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News - update on all things Alpkit

Big Shakedown 2018

By Alpkit
09, Oct, 2018

Another year, another full house at the Big Shakeout weekend to help sign off the summer and set up the colder months ahead

Another edition of our Big Shakeout weekend has passed and once again we had a fabulous time, which means a Big Thank You to all of you for throwing yourselves into the festival and making it what it is. We no doubt say this every year but, as much as we organise the weekendit is the guests that make it. The people who come that make it such a special event in our hearts and why, despite the chaos, the juggling of jobs, the mad panics and vacant stares on the Monday morning, we sign ourselves up to it again each year.

If you left with new friends, big plans, or even just a little bit more enthusiasm for the outdoors then we're happy. Plus of course all proceeds will be going towards our Alpkit Foundation, where the money will really help those who struggle to get out and enjoy the activities and beautiful places that so many of us get to. So thank you. 

It was a cold start to Saturday morning, but that wasn't stopping anyone!

We pretty much throw the whole Alpkit shebang at this weekend, literally. With the support of Alpkit crew to pick up the jobs and get stuck in for the weekend hopefully gives a real reflection of our personalities and passions and we hope this made it a little bit more special.  Whether it was product developer Rowan overseeing the site management, Jamie from customer service taking up residence in the kitchen to deliver breakfast, Izzy from accounts trying to co-ordinate the bands even though our Saturday headliner turned up on Friday! or Nick P running the bar, when normally he can be found with a vital role in our UK factory. So thank you so much for coming to share in it as well.

Of course we'd have made the most of it anyway, but we were once again blessed with some beautiful weather, with a nice crisp frosty morning turning into a blue skied delight of a day. Learning, inspiring, teaching, laughing and playing. Meeting up with friends, making new ones and planning those next adventures. It just goes to show that if you’ve got the right people, with a similar passion, all in one place then it can result in a special weekend.

Of course, besides our lovely guests we have some other thank you’s for those that helped make the weekend. If we miss anyone then sorry! We have to go in and set up on Friday, before taking it all down again to hand back to Thornbridge Outdoors on Sunday evening as if we had never been. This is a tight turnaround and wouldn't be possible if it wasn't with help from our team of Shakermaker volunteers who help out over the weekend to keep things running smoothly. So thank you team! 

Thornbridge Outdoors welcomed us back to their beautiful site and gathered a load of instructors to allow us to open our School of Adventure. Throughout the Saturday and Sunday morning it was very busy once again, when there were around 1500 adventure course places packed into this whirlwind period of activity! We hope you managed to brush up on a few skills, pick up some new ones, or just go away inspired to learn more.

Alongside the Thornbridge instructors we also had a number of other organisations who came along to run courses and activities that padded out the days nicely.

Josh the Guyrope Gourmet inspiring us to whip up some delicious campsite cuisine.
Peak Park for helping us to discover beautiful wild places
Alex Ekins for helping us to capture our adventures
Stuart from Bear Bones for sharing how to bikepack for adventures
Dave Taylor for once more taking us on some wonderful trail runs
The BushScout crew for putting together another ace activity hub
Action in Motion for a flavour of Parkour
Netty and her Design and Make bus.
Adam and ... Adam from Cordao De Ouro bringing a latin flavour to the Big Shakeout with drumming and Capoiera workshops.
John of Birch Canoes, back again to help us to carve some lovely paddles
West Norfolk Nordic Walking for the ever popular Binerflon
Tittesworth Water for letting us paddle around their beautiful reservoir
UltraMedix for showing us how to stay safe and keep an eye on us all weekend
Scavenger for bring along their incredible sewing machine to show us how to upcycle old climbing gear. 

It’s not just about being active, oh no, as after a busy day we’re always keen to be able to relax a little.

Alongside the Alpkitchen we had some nice nosh to get stuck into in the evenings, with Nether Edge Pizza back again with their ovens, the Freakin Vegan packed full of middle eastern flavours, Little Diner with organic burgers and the Cheese Cave... oh yes, delicious cheese.  Then if the free coffee wasn't enough then thanks to the Dirty Old Bean for extra special coffees and getting up super early to catch those dawn risers.  

We love music here at Alpkit, so as always we made sure there was plenty going and this year there were 12 acts covering two stages of live music over the weekend, whether it was pulling on the dancing shoes at the main Foundation stage or relaxing in the more intimate Campfire stage we hope you enjoyed some of it. If you missed anything, or intersted to see what went on then here's a list of those acts gracing the stages. 

  • Louis Croft
  • The Toffees
  • Rob Heron and the Tea Pad
  • Noble Jacks
  • Lefty Chris
  • Said the Maiden
  • Joshua Turner
  • Hot Soles
  • Ben Pavely
  • Tom C Walker
  • Emily Mae Winters
  • Jess Morgan

There were tall tales of daring deeds from Pete McNeil racing the inaugural Silk Road Mountain Race, Charles Ross gave us a deep and eye opening insight into the world of environmental issues surrounding the Outdoor industry. Then there was Colin Hales, building his own plane and flying it off around the world and yes, the plane was there in all it's tiny splendour, really putting into context what a journey he'd been on!


Out in the Daring Deed yurt we had a packed evening of inspiring talks. Two paralympians took the stage, with Mel Nichols facing the numerous obstacles of bikepacking unsupported around the Faroe Isles on a hand bike and Steve Bate on overcoming the winter darkness within the arctic circle during the Rovaniemi 150 mountain bike race. Claire Carter and Genevieve Carver treated us to some readings from the new Waymaking book, celebrating women’s art, poetry and prose within the outdoors. (Oh... you can pick up a copy at a special offer price on our book shelf!) Two filmmakers discussed their latest projects, Dom Joyce on the challenges of sailing a hand built wooden boat into the Western passage, Dom Bush on a reflective and personal interview with Ian Almond around the sacrifices and achievements of a life spent in the mountains. A special mention to Phil Brotherton who honoured those who fought in the first would war by laying a Trail of Poppies along the front line. During his talk he auctioned off some copies of his book, raising £80 for the Alpkit Foundation. Thanks Phil.
An evening that just goes to show adventure comes in many guises.

And so that's it for another year, we just need to summon up enough energy to work out whether we want to do it next year. Oh hang on... looks like someone has published a save the date. Pencil it in people, looks like we'll be doing it all again in 2019! Sign up to our Espresso newsletter, or follow us on the usual social channels to hear more news!

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1 Comment

Share your thoughts about this article.

Mark Richardson
Can't wait for next year

Always a great weekend supplying Nordic walking and the Binerflon. Alpkit have the coolest bunch of people working for them and the greatest customers. My social highlight of the year. Roll on with a new season, new adventures and some new gear too. And I hope to see many of the same faces next year.

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