Micro Adventure pack list with Safe and Sound Health


adventure kit

This is a paid collaboration with Safe and Sound

Now more than ever we want to stay safe and healthy on all our family adventures, both close to home and further afield and having the right kit in your day bag is essential to staying safe right now.

My boys and I are really active, we don't like to stay still for long, with most days being spent out and about exploring the Brecon Beacons, camping or spending a few hours at the skate park. That means besides things like water and snacks, it's really important to have some first aid supplies on me because you never know what could happen and being able to safely clean a wound or put a plaster on a cut can really help prevent infection and encourage a wound to heal quicker.

We recently climbed The Skirrid in the Brecon Beacons, a fantastic mountain hike perfect for families that takes you to an impressive trig point summit, which offers incredible views across the Beacons. To get to the summit you first have to do a steep climb through ancient woodland before coming out into open mountainside. Hikes like this, of course, come with some risk and require packing essentials to limit any problems.  

Family hiking

Micro Adventure Packing List

1. A mini first aid kit - Safe and Sound has some great products suited for the whole family, which can be easily popped in your bag. We made sure to pack some plasters (I did end up having to use one for my youngest who cut his leg on a bramble) as well as the Hand Sanitiser and Antiseptic spray. The plaster are especially designed for kits in mind and are hypoallergenic and have fun designs. Adding suncream to a first aid kit is also a good idea as you never know when you may need it.

2. Plenty of Water - I know this seems obvious but you really can't take too much water if you're heading out on a hike or physical activity. I always make sure to have at least two large reusable water bottles between the boys and I. 

3. A light waterproof jacket - preferably one that can fold down to a small size and pack into a bag. Living in Wales has taught me the weather can change at any time so having a waterproof jacket is key.

4. An extra layer of clothing - especially if your heading up a mountain summit - even a small mountain is usually going to be colder on the top by a few degrees than it was at the base so it's really important to have an extra layer of clothing such as a hoodie or thermal long sleeve top to keep you warm and a warm hat is never a bad idea either.

5. Healthy Snacks - you want something that isn't going to spike your sugar levels too much but still provide you with energy especially if you find yourself in a tricky situation. Things like nuts, oat bars, sandwiches and fruit are all a good idea.

6. Battery Pack for phone - when people get lost or into a spot of trouble they often use their phone to navigate their way out of it, but this often drains a lot of battery and emergency services often get calls that end up cutting out due to no battery so if you know you're going somewhere remote or off the beaten track then a battery pack is essential.

7. Physical map of the area - if I can I often try and print or purchase a map of the local area as phones and online navigation cannot always be depended on due to lack of signal and a physical up to date map is a reliable fall back option.

8. Smaller items to consider - it's worth packing a small touch if you're going anywhere later in the day and also a lighter and whistle can come in handy. If your heading out on a particularly long hike then a small emergency blanket is always a good idea and these are super light and fold down to the size of an envelope.

Brecon Beacon hikes

Of course, some of our adventures are closer to home & even a trip to the skatepark requires taking along some essentials, especially a first aid kit as it's certainly a higher risk activity.

I encourage my children to take calculated (and well supervised) risks because it helps build resilience & self-belief in their bodies as well as giving them a sense of freedom and connection with the outdoors. Even the simple act of falling and getting back up on their scooters or skateboards is a learning experience for them. 

Having my Safe and Sound kit on me means that any cuts or scrapes can be dealt with quickly and can be clean properly, especially with the antiseptic stray as well as the antibacterial gel being very handy during Covid should they touch a surface that doesn't look clean.

As with most things, the outdoors is there to be enjoyed but you also need to be prepared.

Safe and sound health

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Alpaca Trekking in the Brecon Beacons


Alpaca my boots

*We were kindly invited to give an honest review the Alpaca Trek

Alpaca Trekking, it's something I hadn't heard much about until I stumbled across Alpaca My Boots on Instagram and I knew it was something we would all enjoy, especially as they are located in the Brecon Beacons National Park, one of our favourite places to visit for micro-adventures so we really couldn't wait to find out more. 

The treks run throughout the week, we lucked out with a lovely sunny morning and from the moment we arrived, the owners were friendly, knowledgable and very welcoming of families and young children. There is more than enough space to socially distance safely and hand sanitiser is on hand, plus they also rotate and clean lead reigns meaning they don't re-use the same ones.

Alpaca my boots

One of the things that really came across right from the start is how happy and well looked after the Alpacas are and a lot of care goes into their wellbeing. After a short health and safety talk, it was time to pick an Alpaca which the kids were really excited to do, my youngest typically went for the biggest one, while I went for the one miniature Alpaca who apparently is very popular and I can see why. 
As it's a working farm you get to see a few elements of it during the trek and we passed a huge field were some of their other Alpacas live before heading out onto Mynydd Illtud common and coming into sight of South Wales largest peaks, Pen Y Fan and Corn Du. For those who don't know Alpacas originate from high up in the Andes in South America so the hilly landscape of Wales makes for a great home and they certainly appeared to really enjoy the trek. 

Brecon Beacon Alpacas

Alpaca my boots

Alpaca My Boots location is really what sets it apart as the trek takes you up to Twyn Y Gaer trig point with fantastic views across the Brecon Beacon as well as being the site of an ancient hill fort. Once at the top of Twyn Y Gaer there is plenty of time for some photos and a short break to take in the scenery before heading back down.

The treks take around 90mins and talking to our guide he said in general children 4yrs+ tend to be able to do the walk with little assistance and that proved true with my 5yr old who made no complaints (well except for snacks which I forgot to pack) and pretty much charged up and down the hill without any problems. 

Alpaca trekking

Once back at the farm the kids had the chance to feed the alpacas and say goodbye to their new favourite animal and say their goodbyes (followed by telling us how they want to come back again next weekend). We really enjoyed our whole experience, it was something special and unusual in a stunning location and I really recommend it if you're looking for something outdoors with kids that's a bit different. 

Alpaca my bags

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Why a decent pair of shades is important while travelling


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street style

*This post contains affiliate links 

As the world is slowly starting to find some sense of normality more and more people are travelling, both locally and abroad and staying healthy is more important than ever right now. While most people will pack a small first aid kit and sun cream to keep our skin protected, we sometimes overlook our eyes, which are so important as well as a decent bucket hat which will provide shade both for your face but also your eyes, especially if you are going somewhere hot.

Good travel always requires a level of planning, and forgetting to pack something will either lead to having to purchase a replacement or simply going without. One item you will need when travelling anywhere is a good pair of polarized sunglasses, and there are some great travel designs, with foldable sunglasses that can safely be stored away until you need them.

Essential UV Protection

The most important aspect of sunglasses is without doubt UV protection, and while some cheaper sunglasses do not offer UV protection, you should always choose a pair with UV400, which is the highest level of protection, blocking out 99% of all UV light. 

Polarized Lenses

It is vital to have 100% clear vision at all times when travelling, especially when driving, and sunglasses that have polarized lenses filter out glare, allowing you to see clearly, even in the brightest of sunlight. Polaroid invented a special film that reflects glare, rather than allowing it to pass through the lens, and you should always insist on polarized lenses when buying sunglasses. For a great deal, check out the shades like Humps Optics unbreakable polarized sunglasses, which come in a range of styles, and as far as durability goes, you can’t beat impact-resistant sunglasses.


If your going to fish out on a decent pair of sunglasses then it's worth making sure you have a case to store them in so you can increase the longevity of your sunglasses. No one likes scratches on a new pair of shades and while some come with a case many don't - it's always worth looking out for a case with felt lining for extra protection

Foldable Sunglasses

Companies like Ray-Ban have designed sunglasses that fold in the centre, making for very easy storage, and when buying designer sunglasses, you can be sure of the best quality and durability. The foldable case usually can be attached to a belt, which means you can easily take out or put away your shades.

chic sunglasses

Online Solutions

If you would like to view a wide range of designer sunglasses, all it takes is a Google search and you can view a stunning range of top-quality designer sunglasses, including those that are specifically designed for travelling. Shopping online also means you can do some price comparisons and often find cheaper alternatives to those in stores.

Check the Returns Policy

When buying anything online, it is essential to check their returns policy, and any reputable sunglasses retailer would have a no-quibble returns policy that states they will happily replace the product in the event of any issues. Only very confident retailers issue such a warranty, which is a reflection of the quality of their products, and we all know how easy it is to break or damage a pair of shades.

There are also a few other ways to make sure you keep your eyes healthy during your travels - check out this article for more info
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Thinking about taking up running? Here is everything you need to know


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trail running

The one positive thing that seems to have come out of 2020 is many people are taking up a new hobby with a focus on getting active and improving fitness. We all know that getting outdoors has a real positive effect on both mental and physical wellbeing and walking or running is a great starting point as you need very little to get going and can be achieved by most people with a minimal budget.
While I focus mainly on surfing, skating and hiking, I also do a little running and power walking to keep my general fitness level up so I thought I share the basics of everything you need to know should you be looking to get into running or jogging this year.

The great thing about running is all you really need are trainers and a comfortable pair of trousers or shorts, a t-shirt and some good socks. Opting for breathable fabric is key though as your skin has to breathe as you run and you need additional support to increase your range of movement. But no matter your reasons for starting, whether it's to up your fitness, meet up with other like minded people or perhaps to lose weight, you will also need to know about recovery because running isn’t as easy as it looks.

The right form

*If you look at professional runners, they all have the same sort of technique.
*Their hips are forward and their body is either leaning slightly back or they are strictly upright.
*Their feet hit the heel at a blunt angle, and most of the weight falls onto their calves.
*Their arms are slightly high, allowing for their lungs and diaphragm to extend.
*They are twisting with their upper body, not going back and forward.
*They are thrust or twisting forward with their hips, not dragging their legs upward after every step.
*Plant your feet slightly pointing inward, so the pressure is offered to your interior tibia, and is on your anterior tibialis.

All of this sounds complex and in truth, it maybe is. But, once you remember things, i.e. twist upward and forward with your hips or IT band, and plant your feet slightly inward, you should be on a roll.

Shin splints!

Running puts many people off because you feel an ungodly pain in your shins. Firstly, it's nothing to do with your shin bones! It's actually the muscles on either side of your shins, pulling away from the bone. What this does is put pressure on your tibia, which can then lead to twisting and jerking of the bone, leading to a hairline fracture. So how can you fix this?

Cross fibre healing

When you come home from running, make sure that for the next four hours, on the hour, you are doing a

This will allow the fibres that have torn over the course of your workout, to heal quicker by aligning that much sooner. You’re also pulling the muscles toward the bone, further shortening the attachment points and lessening the stress.

Inflammation control

Inflammation occurs a lot when you run. This is because your legs are experiencing a lot of stress until you get used to it. Trust us, you will get used to it. It just takes a while. But using cbd oil could really speed up your time for recovery. This is a product known to limit inflammation and aid in healing. It can also soothe your anxiety which is something that many people suffering from body confidence face while working out, learn more about CBD oil for sale and how it can help you. 

Elevation and ice

You want to ice your shin after you have gone for a run, but only for 15 minutes at the most. Wait for another 10 minutes and then apply ice again if you need to. What this does is resupply your muscles with fresh red blood cells, full of oxygen. This then allows your body to begin healing quicker.

Elevate your legs so the weight is taken off your muscles and shin bones. This can limit the blood flowing to your legs and thus, limit the pain due to inflammation.

Get the right app

Do you want to go running without knowing how far, for how long and how many calories you have burned off? Of course not! You would be insane to carry on running and never know if you are doing the right thing.

So use the right app for your running. The Adidas Runtastic app has become popular as it's free, tracks your path via GPS, and calculates your average pace, maximum speed, elevation and your calories. This is all free. To get more features you can buy the app. The premium features allow you to check your heart rate, have multiple profiles for different people but also, use different running shoes. Yes, this awesome app actually tracks the life cycle of your running shoes!

Running is something we can all do. You don’t need a gym membership and you can run at any time. Start now and use these tips to give yourself the best chance of losing weight!.
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Visiting Old Beaupre Castle in the Vale of Glamorgan


Cadw site

*Update when we visited this Cadw site a few weeks ago, it was open to the public although as it's a free and unmanned site they have decided to close it due to Covid 19 - this situation is constantly changing so please do check the Cadw website before heading out.

There are not many castles and medieval ruins locally to us that we haven't visited although recently I was going through all the Cadw heritage sites online and realised we hadn't visited Old Beaupre Castle - a lesser know about ruined medieval fortified manor house near Cowbridge in the Vale of Glamorgan.

After I came across it online I did some research and came across a few sparse online reviews and discovered it was a bit off the beaten track and quite hard to find and awkward to get too, but we always love a challenge, and despite the Cadw directions being somewhat unclear we did manage to find it. Once we arrived as close to the Satnav postcode as possible we could see an old farm track which clearly states no public right of way to the castle so if you do visit in the future do not go down this path as it's private. We did eventually come across the very small lay-by (not a car park which the website mentioned) and an over-grown street sign to the castle which we missed on the first drive-by.

Vale of Glamorgan

Welsh Castle

To access the Castle you need be walk through 3 fields using a public right of way path, please bear in mind this fields often have livestock in them, this time two of the fields had a herd of cows which seemed to take no notice of us walking past. I would say wearing closed shoes is the best idea as you do have to navigate through 3 fields, stiles and kissing gates as well as a short walk up hill to the Manor House.

Welsh Castle

Old Beaupre was originally built circa 1300 but was extended into the 16th century by the Basset family who owned this property for a long period. I was really impressed with how much was still standing, with some impressive features remaining including a three-story gatehouse and stunning renaissance style porch, decorated columns, fireplaces and large windows.

Cadw Castle

Welsh Castle

After the English Civil War the Basset family fortunes started to go into decline and after selling Old Beaupre it fell into disrepair but there is still lots to explore and discover here and is a great micro-adventure for families looking for somewhere quiet. We were the only people there and it looked like it hadn't been visited for a while so social distancing was certainly easy.

As I said at the start of the post the Covid situation is constantly changing - this castle was open just after lockdown restrictions were lifted but how now been shut again so please do check opening times first on the Cadw website. 

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