Newsletter > Newsletter archive > October 2022

October 2022

A chance to brush up your navigation skills
This season is a great time to learn and practice your navigation skills. We're putting on an all day Navigation Workshop on Saturday 12th November based at our micropub, The Old Forge, in Kirkby Stephen. The aim of the day is cover the basics of map and compass skills, so you can confidently follow footpaths and tracks, and then move on to some of the techniques involved in navigating in the hills or on open ground.

In the morning we will go through some of the essential skills in the warm and dry, before spending the rest of the morning in the countryside immediately surrounding Kirkby Stephen. After lunch we will drive a few miles to some easily accessible but quite challenging fellside, to consolidate and develop those skills, finishing on the fell at around 4pm to return to The Old Forge.

The training will be lead in groups - a maximum of 4 per group - by Mountain Leaders from Mad about Mountains who are also fellow members of Kirkby Stephen Mountain Rescue Team. So you will be in very capable hands! Cost is just £65 per person, including tea and coffee and lunch at The Old Forge. It's also an opportunity to have a break in this beautiful part of Cumbria. More information and booking

Walking on Winter Sunshine
Enjoying warm and predominantly sunny days from autumn through to spring, the Canary Islands provide superb winter walking and, despite their proximity to each other, every island has its own distinct personality. Self-guided walking holiday specialist, Inntravel, uncovers the best of each on their walking holidays in the Canary Islands.

Experienced walkers love La Gomera's exhilarating mountain and valley routes that lead through lichen-festooned rainforest and above palm-filled, plunging ravines. At the other side of the archipelago, the beauty of Fuerteventura's desert-like volcanic landscape offers both gentle and more challenging walking among goats and Barbary squirrels. Gran Canaria's mountains to coast journey is through some of the most spectacular scenery in the archipelago while on Tenerife, superb routes take you through ancient laurel forests and to the very top of Spain.

Lanzarote – Land of Fire
Stark yet strangely beguiling, the extraordinary landscape of Lanzarote was forged from eruptive fires and fashioned by the hand of C├ęsar Manrique. Inntravel's Lanzarote & La Graciosa holiday combines leisurely walking with exploring, taking you to an underground lake set in a lava tunnel, a cactus garden designed by Manrique, and to the artist's fabulous, palm-grove house. Taste award-winning Malvasia wine and, on the tiny island of La Graciosa, wander barefoot along white sand beaches lapped by a turquoise sea.

Inntravel's 2023 brochure is now available to order online, or view their full range of holidays at

Winter jackets - Natural vs Synthetic
This month with Mad about Mountains we look at the filling for winter jackets. Broadly speaking, insulation is either natural (down or wool) or synthetic and its ultimate goal is to maintain as much body heat as it can.

Down is naturally insulating and excels in cold, dry conditions. Its weight to warmth ratio is better than a synthetic equivalent but a negative is that down is not very good at doing its job when it is damp or soaked through. Hydrophobically treated down improves water repellency and is designed to prevent the down fibres absorbing moisture and this really helps in damp or wet conditions but it doesn't make a jacket waterproof.

Duck down gives a good warmth/weight/cost ratio for daily wear and is used in most winter jackets. Goose down has a greater warmth/ weight ratio, is more expensive and not as suitable for daily wear. It is usually found in higher end mountaineering jackets.

Wool is becoming more popular for its sustainable warmth, breathability, thermal regulation and insulation when wet. It is similar to synthetic insulation but has much better climate control and antibacterial qualities.

Synthetic insulation is relatively good at dealing with moisture. When synthetic insulation is soaked it will offer more warmth than down which makes it a good choice for damp and cold conditions, typical of winter conditions in the UK and especially winter climbing. Synthetic insulation is generally easier to clean and care for and is also a less expensive material than down but cannot compete on a warmth to weight ratio. It will also appeal if you don't wish to use an animal product. Hybrid jackets combine down, wool or synthetic panels to try and get the best of all worlds. Recycled and sustainable materials are always a good thing to aim for.

Check what's available at Mad about Mountains

Group looking for Lake District walk leaders
Embark2 offers holidays and activities exclusively for widows and widowers. The group will be in Keswick next April and September and they are wondering if there might be a couple of local Walkingworld members who may be willing to lead a small group on an easy low level walk of between 5 and 8 miles in the Keswick/Grasmere/Patterdale area? It's not a requirement to be a widow or widower to lead a walk. If you think you may be able to help please contact John Webb via