Spotlight - equipment views and reviews from the AK team
The Space Between
By Hati Whiteley
30, May, 2017
Everybody needs their own space between; a place to play, to unwind, to challenge themselves. Where's yours?
No alarms, no traffic jams, no morning briefings.
Everyone has their ‘space between’. A place to play, unwind or challenge yourself. A place to escape. Kinder is our space and it has the power to do something special. Kinder will grab your legs forcing you to lengthen your stride. It will fill your nostrils with damp greenness, push the cries of shrill skylarks into your ears and wrench your gaze up and out.
Of course we need the hills, pools, boulders and peat bogs to give us back to ourselves. People fought for the right to roam here just eighty-five years ago. It’s our space between. Wherever yours is, we’re here to help you make the most of it.
"The world turns. Winter’s death means life for spring. The curlews, lapwings and cuckoos are back on the high moorland calling you over and over. Miles and miles for you to cover through early starts and long evenings. Now even our so best friends are easy to tempt out of the death zone of sofa, telly and takeaways.
Joining a trainload of commuters and hikers at a busy station on Friday morning is slightly surreal. Old school hikers in breeks and cable knits alongside fast and light rainbow coloured shells and the suited and booted – Werther’s Originals and Skittles in the same pick ‘n’ mix bag. The hikers are mainly heading for Edale and the Kinder Plateau. And it’s Kinder that brings together our little crew from Manchester, Sheff, Macc, and Stalyvegas. The aim is to bike, boulder, hike, run – even swim if we can. Camp at Kinder’s feet and when we can, leave the busy paths that lead happy throngs around the circumference and head out onto the Peak District’s version of the Cairngorm Plateau, where the atmosphere changes quickly from Platt Fields Park to a proper mountain. Friday morning sees Luke and Flora loading up Robin, their slightly battered red T4 in Manchester. Meanwhile on the other side of the Pennines, Fran, Ruth and friends are wheeling their bikes onto the Transpennine Express – great that bikes still go for free. The trip to Edale is just about half an hour from Steel city to rolling hills."
Waking up with the sunlight as nature intended, tucked away in your sleeping bag and zipped away from the world in a shelter raised by your own hands only the night before. You know you’ve got a good tent when you find it hard to emerge into daylight, but the promise of clear spring skies and breakfast are just too hard to ignore.
There’s something natural about the desire to build a shelter. As children we’d construct dens, forts, and treehouses; we’d go exploring, defeat the bad guys, catch our food, and venture far and wide on epic adventures; then our mums would call us in for tea.
Camping is a return to the simplicity of going on an adventure in your own back garden. Only 25 miles from home, but so much further from the realities of the 9 til 5, you can begin to cherish those moments that seem so insignificant in the humdrum city life. Heating up your homemade soup and dining in the light of your head torch is way more fulfilling when you’re nestled in the valleys below Kinder, crawling into your sleeping bag: a welcome novelty.
Within those first few moments of waking you could be wherever your imagination chooses: on the sea cliffs of Wales, the plateau of Scafell Pike, or the shores of Lock Lomond. Then, as your senses slowly acclimatise and seek beyond the canvas walls of your tent, the song of cuckoos, curlews, and lapwings, and the gentle bleating of curious new-borns bring you back to spring in a farmyard campsite. The harsh winter has turned on its tail, lambing season is underway, and the throngs have begun to emerge from hibernation, leaving their TVs on standby and appearing bleary-eyed from the towns and cities into the valleys of Peak District National Park.
But if you venture far enough from the tourist trails you can still find your own slice of space between.
Occasional dips back into civilisation are a reminder of the bliss and peace that camping accords. When adventure takes you through a bustling village or you happen upon a group on the trail, you get that feeling. You know the one we mean: you’re living the outdoors, you’ve embraced it, you’re more than just a day-tripper. It’s as if you’re wild, you’ve left the daily grind behind, if only for 72 hours...
"Camping in Upper Booth may not be hard core, and we like the challenge of a tough bivvy as much as the next person but there’s nothing wrong with the traditional British farm campsite. Our nosy neighbours are new lambs and our corner shop sells the freshest free-range eggs that you could ever buy. Slow and heavy sometimes has more appeal than fast and light and we’re all glad of the heavy Dozer mats and super warm down sleeping bags that we could fit easily into the van.
The campsite is pretty quiet on a chilly Friday evening but as usual the Duke of Edinburgh has his troops on manoeuvres, with the usual heady mix of bewilderment and excitement. Getting the slackline strung out between trees is always a top priority these days. Almost everyone was equally shabby a er a couple of beers, with only Ruth looking like she could be cut out for a career in the circus.
No phone signal, no wifi and no work is a good start to a three-day weekend. Sometimes you need to unplug from the nonsense before you can plug in to something better."
On the campsite, even the simplest act is a satisfying demonstration of self-sustenance. The smell of fresh coffee shared with friends before a day of exploring, the creaking of the ratchet on the slackline; even packing up your shelter into a little bag and leaving no trace behind you: simply existing is rewarding enough.
No alarms, no traffic jams, no morning briefings: this is what three-day weekends are for. If you've got your own special space between then let us know, we always like hearing of peoples adventures.
Tetri2 person 3 season geodesic backpacking tent weighing 3 kg, Strong against the elements, light enough to carry, easy to pitch with comfortable living spaceSale: £119.99Was: £149.99
Viso 23 season backpacking tunnel tent weighing 3.3 kg. A large porch gives increased living space for multi-day trips. Light enough to carry and big enough to sit out bad weatherSale: £124.99Was: £169.99
Viso 3Large living areas and strong weather protection whilst being light enough to carry on extended self-supported trips. 3 season backpacking tunnel tent weighing 4 kg,Sale: £149.99Was: £199.99
DirtbagThe fattest baddest self-inflating mat for all those dirtbag moments in your life, weighing just 900 g it is comfort you can carrySale: £49.99Was: £54.99
Kitbag 50UK Made 50 litre bombproof duffle holdall made from abrasion-resistant Cordura nylon, spot on for a week awaySale: £39.99Was: £54.99
Swig bottleDrinks bottle in 750 ml or 500 ml capacity for swigging on the go£2.99
Kelvin450 ml titanium mug with twin wall insulation and a silicone drinking lid to keep your drinks warm from the commute to the campsiteSale: £34.99Was: £39.99
Bruler Complete Camp Cook System
Bruler meths burner with splitta table, concertina windshield and haap pan sets£62.00 £89.00 if purchased separately
KoroA high powered titanium camping stove weighing just 124 g for mountaineering in subzero conditions. Compact design and made from titanium to save weight£44.99