Advice from Les and Others Edition 3 March 2017
The Walkers Companions are:
The rain on your face and the pack on your back,
The stones in your boots and the mud on the track,
The unreadable map and the weight in your sack,
The wide open spaces and the chat of the pack.
Winter continues to loosen its grip with the halcyon days of the summer ahead of us. Summer walks are often the most memorable and we all still need our walks and the sharing of stories, news and chit chats with our many walking friends. The end of the need for winter clothing and equipment is also a good time to pick up bargains in preparation for next winter!
Over the last year a number of articles have been written on our web site indicating the best clothing and equipment to buy and, importantly, how to look after it and get the best from it. Remember fools and their money are easily parted!
For those who may have read these articles, the Berghaus Trekker Light boot is no longer available and has been replaced by the Berghaus Explorer Trekker Plus GTX. This is essentially the same boot with a few refinements with of course a higher price! I have just bought a pair, my faithful Trekker Lights having finally given up the ghost! I will let you all know what they're like in my next scribble. Well this is the next scribble and the newer version are not so good the boot is more difficult to get on and the sole is half the thickness of the former Trekker Light and the boot is a little more difficult to clean after a muddy walk. However the comfort remains and I have had 18 months of wear without any problems!
The best price I could find for this item was at http://www.gaynors.co.uk for £84.99 which included P&P. Still at the top of the list for best walking boots are Berghaus, Brasher and Soloman.
Continuing with the winter/summer theme a number of our group have taken to walking in Wellingtons during the really muddy months of the year and, though not has nice to walk in as light weight boots, they certainly have great merit during the winter months. Now into my third winter I've walked 12 miles without blisters and prior to buying them started from a very sceptical base. Most now have neoprene linings which seem to cushion the feet well. I just use with them my normal walking socks and the feet seemed to be warm enough. No need to buy at the fashion end of the market, a pair of Dunlop wellies at about £35 did the job. Try http://www.kentwoolgrowers.co.uk/ who seem to have a wide selection. If you do decide to buy ensure you get a boot jack which is a device for getting the wellies off without pulling your leg off at the same time! Carry it with you if you intend a lunch stop in the pub. Ask if they will give you one free if you buy! They did with me but at the worse they're about £1.50
If you just can't get on with wellies, then a good pair of gaiters keeps the bottoms of the trousers clean and pretty dry even in the worse mud. Mine, which are three years old are now in need of replacement so I'm going again for the same with many hundreds of miles of use. RAB Latak Alpine Gaiters. Best price at http://www.gooutdoors.co.uk/. There is a sizing chart so make sure you get the right size.
Gloves or mittens? Do you know the difference? Mittens are warmer because the fingers are close together and collectively keep the fingers warm. Gloves are less so but are easier when trying to fasten that difficult zip! Take your pick! Ensure the inner liners don't pull out when you take them off or best don't buy with inner liners.
A flask is with a hot drink in it is an ideal way of enjoying those elevenses on a cold winter morning and Boots do a great range of Thermos stainless steel ones.
Make Life Easy for Yourself
Carry in your car boot or with you if you're getting a lift, a medium size plastic bag. Keeps the boot clean and if you're getting a lift the driver will thank you!
This ends my scribbling for the time being and we will always welcome contributions from members who wish to add to the knowledge base of this corner of our website.