Hill walking talk to me about it.

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  • Hill walking talk to me about it.
  • peterfile
    Member

    At this time of year, you’d be better sticking to low stuff initially due to the cold weather that will soon hit us. That will save you on start up costs. But even then, a good pair of boots can make a huge difference to comfort and stability. You don’t need to spend a lot, but £100 will get you a good pair of boots which will last a long long time. You should be able to borrow some or buy second hand for cheap if need be. I’d be wary of any sort of off the beaten track walking in trainers, especially in winter. it doesn’t take much to go over an ankle.

    Snowboarding gear will be fine for walking in, but wear layers, since then you can strip off as you warm up/cool down. A non-cotton base layer is a must IMO, particularly in winter. Nothing worse than a sweaty cotton t-shirt are the bottom of 5 layers! Decathlon do great ones for £5. Snowboard gloves and socks will be fine (I often wear mine).

    Don’t bother with poles until it becomes obvious that you need them. I’ve never used them other than for super long multi day things. Check with physio re your injuries.

    If you are going to be wandering around areas which are not familiar to you, invest in a map and compass and learn how to use them. it wouldn’t matter how much expensive kit you were wearing, you’d be in trouble in winter if you got lost. £5 for compass and £7 for a map. You can find lots of how-to videos on you tube

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    Comfy boots are important. Nowadays I’d focus on something GoreTex lined (it’s a wet country) and not leather. No need to go to £100 as long as they are a good fit. Go to a proper walking shop to get them fitted and be prepared to walk around a lot indoors (up and down steps if you can) to make sure they fit well before wearing them outside.

    Poles might be a good idea if you are carrying any leg injuries. Other than full-on winter walking, or backpacking, I hardly use mine.

    Layering up with your clothing works, using whatever you have. However, I’d avoid natural materials as they tend to soak up sweat. A good baselayer an insulating layer and a waterproof layer still works well as a concept. If your snowboarding jacket is both insulating AND waterproof you may find it a bit warm when it’s not raining.

    Avoid wearing jeans or any heavy cotton on your legs. Unless it’s absolutely chucking it, or very cold, I tend just to suffer damp legs.

    Gaiters avoid the creep of mud and wet up your trousers and are well worth it outside of summer.

    Warm gloves can be a life-saver.

    For this time of year, a decent sized rucksack will let you take some spare clothing, a map and compass (make sure you know how to use them), torch, whistle, a flask and some food and drink.

    Most of all, just relax and enjoy it. You live beside some beautiful countryside and you are at a good time of the year to see it changing through the seasons.

    piemonster
    Member

    Navigation, navigation, navigation.

    *read that in an extremely nasal tone.

    piemonster
    Member

    And gaiters are for wimps

    piemonster
    Member

    Re that last post. I’m usually lyrcad up to the eyeballs when I’m out on the hills. So don’t listen to any advice I give on clothing.

    I went today with a mate who has given up MTBing due to ill health. A walk around the Dovedale area and up Thorpe cloud. Sturdy boots are a must.

    piemonster
    Member

    Scotroutes, do you own any big red socks?

    gonefishin
    Member

    Depending on where you are walking, it can be anything but gentle so be aware of that. As for kit, well again it does depend on exactly where you are going to be walking but fit is of far, far more importanace than price when it comes to boots/shoes so take your time about buying a pair and try on loads. To be honest if you are only going to go walking on well graded paths then a good pair of comfy shoes, even trainers, will probably do. Poles again are dependant on where you are walking, although if your injuries are knee related then yes poles are a good idea. I don’t walk regularly but whenever I do, I always take poles. For waterproofs yes your boarding gear will be fine, although it may be a bit heavy but better that than too light; it’s easier to lose heat than it is to gain it.

    The only other thing that you should do, if you can’t already, is learn to navigate and read maps.

    Premier Icon jambalaya
    Subscriber

    Walking is great, I probably spend more time walking than riding and you can access many places you cannot on the bike. It’s a different kind of fun and you cannot cover the same amount of distance in a given time.

    Kit.

    Do you not have some suitable shoes to get started in ? I have a couple of pairs, one pair of approach shoes (outdoor trainers really) and one pair of standard relatively flexible boots. Until you know what kind of walking you want to do I’d avoid spending too much on specialist shoes. You could get started in old trainers with decent socks or thin seal skinz.

    Poles are very useful for taking the pressure off your knees whilst descending but are in no way essential.

    Clothes – wear your bike stuff. Snowboarding jacket and trousers especially will lookd daft and be overkill anyway. I know it’s “cold oop north” but it’s not the arctic, snowboarding base / mid layer stuff would be useful, ditto bike stuff.

    Have a root round some routes / guides – I bought a few guide books online for £2-£3 one for the 2000ft peaks of England and Wales is particularly good, another for Yorkshire. Must be something for your area, old books out of print being sold off cheap.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    Gaiters are handy.

    Do not wear any cotton. Even under a waterproof. Cotton fibres absorb water, so you’ll get cold, clammy and wet, and the water won’t breathe out of your waterproof layer.

    Also, if you wear jeans, they can hold so much water next to your legs that you can get hypothermia and die.

    When we went climbing mountains from school as kids, the only rules were a waterproof, sturdy boots and no jeans. You don’t need much kit. Any sturdy boots/shoes will do as long as they fit. Walking socks help with blisters.

    I had no idea hill walkers liked to over-equip themselves like that ^^^^ 🙂

    DO learn to navigate and read maps though, if you’ve never been up there you’ll be surprised how easy it is to be lost. You’ll end up being stood on a flat bit of ground being able to see a circle of featureless grass about 10ft around, and wonder where the bloody hell you are and which way to go.

    EDIT well I say sturdy boots, we were walking in rocky mountains. If you’re only on hills then shoes would do.

    And I don’t use poles, they are an encumberance more than anything else I reckon, unless I want to go really fast in which case they act like XC ski poles and I can use my arms as well as legs 🙂

    piemonster
    Member

    How about big red gaiters?

    You’re everything I imagined you to be.

    piemonster
    Member

    I feel the need to say this again.

    NAVIGATION, NAVIGATION, NAVIGATION.

    Boots – Sports direct sell karimoor kit, gore-tex (Ok, non trademarked breathable waterproof membrane) boots for £30. Mine are surviving just fine. New insoles helped as the original ones were quite flat, but that’s a personal preferance, I do that with all my trainers/cycling shoes as well.

    Map
    Compas
    Whistle
    No cotton
    Bivi bag/emergency shelter and foil blanket

    Tea/coffee/cake, personaly I prefer to take a stove rather than a thermos, nothing better than sitting smug in a shelter with warm soup whilst every one else makes do with luke warm overbrewed coffee. As with all outdoor activities cake is very important, coming only second to navigation (which can help you find more cake).

    gordimhor
    Member

    A simple first aid kit and a decent flask. Comfy boots and your biking gear should do to start with. Get map and compass start with easy to follow routes. If you like it do a navigation course or go out with a guided group to pick up the skills.

    Premier Icon Rusty Spanner
    Subscriber

    Karrimor boots are great value, but only some of them are suitable for serious use.

    The KSB350’s and the Conistons are very good indeed, but lots of the others are just ‘boot shape objects’.
    You can get the decent ones for about £40-£50 in Sports Direct.

    Alpkit do excellent waterproof rucksacs from about £20.00 (the Gourdon range).
    They do a great headtorch as well. Tesco do a cheap handtorch for about £10.00 that’s well worth sticking in your bag.

    Aldi might have some really good gloves left – they’re marked as cycling gloves but work a treat.

    99% of the Decathlon walking stuff is great. Not pricey either.

    Premier Icon scaredypants
    Subscriber

    navigation is important – has that cropped up yet ?

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Are sturdy boots really a ‘must’? I seem to manage quite happily in lightweight approach shoes or mids on anything below the snow line – lighter on your feet, more precise and more comfortable.

    elma
    Member

    After having so many sports related injuries this year i’ve decided to look into the lighter side of exercise.

    I live in Newcastle so have access to a massive selection of beautiful countryside and need to take advantage of it.

    What sort of kit will i need to get started ,do i need a £100 pair of boots ,are poles a good idea, will my snowboarding gear be ok to go walking in or should i get some specific items.

    I’m only looking at day trips out not long jaunts into the wilderness so no camping essentials required thanks.

    I know i could be out riding the hills rather than walking but i just cant afford another injury at the moment and not getting out is getting really boring.

    Iain

    peterfile
    Member

    Are sturdy boots really a ‘must’? I seem to manage quite happily in lightweight approach shoes or mids on anything below the snow line – lighter on your feet, more precise and more comfortable.

    Depends on the terrain and conditions.

    Walking through ankle deep water/mud in winter is never that much fun in trainers. Nor is walking on really uneven and icy ground.

    Ideally you’d wear footwear to suit the walk, but if you only had one set of boots/shoes, a waterproof pair of boots with a decent amount of ankle support/protection would be best IMO, especially if you’re taking to the hills.

    I’ve never been on a mountain and thought, I really wish i was wearing trainers, but i’ve been in approach shoes plenty of times and thought bollocks, i wish i had my boots on! Well fitting boots can be just as comfy as trainers.

    (that said, I love wearing running shoes in the mountains, but it’s a compromise because i know i won’t get away with those little ankle bending moments quite as easily)

    ianfitz
    Member

    I hate boots. Big clompy things. Fell running shoes or approach shoes are perfectly adequate. They will allow you to use your sense of balance and you’ll feel much lighter on your feet.

    I find the need for ankle support that even good walking type shops harp on about to be way over the top. Shoes allow you to have more feel for the ground and in my experience you’re way less likely to go over on an ankle. If you have any propreaception in your lower limbs you’ll be fine.

    Would a Garmin edge 800 with OS mapping sort out the navigation.?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    I’ve climbed Munros in sandals so I’m not wedded to the idea of muckle great boots. Much depends on the terrain though. If it’s very rocky you can pick up a lot of bruises through thinner shoes.

    I don’t mind selecting something appropriate from my footwear collection but if I could only afford one pair and it was this time of year I’d err on the ‘sturdy’ side.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
    Subscriber

    A GPS can’t navigate.

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    No.

    Learn to use maps first, then get a GPS. Pretty important, and I’m not saying that from a techno-luddite misty eyed red socks nostalgia point of view. Maps are your backup, GPSes can and do fail.

    Sturdy boots don’t need to be big and clompy. Even lightweight boots (the kind I wear every day in the winter) are better than shoes when it’s rough. They are just shoes with a higher ankle, so no more clompy.

    fergal
    Member

    Good cardio is a godsend to outrun the herds of zombie apocalypse ramblers, beware.

    PS. Just think that bogfest known as the Cheviot is just down the road, with views to die for, of the endless bottomless sticky bogs :lol:.

    piemonster
    Member

    neilsonwheels – Member
    Would a Garmin edge 800 with OS mapping sort out the navigation.?

    👿 don’t get me started

    piemonster
    Member

    Footwear is a personal choice, and depends on the individual ankles strength/sure footedness etc

    But it seems prudent to give then generic advice of sturdy grippy footwear suitable for the terrain and conditions.

    Walking is slow, real slow. At this time of year onwards you’ll likely get cold wet feet in trainers etc. Especially if you stop for any length of time, eg for lunch.

    fergal
    Member

    Yep it all depends on where you ramble, the Lakes are quite civilised, you don’t even get muddy feet on those manicured armoured trails, approach shoes are fine until it snows, I thought ski poles were for poking passing cyclists.

    mefty
    Member

    Hi Tec make some good cheap boots

    surfer
    Member

    What is the “hill walking” of which you speak? Hills were meant to be run on 😀
    Grippy trainers or fell shoes, shorts and T shirt! oh and a map.

    piemonster
    Member

    Amen brother

    athgray
    Member

    Agree about good goretex boots. You can pick up decent hill walking kit from Decathlon.

    djglover
    Member

    It has probably been covered above but at this time of year the main things to consider are

    1 – can you get off the hill in adverse conditions, navigation!
    2 – does someone know where you are
    3 – have you got suitable waterproof cover, warm clothes and a hat and gloves, these need not be expensive just keep you from the elements in case of failure of point 1 & 2
    4 – have you got some food and water

    Everything else is a luxury, you can go out walking in your hi-tech silver shadows if necessary.

    jambourgie
    Member

    To all those who keep shouting ‘NAVIGATION’. Is it just a case of looking at your map and cross-checking against your compass, or is there more to it?

    Genuinely interested.

    surfer
    Member

    There’s an over “gortexification” of the outdoors. People have been walking safely in the UK hills for a long time. Keep fit, learn to read a map and be prepared and you will be fine.

    piemonster
    Member

    To all those who keep shouting ‘NAVIGATION’. Is it just a case of looking at your map and cross-checking against your compass, or is there more to it?

    Genuinely interested.

    Depends how much you can see. If you’ve already ballsed up, your cold, lost, tired, you can’t see much beyond 5 meters. Can you figure out where you are and how to get off the hill?

    Premier Icon molgrips
    Subscriber

    People have been walking safely in the UK hills for a long time.

    Yeah they used to be a bit damper though, that’s all.

    Navigation – you need to be able to read a map well, understand everything it tells you, and you need to be able to walk on a compass bearing and reckon distance.

    It’s not at all complicated, but you have to be able to do it.

    piemonster
    Member

    Oh Jesus wept, I’ve turned into my instructor.

    Just as well start growing a beard and smelling of something odd. Just off to buy some massive red gaiters.

    athgray
    Member

    There is a bit more to navigation than that. Becomes really important in white out conditions, when you can easily become disorientated. I saw someone on a low level walk at the weekend, having a real faff trying to open out and read the map. Any higher up in windy conditions I reckon the map would have blown away.
    Hill walking is great fun though. If starting out try to pick your route wisely, and work around the weather, you will gain experience and can then be bolder with route choice.
    I have always found the planning almost as much fun as walking or climbing.

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