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Celebrating National #GetOutsideDay

Nikwax user Carys Rees, aka @this.girlwalks, loves maps and has been a fan of Ordnance Survey (OS) for as long as she can remember, so you can imagine how thrilled she was to be brought on board by them as an OS Champion! This year, Ordnance Survey and Mountain Rescue England & Wales announced a new partnership to emphasise the importance of navigation skills and having the right equipment when enjoying days out in the hills, mountains, and countryside. As a member of the
Central Beacons Mountain Rescue Team, this partnership is a particularly exciting one for Carys. Below, she tells us a little about herself, and shares her recent #GetOutsideDay interview with OS…

I have been lucky enough to have spent a lifetime hiking through the rolling hills of Wales and while there are more epic peaks to conquer, I feel most at home in the Bannau Brycheiniog. My parents always encouraged me to spend time outdoors. Growing up, my sister and I would often be found sitting up in some tree or riding our bikes. I did my Duke of Edinburgh in secondary school and still to this day, my
76-year-old father comes out with me on our favourite hike around Llyn y Fan – he’s actually quicker than me on those inclines!

Wales is a place of myth and legends, with dragons living in our hills and ladies in our lakes. I absolutely adore that there is a magical story for almost every area of the national park. Sometimes I feel more at home outdoors than I do under my own roof, and I feel a real longing for it when I’ve been away for too long. However, lets be honest, the weather isn’t always the best and so I have been using Nikwax all of my adult life to take care of my kit – one of my coats is over 20 years old and is still waterproof thanks to Nikwax! Take care of your kit and it will take care of you.

Spending time outdoors has always been incredibly important to me and I’m a huge advocate of getting out in the fresh air. I hike, wild swim, camp and paddleboard, but sometimes just going for a walk in nature has massive benefits. There have been studies which demonstrate that spending time outdoors can not only help with depression and anxiety, but also lower blood pressure and reduce the risk of diabetes, heart disease and asthma. 

This year’s National #GetOutsideDay lands on Sunday 24th September so I thought I would speak to Helen from OS to find out what it’s all about!

What is Get Outside Day and why did OS set it up?
National #GetOutside Day is a celebration of the great outdoors: a day to come together and showcase that people of all ages, background and abilities can get outside. ​

It’s a day for the industry to join forces; providing inspiration for getting outside and showcasing that everyone can enjoy outdoor activities, especially those that struggle through lack of connection, access or skills. We believe the outdoors should be accessible to all.

We (Ordnance Survey) set it up to help get the nation outside and enjoying the physical, mental and social benefits the outdoors has to offer. It’s tied to our mission “to encourage more people to get outside more often”, which continues to sit at the heart of what we do today.

When did it launch and how has it grown over the years?
​National #GetOutside Day was launched in 2017 and has grown to become a well-known autumn campaign that sees the outdoor industry come together with one clear goal. Over the years, more organisations have got involved to support the campaign – and not just those in the outdoor industry! National #GetOutside day has become an unmissable event in many people’s calendars and a chance to rally up their nearest and dearest for a great day out.

Why is it important to spend time outdoors? 
Getting a regular dose of fresh air does wonders for our physical, social and mental wellbeing. Being outdoors lowers stress levels, improves mental health, and increases levels of serotonin, dopamine, endorphins and oxytocin. A recent report* found that walking just 5,000 steps a day can bring noticeable changes to our physical health and improve life expectancy. Outdoor activities also connect people socially and help form lasting memories and friendships.

Where can people can find inspiration of things to do on Get Outside Day?
Our #GetOutside website has a huge bank of outdoor articles to help people plan their next adventure. Our activity guides provide ideas and inspiration on what to do and where to go as well as information to help people brush up on their outdoor skills, safety and navigation.

Do you have any ambassadors / celebrities taking part?
Our OS Champions continue to be our biggest advocates of the great outdoors. They come from all walks of life and have an unrivalled passion for the outdoors. We have paddleboarders, horse riders, wild campers, dog walkers, family adventurers and more! They’ll be sharing their precious places and outdoor activities for others to enjoy too.  

For more information on National #GetOutside Day, visit os.uk/getoutsideday

For more information on Nikwax aftercare products, visit nikwax.com

*https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-66440424