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Pro-Scheme Outdoor Story Competition

Introducing the winner of our Pro-Scheme Outdoor Story competition, Samuel Dyason! Sam is a lecturer, instructor & technician in adventure sports at Bishop Burton College, East Yorkshire, and we are excited to share his winning submission with you. Sam’s prize is a fantastic Páramo & Nikwax accessory bundle worth over £120, plus £300 in points to spend in one of our Brand Stores. Read on to discover how Páramo helps Sam work in – and enjoy – the great outdoors…

Samuel Dyason in his element!

When I first experienced adventure in ‘the great outdoors’, camping wild in the Lake District aged 12 years old with my father, it was with very basic kit. No technical soft-shells, wicking baselayers or micro-fleeces for me – just an old pair of tracksuit trousers, a cotton T-shirt and woollen sweater. This was topped off with a non-breathable waterproof jacket that I was convinced leaked but was of course due to the huge amount of condensation I generated whilst hiking (it was even worse when carrying an expedition rucksack, which I had naturally over-filled with unnecessary and trivial items in addition to the essential camping kit!). However, I have great memories of spending time with my dad on these adventures – exploring the mountains, building rock dams to bathe in, racing billy cans along streams and playing cards in the tent during the evenings, using matchsticks for currency.

Forty years on and I am still enjoying venturing out, with my family, friends and professionally as an instructor of outdoor education. I have worked in many different settings and with all age groups. I have also been through many types and brands of outdoor clothing, as for many years I chose to buy cheaper products. However, when I finally decided to give Páramo a go, I soon realised it was well-worth the investment!

My first piece of Páramo kit was a pair of Velez trousers, which I mainly bought to avoid the hassle and discomfort of having to use waterproof over-trousers. It also meant I could avoid the guilt of putting on waterproofs when working with groups who came unprepared and did not have any. However, I soon discovered the Velez trousers were great to wear in dry weather too and they have become my go-to leg wear, unless I want to wear shorts 😊

My second purchase was an Alta II jacket (since updated to the Alta III), which has performed fantastically in colder conditions. Last year I took my students on a hiking expedition in the Yorkshire Wolds, camping at a village sports field. Despite being early spring, the overnight sub-zero temperatures and frequent snow showers meant it felt more like the middle of winter! In my sleeping bag I was cold, but once up and dressed in my Páramo gear I was toasty and able to help my students warm up.

An orange Velez smock came next, which I have used whilst taking students canoeing on the River Derwent in Yorkshire, climbing Scafell Pike in the Lake District, and mountain biking in Dalby Forest in the heart of the North York Moors National Park. It is an extremely versatile and practical piece of kit, with its generous hood, side vents and large chest pocket. It is also easily packable. However, one of the best uses I have found for it is after wild swimming with my children in Borrowdale, near Keswick, in the summer. I put on my Velez as soon as I get out of the river, and within a very short time I am warm and dry!

Quite simply, Páramo out-performs all other waterproof brands. It keeps me comfortable and dry when canoeing, hill-walking, climbing, camping – and during a multitude of other outdoor activities. I would certainly recommend it to anyone who wants to enjoy more time in ‘the great outdoors’. Samuel Dyason

Are you an outdoor professional like Sam? Apply to join one of our Pro-Schemes now.

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