is the wall? We can’t all afford a Peloton to take part in classes with others but what about using your own TV and the videos that others have kindly made? Check out this YouTube account for some brilliant cycling videos – can you imagine pedalling along to these? https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCVbBtdw-_SCqGDs6-_awaDg

In terms of the equipment you will need – if you don’t have an exercise bike, then you could adapt your own bikes to use indoors. You will need ramps or stands – either bought or make your own. This one looks interesting if you can’t get hold of a ready-made one …… http://tidybrownwren.blogspot.com/2011/06/how-to-make-your-own-exercise-bike-for.html

For smaller cyclists, I’ve seen a set-up which uses stabilisers placed onto props so the back wheel is lifted off the floor. Genius! https://www.heart.co.uk/lifestyle/parenting/mum-sets-up-genius-indoor-cycle-studio/

Do some orienteering


If you can get out and about into your neighbourhood, then how about creating an orienteering challenge? Get a street map of your local area or make your own using Google Maps.

This is a good way of introducing using a compass too. You can make the map and route as easy or as complicated as you like.

Nature spotting


There might not be anything more exciting than mini beasts in your garden but some back garden wildlife spotting is a good warm up for the real thing. There’s lots to spot in your garden such as earthworms, ladybirds, spiders, and all manner of domestic birds like pigeons, sparrows, and robins.

Download a bug safari sheet from the RSPB at https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/go-on-a-bug-safari/ and a bird spotting sheet at https://www.rspb.org.uk/fun-and-learning/for-families/family-wild-challenge/activities/go-birdwatching/

Build a bivouac

Building a den is a great activity for indoor or out but a proper bivouac is the best! Made from branches, building a bivouac feels like a real survival activity. Have you ever made one?

Here are some tips from Countryfile – https://www.countryfile.com/how-to/outdoor-skills/how-to-make-a-bivouac/

What activities do you do when stuck at home?

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