Big Shakeout 2017: The Big Shakedown

By Hati Whiteley

It’s incredible to think that the Big Shakeout is over for another year (although we probably won’t stop talking about it for a while). After months of planning, the weekend always seems to pass in one big blur. But what blur it is! It's amazing to see so many of you coming along and getting stuck into celebrating adventure and the outdoors, learning something new, or just chilling out and getting into the spirit of the weekend.

Welcome to the Big Shakeout!

We’re all getting back into the swing of the day job here at AKHQ, although there are still some sleepy faces around the place (can it really be Wednesday already?!). Still, we couldn’t let another moment pass without running through our best bits and saying some very important ‘Thank Yous’

You lot!

We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again… You all make the Big Shakeout what it is. Year after year we are so chuffed to meet and reunite with such a lovely bunch of people. Even when it rained on Friday your enthusiasm was unwavering, and it was great to get the chance to get to know you all a bit better!

Keep sharing your photos…

We’ve been reliving the weekend through your photos on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Keep sharing them: we love seeing them and you never know, you may just end up winning tickets for BSO 2018 in our photo competition.

Shaker Makers

The Big Shakeout has always been the result of a huge team effort, but none of it would have been possible without the Shaker Maker volunteers. These guys give up their time to make sure everything runs like clockwork, they work incredibly hard, and they do it with smiles on their faces. It is brilliant to see some familiar faces on the Shaker Maker team too! (We'll see you agan next year right?)

Thornbridge Outdoors

We couldn’t run this event without Thornbridge Outdoors. Not only does the Big Shakeout take place on their beautiful site, but their expert instructors deliver a packed schedule of SofA courses throughout the weekend, teaching us new skills, taking us on adventures, and helping us to discover the Peak District. They also provided some amazing on-site activities, meaning that we can go on some adventures closer to home.

Thornbridge Outdoors put on so many on-site activities that you didn't have to wander very far from base to find an adventure!

External Instructors

There was a huge diversity of courses on offer at the Big Shakeout this year, and we were stoked to see so many of you returning with big smiles on your faces. We’d like to thank the following organisations coming along to run courses and activities and for equipping us with the skills to go on some amazing adventures:

Ready for a day of adventure

Learning new skills with the Bushscouts

Parkour with Action in Motion

Daring Deeds

As always, we came away from the Daring Deeds yurt and Lathkill room feeling inspired and ready to go out and do something awesome! We’d like to thank the following individuals for sharing their adventures and insights with us…

  • Aleks Kashefi, who never fails to deliver on inspiration and epic tales
  • Chris Sleight, who took to the stage to grill some Alpkiteers on their adventures
  • Harry Bloor who told tales of the Wainwrights
  • Rich and Tom sharing stories from their Tour de France
  • Steve Bate who told us about finding the all-important balance
  • The Ario Caves Team, for showing us what it’s like in Europe’s deepest cave system
  • Beauties and the Bog, fresh from their record breaking Munro round
  • Alan Monks on a ‘peaceful’ retiremminipent
  • Neil Cottam giving us a taste for adventure
  • Andy Hayes from Ultramedix, who saved the day at the last minute like a Big Shakeout Superhero!

Tales of Daring-Do in the Lathkill room


Music is the beating heart of the Big Shakeout, it helps up to let out hair down and throw all kinds of crazy shapes! Thank you for throwing crazy shapes with us, and thank you to the wonderful bands and artists for making our party possible!

  • Lila J
  • Toffees
  • Holy Moly and the Crackers
  • Johanna Alba
  • The Kentucky Cow Tippers
  • The Wax Lyrical Sound
  • Patawawa
  • Jericho Rose
  • Kog & the Zongo Brigade
  • Tom McCartney
  • Ben Miles

We sure know how to throw a party, if we do say so ourselves...

The AK Crew

Last but certainly not least, we’d like to thank the AK team who put in hard graft before, during, and after the event to make sure that everyone can have a cracking weekend! We may not be event planners by trade, but when everyone pitches in, things just seem to come together. Bar Manager Ben is usually Factory Manager Ben, chef Jamie spends his days helping our customers as a Customer Support Hero, and minibus conductor Degs is usually in charge of making sure the right kit arrives where it's meant to... We all came back to the day job on Monday morning, but secretly our minds are already wandering off to next year’s Big Shakeout.

AlpNick is usually designing your outdoor kit, but at the weekend he was working hard to make sure everything went to plan.

The date is set for the 28th – 30th September 2018, we’ll see you there!

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