Jamie Ramsay's Tips For More Sustainable Adventures
Cotswold Outdoor ambassador and endurance adventurer Jamie Ramsay shares his top tips for exploring more sustainably.
“Getting outdoors is so important to me, but I’m also aware that everything I do has an impact on the environment. I’m striving to become more conscious about everything, from the kit I buy for adventures to how I travel. We’ve got to look at the whole picture and start making a difference where we can.”
Making The Right Kit Choices
“When it comes to kit, especially clothing, I generally look for items that are adaptable to all my outdoor activities. Buying less is one of the easiest ways to become more sustainable, but there are other benefits. It also means I can invest in higher-quality kit that will last longer and perform better, rather than lots of cheaper items that I’ll have to replace, and it saves me the hassle of trying to find space for loads of kit when it’s not in use.
“When I do invest in new clothing, I try to look for more sustainable choices, like clothing made from recycled materials. Cotswold Outdoor’s Our Planet collection is a great idea as it makes it easier to see which items are more sustainable and why, both in-store and online. I think initiatives like this are hugely important as they help push brands to become more sustainable and put less onus on the consumer.”
Discovering What Works For You
“Over the years, I’ve perfected my layering system so I can regulate my temperature with just a few key pieces. Depending on conditions, this is usually a base layer, fleece mid-layer and waterproof outer layer, but I may switch things up in colder conditions, by adding a gilet or down jacket. Once you have the basic principles, you can start experimenting with what works for you. I definitely think investing in good waterproofs is essential because there’s always a chance of rain in Britain, and not being prepared can ruin an adventure."
Looking After Your Kit
“If like me, you’re trying to reduce how much you buy, then you’ve got to invest more time and resources into looking after the kit you already own. Cleaning my kit can sometimes feel like a chore, especially after I’ve been out for a long hike, but I know it's really important.
“I try to make sure all my kit is free from mud and fully dry before I put it away. I also make sure I regularly wash and reproof my waterproof kit using specialist outdoor clothing detergent like Nikwax Tech Wash to ensure it continues to protect me whatever the weather."
“If I notice any snags or damage when cleaning it, I repair it as soon as possible because the longer you leave it, the worse the damage will get. McNett Tenacious Sealing and Repair Tape is perfect for making small repairs to my waterproof kit and tent. For more substantial damage, I know I can take the item to the experts at Cotswold Outdoor, who provide repairs to all kinds of outdoor clothing.”
Minimising Your Impact
“Minimising my impact on the outdoors whilst exploring goes without saying, and you should never leave things behind that could harm the environment. I usually take a designated waste bag to keep any rubbish separate from my gear. I’ve been really thrilled to see so many people picking litter up when out on trails recently, and it motivates me to do more myself. It doesn’t take much to pick up any litter I notice on my route, but it makes me feel like I’ve made a small difference.
“As many of my adventures involve camping, I often have to cook out in the open, so I’m careful about where I set up to prevent unnecessary damage to my surroundings. I also try to remove and recycle as much packaging from food before I even set off to reduce the amount of waste I have to carry home with me.
“I also always carry a reusable bottle, water filter and treatment tablets, so I’ve got everything I need to drink safely on the go. My must-haves include the Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth Bottle 1L, LifeStraw Flex Basic Kit Water Filter or Lifesystems Chlorine Dioxide Tablets. I also usually carry my Lifeventure Insulated Coffee Cup 250ml with me so I can have a nice hot drink to warm me up.”
Staying Clean On The Go
“Whether you’re on a full-day hike or multi-day adventures, you’re going to reach a point where you need to go to the toilet and wash. So here are some of my top tips:
• Take toilet paper in a sealable plastic bag, and make sure you remember to pack a separate bag for any used toilet paper
• Invest in a mini shovel so you can dig a hole at least six inches deep for your number twos
• Avoid toileting near running water as you don’t want to contaminate it for others
• Take some eco-friendly wash products with you to minimise your impact on our waterway, and consider taking some anti-bacterial hand gel with you for when you can’t access water”
Recycle Old Kit
“Even now, I still make mistakes when it comes to getting new kit. Sometimes things don’t work out, sometimes something better comes along, or my kit reaches the end of its life. I try to compensate for this by passing on my old or unwanted kit or recycling it. That way, I don’t feel like it’s just gone to waste.
“Being able to recycle my gear for free at my local Cotswold Outdoor is so handy. They’ll take pretty much any clothing, which means I can even recycle my normal clothes that are past their best with them.”
Explore New Places
“It’s easy to fall into the trap of heading to the most popular trails or well-known beauty spots, so try and look out for the path less trodden to help preserve our trails. I’ve found that exploring in my local area is incredibly rewarding, and there’s far more on offer than I first thought.”
Jamie Ramsay’s Top Kit Tips
"Make sure you do your research before you buy, or speak to an expert to avoid buying kit that isn’t right for you.
Always get your footwear and backpacks fitted unless you’re replacing it like for like. Having uncomfortable footwear or an ill-fitting backpack can completely ruin your time outside, so it’s best to try a few different ones and get a feel for how different brands, makes, and materials feel.
Don’t be afraid to spend more on key items – your tent, sleeping bag, stove, rucksack and waterproof should last for years if you invest in high-quality kit and look after it."
To help our customers shop with the environment in mind, we’ve introduced sustainability filters to our website – but with so many on the list, we know it can be hard to know what it all means. This sustainability credentials jargon buster is here to solve all your woes!
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