Author Topic: Buying first hillwalking gear  (Read 1331 times)

James M

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Buying first hillwalking gear
« on: 01:13:21, 03/11/20 »
Hi everyone and thanks again for the friendly welcome in the other section.


I'm just starting to get into hillwalking thanks to motivation from my l friend Louise who has already walked several Munros. I hope to build up to one soon.


I've bought a pair of Merrell Altalight boots. Light weight was important to me as it's what I'm most comfortable walking with. I didn't go for GorTex or Vibram as they were over what I felt comfortable spending




I walked for around 3 miles in them wearing normal cotton socks and Orthosoles and find them very comfortable. I wear all my footwear with Orthosoles just for some extra comfort but I think I'll try the Merrells with the standard insoles next time as they seem to have a better texture to grip the sock for sliding around in the boot. I don't have much faith in how much they will keep water out due to reading some bad reviews but time will tell.


So onto buying some other gear...


I was looking at Trespass and Regatta and some other less expensive stuff. Despite having a lot of stuff bookmarked and ready to buy, I happened upon the Peter Storm website. They have a 20% off sale which I thought was good. I was going to buy a Peter Storm 3 in 1 jacket from Blacks which had 15% off. Sucked in by then supposed great deal I bought from the Peter Storm website.
I bought...




Thought why not buy all the same brand. I'm not experienced enough to know what works for me best yet to focus buying particular items from different brands.


Turns out the 20% off is because they can't be bothered to update their website with what stock is available, because they are refunding me for the jacket and T shirt. They are still delivering the trousers and socks.


I'm thinking about just returning the trousers and socks and going for all Trespass stuff. I like that they are a Scottish brand based in Glasgow which is where I grew up and I'm still kinda from.


I know choosing gear by brand probably isn't the right way to do it, but surely there's not much difference between all the cheaper stuff from Regatta, Peter Storm etc? And it'll be better than walking in jeans and a hoody like I have been. If I had the money I would buy something extremely waterproof and breathable if that even exists. My absolute max budget for gear is £170 unless I wait until after Christmas and I would have a bit more.


Any tips would be appreciated thanks.






pauldawes

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1450
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #1 on: 05:38:49, 03/11/20 »
Being comfortable, especially in the boots is the most important thing when you start, no need to be too “scientific”, just get out as often as you can..and find out if you you really enjoy it. There’s plenty of time later for the expensive gear clangers we all end up making.


I used a lot of Regatta gear when I first started (a mates wife worked there, and he told me it was pretty good stuff) and was always pleased with it...and although  a few years have gone by (and so my personal experience is dated)...I seldom hear people complaining about it, and typically see positive reports.


But suspect if I was starting out again today...and going primarily for one brand..it would be Decathlon, it gets a host of positive comments.
« Last Edit: 05:57:13, 03/11/20 by pauldawes »

richardh1905

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5776
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #2 on: 07:36:24, 03/11/20 »
Just go with what is warm and comfortable and avoid cotton - there is no need to be too choosy. I would add some cheap waterproof overtrousers to your list though. I'll add a  O0  for Decathlon, and don't overlook charity shops (not much help when we are about to enter Lockdown, I know).


If you are planning to walk on the hills in winter conditions, by which I mean snow, then you will need more gear (ice axe, gaiters etc), and a few outings with someone to gain experience - it is a different game altogether. EDIT - a more substantial pair of boots too, preferably leather with a stiff sole.


Enjoy O0
« Last Edit: 15:21:52, 03/11/20 by richardh1905 »
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

kinkyboots

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1110
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #3 on: 08:37:55, 03/11/20 »
If your size is still available you could do far worse than grabbing one of these Keela Cumulus Pro Mountain Jackets @ £55 delivered. Only black available but beggars can't be choosers. Normal RRP is £174.95 https://www.odintactical.co.uk/keela-cumulus-pro-mountain-jacket

I had a quick look at the Merrell Altalight boots and to be honest I think you'll find that they're too lightweight for your intended purpose and probably won't last long.

For trousers I would suggest you look at something from the Craghoppers Kiwi range and for a fleece something from Regatta's range. Neither of these will break the bank but will perform adequately and are widely available so shop around for the best prices. For socks look no further than Bridgedale's range of midweight hiking socks.


zuludog

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 163
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #4 on: 09:41:21, 03/11/20 »
As I'm a fat old man now I have accumulated so much hiking gear that I haven't bought any new stuff for ages, and in any case there is so much available that it's difficult to keep track of what's what
However, as you can see other Forum members will make their suggestions; here are mine -

There are two places where you should get the best you can possibly afford, and if you find a bargain so much the better -

Waterproofs - you can get away with almost any old rags underneath but the important thing is to keep the wind and the rain out

If you decide to go backpacking, get a good, nay, very good, sleeping bag. Being cold at night is one of the most miserable experiences you can imagine

By all means if you see something you like at a good price get it now, but the Winter/New Year Sales will be here soon and you may well get some good buys
I used to stock up at Go Outdoors winter sale

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #5 on: 12:58:46, 03/11/20 »
You have to start somewhere and all the reading in the world is nothing compared to trying something.  All the brands you mention make perfectly decent keenly priced gear.  Buy it try it and before long you will have more choice than you know what to do with and start to sort out what works best for you in which conditions for which activity. 


For the record I bought a second pair of Peter storm boots, on line, after buying a pair in store the previous year.  It was a nightmare of wrong size cancelled order due to stock errors and generally a pain that took months to resolve. Each time I had to take them back into store. Then wait for the paper work on line to catch up Funnily enough I have not used their online service since.


gunwharfman

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5569
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #6 on: 14:52:29, 03/11/20 »
I agree with Zuludog choose your sleeping bag with care. For me, nothing worse than being cold at about 2 am. The last time I was cold was overnight on 10th November 2019 as I waited for dawn to start the walk up to the summit of Great Gable. I made the error of thinking that sleeping in my car was a good idea!

I've been to Decathlon this morning, I bought a lovely soft and warm beanie for £1.99. I went there to buy a pair of their £12.99 hiking trousers (I love em!) but they only had one colour, the colour I already have.

Dyffryn Ardudwy

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1840
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #7 on: 15:19:44, 03/11/20 »
The best thing to do, is to buy the best gear you can afford, then it should last you many years.

I am still using certain items of clothing, that i bought as long ago, as 1982.

I still own a Berghaus Dart  rucksack, that was purchased in Crickhowell, as long ago as 1981, its got years of use still left in it.
Also, i have a very early Berghaus fleece, bought sometime in the early eighties, and its still useable.

I am not suggesting gear people buy today, will last this long, but at the time, these items were the best available, and were slightly more expensive than the average kit.

I am not rough on my gear, i look after it, but the same can be said today,  by the very best gear you can afford, and it can last many years.

ninthace

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 7647
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #8 on: 15:25:12, 03/11/20 »
Have a look at https://www.gelert.com/ they sell gear at reasonable prices.  Perhaps not the kind to go Munro bashing in but it would get you started.
Solvitur Ambulando

Ronin83

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 369
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #9 on: 16:59:47, 03/11/20 »
I really like those Peter storm socks. Perfect thickness and decent for the price. I've tried more expensive ones, but don't feel they're any better.


Fleece wise, don't need to spend much. I think we've all agreed here on many threads that the mid layer is the easiest to save money on aswell as, I guess, cheap polyester sport tops for base layers.


Boots are really a preference. I like leather boots, but not too over the top. Some prefer very flexible, lightweight ones, some prefer stiff and very supportive. That argument will never end.



watershed

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 273
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #10 on: 18:30:23, 03/11/20 »
Very interesting Blog that we should all read before heading off to the Hills


https://testedtodestruction.blogspot.com/2020/02/go-outside-sit-down-wait.html?m=1

Slowcoach

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 329
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #11 on: 18:56:25, 03/11/20 »
Go with your choices. Spending lots of cash on gear does not necessarily mean it is better. I have several “expensive” waterproof jackets, a montane and mountain equipment but have now reverted to using a single layer Lightweight waterproof from Regatta which does a better job than the pricy ones.
I am sure that very many of the contributors on here started out with a lot less “proper” gear than you are.
When I started hill walking there was no technical gear ,it all came from army surplus.
As I say give it a go and enjoy yourself.
It's all uphill from here.

James M

  • New Member
  • *
  • Posts: 4
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #12 on: 19:48:23, 04/11/20 »
Thanks for all the feedback and tips.

I have thought about buying some of the expensive stuff again but really I can't afford it right now. I could afford say a Montane jacket and trousers or some other well respected brand but then I wouldn't have enough for basic stuff like base layer and socks! Things are tight with 2 family birthdays and Christmas coming up of course. I'm going to have another look in the Trespass store and see if I can afford to get kitted oot!

cornwallcoastpathdweller

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 148
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #13 on: 20:44:33, 04/11/20 »
Another vote for Pete storm socks  O0


I also use Mountain Warehouse Isocool ones, had very few blisters with either of them.
one step then another then another then a bench - please?

BuzyG

  • Veteran Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 2090
Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #14 on: 23:50:27, 04/11/20 »
Another vote for Pete storm socks  O0



Another vote for Peter Storm Socks here too.   O0