Let’s make this official…
These societies and organisations are a great place to start if you’re new to a particular activity, or just need to be pointed in the right direction:
Ramblers Association (for walkers)
BMC (for climbers and mountaineers)
BCU (for canoeing and kayaking)
Sustrans (for cycle networks)
OSS (for wild swimming)
Surfing GB (for surfers)
Let’s get kitted up….
Walking and camping
Cotswold Outdoor* has a great selection for camping and walking kit, and I’ve always found the staff really helpful and knowledgeable. You also get a discount if you’re a member of the National Trust* or the Ramblers Association.
Loving Outdoors have a really innovative approach called ‘social shopping’, where you can chat and compare notes with fellow shoppers before committing to a purchase.
Cycle Surgery run some great workshops and events, especially for women cyclists.
Evans* is my mainstay for all things cycling, mainly because they offer helpful service and deliver to my home.
Let’s find somewhere to stay…
The Cool Camping guides* are my bibles for camping. I’ve probably stayed at about half the ones in the England, Wales and France guides and am working my through the whole lot! They have a great knack for nosing out really special, small to medium sized campsites that offer that personal touch. A must for any camper.
In the colder months, I can’t quite face sleeping under canvas and usually opt for a cosy cottage or cabin for a weekend away. Rather than trawling the internet, I find it much easier to go to someone like Hoseasons* who offer lots of choice of self catering accommodation around the UK. Or if you’re on a budget, the Independent Hostel Guide has a great collection of hostels, camping barns and bunkhouses.
To find like minded people…
Enter a search term related to your chosen activity, or just type in ‘outdoors’ as well as your post code, and discover a plethora of informal clubs and gatherings for you to join in your area.
My online bookshop and directory contain affiliate links to sites such as Amazon.co.uk. Each time someone clicks one of these links (marked with a *) and buys something I get a very small percentage from the sale. This helps contribute to Fresh Air Fix’s running costs, keeps it free to use, and I hope in the future will fund further improvements to the site to help you plan your time outdoors.
I only ever link to products and retailers that I have used myself and would freely recommend, and if I want to recommend a product or service where no affiliate link is available then I will still do so regardless of whether it pays out or not. I want FAF to continue to be a trusted resource, and for it’s users be free to comment on their own experiences of a product or service.