Staff Bio – Tom BentleyJanuary 9, 2019
My mother always used to say that I was ‘born in a barn’
because I would leave doors open.
To this day I struggle to close doors as I like to feel the breeze and the connection to the outside. I was born in Oswestry Shropshire but moved to Glyn Ceiriog just before my fourth birthday. I was probably the last generation to grow up without any modern technology.
Glyn Ceiriog is a small little village in the Berwyn Mountain range in North Wales. We could pick up three channels on TV and apart from that there was very little to do except play outside and explore the hills. We used to have a curfew of when the street lights came on and from the age of 10 could regularly be found miles away from home exploring. Probably considered dangerous by today’s parenting standards, but that was the norm back then. My first true love was Mountain Biking. I got my first proper bike at Christmas when I was 10, a stunning black British Eagle, which was way too big for me, but I didn’t care. I remember skipping Xmas dinner to go ride around Nantyr Forest and I have been hooked ever since.
For a career I never really wanted to go down the instructor route, possibly due to getting frustrated by slowcoaches and lacking some empathy! I am also not a big fan of water as I get cold very easily, twice having hypothermia. I don’t mind being cold as I can always put on some warmer layers and I don’t mind being wet when its not cold. However, if I’m wet and cold, I get very naggy and will often spit my dummy out and want to go home, not great if you are a river guide in North Wales! I have always loved selling things and the outdoors, so what better way to combine both and work for an outdoor equipment shop.
I have always liked to try new things and experiences and have had many during the years, including living in Northern Finland for three months during Autumn/Winter, highlights were a three-day sea kayaking trip camping on small islands along the way, it was dry, so I didn’t mind being cold. Also meeting some hunters during the Elk season and trying fresh Elk by the campfire after warming up in traditional log fired Finish Sauna.
A trip to Ecuador saw me descend Cotapaxi Volcano on my bike and rafting trip on Quijos River on class 4-5 rapids, it was hot, so I didn’t mind being wet.
I currently live in Glyndyfrdwy near Corwen with my wife,step daughter and Jack Russell dog and enjoy summer camping, dog walking and of course Mountain Biking!!!!
Who would be your dream dinner guest?
Bill Hicks (Don’t watch if easily offended)
Did you have a childhood role model?
What is your favourite outdoor item?
One skill or talent that will surprise people you know?
I can juggle (my life and balls!!)
If you had to survive on a desert island what 5 items would you take from the shop?
SAS Survival Guide, Gransfors Small Forest Axe, Tentipi Safir 9 (with all the extras), LedLenser MT14 Torch, Netherton 12” glamping pan.