Author Topic: Starter Kit  (Read 965 times)

dan_the_man

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Starter Kit
« on: 10:17:01, 08/03/18 »

Dear all,


Mid thirties, used to be a couch potato, finally turned a corner around I feel - decided to get into walking(starting with Devil's Dyke, Brighton next week !) Hope to do a lot more in spring and onwards.


I know this is a very generic question but can anyone please suggest what kind of gear I should buy as a starter kit, would also appreciate if you could recommend any shops/brands.


cheers
dan

jimbob

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #1 on: 10:25:59, 08/03/18 »
Start off with making sure your feet are well covered. Get properly fitted footwear.
The advice I was given by shoe fitter was to wear two pairs of reasonable thickness socks and have a good walk before seeing her in order to get feet in order before trying on footwear. Feet expand when walking distances. Even if you give up walking the footwear tends to get used. I use my old boots in the allotment.

Then make best use of what you already have before investing in other gear because it can be an expensive commodity to live in retirement in a wardrobe.

Be convinced you want to do it before committing your wallet. Also check out charity shops for a good waterproof jacket.

Use this forums search function for particular advice. Be aware we are a load of equipment junkies though.
Wainwright walked in tweed trousers and a mackintosh. It would appear he enjoyed himself just as must as the most geared up geek.
Too little, too late, too bad......

sussamb

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #2 on: 10:32:04, 08/03/18 »
You have a Cotswold in Brighton, pop in there and ask a staff member.  They are all pretty clued up in there so will be able to help.
Where there's a will ...

Ridge

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #3 on: 10:39:01, 08/03/18 »
Hi and welcome to the forum.


Buying walking gear is a hole in to which you can pour cash but, I would say, if you are just starting spend as little as possible. We all love walking but you may hate it.


Things to buy
thick walking socks
walking boots - take your walking socks when you go to buy boots and wear them over a normal pair of socks
waterproof trousers


Things you probably already have
T shirt - treat yourself to a proper base layer one for your 3rd walk.
fleeces x 2
trousers - not jeans
waterproof jacket - properly waterproof
rucksack


Go to Sports Direct (yes I hate them too), buy Karrimor and spend no more than 100. Karrimor are definitely 'entry level' but they are absolutely fine and better than any gear which was about when I started walking.


There is a whole other topic of compass, map reading etc. and if you are OK with that, which you will need to think about.
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

Jac

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #4 on: 10:49:35, 08/03/18 »
Essentials for day walks in spring/Summer at lower levels - waterproofs, comfy clothes and footwear, smallish rucksack, map/GPS mobile phone, food and drink

Waterproofs - The two brands I would suggest as being functional and sensibly priced are Craghopper and Regatta for a waterproof jacket and over trousers (actually my over trousers are Karrimor, also cheaper brand and work perfectly though have heard negative things about other Karrimor items). With over-trousers for wet weather even jeans are ok for low level walks if they are comfortable. Basically whatever clothes you are normally comfortable in plus waterproofs is all you need.
Boots -Suggest you don't shell out on expensive boots until you know you need them - walking shoes/trainers are perfectly good for spring and summer day walks unless on the mountains.
Socks - important to prevent blisters whatever shoes/boots you wear. My preference is Bridgedale
Backpack - for (low level) day walks 20-25 litres is ample. Alpkit do a great waterproof one which is also very sensibly priced - remember rucksacks are not normally waterproof and raincovers are of limited use in a heavy downpour.
Drink - a litre of water is a good amount for summer
Food - whatever you like including some snacky things like nuts/dried fruit. Just your normal picnic items

If you enjoy the walking you'll find all the other technical (expensive) gear just sort of accumulates organically as far as your bank account can stand it.

Happy walking 8)
Most walks start by finding the way out of the car park

Mylo

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #5 on: 11:15:24, 08/03/18 »
The one thing you have in your favour is that we're entering warmer months (in theory  ::) ) so your original outlay won't be near that if you were starting in the winter.

Clothing:

Merrino base layer or at least something with 'wicking' properties (makes a world of difference)

Light weight walking trousers, maybe a pair that converts to shorts.

Teeshirt (long or short sleeved)

Fleece / hoody

Lightweight jacket

Cheap set of water-proof over clothes (trousers and jacket that pack into one). Sprayway or Regatta.

Socks - a thin Merrino walking sock that allows the feet to breath (not a base layer sock though)

Either walking shoes or approach shoes (Adidas Terrex is my personal preference)

Gear:

A 25L rucksack

A basic first aid kit (don't under estimate the need for this)

Drinks and snacks. Water to Go type bottle if walking near rivers etc.

Not essential, but for around 30 you can get an emergency shelter which will keep you dry if caught in a downpour. Weighs next to nothing and beats getting soaked to the skin an hour into a day out.

Sports Direct, Decathlon and Go Outdoors are good shouts for getting kitted out on the cheap.

Enjoy  :)

Dovegirl

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #6 on: 11:48:45, 08/03/18 »
I'd strongly recommend getting comfortable waterproof footwear. If you find you enjoy walking, you can build up other kit gradually.

decided to get into walking(starting with Devil's Dyke, Brighton next week !)

The Devil's Dyke is a great place to start    :)

Pura Vida

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #7 on: 13:04:13, 08/03/18 »
Avoid cotton as it does not dry when wet. And then it chaffes! (Sudocrem)


https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/getoutside/guides/cotton-kills!-why-the-wrong-clothing-can-be-lethal/
Show a man a route then he will have an Adventure; Teach a man to navigate then he will have many adventures

Ridge

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #8 on: 14:12:21, 08/03/18 »
Avoid cotton as it does not dry when wet. And then it chaffes! (Sudocrem)
PV I agree with you that cotton can be uncomfortable but I do think that OS are stretching a point with their headline.


This comment has just been posted beneath the article
Quote
Just out of interest how many people died of exposure on Britain's hills last year? and how many of them were wearing cotton? I can't imagine that you would put something as sensationalist as 'cotton kills' without evidence to back it up.
Over hill, over dale. Thorough brush, thorough brier....
I do wander every where

Pura Vida

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #9 on: 15:02:46, 08/03/18 »
I don't have any documented evidence BUT I spend all of my weekends in the summer and quite a few of the weekdays also supervising DofE Students. From the New Forest to the Lake District.


I know, first hand, how quickly students lose heat when wearing wet Cotton. We stress that they shouldn't bring/wear cotton, we check that they are not wearing cotton outer layers. I support them with spare kit.


The OP is asking for advice on what kit to buy and I suggest that he avoids cotton. There are better alternatives out there.


And this also needs to be prioritized with other kit like footwear, water/windproof layers, etc.
Show a man a route then he will have an Adventure; Teach a man to navigate then he will have many adventures

dan_the_man

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #10 on: 15:22:14, 08/03/18 »
Dear all,


Thank you all for the replies, make good sense - highly appreciated !


cheers
dan

fernman

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #11 on: 16:43:00, 08/03/18 »
Unless I've missed it, nobody appears to have recommended headwear - a sunhat to protect you on those hot days which are currently a distant memory, and a warm fleece or wool hat, or whatever else is your preference, for the other 11.5 months of the year.

It has long been claimed that half the body heat you lose is through the head, but in recent years some researchers have disputed this. Personally I'm a firm believer in the old belief, I really do feel a hat makes a difference.

Mel

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #12 on: 20:02:22, 08/03/18 »
If you are / were a couch potato and not used to being on your feet for any length of time then start off with shorter walks to get your feet (and legs) accustomed to being used.  Build the distance up gradually each week and don't be afraid to do a shorter walk every now and again either.


This time of year is perfect for "training walks".  Walk to the shops.  Walk round the block at lunchtimes.  Walk for 30 minutes before you have your evening meal.  That sort of thing.  You'll be surprised how much those little and often sessions help prepare your legs and feet for longer walks at weekends.



No expense spared in pursuit of a bargain ;)
https://snailspacewalks.blogspot.co.uk/

Welsh Rambler

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #13 on: 20:09:38, 08/03/18 »
Unless I've missed it, nobody appears to have recommended headwear - a sunhat to protect you on those hot days which are currently a distant memory, and a warm fleece or wool hat, or whatever else is your preference, for the other 11.5 months of the year.

It has long been claimed that half the body heat you lose is through the head, but in recent years some researchers have disputed this. Personally I'm a firm believer in the old belief, I really do feel a hat makes a difference.
I'm in full agreement with this especially a sun hat if your hair is thinning or non-existent. A relative developed skin cancer of the scalp requiring a lot of treatment and a skin graft so protect your head.
Regards Keith

RogerA

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Re: Starter Kit
« Reply #14 on: 13:09:11, 09/03/18 »
Agreeing with the above buy as little as possible.

Walking boots & socks are imo the most important.

I'd always suggest taking water on a walk (I use cheap 500ml bottles of water from the supermarket that I refill over and over - others prefer waterbags - but thats cost)

After that:

Walking trousers make a huge difference in the rain - its really very nasty to be out in wet jeans

Any sort of backpack - for me it helps to have a bag to put the fleece/waterproof into if you get too hot and to carry a bottle of water. (when I started I'd go out feeling the chill in a thick coat then after a few miles find I'd be carrying it.

A bag of spare change - I keep 5-10 in my pack at all times for the just in case.

Beyond that a hat is always good to have but nothing else is always essential - obviously depends when and where you're walking. Lots of other good advice above none of which I'd disagree with.