Big Shakeout Shakedown 2016

By Col

The 6th Big Shakeout has drawn to a close and we are all fitting back into our daily jobs once again here at Alpkit HQ, if just a little more tired than usual. We look back on another year with another smile, incredibly chuffed that so many came along and really got stuck into helping us celebrate all aspects of the outdoors, sharing their enthusiasm, longing to learn new tricks and just hang out and help each other get into the spirit of the weekend.

So this is really a massive thank you to all of you for coming, as we've said before, it is all of you who make the Big Shakeout what it is and turned it into such a special date in our annual diary. Oh and thank you for grouping together to hold off that rain until Saturday night when everybody was in bed (well pretty much everybody) it was great timing! While you were chucking all your rubbish into one point, there may have been worries about recycling provisions. Well we're pleased to put your minds at rest that all rubbish collected is hand-sorted and as much as possible is sent for recycling, whilst the remainder is incinerated so that nothing goes into landfill.

We've started uploading a few images that we snapped during the weekend on our Alpkit Flickr, if you were there don't forget to tag us in any photos, we'd love to see what you got up to. #alpkit #bigshakeout #goniceplacesdogoodthings#gnpdgt

Beyond all you Shakers coming and showing us how to have a good time, there were just a few people helping to run and provide activities. So we'd also like to thank...

First up, all of our volunteer Shakermakers for their hard work throughout the weekend, helping to make sure everything ran smoothly, you were all brilliant. There was a massive mix of activities this year, led from the front by all the instructors put on by the awesome Thornbridge Outdoorswho let us stay over for another year. Their band of instructors put on another packed School of Adventure schedule, which saw over a thousand activity places over the weekend for learning new skills and enjoying the outdoors. It was great again to see so many people coming back with big smiles on their faces.

Amongst other activities the Guyrope Gourmet and his cookery school once again had lovely smells wafting from his tent, Eden Wild Foods gave a lesson in Autumnal foraging delights, West Norfolk Nordic Walking returned with the highly popular Binerflon, Polly from Mountain Yoga Breaks for the Yoga and Mountain Bike Guiding, Chris Eastabrook and co for a number of the kayak activities, the Bushscout crew put on another great activity hub with wood craft skills and axe throwing.Stuart from Bearbones was back with his informative workshops and John of Birch Canoes had people carving out some lovely paddles once again.

We were really blessed to have some great speakers come and give up their time to inspire us and recount their Daring Deeds. The yurt saw a lively run of talks with Nicky Spinks, Tom and Rich Seipp, Chris Eastabrook, Mel Nicholls, Becky Coles, Dan Butler and Adam Harmer. Elsewhere Viv Rickman-Poole discussed the delights of cold water swimming, Sarah Outen gave us an insight into rowing, kayaking and cycling around the world, while Joe Beaumont ran a chat with Mark Kalch, Elise Downing and Mike Howarth each discussing their latest endeavours in his knights of adventure. Thank you all so much.

Music is always an important part of the Big Shakeouts, giving us the chance to really relax and chill out or let the hair down, depending on what takes your fancy. Spread over two nights it gave two excuses to party. Friday welcomed us with Tim Loud, Scribble Victory, After Hours Quintet, The Buffalo Skinners. Saturday split to two stages again, on the Foundation Stage we had Paper Doves, Rudy Warman, The Seniors, Scrogans Run and Where Fires Are, whilst the Campfire Stage created a more intimate, relaxed vibe hidden away in the trees with Serious Sam Barrett, Emma Bladen Jones, ending with an almost never ending barrage of requests to Rob Reynolds who duly kept on going late into the night. Thank you to all the bands and performers who came and helped entertain. Unfortunately over the weekend we were saddened to hear of one late minute cancelation due to unavoidable and unforeseen circumstances, we send all our best wishes toK.O.G. & The Zongo Brigade.

Then of course all of our staff here at Alpkit for putting in the tireless graft before, during and after the event as now we have to get our heads down and back to the 'day job', but secretly we're already thinking about next years Big Shakeout!

You may have received our little survey already, but if you do have any feedback then please feel free to let us know. It doesn't have to be all the nice stuff, we are constantly wanting to make this weekend as good as we can for everybody. So whilst we might not be able to action everything, we'll do our best to make it as good as possible. Thanks to Graham Wynne for some of these great images.

We hope to see you next year!

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