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Online Shop, Outdoor People, Projects -

Click on through to check our collections for camping, yoga, cycling, picnics and everyday adventures!

The Outdoor People Shop is OPEN FOR BUSINESS!

Phew ;) With profits being reinvested in projects getting kids outdoors, what better place to get a few Christmas presents or that perfect rucksack for yourself? Currently we are building resources to develop a project taking single parents with young children camping and a research/pilot project to increase opportunities for challenging adventures for girls in at-risk groups. In addition we are supporting ongoing links with The Wild Network, Gift Your Gear and the Hackney based outdoor nursery Free Range Urban Kids. If you'd like to Gift Your Gear - unwanted outdoor clothes or stuff - to play and youth projects I'm now a collection point. Either drop off at the stall on Saturdays, or contact me to drop off in Hackney of possibly for pick up. Gift Your Gear will then distribute to play and youth projects across the UK! AND you can get a free Outdoor People hat to say thank you ;) [caption id="attachment_1318" align="alignleft" width="665"]Everything! Outdoor People Online Shop[/caption]

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Aside, Outdoor People -

Real quick one this week, as way too late! New stuff on the stall includes more colours of the fantastic Atlasware Flasks. They'll keep your coffee or tea hot for eighteen hours or your water or iced tea cold (or white wine!) for 24 hours. And very pretty shape ;) 500 in front together I'm working hard on getting the shop up online, watch this space... We've got two more Hackney Wild Walks workshops for professionals coming up on the 12th and 24th November, both at 9:30am. Sign up over on the events page. These will be the last with the current funding, though I would be happy to discuss bespoke versions if organisations are interested. I posted up three galleries of pictures of the walks we've done to date. Oh and there are a couple of places on both for parents with kids. Very excitingly my first Children and Young People Now blog was published this week! All about the importance of the walk to school. Do take a look... http://www.cypnow.co.uk/cyp/fair-play-blog/1147907/walk-school-play-mean-outcomes It was also the launch of the lovely Free Range Urban Kids in Millfields Park - to see how they get on check out the latest blog post. Last week I went outdoors with a vengeance, back to the bit of the world which is just full of 'ludic memories' for me in the far north west of Scotland. It was a great week, with a fantastic - and scary - mountain climbed as we bagged the two munros that make up Beinn Alligin in the Torridons. IMG_2174 I've lost count of the mountains my niece and her brother, with their dad, my brother, have climbed. Sam (my nephew) couldn't be with us this time but am hoping he'll be with us next year. A couple of weeks ago i wrote about the joys of exploring your own backyard. Hopefully soon I'll find time to scribble down thoughts on the importance of the big adventures too. We all need to dream and know that we can really go way, way beyond our comfort zones and live to tell the tale. My Storm Kettles are advertised with the slogan of their lovely manufacturers, the ever cheerful Tornado Boiler Company, endorsing us all to "Evoke the adventurer!". It's a great philosophy! Have a great weekend! Cath PS If you check out the Facebook, Instagram or Twitter feed there is an exciting little offer, just sayin'...

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#OutdoorPeople, Charlie, Diary, E8, exploring, graffiti, Hackney Wild Walks, HackneyWildWalks, London Fields, Outdoor People, parks, playing, shops, streetplay, streets, urban exploring -

“It's a dangerous business, Frodo, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don't keep your feet, there's no knowing where you might be swept off to.”

― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
I built my long term love of just being outdoors simply playing around the the places where I was growing up. Climbing trees, roller skating, den making, breaking into building sites... More distant adventures were had, but they were special. This blog is about the everyday adventures that start just outside your front door. And be warned this is a bit more of a personal blog - but I do include a good few references to thinkers and researchers too, to bring it back to I hope something useful if you are trying to make the case to increase walking with children or families where you live or work. We moved quite a lot through my childhood and teenage years - Yorkshire, N Wales, Liverpool, Cheshire and Baghdad*. Then post college (in London), I had eight more addresses from the Highlands of Scotland to Exeter before I was 32 and finally 'settled' here in Hackney. Moving so often, playing and exploring outdoors was an important way for me to get to know my neighborhood, to put down roots quickly, to feel safe and known, to make friends with both other children (and later adults!) and the lady that ran the corner shop (insert coffee shop!). Research from a number of sources** shows children and families are safer and feel far more 'connected' where they are outdoors in their own places more and know their neighbours. Living in relatively car free areas massively increases connectivity. Whatever, from experience I'd agree that the more time you spend meandering and really looking at your neighbourhood, the more connected and safer you feel. And that still holds however old you are. In the course of the last few months developing the Hackney Wild Walks with the good folks of Hackney's Public Health team, and taking professionals for workshops and treasure hunts around some of the secret spaces across the borough has reminded me so strongly how very, very important it is for all of us to simply walk where we live. to feel it in all its seasons. Yesterday I needed to visit a shop in Haggerston, about a mile from my flat, so instead of zipping there on my bike and decided to go in a #HackneyWildWalk headspace and see what I could find... One of my favourite pastimes in Hackney is spotting new graffiti. The world is constantly changing. It doesn't matter how often you go down a path, it is always different. That applies just as much to the built as the growing environment. That's one of the many benefits parents and educators mention about simply going outdoors - there is simply so much more to talk about! IMG_4878 Stik is a famous local graffiti artist - but this is the biggest piece of his I've seen. IMG_4883 Even walking along side streets of an inner city borough on a dull October day you can find beautiful flowers, and I was happy to spot this cornflower, one of my favourites. IMG_4885 Growing up partly in the Middle East, it makes me very happy to see trees like this so close to home! When I'm doing the walk with children these provide a great talking point too. IMG_4886 And curious signs! The British sense of humour is visible in so many tucked away spaces, always nice to see! IMG_4887 Urban walks always have a bench to sit, drink your coffee, and watch the world go by. IMG_4892 Then homeward bound... IMG_4889 There are so many trees to see, plants of all shapes and sizes, animals and birds to both see and hear.  This morning - on the way to early yoga - I think I heard a nightingale. Need to check that on my app... but not until I've smelt the earth a little longer. Playing, exploring and simply observing where we live - and chatting to folks on the way, something most people seem to welcome if done with a smile, though the dog helps! - are critical not just to our health, but to our sense of who we are in the place we live. So do try and make space for a wild walk in the next week...

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Aside, Outdoor People -

The last couple of weeks have been wonderfully wild, including a wild screening of Project Wild Thing at the fantastic Wilderness, rowing on a lake with my increasingly wild (in the best possible way!) niece and planning for the rather gorgeous bijou family yoga festival, Exhale, coming up next weekend. There will be bushcraft, night walks, orange candle making... oh and some yoga! I've also been planning some rather great training and got a lovely partnership building... read to the end for more. But first, we had Playday! Outdoor People at Exhale 007 Outdoor People at Exhale 010 Usually I've got involved in big, organised playdays - and there were lots of those across the country - but this year for me was about keeping it local, so I joined the mums, dads, babies and toddlers of my block of flats and we had a wonderful picnic in the park. Just making the effort to get to know each other a little better, and letting all the tinies put there toes in the grass, was wonderful.We are planning more for the other young residents when they are back from holiday. The campaign was a success across the country, with ITV screening an entire half hour documentary around the topic:

Do You let Your Children Play Out?
I was slightly disappointed my interview got cut! But the research I fed them and all the points I wanted made got in there - do take a look. The parents filmed, Tim Gill and Digby Jones make the case brilliantly - kids NEED to be outdoors, not just a nice to have. And we HAVE to do something about this problem. Next, to very softly announce, is that I will be partnering up with the fantastic Gift Your GearGift Your Gear charity, providing a collection point here in Hackney, promoting their fantastic work and encouraging other organisations that take children and adults outdoors to make best use of their recycled outdoor clothes. So if you have any old outdoors gear taking up space, please bring it down to the stall, or drop me a line and we'll see if we can fetch it. Over September they have a high profile partnership with Rohan, so we'll be formally announcing our link up in October. Doesn't stop us collecting gear in the meantime - and if you can't get to Hackney, then you can donate through your local Rohan shop. I've also got some NEW STUFF for the stall - lovely ex army canvas blankets, some US made charge cords wrapped like old style electric cable and some more hammocks! I've also restocked on Storm Kettles and firelighters as at the last market we SOLD OUT!! They really are the best when camping - a godsend at Wilderness and Womad, keeping our kanteens full of tea and coffee, and quickly heating warm water for washing ourselves and our plates. I did put mine on a ceramic tile to protect the grass! Finally got a small restock of Klean Kanteens, with some new extra large flasks and some of the 'cap your flask' lids. Very useful when driving or walking round the park drinking coffee! I also got a bottle engraved this week for a client involved with The Wild Network, looks rather good doesn't it? If you would like something similar do get in touch. [gallery type="slideshow" columns="5" ids="730,747,748,743,741,732,731"] Lastly, and VERY excitingly, I've six new workshops coming up, delivered in partnership with Hackney's Public Health Team. These are free to all professionals, community leaders and volunteers who work with children and families across Hackney. For more details and to register your interest please see the Hackney Wild Walks Workshops Event page. Hope to see some of you at Broadway Market tomorrow or in the future, let's make the outdoors easy this weekend and have ourselves some #WildTime!

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adventure, Aside, chicken salad, Diary, HackneyWildWalks, Outdoor People, picnics, wet weather, Wildtime -

Yesterday was the day of a long planned picnic with my good friend Gabriel (aged two), his aunt and my intern Phoebe. The unexpected rain could have put a dampener on it... but no way. It was great to get to try out my super light weight tarp, and anyway we had umbrellas and waterproofs and a beautiful lunch. #nosuchthingasbadclothes!! [embed]https://www.flickr.com/photos/123528527@N07/14619708385/in/set-72157645609239051/player/width=75height=75frameborder=0allowfullscreenwebkitallowfullscreenmozallowfullscreenoallowfullscreenmsallowfullscreen/iframe There are some more photos on the Outdoor Peeps Flikr stream, with huge thanks to Gabe's mum Jess for thee permission and the lunch! And to the teachers on strike so we got this chance... We were doing the Haggerston walk from the #HackneyWildWalks set, We didn't get all the way round - when you are two years old, a couple of hours playing outside in the rain was enough and anyway we walked - and scooted - from London Fields. PJ56044_Wild Walks A3 version.indd Do please share your photos and stories about your #HackneyWildWalks or indeed your #WildWalks anywhere! Make the outdoors an adventure, there is always something to discover.  

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