Sunday, December 31, 2006

Out With The Old, In With The New

Its almost 2007 and the plan is to take it easy on one of the outerlying Scottish islands. Though to get there I'll be using a CalMac ferry rather than my trusty Alaw Bach but even that depends on the adverse weather that is reportedly on its way. Why go all that way for peace and quiet? Simple really, being far from home helps clear the mind and allows me to focus on the things that matter. It's a time for looking forward rather than back over my shoulder. So over the last few days, not only have I been amusing myself by searching out a number of novel gadgets, but I've been looking at maps, guidebooks and some of the better sea kayaking sites for inspiration for future trips. The usual resolutions emerge - get fitter, eat better, do more, spend less but without certain goals its easy to loose sight of what your doing these things for.

One things for sure...............whatever you dream, make sure you live it sometimes too

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Who's For Coffee?

If you are a coffee lover and have despaired on a trip for something more tasty than instant then here is a solution. The Press-Bot may not be able to whip you up a low-fat latte with an extra shot in the remote wilderness, but it will allow you to make french press style coffee in your Nalgene water bottle,, which is not only handy from a packing perspective, but also must taste much better than mud percolated over a fire in those speckled blue camp coffee pots. No need for cowboy cups either, as the Press-Bot includes a spout so you can drink your brew right from the bottle.

The more I dig the more I find ............ time to stop digging

Friday, December 29, 2006

Objects of Desire

Not only am I getting used to the idea of blogging and sharing my discoveries, I seem to have stumbled on a minor thread about the accessories out there for Nalgene bottles. For those of you that don't known Nalgene bottles are the quintessential outdoor drinks container. I have been using them for over 20 years. So finding the array of stuff that can be added to them is quite intriguing - a bit like adding things to your iPod. This one is quite funky. The Gription is a lid replacement for most wide-mouth bottles. It has a self-sealing valve that allows one-handed drinking while preventing spills, apparently. Either that or perhaps a Splash Guard

The stuff they think of to part us with our money.......... an aspect which can be quite easy really

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Nalgene Firefly

I don't know why I've been drawn to outdoor gadgets lately, especially as I've done all my Christmas spending. Perhaps it's a sign that I'm overdue for a trip. More likley I should just switch off the computer and go outside a bit more. In any case, I'm quite intrigued by the Nalgene Firefly, an LED lid that will convert most wide-mouth water bottles into glowing lanterns. (The electronics are in a sealed to keep them safely separate from the water.)

............ boys and their interest in gadgets must be some kind of universal law

What Ever Next?...........

"Wine in a can" makes it simple to bring a glass of wine on the go. Avoid the hassle of wineglasses, opener and fragile bottle. This is a small convenient packaging totally made from aluminum, from which you drink like a glass. The cans are recycled in the same way as conventional aluminum cans.

Making life convenient on a paddling expedition........ what ever next?

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas & Best Wishes for 2007

Photo: Taino Almestica Collection

Christmas for me has come to represent a time for reflection, relaxation and planning for the future. 2006 has thrown up a number of challenges, bereavements, opportunities and journeys. 2007 will no doubt offer similar experiences as well as those unexpected moments that can creep up on us. One thing is for sure I'll not be able to see it through without my friends, both near and far.

Hope you all have a good one, wherever you end up, whoever you end up with!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Terry Pratchett's Hogfather

The Auditors strike again in Pratchett's 20th novel, Hogfather. They decided to eliminate the Hogfather because he does not fit into their view of the Universe. They meet with Lord Downey, head of the Assassin's Guild, and commission the services of Mr. Teatime (pronounced Te-ah-tim-eh), whose particular brand of insane genius makes him an ideal candidate for the assassination of the Hogfather and other anthropomorphic personifications. Death decides to take over for the Hogfather in order to make people continue to believe in him, wearing a long red cloak and a beard, but things start to become complicated because he is taking the children's wishes too literally. Meanwhile, his granddaughter Susan must find out what's happened to the real Hogfather. She visits his Castle of Bones only to find the hung-over Bilious, the "Oh God of Hangovers" (So-called because "when humans experience [him], they clutch their heads and say "oh god") whom she rescues before the castle collapses due to the lack of belief. In an attempt to cure Bilious, Susan visits Unseen University where it is discovered that several of these minor gods and beings are being created. The University's computer, Hex, explains that there is 'spare belief' in the world due to the absence of the Hogfather which is being used to create them. Susan and Bilious then travel to the land of the Tooth Fairy where they discover that Teatime has 'killed' the Hogfather by collecting millions of children's teeth and using them to control the children, forcing them to stop believing in the Hogfather. Upon throwing the assassin off the tower and apparently killing him, Susan clears the teeth away and brings back the Hogfather by rescuing him from the Auditors, who have taken the forms of dogs. They cannot return to their original state and so cannot stop themselves falling off a cliff. Afterwards, Teatime tracks Susan to the Gaiters' nursery, but is killed by Susan using the nursery poker, which passes through Death because "it only kills monsters".

A two-part TV series of Hogfather was screened on the 17th and 18th of December 2006 (8.00 pm) on Sky One in the UK, with Ian Richardson as the voice of Death and David Jason playing Death's manservant Albert. Marc Warren played Mr. Teatime.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 12

The myth of the Hogfather and how to celebrate Hogswatch

A look at the Discworld Mid-winter festival.

Friday, December 22, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 11

The Auditors, the civil servants of the Discworld

We meet The Auditors whose ultimate goall is retaining perfect order

Thursday, December 21, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 10

Hex, the ultimate thinking machine

An introduction to the Unseen University's only computer

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 9

Failing student wizard Mr Sideney

An introduction to the not so great Mr Sideney

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Monday, December 18, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 7

Corporal Nobbs and Constable Visit of the City Watch

An introduction to the colourful characters of the City Watch

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Saturday, December 16, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 5

The Unseen University

A look at Ankh Morpok's legendary, and only, Wizard training school

Friday, December 15, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 4

The history and geography of Ankh-Morpork

A guide to Discworld's capital city

Thursday, December 14, 2006

12 Days Of Hogswatch - Day 3

Susan's strange genealogy

An introduction to DEATH's granddaughter Susan Sto Helit

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

12 Days of Hogswatch - Day 1

Welcome to the Discworld

DEATH talks to Terry Pratchett author of the Discworld about his creation.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Hogfather - The Movie

I've been a Terry Pratchett fan for years. My first book was Mort which had been borrowed from my friend Fraser. Once I'd opened the first page I didn't want to put it down and I've been hooked ever since.

A live action Discworld movie has been a long time coming. I know Pratchett has sold the rights to many books, and on occasions been so unhappy at the treatment he's bought the rights back. There have been two cartoon versions - of Soul Music and Wyrd Sisters which were pretty good, but it will be great to see it in movie form.

For the uninformed, the Discworld is a fantasy land that lives of the back of a giant turtle swimming its way through the universe. Basically, Terry Pratchett has created an allegory and satire of our world, each book comments on different topics such as newspapers, wars, the postal system etc. They’re witty, convincing and plain brilliant. Hogfather is about Santa Claus or Father Christmas if you prefer.

The story revolves around the fact that the Hogfather has gone missing after an assassin is hired to kill him. In response Death (yes, Death) dons a red suit and white beard and with the help of his butler Alfred, the Death of Rats and his grand-daughter Susan, he sets out to ensure all the children’s wishes come true.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The World At Large

Its the end of October (Halloween , in fact) and I'm still looking at other blog spots to get a feel of what people post. I'm not sure what the net gain is meant to be but hopefully I can begin to create something useful and educational. In the meantime, the locals on my street are preparing themselves for the very real nightmare of half-term and teenagers on the prowl

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Calm After The Storm

12 months ago, in a moment of enthusiasm after a party with friends, I decided to put together an event which combined a number of elements around the theme of challenging paddling for sea kayakers. The 1st UK Storm Gathering was born and was to be hosted on the Ross of Mull, Scotland. Well it happened, people came and there was a storm. I'm now in the winding down phase and am still wondering what made it so good. Perhaps I'll have some answers when I've caught up on my sleep :0) In the meantime, it would appear folk enjoyed it.

Here to the next gathering..............till then 'embrace the elements'

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Feedback - Jojo Johnson

As a late starter in paddling it is thanks to inspirational coaches such as Mark that I have gained the skills and confidence to develop and become a kayak coach. Mark creates a very rewarding learning environment for his students and mock students alike. I found his approach to be supportive and encouraging during the day and appreciated his discreet appraisal and positive involvement during the session. I look forward to further courses in the future....thankyou! Jojo

Feedback - Andy Morris

Cheers Mark for conviencing me that to give sea kayaking a go 

All these years I've fancied myself as a bit of a whizz at paddling rivers in kayaks and open boats but never really thought of what experiences sea kayaking could open up for me 

Well, I just thought I'd post these pictures and say thanks for opening my eyes to the potential 

Perhaps we should get that Scottish paddling course off the ground :0)

Feedback - Dave Hills

After completing my L3 Coach (Sea) assessment with Mark Tozer (& Pete Jones) naturally I was extremely happy at having passed it but even happier about how much I had also learnt through the process. 

Everything about Mark's courses and assessments are geared towards learning even though at the time, it was occuring at a subconscious level. At a first glance the paperwork surrounding the delivery of Mark’s session may seam excessive, but in the grand scheme of things its still a very small percentage! 

At the end of the day, the written word allows us to organize our thoughts and understand complex processes that cannot be described practically. Mark does this very well and dispels the myth that paper work has no place in the outdoor world! And from my experience is one of the few coaches in North Wales that successfully bridges the gap between sound theory and good practice. 

Doing a great job as RCO and North Wales is much better of because of it!

Feedback - Adam Harmer

I have just completed a 5* sea assessment, and its all down to Mark, so a huge thank you. 

Mark managed to arrange and process the course in such short notice, so thank you very much. Unforunately Mark wasn't the assessor but he was the assessor on my Level 3 Sea with Pete Jones last year. 

Mark has a great way of assessing and allowing individuals to learn through leadership and development, it so nice to be on an assessment that is relaxed and chilled. 

I would also like to thank Mark for the great job he is doing as RCO in North Wales, and wish him well in his own forthcoming assessment 

(Remember CLAP - centre line avoid portaging) 


Mark Tozer - Expedition Leader

Mark is a seasoned expedition leader with a breadth of global travel experience in the mountains and on the sea

If you are need the expertise to get a trip off the ground or require that extra element of safety cover, you should think about getting in touch

Countries that Mark has been to that he can advise on include: Greenland, Norway, Morrocco, Tanzania, Kenya, Ecuador, Alaska, Baja and across Europe

Friday, March 24, 2006

Mountain Instruction

Mark can provide guided rock climbing, scrambling or hill walking trips in the Snowdonia mountains or further a field in the UK for individuals or small groups, whatever the season.

If you wish to improve your climbing performance Mark can create a workable coaching programme that will go towards developing better technique and more robust skills.

Mark is able to offer specialist skills development courses in mountaineering and rock climbing. These one, two or five day programmes focus on: 

• The Fundamentals of Mountaineering – Summer & Winter 
• Map and Mountains
• Scrambling & Beyond
• The Fundamentals of Climbing
• The Vertical Dance
• Safety, Rescue and Recovery for Climbers

Most of the training Mark can provide is bespoke and is tailored around people’s exact needs and timescales. Courses and coaching address all ability ranges from complete beginner to experienced practitioners.

Mark is also in a position to offer MLTUK training and assessment courses for:

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Sea Kayak Coaching

Most of the training that Helen and Mark provide through Greenland or Bust is bespoke and is tailored around people’s exact needs and timescales. Every effort is made to ensure courses and coaching programmes address all ability ranges from complete beginner to experienced practitioners.

We am able to facilitate guided sea kayaking trips in both UK or US waters for individuals or small groups, whatever the time of year.

If you wish to improve your rolling and paddling performance we can create a workable coaching programme that will go towards developing better techniques and more robust skills.

From time to time we will offer specialist skills development courses in sea kayaking. These are one, two or five day programmes. See example below:

• Simplifying The Roll
• Simplifying The Stroke
• Simplifying The Rescue
• Qajaq Immersion Days
Coastal Navigation and Tidal Planning
Open Water Navigation and Tidal Planning
• Sea Safety and Incident Management
• Leadership and Seamanship

Helen is able to offer Yoga for Paddlers, Complicating The Roll, Greenland Rope Gymnastics and one-to-one rolling tuition for beginners through to advanced rollers.

Mark is also able to offer BCU Paddlesports Performance Awards and Foundation Safety and Rescue Training as well as BCU Coach Development programmes (UKCC Level 1 and 2).

Contact us at Greenland or Bust if you have any questions or would like us to put a programme together for you, wherever you are in the world.

Monday, March 20, 2006


Initially, my interest in researching issues relating to outdoor practice came from my time as an undergraduate student at the University of Wales, Bangor where I studied sports science , health promotion and physical education (SHAPE). Subsequently, I returned to complete a PhD as a post-gradaute student within the School of Education.

My PhD research set out to examine adaptive expertise within leadership and how this might impact on the development cycle for participants and practitioners alike. A particular focus was that of overseas expedition leadership and the processes of recruitment, selection and continued training. This area received recognition from the Royal Geographical Society and the Expeditions Providers Association. The funding for this project was made possible as a result of sponsorship from the European Social Fund and Outlook Expeditions.

At present, my research interests include examining the effect of epistemological beliefs on approaches to leadership in the outdoors, as well  continuing to investigate practitioner behaviours and how these impact on participants’ engagement and learning processes.

Peer Reviewed Publications

Tozer, M., Collins, D., & Hathaway, T. (2011) Learning Through Expeditions: The Need For Method As Well As Opportunity - A Response To Allison & Von Wald (2010) Journal of Pastoral Care in Education 29 (1): 51-56

Hathaway, T & Tozer, M. (2010) Opening the space of variation and learning during teaching: the importance of research to discipline-based expertise. Pedagogic Research in Maximising Education

Tozer, M., Fazey, I., & Fazey, J (2007) Recognising and Developing Adaptive Expertise Within Expedition Leaders. Journal of Adventure Education and Outdoor Learning 7 (1), 55-75

Knowledge Transfer Publications

The Art and Science of Leadership. Ocean Paddler 26 (40-44).

Understanding Expedition Dynamics. Ocean Paddler 28 (36-38).

Leadership Essentials. Ocean Paddler 30 (50-53).

Efficient Forward Paddling. California Kayaker Magazine (Issue #9 - Summer 2012).
Book Reviews

Tozer, M & Hathaway, T. (2010) Understanding Educational Expeditions. Journal of Adventure Education & Outdoor Learning, 10 (2), 161

Conference Presentations

Equal Adventure Lecture, Royal Geographical Society London (2010) - A Dispositional Approach Towards Inclusive Adaptive Leadership (Suresh Paul and Mark Tozer)

The Wilderness Education Association's National Conference for Outdoor Leadership, Indiana February 2009 - Sustaining Expertise And Leadership in the Outdoors

The Outdoor Show, Friedrischafen, Germany June 2008 - Outdoor Leadership in a Sustainable World

RGS-IBG Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference, Edinburgh February 2007 - Recognising and Developing Adaptive Expertise Within Expedition Leaders

UWB Postgraduate Forum Mid-Term Conference, Edinburgh January 2007 - Learning More Effectively From Experience For Good Leadership In The Outdoors

RGS-IBG Annual Conference, London August 2006 - Leading More Effectively From Experience On Overseas Expeditions

IOL UK Outdoor Learning Research Forum, Exmouth November 2005 - Towards A Dispositional Model of Leadership

Reports and Technical Papers

Expedition Leadership – Competency Grid : A technical paper for use in achieving a recruitment standards framework (Outlook Expeditions) March 2007

Building a Standards Framework for Recruitment and Training of Expedition Leaders - Evaluation Report November 2006

Knowledge Exploitation Fund Training and Development Programme For Entrepreneurship Champions - Evaluation Report June 2005


Collaboration is often the key to understanding and mutual progression in learning. I would like to extend this invitation to anyone who wishes to engage in joint research or co-authored articles to get in touch. Let's all keep sharing what we know

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Certifications & Credentials

Mark is certified and credentialed in the following areas:

Urban Emergency Medicine

NREMT - Advanced EMT

NREMT - Emergency Medical Technician

NREMT - Emergency Medical Responder

ABA - Advanced Burns Life Support Provider

AHA - Basic Life Support Provider

AHA - Advanced Life Support Provider

AHA - Pediatric Life Support Provider

AHA - Neonatal Resuscitation Provider

Wilderness Emergency Medicine

NOLS - Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician

NOLS - Wilderness First Responder

NOLS - Wilderness First Aid

REC - Emergency First Aid

WMT - Far From Help

On The Water

BCU - Level 5 Coach (Sea)

BCU - Level 3 Coach (Inland)

BCU - Level 3 Coach (Canoe)

RYA - Safety Boat Handler

WRI River Rescue Technician

In the Mountains

Leave No Trace - Master Educator

Mountain Instructor Award

MLTUK - Winter Mountain Leader

In The Classroom

Mark has also obtained a number of academic accolades:

Doctor of Philosophy - The Leadership Pathway

Accredited Practitioner of the Institute for Outdoor Learning

Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

NAEMSE Level Instructor Course

Post Graduate Certificate of Education - Secondary Education

Post Graduate Certificate of Education - Higher Education

Post Graduate Certificate of Education - Experiential Learning

Wyoming OEMS Course Coordinator - EMR and EMT

Saturday, March 18, 2006

Shareware Resources

These are a number of resources that I have gathered together over recent years that I give to students on my courses 

As very few ideas are completely original these days, this stuff is essentially shareware and original sources have been acknowledged where possible

Download what you feel is relevant and if you make any additions or alterations let me know so I can keep things up to date 

All the best

BCU History

Beaufort Scale

IALA 'A' Bouyage Markers

Environmental Awareness

Fundamental Paddling Skills

Greenland Clothing History

Greenland Paddles

Paddling Locations in North Wales


Incident Management Plan


Learning Styles

LTPD Pathway

Making Presentations


Phonetic Alphabet

Repair Kit Ideas

Sea Kayak Safety

Sea Kayak Risk Assessment

Sea Safety and Rescues

Undertsanding The Shipping Forecast

Surf Locations In North Wales

Tidal Constants For North Wales

Towing Systems

Trip Planner

Trip Planning

Use Of Video In Coaching

VAK Test Including Indicators

Weather & Tides

Effects of Wind & Land On The Sea-1

Effects of Wind & Land On The Sea-1

Please revisit the main forum from time to time for additional material in the coaching and instructional notes category