Father of two, teacher and blogger, David has a penchant for adventure and the great outdoors. He'll be bringing you tips for your next adventure, outdoor ideas to fill your weekends with and practical advice for traversing the great outdoors.
We caught up with David to find out a bit more about him ahead of his guest first post on the Mac in a Sac blog...
"I'm David a 37 year old married dad of two. My wife (Nat) and I are school yard sweethearts who've been together a very long time! We have two amazing kids Jesse, aged 3 and Amelie, aged 1.
I'm an English teacher by profession, spending my 9-5 in a classroom. However, because of my passion for the outdoors I also spend a lot of time working with kids outside of the classroom. I've led Duke of Edinburgh Award programmes and expeditions and assist in the yearly running of the school ski trip. I've even led 32 teenagers on a 4 week expedition to Tanzania where we climbed Mount Kilimanjaro amongst other things."
"Balancing being a dad, a teacher and a blogger is tough. At the end of the day my own kids and family will always come first. Once my working day is over they have my attention until it's time for their bed. They can be exhausting...I don't know where such little people get the energy reserves from!
Overall I just have to be good at organising myself. I work really hard in the week, often through my lunch hour, to make sure that, as far as possible, my evenings and weekends are mine. In terms of the blogging I have set days for writing once the kids have gone to bed. This ensures that i still get to spend most evening with Nat too. This routine and sense of order and priority really helps to focus."
"Being so busy, particularly during the week, makes our weekend adventures all the sweeter. We pretty much epitomise the 'whatever the weather' spirit so we'll be out as family no matter what. We invest a lot of our time making sure we've got the best kit to keep ourselves and our kids warm and dry so there really is no excuse not to go outside. As such, a top tip would be to prepare yourself to go out in any weather. You'd be surprised how much family fun you can have in the pouring rain!
Another tip is to have a go-to list of mini adventures. Mini adventures require little or no planning and take up far less time than full days in the mountains etc. This means that when time is tight, like it is for us in the middle of the week, we can still get a little outdoor fix. To make life even easier keep a prepped and packed rucksack at home that's ready to go as soon as you are."
"I'd say my current favourite outdoor activities are hiking and camping because they enable us to do them as a family. I love the sense of freedom that both of them give us."
"My perfect day off would be a day in the mountains of Snowdonia with Nat and the Kids. We'd begin walking just before first light, reach some higher ground for the sunrise, bag a summit or two, and then sit and have lunch surrounded by awesome views."
"I'd say my current favourite outdoor activities are hiking and camping because they enable us to do them as a family. I love the sense of freedom that both of them give us. Despite their very young age I also love teaching my two kids basic outdoor skills when we're hiking or camping. After all, I was just a nipper when my mum first took me along to her hiking club, so you're never too young to enjoy the outdoors.
Before kids I'd always be out blasting around trails and downhill courses on my mountain bike but that has definitely taken a back seat for now. I still enjoy riding, but will probably go back to it more seriously when the kids are a little older and can chase me (or the other way round!).
In the winter months I also love to ski and our eldest began having ski lessons just 2 weeks after his 3rd birthday. I'm just a little worried he'll be better than me before long!"
"When I started the blog one of the things I wanted to do was to use the qualifications and experience I'd developed over many years leading school groups in the outdoors to encourage more families to get outside. Consequently I started the Hiking with Kids Club. Now, once a month, I organise a family friendly hike and publicise it via the blog's Facebook page. We welcome all people, not just those with kids, and we've had some really great days out. Each month we hike somewhere different so that the group get a lot of variety and always choose somewhere that has a cafe stop near the end. As such not only is it a great opportunity to get kids outdoors it's also a great social event for like-minded adults."
Wondering whether a Mac in a Sac jacket is right for you? Our high performance, compact jackets really “pac” a punch when it comes to weather protection and there’s lots of every day scenarios where our jackets can come in handy for you.
1. Fits perfectly in schoolbags
If you’re getting your little one all set for a school trip you’ll most likely be concerned about whether or not the weather will stay dry.
Our Mac in a Sac Mini range pack away neatly into a compact stuff bag so there’s no need to try and cram a heavy coat into their schoolbag. They’ll have easily accessible super waterproof compact cover up for if and when surprise showers strike.
You can keep your mind at ease and your little one won’t get soaked.
2. No bag? No problem!
Maybe you’re heading to an outdoor concert or just out on a leisurely walk and don’t want to be weighed down by a handbag or backpack.
Our handy stuff bags come with elastic adjustable cords which are super easily tied around your belt or belt loop on your jeans so you can keep your hands free and minimise the need to a handbag or backpack.
3. Doesn’t weight you down
Our jackets are super lightweight making them perfect for a multitude of activities such as running, hiking and cycling.
However, packed away in its stuff sack your Mac in a Sac won’t add a lot of weight.
So whether you have on multiple layers out and about on a wintery day or a light shirt on a warm day, your versatile Mac in a Sac will provide you with the waterproof protection you need when from impending downpours.
4. Carrying wet coats & umbrellas becomes a thing of the past
Whenever the weather’s temperamental, sunny one minute raining the next, adjusting our attire to these changes can be a bit of a nightmare resulting in inevitable wardrobe malfunctions and the wish to shun ourselves inside for good.
Easily transported, easily worn and easily packed away, a Mac in a Sac jacket eliminates the unpleasantness of having to carry around a thoroughly rain soaked coat or dripping umbrella when the clouds part and the sun makes another appearance.
It's official. Winter is winding down, the mornings are brighter and the evenings are longer. With the weather (hopefully!) improving, it's time to start planning some fun outdoor activities. However, if any lingering signs of winter are bringing you down, yes we're looking at you iced up windscreens; well we have some much needed inspiration for you on having fun outside!
1. Duck Feeding
Have you ever gone for a walk in the park and after seeing a few ducks, immediately regretted not planning ahead to bring a few slices of bread with you? Well, this time why not make a point of going out to the park with your little ones specifically to do a bit of duck feeding? Nothing gets you quite as excited for Spring like connecting with nature and its inhabitants!
2. Spring Hunt
Everyone knows the tell-tale signs of Spring - daffodils, snowdrops, baby animals and Easter eggs. However, since Easter eggs have been temptingly in stock since just after Christmas, why not plan a little day out in the great outdoors with a Spring checklist? Round the kids up and hunt out some of the bountiful signs of Spring abundant in nature. It will be almost guaranteed to make the winter months seem like a distant memory.
3. Help Birds Build Their Nests
It is possible. It's also super easy and affordable. Get yourself one of these mesh nesting wool holders (or even just a mesh bird feeder) then start to stock up on little scraps of wool which you and your little ones will then fill the holder/feeder with together. Then it's playing the waiting game to see what sorts of birds it will attract! Seeing the birds pull the wool out with their beaks and fly off to build their nest with it is sure to get your little nature enthusiasts' full undivided attention! Why not invest in a little pair of binoculars too to get a close up look at the birds?
4. Puddle Jumping
Whenever April showers strike instead of staying cooped up indoors why not make the most of it by cracking your wellies out and going for a splash about? Besides, April showers don't tend to stick around for too long before the sunshine is back again! Our handy waterproof overtrousers and Mac in a Sac packaway waterproof jackets provide the perfect cover up for when these temperamental showers make their appearance. Both coming in a handy stuff sac, they're ideal for popping into handbags and backpacks.
5. Plant Something
Now that we're finally getting into a season where things can now grow, let's celebrate that by planting something! Whether it's planting some sunflowers, strawberries or even an apple tree, get the kids involved and you'll have something to look after together and watch grow together throughout the Spring, Summer and even Autumn.
Mac in a Sac is a really versatile piece of clothing that is perfect for lots of activities from travelling to cycling. Its handy stuff sac also means you can have an extra, protective piece of clothing without it taking up all the room in your handbag! So, for a bit of inspiration we've put together a list of just some activities your Mac in a Sac is perfect for!
1. City Breaks
With limited space in your hand luggage you need to be pretty savvy about what you take on your city break and what you leave at home. This can be a pretty difficult task, especially if you hate packing in the first place. When you plan your city break down to a tee, outfit planning is marginally easier. But, overall, the unpredictability of the weather can be difficult to plan around. You can make outfit planning that bit easier by popping your Mac in a Sac in your hand luggage. Just as handy for handbags as an umbrella but ten times more reliable. It also won't break when the wind blows too strongly!
2. School Trips
Whether it’s a trip to a forest park, an open farm or the zoo, the weather is prone to interfering on school trips. Leave behind their bulky puff coat for carrying around all day (and possibly leaving on the bus!) and pop their handy Mac in a Sac into their school bag instead. They can be free to enjoy the weather while it’s dry and be well equipped to tackle it if it turns nasty. Win-win!
3. Walking the Dog
Don’t let your furry friend down by keeping him/her cooped up in the house while it’s raining! Rainy days will no longer stop you from getting out with your pet through your Mac in a Sac's highly waterproof and breathable qualities. You can enjoy your walks together without interruption and your pet will thank you for it
If there's one place where the threat of rain looms with mighty force then it's UK festivals. You can be adequately prepared for this eventuality with your Mac in a Sac. You'll be protected from light rain and the heavier showers too. Decided to leave your bag back at the campsite? Not a problem, with a handy drawcord included on its stuff sac your Mac in a Sac can be tied around your belt so you can dance with ease when the sun comes out.
You might be freezing when you first hop on your bike, but after a few minutes cycling you’ll warm up rapidly. Your Mac in a Sac is ideal for cycling because its lightweight, breathable qualities help you stay comfortable when you start to perspire.
So, what activities have you used your Mac in a Sac for? We always love seeing photos of our customers out and about in their Mac in a Sacs! Tweet us your pics!
Feeling guilty about not partaking in Dry January? Never fear, we're giving Dry January an entirely new meaning!
As it's one of the coldest, wettest months of the year, we recognise how important your clothing choices are in tackling the elements and the impact that these choices can have on your overall wellbeing. Let's face it, have you ever gotten soaked by the rain and been completely fine with it? The unpredictability of the weather and the way in which it affects our moods, (and sometimes our entire day) is quite often exacerbated by poor clothing choices, particularly outerwear. Your fur collared leather jacket might look great with your outfit but the moment you get caught in a rain shower it is an immediately regrettable choice. I know. I've been there. So, if for 2016, you want to finally say no to being cold and wet, we've compiled your Dry January guide to waterproof clothing, detailing all the different styles of jackets and coats and explaining how wash and reproof your Mac in a Sac when the time comes round to it.
You don't have to sacrifice style for comfort with Mac in a Sac. Available in a range of fourteen colours you can ensure your Mac in a Sac goes with whatever outfit you choose to wear! It's waterproof, windproof and breathable qualities will protect you from the elements so you're free to enjoy your day without the weather ruining it. With a concealable hood and adjustable drawcord you can customise your Mac in a Sac depending on the weather and your size. The Mac in a Sac Classic is also unisex so you can choose his and hers.
You'll get full coverage from the rain in this stylish, long length coat. Fully waterproof from top to bottom, this coat is perfect for those particularly nasty rainy days to ensure you can get on with your day as normal! Can also be packed away into its own stuff sac for when the sun decides to make an appearance. Flatteringly fitted with a detachable hood and belt so you can customize your look whatever way you want.
Retaining all of the waterproof, windproof and breathable features of the Classic Packaway, Elle comes in a range of cute polka dot patterns if the block colours of Classic aren't your thing! It still has all the practical protective features that the Classic packaway has but with an additional feminine twist.
Offering all the protective, rain proof qualities that the Classic has, this jacket is perfect for those particularly nippy, wintery days with an additional thermal Jersey lining to ensure you stay toasty. With breathable fabric, comfort cuffs and a packaway hood in the collar you can embrace the winter months without fear of feeling the chill in the air! With the option of packing it away into its own pocket, this jacket is really handy to throw into a handbag if you're in a rush. Like the Classic, the Strata jacket is also unisex.
And Something For The Kids!
Easily packed away into a compact sac, this raincoat can be kept in a school bag in case of rain showers at break time. Also perfect for school trips whenever the weather isn't in your favour. It is lightweight, breathable and waterproof with a concealed, adjustable hood.
This rainsuit/splash suit offers full length protection from the rain so that your little one doesn't need to hold back whenever there's a good looking puddle to splash in! Made from lightweight, waterproof material but sized so that it offers room for an extra layer underneath on the particularly chilly days.
Clothing Features Explained
How to Care for Waterproof Products
Through wear, you may notice some of your Mac in a Sac's great rain resistance and breathability features are diminishing slightly as time goes on. This is an easily fixable issue meaning you can ensure your rain protection continues and you get your money's worth (and more) from your Mac in a Sac. The process involves washing your Mac in a Sac and (if needed) reproofing it also to restore its original rain resistance performance.
Washing Your Mac in a Sac
All Target Dry products are machine washable at 30 degrees, a delicate setting, if your washing machine provides this option. There are many different types of wash and re-proof products on the market, however, for your Mac in a Sac we recommend using NikWax Two-Stage treatment. This product can also be used on all sorts of outdoor equipment such as tents, awnings and rucksacks etc.
If you find that the fabric of your Mac in a Sac is absorbing water as opposed to repelling it then it may be time to do some reproofing. This isn't necessary after every time you wash it, simply if you notice that it may need it.
Reproofing Your Mac in a Sac
There is no need to wait for your items to dry after washing, you can get straight to reproofing! Reproofing products can come in wash in format or spray on format. NikWax Two Stage Treatment is a wash-in treatment.
The Festival season has officially begun!
If you’re heading off to any summer festivals across the UK, Ireland and Europe this year, make sure you are well prepared. The weather can be highly unpredictable and lets face it, there’s nothing worse than getting caught in torrential rain and stuck in a mud bath. It’s not fun if you're dressed in a t-shirt and shorts in cold, wet and windy conditions.
We’ve put together a few recommendations for your festival survival kit to make sure you get through it with as relatively little damage as possible. Packing the essentials gives you peace of mind that nothing will get in the way of spoiling your fun!
Backpack/rucksack - this goes without saying that you need a good quality, durable backpack that’s big enough to carry everything you need but that won’t weigh a ton. Don’t go overboard and pack the kitchen sink. Take a couple of changes of clothes and a few accessories to change up your look should you desire to.
Wellies - No self-respecting festival buff would be without wellies! Definitely not something to scrimp on, wellies need to be completely waterproof, fit well (to avoid any stuck in the mud situations) and of course it doesn’t hurt if they look funky and stylish. Check out our ladies and kiddies wellies that come in a range of different patterns and bright fun colours.
Plimsolls - when the weather is good, you won’t want to be donning the wellies. if you do, expect sweaty, smelly and heat swollen feet! Plimsolls take up minimum space in your bag and they can easily go with any outfit.
Plasters & Paracetamol - avoid any nasty blister eruptions with waterproof plasters. Protect your ankles and any minor cuts and help them heal. Packing paracetamol will help with any headaches (those unexpected and also those self-inflicted) and make sure you don’t miss out on any musical acts.
Sunscreen - even though the sky is cloudy, you can still get burnt! Cover any exposed areas and avoid the burnt tomato look.
Wet wipes - definitely, definitely one for the backpack. Easy to keep fresh and clean and easy to dispose of.
Torch - another essential that goes without saying! Festivals are for having fun and staying up all night. A torch will ensure you don’t stumble in the dark and will guide you on any late night trips to the portaloos.
Waterproofs - Unexpected showers can catch you at any moment. Make sure you still enjoy your weekend away even when the weather is lashing down. There are plenty of options out there if you’re looking for a fashionable mac or poncho, but chances are, if they’re cheap they will most likely fail to keep you warm and dry. Mac in a Sac polka dot ponchos and waterproof packaway jackets are perfect for ensuring that you enjoy the music without getting completely drenched.
Dry shampoo - Unless you want to stand under a freezing cold shower to wash your hair, you can keep your mop looking fresh with good old dry shampoo. Spraying it at the roots will keep it looking grease free and smelling clean.
Let us know what festivals you will be attending this summer, as well as your survival essentials!