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Category: Walking gear

Walking gear that one might want to consider for walking in various environments.

Preparing for adverse weather whilst walking

Preparing for adverse weather whilst walking

Walking in Britain can be immensely rewarding, but it is not without danger. The changing weather in this country can be a serious hazard for people who are not prepared. Whenever you set out on a walk over open ground, you should consider how to minimise the potential risks to you and your companions.


You should always take a torch with you when you go out on a walk in an uninhabited area. Bad weather can actually reduce visibility to the extent that you will be put at risk if you continue walking without additional light. A torch can help you to continue walking back to safety, rather than being forced to stay put in low light conditions.

If you are buying a new torch for walking, you should consider buying a head torch. These torches are held around the head by elastic cords meaning that the hands can be kept free for other important tasks.

Waterproof gear

Waterproof gear is essential if you plan on going walking in Britain. The weather can change in a few moments, especially on higher ground. It can be very uncomfortable to get caught out in a rain storm. In addition to this discomfort, wearing wet clothes for long periods of time can reduce your body temperature which leaves you more vulnerable. People who are stuck in wet clothes are particularly vulnerable to hypothermia.

Waterproof clothing helps to reduce the amount of water that is able to penetrate the outer layers of clothing. Good waterproofs will help to keep you dry in even the heaviest rainstorms. Some waterproof clothing also helps to reduce the effects of wind.

Warm clothing

Warm clothing should be taken on most high ground walks, even if the weather forecast is showing high temperatures throughout the day. The temperature on higher ground is usually much

Adverse weather
Adverse weather

lower than the temperature at sea level, so you may need to put on extra layers as you move higher. If the wind picks up, it will also make it feel much colder. Keeping body heat up during any walk is essential because the body works most efficiently whilst it is at the optimum temperature.

Layering is the best way to keep the body at the optimum temperature because air gets trapped between layers and stays warm. It also makes it easier to control temperature than it would be if you were to only wear one thick item of clothing. Carrying warm clothing will help to prevent you from being caught out if the temperature suddenly drops.

Hat and gloves

Hats and gloves are important for keeping your extremities warm if the weather starts to turn cold. Once the temperature starts to drop, it is important to do everything that you can to maintain body heat, because your energy levels will start to decline as you begin to get colder.

Camping and outdoor stores often sell lightweight hats and gloves which are easy to carry but act as effective barriers against the cold. It is important that you choose gloves which allow you to maintain dexterity, so that you can continue to use your hands properly.

Emergency rations

Bad weather can force you to make camp in an area that you are not expecting to have to stay in. Alternatively, it could force you to take a route which may take longer than planned. It is important that you have a few emergency rations to help you to keep fed and hydrated if your walk takes longer than expected. High energy foods are a great choice for emergency rations, because they can help to give you a big energy boost whilst adding very little extra weight to your rucksack. Adequate water is essential if you plan on walking in high temperatures, because dehydration can be fatal.

Mobile phone

You should always take a mobile phone with you when you go out walking, even if you do not expect to have full phone signal for parts of your walk. If you are in signal range, a mobile phone can be used to get up-to-date information about the changing weather conditions, so that you can base your choices on the most relevant information. Alternatively, a mobile phone can be used to summon assistance if you do find that you need help.

All mobile phones in Britain can be used to phone the emergency services using any available network. This means that your phone may be able to be used to call 999 even if you cannot connect to your standard mobile phone network. If you cannot find phone signal in the area where you are, moving towards higher ground can help. You may also be able to find your location using the GPS on the phone.

Boot care tips for walkers

Boot care tips for walkers

As a walker, your boots are your most important piece of kit. Your boots will help to protect and support your ankles and feet over the tough ground. Bad boots will hurt your feet, damage your toes and can make it more likely that you will suffer breaks or sprains.

When you buy walking boots, it can take a bit of time for the boots to adjust to fit your feet properly. Ease them in by going on lots of shorter walks. Caring for them properly will help to prevent them from losing their shape and will prolong the lifespan of the product. These tips should help you to keep using your favourite walking boots for as long as possible.

Clean them

Once you have taken your boots off, you should clean them as soon as possible. Mud and other substances are normally slightly acidic or alkaline (rather than being a neutral pH), and this will affect the boots over time if the mud is not removed. The effects can be exacerbated if you have walked over any farmland which has been treated with chemical fertilisers or if you have stepped in any manure. Road salt and grit can also degrade shoes more quickly.

Dried mud can normally be flaked off or brushed away easily, but stubborn mud and grit can take a little more effort. Use warm water and a semi-stiff brush to help to get rid of these tougher marks. Be careful when brushing softer shoe fabrics to avoid unnecessary wear and tear. Use common sense to avoid overworking more delicate areas; for example tough soles can take more scrubbing, whereas boot linings need to be treated with far more care. Do not use detergents or chemical cleaners, unless they have been designed for your style of boots, because inappropriate cleaners will actually harm the technical fabrics.

Dry carefully

Try not to use too much water during the cleaning process, because the scrubbing action could enable water to penetrate the boot materials more easily. Dry the boots carefully, but do not be tempted to leave them next to a direct heat source, such as an open fire, Aga or radiator. This type of heat can actually damage the boots by increasing the risk of shape loss or affecting the waterproof material. It is best to dry them in a well-ventilated, warm area. Adequate ventilation should help to prevent the room from becoming damp, which should reduce the risk of mould growth which could also damage the boots.

Absorb excess moisture

If your boots are excessively wet, either because of the washing process or because of the terrain that you were walking on, you should use a type of thin paper to help to absorb the excess moisture. Although newspaper is ideal for this purpose, the newsprint may transfer to the inside of the boots. If you have packing paper available, you should use this instead.

Scrunch the paper up into balls and then pack them loosely into the boots. Change the paper after a couple of hours, so that you do not leave damp paper sitting in your boots. Remove the paper altogether once all of the moisture has been removed from the boots. It is also possible to buy special pieces of equipment which are designed to remove moisture quickly and which can be reused.


When you buy a new pair of boots, make sure that you ask the sellers whether they need additional waterproofing before use. Some manufacturers recommend users add an extra layer of proofer once the boots have started to shape to the owner’s feet. Before applying any proofer, you should always check that the type that you are using is suitable for your particular boots.

Proofing treatments vary between different materials, so using the wrong type of proofer can actually be counterproductive. Reproof your boots according to the schedule described by the proofing brand that you are using. This will help to keep your feet dry and protect your boots from unnecessary wear and tear.

Inspections for wear and tear

You should regularly inspect your boots to check for any wear and tear. Spotting problem areas can sometimes allow you to take action which might help you to save the boots. Boots which have cracking soles can be re-soled up to a point, but the damage to the soles may start to cause damage to the uppers if it is left too long. Alternatively, minor damage to the lacing area can be fixed easily if it is spotted in time.

Spotting any damage early may mean that you won’t have to buy a new pair of boots. This will save you the time and effort of having to “walk in” the new boots, as well as saving you from the higher costs.