Pie o'clock at Big Shakeout 2012
Put it in your diaries people, this years Big Shakeout outdoor festival will take place on the 27th/28th/29th of September. We will be updating our site in the coming months with announcements and ticket availabilities, so get yourself on our newsletter or make sure to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.
Once again the venue is Thornbridge Outdoors in the heart of the Peak District.
The Big Shakeout is a festival encompassing multiple adventure activities in a single location providing the perfect subject matter for the 6 participants. The range of activities was diverse and included climbing, kayaking, bushcraft, mountain biking, craft skills, circus skills and slacklining.
Over the 2 days photographer and photojournalist Alex Ekins, qualified mountaineering instructor and member of the Association of Mountaineering Instructors (AMI), set group assignments to document the significant moments from the weekend. With so much going on and with the pressures of facing real deadlines and getting to the right place at the right time the team had their work cut out. In addition to the practical work classroom sessions gave an insight into the practice of outdoor photojournalism, working with the media, magazines, creating portfolios and operating in a professional manner. Each course participant received a goody bag including products from Rab, Clif bars, a memory card holder from F-stop and discount vouchers from Aquapac, f-stop, Nite watches and Totally Rad software.
The weekend concluded with a prize for best photograph from the weekend. The small panel of Alpkit staff admitted judging the competition was tough, but all agreed that Nicola Jordan was a deserving winner for her delightful image of two children on top of a peak district crag. For many of the participants one of the most important skills learned was gaining the confidence to approach their subjects.
Winner Nicola Jordan said “Alex’s course was really insightful and it has re-ignited my enthusiasm”.
In addition all of the participants have been invited to submit a greater portfolio of work from which an image can be selected and used on next years Big Shakeout programme and poster, as well as a pool of
photographs that can be used online to promote next years event. So keep an eye out for some more great images.
Big Shakeout took place at Thornbridge Outdoors on the 12-14 October. For details of next years event keep an eye on Big Shakeout.
For more about Alex Ekins
In a year where festivals have been plagued by inclement weather October has once again proved to be more reliable than the Great British summer. In our humble opinion, and having been to all Shakeouts, this years was the best ever!
Prefer your stories in pictures? Have a look through the Facebook Shakeout gallery.. otherwise read on.
On Friday night more than 200 people were guided by illuminated Alpkit letters to an intimate weekend of adventure and entertainment. Some were here to take part in School of Adventure activities, others were planning to head out into the Peak District exploring, climbing, walking or riding, others where here to simply relax, meet friends and enjoy the festival.
The weekend started with adventure films, hot food and live music. Smiling Ivy made sure those who had long journeys were rejuvenated and all thoughts of the working week vanquished.
Saturday started early, with a packed programme ahead breakfast was served from 7.30 to make sure people were underway by 9. Groups headed out caving, canoeing, kayaking, bouldering, climbing.. on-site bushcraft groups disappeared in to the woods, families got tangled up in rope courses, crawled through mole hills, teetered across high wires and enjoyed one of the many craft workshops.
Some highlights from the day included Vin Cox's Wild Foraging ride. Vin has ridden around the world, in fact he used to hold the record for the fastest circumnavigation. Recent adventures have seen him riding and surviving off the fat of the land and on Saturday afternoon he led a group on a foraging ride in the local area. 3 hours later they were back boiling up nettles, cooking mushrooms, gutting and roasting a pheasant in front of an intrigued audience.
The Adventurists were late to arrive, but once they were here they were packing out the yurt with their unique blend of films and talks. Even the chill of the evening did nothing to damp their quest for adventure. While this was going on Vin Cox was hosting chats with team Alpkit members in the River Legacy cafe where they were trading stories of mountaineering on Denali, completing Arrowhead, caving in the Dachstein, almost completing the Patagonia Expedition Race and using Google maps to locate new rivers to kayak in the Himalaya.
In the evening the site was transformed, fires were lit, paths illuminated with tea lights and the teepee set against a backdrop of moody lighting. A willow lantern parade weaved it's way towards marshmallows on the bonfire and bed time stories, but how many kids were actually ready for bed with all this going on we are not sure!
Those who had discovered Rik Warren hidden around the bonfire last year were hotly anticipating his return, and although he didn't have his drummer they were not disappointed. We think Rik is becoming as essential to the Shakeout as our teepee! The evening chill did nothing to deter a large audience from forming around a dramatic fire-poi performance under a clear star studded sky. Fighting the weariness of all the days activities the fires burnt late into the night. As the DJ spun his discs fans of the Alpkit stone pinching game were stunned when the mythical 5th stone was finally lifted. Now the search is on for a 6th stone or there will be a double lift challenge next year!
There was an icy surprise for some on Sunday morning. The night was clear, Jack Frost had paid a visit. Tents were encrusted under a heavy frost, those with wood burning stoves were stoking up and their smoke drifted across the campsite as people willed themselves up to face the day. Fortunately hot porridge and cooked breakfasts provided all the encouragement that was needed until the warmth of the sun hit the site and groups set out on another morning of activities.
First off we must offer out a huge thanks to everybody who came along, enjoyed the outdoors before joining in the entertainment and friendly banter. You really do help to make it such a great weekend. Of course there are plenty of other people who have been invaluable in bringing Big Shakeout to life.
Our hosts Thornbridge Outdoors once again provided us with a fantastic venue, facilities and a great bunch of instructors. There was more than one mini adventurer who was not happy to be leaving on Sunday afternoon! If you liked what you did and want more you don't need to leave it another year before you return, Thornbridge run courses throughout the year.
River Legacy and their small army of volunteers kept everyone fed and watered throughout the weekend, catering for every food requirements and dishing out breakfasts and free tea and coffee refills in quick succession. Pieminister pies got a lot of loving, providing people with an essential refuel before the evening festivities.
Thanks to Smiling Ivy, Matthew Moore, Rik Warren and Klitch for the weekend grooves, visit them online if you want to hear more from them, we reckon we will see them back at the Shakeout before too long.
Genesis bikes provided bike demos through the weekend, I wonder how many people now have a 29er on their Christmas shopping list?
Rude Health were a welcome sight for many, warming people up in the morning with smiles and spoonfuls of delicious hot organic porridge.
Sugru provided their insanely useful silicon putty which once you have used it you will wonder how you ever survived without it. We are looking forward to seeing your best hacks.
With more kids than ever to keep us on our toes we are indebted to Luke Tilley and Al Greer for running the circus skills workshop, Steve 'Smite-master' Birnie for keeping the score, the 16th Ilkeston Scouts for the bouncy castle and IEAT for the woodland craft workshops.
A lot of talented people let us show some of their adventure films in the cafe. Nick Brown from Outcrop Films, Dom Bush from Land & Sky Media, Klara Harden, Pete Astles from Peak UK, Dan Wedgwood from The Adventurists and Matt Heason from the Buxton Film Festival.
Dave Mycroft of My Outdoors provided a 3G network for all the campers as well as running around the site making interviews.
And finally all the Alpkit team; Lee, Scott, Vin, Johnny, Luke, Shauna, Dan, Chris, Chris and Dave who made it along to share their daring deed adventures and inspire others on to new adventures of their own.
Stay tuned for news about Big Shakeout in 2013!
Just a reminder that Big Shakeout tickets are for the full weekend event, so if you are thinking of coming then please make sure that you get your ticket booked before Friday so that we can send through all relevant information. We cannot guarantee that we'll be able to accomodate you if you turn up at the gate without an order confirmation.
We reviewed courses in the School of Adventure a couple of weeks back for any insufficient demand on sessions as we had to book in the instructors. These courses have now been confirmed and will definitaly be running , even though some still having places available on them. This means that you may well be able to sign up to some sessions over the weekend if you find yourself with time to spare, have a change of heart, or persuade your partner to give something a go! As we are leaving ticket sales open for these courses right up to the weekend we can't guarantee there will still be places by the time you get to them, so still advise booking any in advance if you're super keen on trying them.
If you are bringing your bike there are still currently oppurtunities to learn or improve your mountain biking on-site with the support of the highly experienced Campbell Coaching in one of their 2 hour skills sessions. Alternatively there are also spaces left on the legendary Ed Oxley's Smoothers, a guided skills ride heading off from the Big Shakeout site suitable for any level and guaranteed to get you riding more confidently. Maybe even get the skills coaching in the morning before heading out with Ed in the afternoon to put your practice to the test!
Perhaps you're planning a spot of climbing, then you may want to catch some essential rope management skills with Ed Chard on Saturday morning before making the most of the Peak climbing over the rest of the weekend.
If you are mooching about on-site and after a nip of adventure then there are also spots left on the Skyropes, perfect for friends and families. Or if youre feeling that your little one's are not getting enough of a buzz then why not the get them on the Mini Adventurer.
So if you find yourself wanting to set yourself up for the rest of the weekend, or have been waiting to see what takes your fancy, just make sure you bring all your outdoor kit as you may never know what you'll end up doing!
So here we are, just 1 week away from Big Shakeout and the countdown continues.
If you are coming then you should have received your BSO order email already and we will very shortly be emailing with all relevant information and a confirmation of any courses you may have signed up to on the School of Adventure. If you are worried that you have placed an order but not recieved any contact from us then please let us know.
If you still happen to be thinking about coming then fear not as there's still time, but we do recommend you get your tickets sooner rather than later so we can make sure we get all relevant information to you in time. So if you are thinking of spending a weekend in the Peak District then why not base yourself at Big Shakeout and enjoy the entertainment we have on offer, whether that's with the family or for a reunion with old friends.
We have been confirming and updating the What's To Do and Food and Entertainment pages to give you a good idea of what's going to be on offer through the weekend, so it is worth having another browse through these if you're still undecided.
Free activity highlights include the Wild Foraging ride with Vin Cox and The Adventurists Yurt, Genesis bike demos plus a host of fun workshops to occupy adults and kids alike. Why not join the Cirque du Alpkit? Practice some circus skills during the afternoon before taking to the stage for an evening performance to show off what you have learnt.
So last chance to get your weekend ticket! Leave all thoughts of work and stress at home as we welcome you on the Friday, open up the Real Ale bar, tune in some films and switch on the live music, before taking you all the way through to marshmallows, talks and Saturday evening Pieminister meal.
If you're still at a loss of things to do, then there may be limited number of spaces on some of the School of Adventure courses to sign up to during the weekend, but if you want to secure any remaining places we recommend booking these in advance. For example we still have places available to join legendary Ed Oxley on one of his guided rides, or Alex Ekins on the Photography weekend course.
Yes we knew they were coming, but here's an update of exactly what to expect during what should be a pretty interesting evening in the Yurt, where there will be maps, films and talks to really get those adventurous travel bug juices flowing.
They will set up a selection of maps covering a number of possible overland adventures, so come along if you want to discuss any plans to head off across the globe. This will then lead into a talk about their very popular Mongol Rally and how you go about driving a 1l car to Mongolia, followed by a showing of THE Mongol Rally film...
The evening will then wrap up with a talk about 'When Adventure Goes Wrong'
Full of essential tips, usefull information and plenty of inspirational yabberings, if you're feeling adventuours then make sure you drop into the yurt to kick start your World domination!
For information on the evening check out the Adventurists programme.
Looking to get away from work early on Friday? Well we can hardly blame you as Big Shakeout will be kicking off your weekend of adventure in the Peak District and we reccommend getting there as early as possible on the Friday to get the most out of it! You can arrive at the Thornbridge site from 4 pm and we'll sure be trying to help you enjoy as much of your time with us as possible.
Once you've set up camp then make sure you hit the main marquee where you'll be able to shake off all thoughts of work. So if you can, get there early to make sure you don't miss out on the Welsh buffalo burger (or vegetarian alternative) and pint for £5 offer. Plus for the gamers amongst you there will be our very own relaxed Smite championships, so if you've not played before then come along and give it a go. Things will pick up as the Real Ale festival bar gets into full flow and the live music gets underway with resident guitarist Matthew Moore easing you in before Smiling Ivy will get the dance floor going and you can truely switch off and fully enjoy the weekend.
So it really is worth leaving work early to get your weekend properly going, catch up with old friends and make some new ones!
Photgraphy and Film work side by side at the Big Shakeout, learn some ins and outs of these outdoor media, sign up with either Alex (photography) or Dom Bush (film) on the course. Includes your weekend ticket and a goody bag.
We're pleased to announce that Genesis Bikes will be joining us at Big Shakeout with a fleet of demo bikes for you to try out. We've had a pretty good relationship with Genesis over the years, with the likes of co-sponsoring Paul Errington as he tackled the Arrowhead and Yak Attack and Vin Cox conquered his round the world challenge. Proof that these bikes can be used for all kinds of adventures.
So come along and check out their range of bikes at the Genesis Bike Demo
So here we are with just 16 days to go till Big Shakeout 2012. The final running order of events is nicely coming together and we'll continue to keep you updated over the next week or two about all the things you could enjoy on and off site. For example we've confirmed that Rude Health will be sharing some of their porridge around to get you going in the mornings, the Real Ale festival bar line up has really taken shape and Vin Cox is going to lead a foraging ride around the local lanes. There is of course an abundance of activities you can do within easy reach of the Thornbridge site, but we'll also be providing lots to keep you busy on-site, adults and kids alike. Check out the What's To Do page.
So if you're planning to make a trip to the Peak District this October, whether to come biking, climbing, canoeing, walking, birdwatching, site seeing or café hopping, then why not coincide it with the Big Shakeout weekend? We've obviously been keeping a sneaky look at the forecast and there's rumours that it's going to be glorious sunshine and 25 degrees... well maybe not but hey, whatever the weather we really hope you can come along and help us make this a great weekend.
Get your Big Shakeout ticket now...
This is a Big Shakeout free activity
2010 saw Vin Cox capture the World circumnavigation record. It seems that during his trip away he really started getting interested in foraging and earlier this year he attempted to cycle the length of England eating only food he foraged along the way. This was at a time when the fruits of the land were perhaps a little less than bountiful too!
Well you'll be pleased to know that he will be joining us at Big shakeout this year and you'll be able to join him for a fun informal foraging ride around the lanes, before heading back to see what can be cooked up with what was found.
Find out more about Wild Foraging with Vin Cox
you can catch up with what Vin is up to on his Facebook page.
The UK has been seeing a resurgence in local micro breweries over the last few year, with this year seeing the highest number for 70 years.
The Campaign for Real Ale named Derby the UK's 2012 real ale capital - a title that is embraced by the city's micro brewery culture. To celebrate this, bar providers for the Alpkit Big Shakeout 2012, River Legacy, have placed orders with three local micro breweries, Dancing Duck, Amber Ales and Blue Monkey. There will be 16 varieties of ales on sale ranging from session beers such as Barnes Wallace, Ey Yup Duck and 99 Red Baboons through to speciality beers such as chocolate orange stouts and strong IPAs.
The real ale festival bar will be complimented by a selection of lagers, ciders, spirits and soft drinks to enjoy whilst you unwind from the days activities and share stories with friends old and new.
Tickets for the 2012 Alpkit Big Shakeout are available now, don't miss out on what is shaping up to be a great weekend.
My mouth is watering just looking at this pic and we must admit to enjoying the odd bowl of porridge now and again, whether that's with a drizzzle of runny honey, slices of bannana, or a simple pinch of salt. Well, whatever floats your boat in terms of toppings, what better way to start the Big Shakeout day than with a helping of fine porridge?
We're delighted to have those nice folks over at Rude Health coming along serving up some free porridge in the mornings. They will be handing out some of their yummy porridge with a selction of delicious toppings to help kick start your day of outdoor adventure. As they rightly say themselves...breakfast like a king, then just go for it. So come along and join us for the weekend, eat a decent breakfast and then get out there and do something awesome!
Check out their site for information on their range of muesli, porridge, granola and cereals and stay in rude health
Shauna Coxsey has confirmed that she will be coming along to help run our Alpkid on the Blocs - an informal, kid friendly bouldering session on the Big Shakeout site at Thornbridge Outdoors. She'll be there to impart her knowledge and enthusiasm to those younger kids looking to make a start the world of climbing.
Shauna Coxsey is the British Bouldering Champion and finished third in this years bouldering world cup... so what better way to get your kids started off along the right path!
The cut off point for SofA courses is 14th September, this is when we have to confirm with our team of instructors if there is sufficient demand for their course. Courses not meeting their threshold may be cancelled so don't wait until the last minute if you want to get on a course.
If you've been eyeing up a course at this years Big Shakeout then now is the time to sign up and show your interest! With just over a month to go a lot of the courses are filling up (some have even sold out!) and we wouldn’t want you to miss out on that course you have been thinking about over the last few months.
It doesn't matter what level you're at! Improve your photography skills with the help of Benji Haworth as he guides you round a ride and brings out the best in your mountain bike specific photography. If you are totally new to the sport and are wanting to learn essential mountain bike skills, or experienced and simply wanting to learn new tricks, then why not sign up to a session with highly experienced instructors Campbell Coaching? They will teach you all the tricks in the controlled environment of the Thornbridge pump track. You can check out the benefits here of using a pump track.
Then why not put all those newly learnt skills into practice by joining the one and only Ed Oxley on one of his guided 'smoother 'rides. Sign up here. By the end of the weekend you'll be whizzing along the trails! You can check out his guiding credentials on his own Great Rock website .
There are spaces still available on the Inside Out courses. Learn how to transfer skills gained on the indoor walls to the great outdoors and of course we're going to get some great whether this autumn to make the most of it... aren't we??. There are a whole new set of skills and things to think about, so whether it's bouldering or leading you're interested in then these will be ideal courses to set you on your way. sign up here for the Inside Out - Leading, or Inside Out - Bouldering
Want something more family focused? Then the Rock and Ropes ‘rocktivity’ course is designed as an introduction to exploring and climbing on gritstone edges, and is deal for families and young children with no previous experience of climbing.
If you've already done a bit but want to learn new rope skills, then the Climbing Escapology course will run through advanced rope systems. So avoid bad rope management and know what to do, or have the confidence that your mate knows what to do, when things go wrong.
For information on all the courses check out the School of Adventure page.
Course Spotlight: Ed Oxley's Smoother Rides
The beard is back with us for another year offering his years of coaching experience to get you riding smoother. Talented skills trainer, mountain bike guide and Singletrack magazine regular Ed Oxley will take you out on a 3 hour guided route to help you enjoy the riding as much as possible.
“Balance, steering and good active body position on the bike will bring more flow to your riding and will lay the foundations for smoother and faster riding which is more fun.”
Ed runs is own guiding and coaching company Great Rock
This Suitable for everyone from 12+
Sign up here for the course: Ed Oxley's Smoother Rides
Combine with one of our skills specific sessions with Campbell Coaching and by the end of the weekend you’ll be flying down the trails! Add in the mountain bike photo course with Benji and you can document it all too, what a weekend of biking!!
Course Spotlight: Mini Adventurer
Tailored specifically for the mini adventurer to explore the Thornbridge site. This course is aimed at the 4-8 year olds with a range of activities designed to encourage team work and exploration of nature.
Parents must be present to keep protective eyes on their little ones, but not to get too involved. This is all about letting them tackle and overcome challenges by themselves. But fear not, a Thornbridge instructor will be there to encourage and guide them as they progress around the circuit.
a purpose built tunnel network which must be navigated to escape at its far end. It’s a dark place, but they will have some torches to help them on their way. There are also some interesting mole facts to learn on the way through as well!
challenges in balance, trust and confidence, tailored specifically towards this age group.
They will then move on to learn how to use their senses to make it around the Nightline before a session on the Thornbridge climbing wall.
sign up here for the Mini Adventurer
tackling the Low Ropes chalenges
Course spotlight: Thornbridge Tree Quest
Unleash the true monkey inside you and take on the tree based challenges around the Thornbridge Outdoors site. Perfect for the whole family to work together.. or indeed see the parents clinging to a tree trunk!
The High Ropes consist of things like the giant cargo net and Scots Pine tree climb, while the Low Ropes is a course made up of devilish challenges to test balance, team work and agility! This course is suitable for children 8 yrs and over accompanied by their parents who will be expected to participate in the activities…or risk losing the respect of their kids!!
You can sign up here for the Thornbridge Tree Quest
If you haven’t already ordered your weekend ticket then do it soon, you don’t want to miss out on all the free workshops plus great music we’ve got planned! Here are just a few things to wet your appetite...literally!
Once you’ve got your camp set up and recovered from the drive to Thornbridge you’ll be ready to kick back. After successfully filling everyone with beer last year, River Legacy will be joining us again - don’t worry they’ve promised not to run out this time! On Friday night you can grab a beer and burger (plus vegetarian alternative) for just £5, there will also be some pieminister sausage rolls, which we’re told are very yummy. There will be live music through the weekend including resident guitarist Matthew Moore (Loughborough) with his quick improvisation skills and unique covers to get things started in the evening along with a few other surprises.
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and Rude Health are going to be dishing out their hot organic porridge - nom nom! There will also be the option of a hot breakfast provided by River Legacy on both Saturday and Sunday morning. If you’re not already signed up to a course for Saturday or Sunday, then make sure you check out the School of Adventure (SofA) online, as courses are filling up quickly. However if you’re just using the BSO as a base camp for other activities then why not check out the free workshops that will be available, we’ve got; bushcraft skills, kids arts and crafts, circus skills, archery and much more - See what is happening.
Your weekend ticket also includes the Saturday evening meal and you can choose from 4 or 5 pieminister pies, which will all be served with mash, gravy and peas! For all the people that suffered from late night munchies last year, River Legacy will be providing hot food and snacks. This year sees the return of Rik Warren (he was the cool guy who played round the campfire) and he’s bringing a drummer along too. In the yurt you will find the Adventurists with their maps, larger than life personalities, film and lecture programme. Pop your head in to find out more about the Rickshaw Run, Mongol Derby and other improbable challenges.
So there you have it a taster of what’s to come at this year’s BSO. We’ll be confirming more acts and free workshops leading up to the weekend!
The Alpkit Big Shakeout offers you a base from which to explore the beautiful Peak District National Park, or to sign up to one of the School of Adventure taster courses that run through the weekend offering adventure for beginners and experts alike. Onsite workshops run through the day and in the evening the site is transformed in to an intimate and atmospheric venue for live music, toasting marshmallows, adventure films, sharing tall stories about the days activities and making big plans and new friends.