What are your favourite dry bags?

I’ve always enjoyed following your river journeys. What dry bags would you recommend using?
- Christian Soltermann


Questions to ask yourself to help decide which drybags you need.

How am I travelling?
If I’m on the water (sailing, kayak, SUP, canoe, waterbike) every day then there’s always the chance of capsize or bags falling in the water. If I’m just on a walk or a bike ride pesky rain or even heavy overnight dewfall demands a moderation of protection.

How rugged will the journey be?
Are the bags going to be tossed around? Do they need to be hardy?

What water type am I travelling on or near?
Gear will last a lot longer in fresh water than it will in ocean salt water. Salt water eats gear faster than crocodiles.

What’s the climate?
Humid or endlessly rainy?

What type of gear needs to be protected?
Electronics are key to some expeditions and are more susceptible to moisture damage than clothing. It’s not fun reaching the end of a grim day only to find your stash of dry end-of-ride clothes are absolutely soaking.

Regardless of whether or not I’m travelling on water, I’ll pack using a layering series of dry bags.

Main choice for river trips:

Main bag: Palm Equipment River Trek: Camping gear, clothing and electronics
My favourite top-layer waterproof duffel bag is the Palm Equipment River Trek. It comes in a bunch of different sizes, is rugged enough to withstand a few months of being chucked about, and it’s my first choice on a long river or ocean journey. A Palm River Trek can also happily survive in the aircraft hold, so no worries about checking it in. They’re top loaded, so ideal for gear you don’t need to grab throughout the day.

Day bag: Aquapac Upano Duffel: Day bag for easy access to spare layers, lunch and other items you’ll use during the day
Aquapac also do duffel bags, which are thinner, lightweight and suitable for shorter weekend or week-long paddles. They’re fastened longways so are good for access throughout the day, and also come with a valve so you can squeeze extra air out before doing the bag up.

Hike rucksack: Aquapac "Wet & Dry" Lightweight Waterproof Backpack - 25 Litres (788)A great hiking and city rucksack. It wouldn’t keep water out if it was submerged but I’ve used one of these for years and it happily keeps the laptop dry in rainy conditions. Good for running into town for supplies.

Inner Layers: All gear inside the dry bags packed away inside AquaPac Pack Dividers
Whatever my main outer choice is, all of my gear goes in smaller waterproof pack dividers. My waterproof pack dividers of choice are by by Aquapac, they come in different colour-coded sizes so you can easily find your gear when in camp.

Main choice for bike trips:

If I’m on the road and need good rain and mud protection for a rack-ready pannier, I’ve always gone with Ortlieb. The back roller panniers are great for the rear rack, and for a handlebar bag the Ortlieb Ultimate 6 Plus has lasted me for years, on scooters and tandems and Elliptigos and water bikes and even normal bicycles.

And finally, to keep the smartphone dry but still usable, Lifeproof know what they’re doing.

Tentipi: Camping for the spacious at heart

Whether you're heading out on a micro adventure, a long-distance expedition or have a garden party to organise, here's a look at what Swedish outdoor experts Tentipi have to offer this season.

Hiding out with a 1000 miles of Norwegian coastline under the belt

Hiding out with a 1000 miles of Norwegian coastline under the belt

As the warmer months approach it's natural to spend more time outside, which for me means figuring out a variety of different ways to sleep in nature. I've always loved the Scandinavian approach to camping and since meeting a super chilled-out Torsten Gabrielsson midway through my Hobie kayak trip from Oslo to Helsinki in 2014, I've been a big fan of the company he runs marketing for, Tentipi. 

I should say up front that while there are cheaper tents on the market I've always preferred spending a little bit more on a product that lasts. The cheap tents of my twenties always ended up with broken zips, torn tightening-straps and a cluster of snapped pegs, so a tough waxy rainfly, bomb-proof pegs and a zip that two rhinos couldn't pull apart always gets my vote. 

With this in mind, when Tentipi asked if I'd like to write about their range I was more than happy to do so, they've been in my adventure bag for the last four years and I can't be more of a fan.


My Tentipi love affair began with the first iteration of the Olivin 2, the smallest tent in their range and a reminder that a little extra space makes for a more comfortable wind-down after a long day's work. Made for two people + bags, the Olivin 2 is plenty high for sitting upright and getting changed in, boasts a built-in inner tent and vents in the roof and sides. At a gentle squeeze you could sleep a 2 child family or swing three cats in there; your choice. 

Stockholm, September 2014 - Image by Torsten Gabrielsson 

Stockholm, September 2014 - Image by Torsten Gabrielsson 

In fact, during the first year of the YesTribe, the Tentipi crew challenged us to break the 'world record' for the amount of people that could fit inside an Olivin 2. Believe it or not, we managed 25!


The Olivin 2 weighs in at 3.4kg with the inner tent so it's not a backbreaker, and I'm still surprised at what comes out of that bag. There's such a power in carrying a temporary home on your back (or in a kayak or panniers) and I love that process of creating a basecamp. Turning a bag into a shelter is beautiful, and there's nothing more simple than putting up a tipi like an Olivin. Eight pegs, one pole. Welcome home.

Read more about the Olivin 2

Erecting a tipi

One of the factors that draws me to a tipi is the ease of putting it up. No longer are there multiple stringy poles to feed through tight sleeves, instead you peg out the octagonal tent first and then give it some shape with just one chunky (but lightweight) pole. The process is just delicious, I adore simplicity (it goes very well with my intelligence levels) and a 90-second put-up average makes bad weather and fatigue days more bearable. 

The Zirkon

The Zirkon family of tents is seven strong. There are four CP tents, which are heavier and built for comfort, and three Zirkon light tipis are exactly what they say on the tin - they're lighter and more manageable. 

A northern Norway camp. Photo by Yellow Matilda

A northern Norway camp. Photo by Yellow Matilda

Last Summer I decided to carry a Zirkon 5 Light tent for a 9 week expedition along Norway's coastline. It gave me loads of room to spread out clothes dampened by a long day on the water, and even without the inner tent it provided more than adequate shelter for those moments when I got sick of the gorgeous views outside (*this never happened). 

View the full run-down of the Zirkon range

Hekla Firebox

I rarely came off the water dry in Norway, so the option of enjoying a fire inside was a big attraction to the Zirkon. In full transparency, it was a fairly warm Summer/ Autumn in Norway so I barely used the Hekla firebox, but it's pretty cool to get a fire going inside and I'm looking forward to some cosy winter camping with this set-up in future.

Why a tipi is worth considering over another type of tent

  • They look really, really good
  • Plenty of space inside
  • Hard-wearing
  • Simple to erect
  • Stoke up a fire inside (model and size dependent)



The Canopy

Adding a Tentipi canopy to your Nordic tipi gives you more room to hang out and it works great as a stand-alone too, if you really want to pack light.

Rucksack Frame

Okay, some of Tentipi's larger tents are a bit heavy so this year they built a rucksack frame to easily carry them to base camp. Of course, you can use it to transport logs, water containers or your best buddy as well.

The Half Fleece Floor


Tired of cold feet and dirty shoes? Tentipi's new half fleece floor has a cosy surface, even for bare skin. 

It is fully damp-resistant, like all their other floors. Having half a floor in your Nordic tipi means you can have a surface with floor to sleep and hang out on, and one without floor where you put your dirty shoes.

They are also fitted with Velcro so you can join two half fleece floors together to make a whole floor, or combine a fleece floor with a half ordinary floor.

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Where do you put your dirty shoes when camping?  The new half innertent from Tentipi creates two rooms inside your Nordic tipi, one to sleep in, and one for cooking, wet dogs and smelly socks.

Safir 7 CP

This is the classic Safir 7 cp from Swedish tent maker Tentipi. You can have an open fire inside or fit it with a stove for really cold nights. It's made out of cotton and polyester which keep rain out while letting condensation vent away. You can fit up to seven people in this one and it's full standing height even for tall guys, at the same time as packing down into a kayak or rucksack.

Stratus 72

Okay, I know that you're not going to bring this one on your next kayak expedition around the Shetland islands, but in case you discover true love on that trip you might need somewhere to celebrate your wedding! You can rent these amazing Stratus 72 tents all over the UK and in many other countries.

And in case you're tired of your 9-5 at the office, why not change careers and start your own Tentipi rental? Just sayin'...

The Zirkonflex

For basecamp or for garden parties, the Tentipi Zirkonflex can be folded up half way for panaorama views or all the way to use as a sun roof on warm days.

And finally, for a full rundown of Tentipi's products or just a sumptuous browse of gorgeous pictures of tipis in beautiful places, check out

A sneak peek around a brand new GoOutdoors store in Reading

With the warmer months approaching, Emma Taylor visits Reading's newest outdoors store for some inspiration and a cheeky bit of shopping.


I've always been of a minimalist mindset when it comes to owning stuff. Creating surplus waste or filling space with items I’ll rarely use isn't a hobby, so like many other nature lovers, it takes a very specific mood to motivate me to go shopping. Occasionally this is brought about by a chance encounter of something exciting and I just can’t help myself! 

As you might guess, this is what happened this week when Dave and I were invited to get a look behind the scenes at the new Go Outdoors store in Reading, which opens its doors to the public at 9am on Saturday 17th March.


The new store is a massive Aladdin’s cave of outdoor wonders spread over two floors and when an outdoor tent village is part of a store, you know you're in for a treat. Any adventurer’s dream! We happily got lost in there for a couple of hours browsing everything from solar-powered gadgets, to expedition gear, geeking out on all the camping essentials and checking out outdoor cooking options for The YesBus. 

We do differ slightly on our ideal new toys in the new Go Outdoors store though; while I was skipping off happily day-dreaming of the horse riding gear I could invest in (for my non-existent but very gorgeous horse!), Dave’s attention was captured by the gorgeous neon yellow fat bike suspended up on a pedestal, just waiting to be played with! It got us thinking of where he could take it off on an adventure worthy of those epic beast tyres; Iceland, Canada, or maybe somewhere in the Middle East…? 


Besides the vast amounts of gear to fit even the pickiest adventurer, the overwhelming positive of visiting the new Go Outdoors store at Reading was the staff. Every staff member we spoke to not only had in-depth understanding of all the products but had their own tales of adventure to tell and a wealth of knowledge that can only be earned by having a background spent in the great outdoors. It was so lovely to see so many people truly enjoying their job because they get to encourage more people to get outside and share the happiness of being in nature. 

Of course, as we're doing just that with SayYesMore and the YesTribe we were lucky enough to get a bit of pocket money to spend at the store, so walked away with plenty of new bits and bobs which we decided will live at the YesBus and help people get their outdoors fix, even if they can't afford their own gear.

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If you get the chance this Saturday to visit the new store on opening day, you won’t be disappointed. Not just because you can get a balloon giraffe and your face painted like a tiger if you want, or even the fact that Ross Kemp will be cutting the shiny blue ribbon, but it might surprise you with inspiring a new passion you never even knew you had.

And with all this done, I'm going outdoors!