Author Topic: returning to walking  (Read 815 times)

petec

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returning to walking
« on: 18:50:32, 04/03/19 »
35 years ago, I did the south downs way, icknield way, the Ridgeway,  coast to coast, the Cotswold way and finally the Pennine way south to north then turned around and did north to south for the he'll of it. most of this was done with my elder brother.
im planning on doing the penning way in 2020, but starting off with day and weekend practice walks. as i live in luton, most of this will be in the chilterns etc progressing to weekends in the peak district .
what I'm looking for is recommendations on boots at the moment,  I still have my original boots, but they have seen better days, being leather with a vibrant some. I'm looking for something lighter.
equipment i already have
Karrimor panther rucksack
snugpac eagle sleeping bag or snugpac jungle.
msr stove and canteen set
wind proof smock
base layers
compass
first aid kit
safety equipment


needs,are
new boots or shoes
new socks
walking trousers
gps thingy
new maps.


or any other useful kit i need. I'm trying to keep it light weight.


I have a tent, but it's 30 years old, so been looking to upgrade with a tent or tarp.


BuzyG

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #1 on: 22:05:27, 04/03/19 »
The current OS maps come with a digitlal download. You can then down load the OS app to an android phone and use them for free.  So if you have an Android phone, then personaly I would give that I try before shelling out on dedicated gps subscriptions.  Of course you still need to purchase the paper maps.  But I love collecting them so a win win.

I have also come back to walking after many years away.  Two things that have improved massively are. 

Rucksacks. Much lighter and more flexible fittings. 

Shell jackets, my recently purchased Gortex Pro Jacket has blown me away.  So light so strong and most importantly so waterproof. 


Re wrote the first para could not see what I was typing yesterday. The auto correct clearly had a field day. Lol
« Last Edit: 20:09:04, 05/03/19 by BuzyG »

richardh1905

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #2 on: 08:06:01, 05/03/19 »
Welcome to the forum, petec  :)


I don't see waterproof jacket on your list. You can cut corners elsewhere, but not on waterproofs (and boots). I too have a Gore Tex Pro jacket and cannot recommend it highly enough (mine is a Mountain Equipment Lhotse).

Decent boots can be got for a reasonable price, but they must fit well, so try them on in a shop before buying - with thick socks.

No need to spend a lot of money on socks - I use Tescos thermal socks in all but the coldest weather (3 pairs for 7).

Trousers - pretty much any non cotton that are comfortable and do not chafe. I use Ron Hill Tracksters on longer walks, and Berghaus Deluge waterproof overtrousers when wet (a solid bit of kit).

zuludog

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #3 on: 14:14:58, 05/03/19 »
Yes, things have changed in the past 35 years, with gear becoming lighter and more comfortable. But more importantly attitudes have changed, and we now realise that most of the walking in Britain is not a huge mountaineering expedition, it's glorified rambling. Even for the Pennine Way, it is mostly rambling, with just 2 or 3 hills in it
The hardest part of taking up walking after such a break will be to get used to the idea of lighter kit

The Panther rucsac will date from the time when Karrimor were a top quality manufacturer. Although you can get lighter sacs now, I'd say stay with the Panther till you really need to change it

the usual trousers for hiking now are polycotton; there are so many. But I wear pull on sports/jogging trousers. I have two pairs - one with a mesh lining and one with a fine brushed lining - all synthetic of course. I got them both from charity shops; a fiver each or less

I wore leather boots for years, that was the accepted thing; but mow I wear trail shoes for most of my walking, and only wear boots in winter or on rocky hills like the Lake District
So a pair of light-to-medium weight synthetic boots would probably do you. but also consider trail shoes. I was surprised and impressed when I changed to them from boots - lighter, comfortable, but still with good grip

 You could do worse than spending an afternoon browsing round a couple of shops, especially Go Outdoors

Any decent loopstitch socks will do

Do you already have maps that cover PW? Even if they're old they will still show the country of course. More importantly would be to get a current guide book as the route & facilities change sometimes. Trailblazer are good, otherwise Search amazon and www.dash4it.co.uk

What make is your tent? There might be ways to lighten it

gunwharfman

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #4 on: 15:36:17, 05/03/19 »
Welcome from Portsmouth. I started hiking seriously a few years ago and I am now reviewing how I want do it in 2019. I have spent a fair bit of money on my rucksac, waterproof jacket, tent, sleeping quilt, sleeping mattress and of course boots.

Number one spend for me will always be boots, but I've always set my limit at 150. In all sorts of ways each pair I've worn has been good to me, but have also been bad as well, not being waterproof, or waterproof enough mostly.

Upon reflection, I now believe my biggest waste of money was to buy my Paramo Alta 2, (250 at the time) not because its a bad jacket, far from it, in its way its very good, but for me, concentrating on keeping dry and convincing myself I had to spend out to achieve it was the wrong way of going about it. If I could go back in time I would now spend my money on dry weather torso clothes, windproof jacket, baselayer, underwear, middle layer(s) etc.

I started to use a poncho a couple of years back and realised that this offered me a better and cheaper alternative to keeping dry. My poncho cost 50 but after use and looking back, this also was too big a spend. My purchase partially solved what I wanted to achieve but having to put it on over my head each time is a nuisance and a chore!

At the moment I am looking for a long waterproof front opening coat. I would like the hem to be just above my ankles, or at mid calf. I've looked on the internet and yesterday I bought a 15 one. If I'm wrong I can dump it, but I'm hoping that this staying dry idea will be a better than my previous way of looking at the problem. It hasn't arrived yet but I'll soon find out if I've made a fool of myself, or this time have actually hit upon on the right idea? I'll confess all when I know for sure.

I've used a rain skirt as well and from this experience I know that for a long coat to work well in the rain, it needs to have a two way zip. In rain I need to zip it to my waist/crutch area to keep dry, but I need to leave the lower area open to flap a little, especially if crossing less than flat terrain and when need to take big steps to get over boulders, streams and the like. One matter should not be forgotten, my staying dry idea will only work well if I wear my gaiters at the same time.

The other factor that influences my thinking how to stay dry, is how often does it rain and for how long does it last? Does it rain enough to warrent a big outlay on waterproof jacket and waterproof trousers, these days my thinking tells me no! I have walked though awful rain and all day rain but in all of my hiking years I can count them on one hand! Most rain in my experience last for a while, then stops, it may start again but will also stop again.

To sum up, if I was starting to hike as a beginner again I would not concentrate on buying expensive wet weather jackets and waterproof trousers, I would concentrate on a windproof clothing first and think about how to keep dry as an after thought. I know now its not as expensive as I once believed it was. I believe I've just been a gullible person to good marketing.


kinkyboots

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #5 on: 16:51:09, 05/03/19 »
needs,are
new boots or shoes
new socks
walking trousers
gps thingy
new maps.

From a quality/cost/value point of view you won't go far wrong with Bridgedale socks, Craghoppers Kiwi trousers, Berghaus Deluge waterproof overtrousers, Garmin Etrex 20x GPS (plenty of free mapping is available) but you do need to shop around for the best prices/deals.

Boots are a different kettle of fish entirely and it comes down to what budget you have available and your personal preferences but most importantly the fit and comfort. If you want quality boots which will last you more than 1-2 years my advice would be to go for leather boots with as little stitching as possible.

I would suggest that you make the effort to have a close look at the Altberg range (you may need travel a fair distance to your nearest Premier dealer). The following models will suit your requirements. If the model of a boot made on the standard last doesn't quite fit or suit your particular foot shape, width and volume it's a fairly safe be that a boot made on either the A-Forme or G-Fit last will. All Altberg boots can be resoled if and when the need arises.

2-3 Season Boots
Altberg Fremington Men's 1412g RRP 179.99 (standard last with 5 width fittings) https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/the-fremington-mens-boot-mto/
Altberg Malham Men's 1344g RRP 184.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/the-malham-mens-boot-mto/
Altberg Keld Unisex 1428g RRP 189.99 (G-Fit last with 1 wide width high volume fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/keld-boot-factory-stock/

3 Season Boots
Altberg Tethera Men's 1472g RRP 214.99 (standard last with 5 width fittings) https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/the-tethera-mens-boot-mto/
Altberg Nordkapp Unisex 1460g RRP 219.99 (A-Forme last with 1 medium width fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/factory-stock-nordkapp/
Altberg Kisdon Unisex 1622g RRP 219.99 (G-Fit last with 1 wide width high volume fitting) https://www.altberg.co.uk/product/kisdon-boot-factory-stock/

It's absolutely crucial that you get properly measured first and try them on before you buy. You can find your nearest stockist here https://www.altberg.co.uk/stockists/ The ones to look for are the Premier Retailers with the red flags on the map who tend to carry a wider range of stock. Wherever you choose to go make sure you phone before you go so you don't waste time and money travelling to look at something that's not in stock. Once you know which model, size and width fitting you require there are occasional bargains to be had online and eBay is always worth a look.

Other boots which may be worth a closer look which regularly get mentioned on here are the Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX and the Lowa Renegade GTX Mid.

I would also suggest that you consider adding a pair of quality Gore-Tex or eVent gaiters to your list.

Maggot

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #6 on: 22:21:11, 05/03/19 »
Just don't fret about it.  Use exactly what you have, don't buy a thing you don't need.  You have a year and a bit before your walk, just use what you have and then when your boots stop being comfy replace them, when you start to camp out and enjoy it, buy a new tent, if it rains and you get soaked, buy a new coat  Do it gradually, you may not need as much as you think.  For a start you don't need a 'gps thingy', as you don't know how to use one do you?  So that is a massive waste of money until you have figured out what you want it to do, and for how long, loads of people on here use their smartphone in lieu of a gps unit.  So that is 150-200 saved straight away!  Just get a new updated map (lets face it, Milton Keynes is twice the size it was 30 years ago!) and go for a walk.  Take it from there


Most importantly concentrate on walking 10 miles a day, by this time next week you will be 70 miles away from Luton, and that has to be a bonus  ;D

petec

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #7 on: 23:08:46, 05/03/19 »
taking on board all said.  I have never needed a waterproof jacket, I'm a warm person so sweat i  them.  for years I've used a poncho which i can throw over myself and pack and carry on. this has sufficed in many deluges. I do have 2 vortex jackets, 1 heavy weight 1 light weight plus a pertex smock .
for my day walks i use a tactical load bearing vest, as this suffices the basic stuff I need, ie munchies, water, first aid, light weight jackets etc.
I refo need new boots or shoes, was looking at Altberg, but also synthetic ones.  I have narrow feet so really need to go to a good supplier.
I still prefer to use map and compass, old school but if you know how it's better than relying on electric stuff.
hat's are a big problem for me.....I'm going bald, and I don't like hat's, although I'm getting better! to much sun stroke!
rucksack, I'm happy with what i have, have looked at new light weight gear, but again cost versus use. same as tents. I don't want to spend hundreds on stuff that's only going to be used a few times a year.
I was away last weekend, testing the gear in was going to use. pack was ok, tent.....meh , will probably look into another tent or tarp, my gaiters were fine, but my old boots, although comfortable, leaked through a seam, even though they had been dubbined. trousers, defo need replacing, but i knew that.
I had dug out my old brigedale combat socks......32 years old and still good, but i will replace them with a more modern set.
one thing I did notice, a lot of people using walking poles. I'm still put on this idea, but if i go with a tarp setup i will get a set.
my cookset was excellent,  but i did not like the food.! any recommendations? I tried the wayfarer range. breakfast got fed to the sheep, the curry was ok, and the pasta Bolognese was edible ....just. but the sticky pudding was great. was thinking of trying the MRE used by the army
 

richardh1905

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #8 on: 10:08:54, 06/03/19 »
Have you tried wearing a buff instead of a hat?

gunwharfman

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #9 on: 10:36:12, 06/03/19 »
I've changed my mind a lot about whats needed when hiking. I started off believing that I needed a good quality waterproof jacket, meaning 'expensive,' so I bought a Paramo Alta 2 for around 250. Plus of course waterproof trousers need to be added to the cost. About 7-9 years later I now don't believe it at all! I now know I just succumbed to good marketing which suggested to me that rain is the number one problem of hiking. I now know that logic of thinking is daft!

Once I realised this, I started to wear a rain skirt, plus gaiters, they go together like bread and jam! Then I moved to wearing a poncho. OK my poncho was expensive, made by Vaude and about 60 at the time, again I think I succumbed to good marketing (must have a good one!) but have realised that even this isn't the answer I'm looking for. Still, in hindsight, to spend out 60 was a far better spend than spending out 250!

When I look back I should have asked myself how often does it actually rain? I can remember about 3 or 4 days when it rained hard from dawn until dusk and beyond, but the majority of rainy days that I have experienced over the years, has been a few hours here, a few hours there of varying amounts, ranging from heavy to drizzle.

If I could go back in time I know now that I would NEVER buy another rain jacket like a Paramo or any other make in that kind of price bracket. I would personally concentrate my efforts in buying a jacket that stops wind, how to keep warm and so on, worrying about rain is a secondary problem. I'm sure that hikers spend more time walking in the dry that in the wet.

At the moment I am waiting for Amazon to deliver me a 15 long waterproof single skin coat which they claim rolls up small. I need the bottom hem to be half down my calf, or just above my ankle and for it to have a two way zip. If I read the screen properly that is what I've bought?

I will then find out if this will be the item that will replace my poncho?

If I look backwards at my spending 'journey' the idea of spending 15 to solve a rain problem, to me is obviously much better than spending 250 to solve the same rain problem. Unfortunately I did it the other way around!




gunwharfman

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #10 on: 10:40:29, 06/03/19 »
My apologies, the excuse I'm going to use is my age and how its affected my brain. I completely forgot that I've already writtten in my view about this subject. SORRY!

kinkyboots

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #11 on: 13:37:22, 06/03/19 »
I refo need new boots or shoes, was looking at Altberg, but also synthetic ones.  I have narrow feet so really need to go to a good supplier.

I have narrow feet myself and from my personal experience/searching I can tell you that you will definitely not find any other company which caters for narrow feet better than Altberg do.

I have owned and used Fremington, Tethera and Mallerstang models myself and have also bought both Malham and Nordkapp models for other family members. All models have had unrivalled build quality and provided excellent comfort and longevity with regular care and maintenance.

I also own Oboz Sawtooth Low BDRY shoes and Oboz Sawtooth Mid BDRY boots and although not specifically for people with narrow feet I personally find them to have an excellent build quality, an excellent fit and are very comfortable and ideal for lightweight summer use and given the price I paid unbeatable value. It remains to be seen how well these will last as they have had only occasional light summer use so far.

https://www.magic-mountain.co.uk/collections/oboz-2/products/ob-21401-sawtooth-low-bdry
https://www.magic-mountain.co.uk/collections/oboz-2/products/ob-20701-sawtooth-mid-bdry

Another brand which may be worth checking out are Scarpa which is an Italian brand which uses predominantly narrow lasts for most models. I have also seen the  Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX described in some reviews as being quite a narrow fitting boot although I have no personal experience of the model myself.

Another point worth mentioning is that although dubbin is still widely available it is now something of a relic belonging to the age of the dinosaurs. The modern methods and processes used in tanning modern leathers have changed drastically from those used 35 years ago. Also the wide use of Gore-Tex, Sympatex, eVent and other similar waterproof liners in nearly all modern walking boots have made the use of dubbin a definite non starter as it doesn't allow the leather and/or waterproof liner to breathe properly.

richardh1905

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #12 on: 15:47:28, 06/03/19 »
As kinkyboots says, Scarpa boots are narrow fitting which ruled them out for me with my wide feet, unfortunately.

GinAndPlatonic

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Re: returning to walking
« Reply #13 on: 19:38:06, 06/03/19 »
My apologies, the excuse I'm going to use is my age and how its affected my brain. I completely forgot that I've already writtten in my view about this subject. SORRY!
No problem.

You make some really interesting points. I have never had the budget to pay high prices and my gear has always been Regatta for most items except boots where I do pay a premium. I recently bought a poncho for 20, which seems pretty versatile and has mostly good reviews online.

The thing that struck me about your post was the mention of a long rainproof coat which is foldable....a great but simple idea. I do hope you let us know how that goes...I have come to the belief that I much prefer warm clothing which allows me to actually feel some air getting through to my skin even from wind....sounds a bit counter intuitive but as long as I`m wrapped up well, all that extra air flowing around my body, keeps me nice and dry. Its not the rain I would be thinking of but sweat when hiking fast or uphill.
Of course it is all within reason and on top of a mountain with the extra windchill...a shell would be more important than free flowing air