It was an interesting 2 days up at the Outdoor Trade Show in Manchester in numerous ways. I’ve been in the outdoor industry for some 15 years now and during this time there have been numerous changes. Familar faces move like chess pieces around the board, as they slide slilently from one brand to another. Plus all the familiar strangers who go to make up a trade show infrastructure who we meet at different events, in different places over the years.

That aside it was pleasing to see the environment forming an important part of most brands campaigns. The emphasis now from most outdoor brands must surely be to reduce single use plastics and think carefully about the impact of packaging and shipping goods from one country to the next in small amounts. 

Recycling is an important part of all this and part of the podcast is with GP Batteries who are the largest manufacture of rechargeable batteries in the world. Heard of them? Me neither! However that doesn’t take away some of the figures about the number of batteries purchased globally and the total lack of recycling in this country. Bizarre to think that every single battery has to be imported and exported at the end of it’s life.

So it was an educational chat with James Tuck the Marketing Manager.

Furoshuki now available in a variety of trendy colours

About 4 or 5 years back I interviewed the designer for the Furoshuki shoe in Germany. A wrap around ideal camp shoe for those with an eye on style and deep pockets. Good to see they are now a retail item in the UK and very popular with the yoga market I understand.

I certainly need some of these

On the same stand there was a very useful Smell-Well. A simple to use cool looking and a very effective solution to all of your smelly shoes and sporting equipment. Non- toxic and environmentally friendly. They absorb moisture effectively remove odour and leave a fresh scent. Smell Well is for everything and everyone. Running shoes and trainers Football boots Ski boots Skates Hockey and boxing gloves Shin pads Training bags Cars and closets. Only a few pounds and worth it to keep the shoe cupboard smelling better than normal.

Vango were displaying a couple of tents from their new Project Hydrogen range. The larger of the 2 using an air beam for support. Try as I might I couldn’t see any mesh for ventilation, so as light as they looked I could see condensation being a major issue. I wonder how much testing in the UK environment they get before production. 600gms and around £500.

A new tasty food brand Summit To Eat were presenting themselves in bright yellow packaging. Fully cooked meals using UK ingredients and freeze dried together making for a tasty meal in both 600 and 1000 calorie pouches at an affordable price.

£5.50 for the small and £7.30 for the larger. See the website for prices and offers. I tried one and enjoyed it, however I am still a lover of my own food dehydrator and playing with recipees.

Aside from the all the commercial stands it was good to see Mountain Rescue England and Wales with a presence, no doubt keeping up relationships with brands and supporters. I interviewed the assistant secretary Julian Walden for information which may help overseas visitors understand the structure of the emergency services in the UK when in the wilds.

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