Active Project – Family bushcraft walk

The In2venture Active Project was out and about again today with a family bushcraft walk in the Scottish Borders.

Blessed with a great turnout and fantastic weather, it was a good day all round.

Here are a few taster photos from the day, to see more head to the ‘Photos’ page.

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Competition Time!

competition

Bit of a different one for tip of the week this time.

As I am taking a bit of a holiday there will be no tip or thought for the week next week, therefore I thought I would leave you with a bit of a competition.

A roll of duct tape is a staple in the world of outdoor sports and can be used to (attempt) fix virtually anything – I have used it for everything from temporary patches on jackets, kayaks and many other things all the way through to taping the bottom of my caving suit to my wellies in a futile attempt to keep my feet dry.

As the old saying goes – if you can’t fix it with duct tape, you haven’t used enough.

Your competition for the week is to email me (graham.simpson@in2venture.com) or tweet me (@in2venture) your most genius outdoor uses of duct tape.

There will be a no expense spared (or should that be no expense spent?) prize – so get emailing and tweeting.

– Graham

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Promising Hold

promising hold

As a mediocre (at best) climber I tend to favour routes with obvious and large holds, I can be fairly confident with my feet as long as I have something substantial for my hands.

One of the most disheartening feelings when climbing is dragging yourself up a wall or crag focusing on the big juggy hold that will allow you a good place to rest and relax your fingers, only to get there and discover all is not as it seems. This is the gutting moment that you find out the amazing hold you were looking at has in fact a rounded, slimy, finger muscle destroying sloping  top to it. The only real function this hold actually provides is a focus of your screamed abuse as you plummet embarrassingly from the rock.

The great challenge of being a Christian is to be the good hold that people can rely on rather than the disappointing mirage.

It is easy and often accomplished to gain the reputation and appearance of a Christian. You can look like one in the same way a hold can look useful, however it is easy, like the promising hand hold, to fail to back this up. Just because you look like something does not make it the case.

As a Christian I feel it hugely important to follow through on my beliefs. In the Bible much of Paul’s letters to the Churches are devoted to telling people this very thing. Acting and behaving as a Christian will lead to looking like one and providing people with something to rely on, looking like one and not acting like one will lead people to question you and your beliefs.

– Graham

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Mining for Wisdom

mining for wisdom

Mine exploration is a good physical way of exploring history and geology. I think it also demonstrates a lot about human nature.

As we grow up we often hear from society that success is an important part of life and that success is often measured in wealth.

Mine exploration allows you to, at first hand experience the lengths that people are prepared to go to and the risks they are willing to take in the pursuit of wealth. In these old abandoned mines you get a good feel for the loneliness and isolation the miners must have felt, not to mention the extreme danger that they faced on a daily basis. Although these miners may not have personally achieved a high income, someone up the food chain would benefit greatly from the harsh environment these men had to endure.

In the Bible, the book of Job speaks of how mining shows that people have become good at searching out precious minerals and treasures. Job speaks of how wisdom is the most precious treasure of all and cannot be bought with minerals and wealth. This precious treasure of wisdom comes only from God.

For me mining is a great reminder of how success is in truth based on wisdom and a relationship with God, a welcome reminder in a world which is seemingly dedicated to chasing precious money.

– Graham

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A Manual for Life

manual for life

With this evenings bike maintenance workshop coming up it gave me a good reason to dig out my bikes and tools.

Those of you who know me will know that I am passionate about bikes and a few years back took on the challenge of building my own mountain bike to my own specifications. By doing this I was able to customise it to the trails and conditions which I regularly ride. Due to my researching and carefully choosing each component no one knows this bike like I do; they could not pick it up and know all the purposes and reasons behind every component choice as I would. I am not claiming to be an expert on bike building, I simply had my own reasons for choosing the components and set up that I used.

Companies that pour millions of pounds into bike research produce a huge handbook to go with your high end bike so that you can sit and read about all the features and options to get the most out of your bike.

Our lives are much like a mountain bike in that we have been created to a high standard and have many different options. Like my mountain bike it would be hard to get the most out of life without knowing the creator’s purposes, and like a mountain bike we come with an instruction manual. As Christians, we believe that we were created by God and that we have a purpose and a certain lifestyle that we should follow. Our instruction manual, the Bible gives us an insight in to the purposes our creator has for us. Without this manual, like a mountain bike we can find ourselves falling short of our true potential, with it we can find ‘life – life in all its fullness’.

– Graham

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An Invisible Trust

mountaineering and an invisible trust

Over the weekend I continued my attempt to tick off all Wainwright fells by taking my family up Castle Crag. My daughter has just started to walk up hills without having to be carried, however the steep section to get to the top of this one was something she hasn’t experienced before. To keep her safe I put her on a short rope to help her descend the short section of loose rock. The amount of trust she put in me reminded me of a thought for the week I did back in July 2013 and it seemed appropriate to share this again.

Mountaineering and hill walking can be an overwhelming environment to find yourself in. Members of your group can often find themselves feeling exposed and uncomfortable on rock faces and steep ground. For this purpose mountain leaders carry a rope to use in times of need.

A rope can be a great way of giving an individual a feeling of comfort and security. The leader would often climb the steep ground first and lower the rope down for the group member to tie themselves into. As a consequence the leader can often be out of sight and all the group member has is the rope and words of encouragement shouted down from above. This is where a good relationship of trust in the leader is essential.

As a Christian you are often asked ‘how can you believe in someone you cannot see?’

As with the overwhelmed mountain climber, it comes down to trust and faith. A Christian believes that he has a relationship with Jesus (not known for breaking his promises), choosing to follow him is like accepting the rope from the unseen mountaineer. It is often a liberating experience to put all your faith and trust in someone that has never and will never let you down.

– Graham

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Tip of the Week

How to estimate remaining daylight

sundown

As you get towards the end of the day it can often be helpful to know how much daylight you have left. Whether you need to know how much light you have to get off the mountain, how long you have to set up camp or simply want to know when to get the camera to catch the sunset.

This is a simple way to estimate how long it will be before the sun disappears behind the horizon.

Hold out your hand at arms length with your palm facing you and use it to count how many fingers you can fit between the sun and the horizon.

As a general rule there is 15 minutes until sundown for every finger. Remember to take into account mountains etc in the foreground and try and measure to where the horizon should be.

sundowndiagram

This method has many huge flaws – people’s fingers are different sizes, people’s arms are different lengths, it varies depending on where in the world you are. It is not an exact science, merely a method for making an educated guess.

Obviously when doing this you should avoid looking directly at the sun as it can cause permanent eye damage.

– Graham

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