Articles by Andy Kirkpatrick...

Navigation tools for walkers

Navigation tools for walkers

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Since signposts have never become popular in the mountains, good navigation is crucial if you want to move from A to B. This article helps you through the world of maps, compasses and other navigation gadgets.

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - ascending the rope

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - ascending the rope

by Andy Kirkpatrick

A skill that every climber should know. If things go wrong, such as an abseil rope becoming stuck or if you find yourself in space and unable to reach the rock after a fall, knowing how to climb back up your rope can mean the difference between a few minutes of hard work and a full-on rescue.

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - aiding

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - aiding

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Aid climbing techniques allow the climber to journey to high places, unreachable by the free climber. Andy explains the basics of aid climbing, to give a rudimentary understanding of both leading and seconding an aid pitch.

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - advanced protection

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - advanced protection

by Andy Kirkpatrick

There's a whole host of advanced protection pieces including conventional pegs such as lost arrows and knife blades, right through to copperheads, skyhooks and birdbeaks. Andy explains the uses of some of the more common pegs and gadgets.

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - weight saving

Advanced techniques in traditional climbing - weight saving

by Andy Kirkpatrick

You can maximise your performance by minimising the weight of your climbing equipment - lighter loads make climbing much easier and more fun! Andy gives some tips on finding the lightest gear and leaves no item unscrutinised.

Kit and racking for traditional climbing

Kit and racking for traditional climbing

by Andy Kirkpatrick

How to organise and maximise your protection for short route or multi-pitch climbs using harnesses and bandoliers.

Traditional climbing equipment- slings

Traditional climbing equipment- slings

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Slings (or tapes) are invaluable for climbing. Here's what length slings to use for what kind of climbing.

Traditional climbing equipment- protection

Traditional climbing equipment- protection

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Today the rock climber has a vast array of hardware at their disposal; gear that is lightweight, incredibly strong and easily placed or removed one-handed, even while climbing at one's limit. Here's what you need and why.

Traditional climbing equipment- ascenders

Traditional climbing equipment- ascenders

by Andy Kirkpatrick

An ascender is a mechanical rope-climbing tool designed to help you scale steep or difficult ground on a fixed rope. Here's what to use them for, and how.

Climbing equipment- ropes/rope bags

Climbing equipment- ropes/rope bags

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Your rope is the key to safe vertical movement. Here's what they're made from and how to choose one.

Climbing equipment- quickdraws and karabiners

Climbing equipment- quickdraws and karabiners

by Andy Kirkpatrick

After the rope, the humble karabiner (sometimes spelt 'carabiner') is the second most import link in your climbing equipment.

Climbing equipment- locking and belaying karabiners

Climbing equipment- locking and belaying karabiners

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Karabiners - the different types and what they are used for.

Climbing equipment- helmet

Climbing equipment- helmet

by Andy Kirkpatrick

If you take your safety seriously then you should make wearing a helmet a top priority. In sports like horse riding and mountain biking wearing a helmet is now the norm, and it won't be long until climbers follow suit.

Climbing equipment- belaying devices

Climbing equipment- belaying devices

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Here are the five main types of belay device to choose from.

Climbing equipment- accessories

Climbing equipment- accessories

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Once you start buying climbing gear you realise that you have never got enough... Here's what's essential, what's not, and some gadgets, gizmos and weirdness.

Climbing equipment - harness

Climbing equipment - harness

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Your harness is the crucial the link between you and the rope. Here's how to choose.

Essential climbing kit

Essential climbing kit

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Kit by Andy Kirkpatrick. A brief guide to the essential equipment for most styles of climbing, with helpful buying hints.

Kit- ropes and slings

Kit- ropes and slings

by Andy Kirkpatrick

This article covers the rope and protection equipment suitable for moderate to difficult scrambling, including choosing the correct rope diameter and length.

Kit- helmets and harnesses

Kit- helmets and harnesses

by Andy Kirkpatrick

If you take your safety seriously then wearing a helmet should be a top priority. In sports like horse riding and mountain biking wearing a helmet is now the norm, and it won't be long until the majority of climbers and scramblers follow suit. Similarly, if you're using a rope, then a harness will greatly improve your security.

Accessories for walking

Accessories for walking

by Andy Kirkpatrick

The world of outdoor accessories is always evolving. There's always some new product or other to tempt your wallet. Indeed, many are great devices which make your outdoor life so much more pleasurable; others are perhaps best left on the shelf.

Rucksacks for walking

Rucksacks for walking

by Andy Kirkpatrick

A good quality, well-fitting rucksack is crucial if you are to move well in the hills. It should connect seamlessly to your body, allowing you to carry any load securely and relatively comfortably. The load should be on your back close to your centre of gravity but spreads the majority of the weight over the hip bones and then the shoulders.

Camping gear and stoves

Camping gear and stoves

by Andy Kirkpatrick

When travelling into the mountains for more than a few days, it's vitally important that you remain comfortable and well fed, otherwise you'll become inefficient, de-motivated and most worryingly of all, you'll stop having fun. This article looks at the products to keep you warm, dry, comfortable and suitably nourished on your overnight stops.

Tents and bivi bags

Tents and bivi bags

by Andy Kirkpatrick

What features should you look for in a tent or bivi bag? Why is one model better than another? What do season ratings mean?

Technical issues for walkers and scramblers

Technical issues for walkers and scramblers

by Andy Kirkpatrick

This article covers technical equipment for walking and scrambling, including information on helmets, karabiners, ropes and slings.

Walking or trekking poles

Walking or trekking poles

by Andy Kirkpatrick

Walking and trekking poles, with notes on their use and design.

Kit- protection

Kit- protection

by Andy Kirkpatrick

As a scrambler you use your skill and judgement to safeguard your passage over exposed terrain. Occasionally you might choose to use a rope either to safeguard yourself or give security to your partner. In these situations it's worth carrying a small selection of climbing gear to increase safety. This article gives guidance on what to take.

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