When I started writing this blog the only thing I was really sure of was that I wouldn’t be doing reviews. I wanted the blog to be tales of our family life, a reflection of things we were experiencing, and my thoughts on everything and nothing. However it didn’t take too long for my resolve to be tested, and I find it wanting. www.Kitshack.com contacted me and asked for a review of some Buff products; after our recent walks I’d been thinking of getting something to keep my neck warm, and that would fit nicely under my jacket and not be too bulky – and Buff Original products all fit the bill, so I thought I would be daft to turn down this offer. Even better, Kitshack were interested in a family review, and so we all got in on the act and received a Buff Original.
First and foremost there is plenty of choice of design, even enough to keep two choosy small people happy – and indeed they were very happy scrolling through all the products and choosing which one they wanted.
They were even more happy the day they arrived, and they got to romp around the house in them, whilst J and I tried out the variety of ways you can wear them (there’s a handy Ways to Wear video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e-dE3WFaObk&t=40s) to show off how versatile it is). This is all well and good of course but to properly test our new items out, we took to the hills.
And today was the day of our Buff adventure, we decided to tackle Fellbarrow and Low Fell; these are two Western Fells which stand alone, close to Loweswater and with lovely views over Crummock Water from Low Fell. We parked up in Thackthwaite and donned our gear and then set out, the kids had been very excited about the walk as I’d pretty much been withholding their Buffs until we did it, however the start of the walk is a bit of a slog as you continue relentlessly uphill, and it didn’t take too long before the kids’ enthusiasm waned. And waning enthusiasm inevitably leads to tears, and screams, and demands for hot chocolate – and all of these erupted from the girl within minutes of leaving the car, the boy was carrying out more of a standing still protest, with occasional slumps to the floor thrown in for good measure.
It took a ridiculous amount of cajoling, encouragement, shouting, walking off, singing and moaning, to get them to the top of Fellbarrow – and I had a couple of moments of revelation, when I realised it wasn’t that long ago that it was J dragging me up fells and me moaning about how much my legs were hurting; the difference being, I was in my late thirties and they are 2 and 3. It also didn’t take too much more crying, to make me forget my revelations and revert to moaning, only to feel guilty again a few minutes later. This wasn’t the most fun walk we’d done.
By the time we got to the summit, I was considering chucking in the towel and heading back down without also bagging Low Fell – which would have been annoying, as we’d have to return at some point to do it (we’re determined to eventually tick off all 214 – we’ve done a pitiful 37 so far). However, hot chocolate and a couple of bars of chocolate were provided at the summit, and J and I decided to push on (rather meanly, despite the kids’ pleas), the walk across to Low Fell didn’t look that bad, and we felt we’d broken the back of the walk, as we’d done pretty much all the climbing.
So off we set, and then the wind got up and the Buffs came into their own – I’d been wearing mine around my neck, and it had been doing an excellent job of keeping me nice and toasty without being too warm.
The wind was piercing through my hat and going straight down my poor old ears and so I stretched the buff up over my head, and wore it under my hat. Admittedly J said I looked like Jacob Marley from A Christmas Carol, or a Victorian with a toothache, but it definitely did a sterling job of keeping the wind out, and my poor old ears were toasty once more.
The walk over to Low Fell was surprisingly easy, we chose to skirt Smithy Fell and SourFoot Fell rather than climb up and over them, and the kids were happily entertained sploshing through the boggy sections in their wellies, which distracted them from crying about the continuation of the walk (although we might have lied a little by saying we were heading back to the car, which, technically, we were).
There was one final steep climb to get up to the summit of Low Fell, one section of which was a bit hair raising, as it was thin muddy slippery section with a sharp drop to the side, and the usual “We’re nearly there, it’s just at the top here…..oh…hold on….is that the summit there??” (cue staring forlornly at a grassy knoll in the distance). Fortunately, just before this we had found a lovely sheltered spot which the sun was shining on and was perfect for a picnic, so we promised the kids we’d go up, do the summit and head back there to eat. The perfect carrot for the final ascent, which was done without too many weary tears, and the picnic after was very much welcomed by us all.
The descent was actually fairly pleasant and also fairly speedy, the kids are always much happier going downhill (they know the end of the walk is nigh) and the path was wide and grassy, and so they didn’t have to endure too much hand holding. For the descent, the girl wore her Buff as a hat with the end hanging down over her neck, which I think will be fantastic for summer for keeping the sun off.
Throughout the walk, the boy wore his in a variety of styles: scarf, to balaclava, to full face mask (“But you can’t SEE!!”), I think it appeals to the wannabe baddy in him, as his favourite is definitely the mask option.
Halfway down, the weather came in and there was a short lived but heavy hailstorm, but the path (an old drovers’ track) was clear all the way down, and so it wasn’t as unnerving as this would have been on other descents we’ve done (Haystacks comes to mind). J turned his Buff into a hat (he’d been sporting it as a scarf most of the way, donning the face mask when the wind got up) to keep the hail off, and said it was really comfy, light and not too tight.
We finally made it back to the car, and the kids decided that actually they had had a nice time afterall (they were just hiding it well) – and the girl’s favourite part of the whole walk was Hello Kitty (her choice of Buff Original).
Mine and J’s Buff Originals were provided courtesy of http://www.kitshack.com/new-aw1617-adult-sport-collection/aw1617-original and the kids’ came from http://www.kitshack.com/new-aw1617-kids-collection/junior-buff-1 you can also find their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Bufflife and Twitter https://twitter.com/bufflife.