Author Topic: Buying first hillwalking gear  (Read 3166 times)

Birdman

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #30 on: 09:25:16, 17/11/20 »

I think you might find real concerns in Scotland about the effects of fires in the environment. This summer has seen a significant number of events where people have set fires that have lead to severe damage to the peaty under soil that covers much of Scotlandís potential wild camping Ďhotspotsí. Lighting fires isnít something that folk should be doing lightly anywhere in Scotland.


What you are referring to (I think) is roadside camping. People with cars, bringing disposable BBQs and lighting fires etc that burn the ground underneath. 


But the point I wanted to make was that the places where you are most likely to get into an emergency situation while 'real' wild camping in the remotest areas in the UK, you'll probably have a hard time finding fuel in most cases. These areas won't have trees (usually) and peat is doing to be to wet do you won't be able to light it with a cigarette lighter.


In a life or death situation, you should of course not worry about some burnt ground. But I don't think you will find many examples in the UK where this was applicable. On the other hand, their is substantial damage caused by roadside camping and perhaps also by people walking a few miles while bringing a disposable BBQ.





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Sevenup

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #31 on: 09:33:48, 17/11/20 »

What you are referring to (I think) is roadside camping. People with cars, bringing disposable BBQs and lighting fires etc that burn the ground underneath. 


But the point I wanted to make was that the places where you are most likely to get into an emergency situation while 'real' wild camping in the remotest areas in the UK, you'll probably have a hard time finding fuel in most cases. These areas won't have trees (usually) and peat is doing to be to wet do you won't be able to light it with a lighter


No Iím not. Iím talking about supposedly responsible campers in wild spots lighting fires on top of soil that continues to burn long after the original fire has been extinguished. Plenty of incidents recorded by fellow walkers. Not all peaty soil is wet. Indeed many of the natural forests north of the highland fault grow on peaty soil and have an overlay of grass that is easily damaged by folk setting fires. I apologise for the thread hijack. Perhaps this can be dealt with elsewhere

Birdman

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #32 on: 10:04:38, 17/11/20 »

No Iím not. Iím talking about supposedly responsible campers in wild spots lighting fires on top of soil that continues to burn long after the original fire has been extinguished. Plenty of incidents recorded by fellow walkers. Not all peaty soil is wet. Indeed many of the natural forests north of the highland fault grow on peaty soil and have an overlay of grass that is easily damaged by folk setting fires. I apologise for the thread hijack. Perhaps this can be dealt with elsewhere


I agree with you on the damage. People shouldn't light fires in the wild. I goes against 'leave no trace' principles. But that was not the point I was trying to make. The only UK situations where I can imagine a real emergency situation is things like getting stuck on a Scottish hilltop with complete white-out during a blizzard so you cannot go on. Good luck finding any fuel for a fire there. Anywhere else in the UK you simply wouldn't be exposed enough or far enough away from a road or something where I can imagine you have the need to sit it out with a fire to stay alive. But perhaps I's my lack of fantasy.
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Birdman

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #33 on: 10:22:31, 17/11/20 »
This is actually quite an interesting subject. All the UK deaths among walkers that I'm aware of are caused by accidents (falling etc) or exposure in hill areas due to weather changes or carrying insufficient clothes, or just getting a heart attack while hiking. How many people in the UK have survived because they made a fire, or would have survived IF they had made a fire while that was feasible at all? I think that kind of survival strategy doesn't apply to this country.
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jimbob

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #34 on: 11:24:11, 17/11/20 »
Birdman, you forgot rust. The majority of the UK is just so damp that the biggest risk to us slow hikers is rust. ;D ;D 
Any type of fire should horrify long distance walkers except on those few camp sites/areas where they have constructed fire pits.

The wannabe SAS boys do enough damage on their 500 yard  expeditions from car to campsite sawing down young trees, snapping off branches from immature trees and generally never tidying up their damage. They give the rest if us a terrible name.
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forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #35 on: 11:35:05, 17/11/20 »
I can't think of many recorded incidents outside of winter, admittedly.  That said, how many wild campers are there really, out of the walking population?  I'd argue anyone who wild camps off the beaten track is likely in the to 1% of hikers who are comfortable, fit and skilful enough to perhaps not fall victim to the other issues, or certainly nowhere near as often.


Of all the rescue callouts I'm aware of, it's very rare to have someone light a fire as a primary means of surviving the incident, especially in 3-season conditions on an island with this much precipitation.  Usually most people (with means of shelter) are either in a tent + sleeping bag, huddled up waiting for help; or they're immobilised from some kind of incident and likely haven't got the mobility to make a fire.  These people are usually hypothermic and perhaps not in the best state of mind/use of their fingers to start prepping wood for a fire.  The nearest I could see to a likely scenario would be the recent(ish) Yorkshire Dales hiker incident where he was missing for several days and the area he was missing in was huge.  I think this guy did have some extra food with him, but once that starts running low your body is going to start feeling cold and I could see putting up a tent and prepping a fire as quite a sensible skill to have in the tank.


That said, there have been times where in the depths of winter we were extremely cold at camp due to the weather being unexpectedly well below freezing, miles away from anywhere we could 'walk out to', and I've lit a fire to try (from dead wood) and reduced the amount of hours where we freeze in a tent.   Cutting a lot of wood and feeding it for hours certainly warms you up, particularly when it's so dark so early in the winter months.   But I wouldn't say this turned an incident of 'death to life', but it certainly reduced any chance of exposure becoming worse.

James M

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #36 on: 14:49:28, 03/01/21 »
An overdue update...


Firstly ordering from the Peter Storm website ended up a mess. They sent an email saying somr stuff wasn't available and that the other stuff would be delivered. Ended up that absolutely none of the stuff was available so they refunded me for all of it. Waste of time. I suggested they should keep their website up to date with what stock is available.


So I went to the Trespass shop and bought everything I needed. Bought DLX trousers and jacket, Albus bag, 2 pears of coolmax socks and a polyester fabric base layer. I was using an old Dare 2B midayer that I bought about 10 years ago not even knowing it's a kind of walking and other activities brand, so I was content with that for a while. But it looked quite used so got myself a nice Berghaus one that was on sale in Tiso. For underwear I use Nike and Adidas football shorts which are loose just the way I like it and breathable. I also bought a Nebo torch from Tiso.


As for walks I walked part way around Loch Leven and back, around 9 miles. Everything was comfortable including the previously mentioned Merrell Altalight boots.


Since then I've walked The Hermitage in Dunkeld, Lednock Millennium Footpath in Comrie and a few more local walks in Perth. Around 35 miles in all.


I would like to post some pics but seems I'm not allowed yet.



Pomster

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #37 on: 14:14:54, 04/01/21 »
I've not read the other posts yet .. Sorry guys! but if i may suggest why not try first a surplus army and navy stores. I find them very good and cheap for people just starting out and you can progress from there

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NeilC

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #38 on: 14:48:11, 04/01/21 »
An overdue update...


Firstly ordering from the Peter Storm website ended up a mess. They sent an email saying somr stuff wasn't available and that the other stuff would be delivered. Ended up that absolutely none of the stuff was available so they refunded me for all of it. Waste of time. I suggested they should keep their website up to date with what stock is available.


So I went to the Trespass shop and bought everything I needed. Bought DLX trousers and jacket, Albus bag, 2 pears of coolmax socks and a polyester fabric base layer. I was using an old Dare 2B midayer that I bought about 10 years ago not even knowing it's a kind of walking and other activities brand, so I was content with that for a while. But it looked quite used so got myself a nice Berghaus one that was on sale in Tiso. For underwear I use Nike and Adidas football shorts which are loose just the way I like it and breathable. I also bought a Nebo torch from Tiso.


As for walks I walked part way around Loch Leven and back, around 9 miles. Everything was comfortable including the previously mentioned Merrell Altalight boots.


Since then I've walked The Hermitage in Dunkeld, Lednock Millennium Footpath in Comrie and a few more local walks in Perth. Around 35 miles in all.


I would like to post some pics but seems I'm not allowed yet.





Sounds all good. You don't need expensive, super technical gear to go for a walk. Stuff from Trepass will do just fine.


Hate it when companies take orders for stuff they don't even have. No excuse for it with today's POS systems.

Birdman

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #39 on: 15:02:29, 04/01/21 »
Yes, you don't need expensive gear for walking. The only possible exception is shoes, if you cannot find cheap ones that fit you well. Everything else is available for cheap while still good enough.


Of course commercial interests will try to convince you otherwise, that you really need that £400 pound jacket. That's not to say that expensive gear could be nice to have if you can afford it, but it is definitely not necessary.
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fernman

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #40 on: 17:50:56, 04/01/21 »
if i may suggest why not try first a surplus army and navy stores. I find them very good and cheap for people just starting out and you can progress from there

So long as people buy clothing with quick-drying man-made synthetic materials, rather than cotton which is what I would expect most of a surplus store's stock to be, and that is a real no-no for outdoors wear in anything other than high summer.

Ronin83

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #41 on: 20:17:15, 04/01/21 »
So long as people buy clothing with quick-drying man-made synthetic materials, rather than cotton which is what I would expect most of a surplus store's stock to be, and that is a real no-no for outdoors wear in anything other than high summer.


You expect wrong. Modern military gear has come a long way. Jackets and boots using goretex, entire layering systems made with functional materials and usually bomb proof quality. The main drawback is often weight and generic fit (and the heavy use of camo perhaps).


It ain't perfect and it's not great for everything, but some of it is great and sooooo much cheaper when starting out.

fernman

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #42 on: 22:09:15, 04/01/21 »
Fair enough, Ronin, but I bet they also stock a lot of pseudo-military wear that is likely to be cotton in addition to the genuine stuff that you describe. Buyers need to be discerning, and sadly some will not know the difference.

James M

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #43 on: 14:27:33, 13/02/21 »
Another update, specifically the boots. They leak at the toes. They started leaking as soon as they were slightly wet. Looks like the toes are a bad design. Really shouldn't be marketed as waterproof.


Have contacted Merrell to see what they say.

kinkyboots

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Re: Buying first hillwalking gear
« Reply #44 on: 15:58:51, 13/02/21 »
Merrell will only be interested if you bought them directly from their website as your contract is with the retailer you bought them from not the manufacturer.

It will be interesting to see what reply you get and if they try to wriggle out of their responsibily to manufacture and sell goods which are fit for purpose.

I'm assuming you will probably have to return them for testing/investigation and assuming they confirm that they are faulty you should be offered the choice of a repair, exchange or full refund. If it was me I would definitely take the full refund if offered as the chances are that any replacement will have exactly the same problem.

This previous post may be worth reading if you end up looking for replacement boots (check out the Anatom Q2 & Q3 links) http://www.walkingforum.co.uk/index.php?topic=41565.msg602845#msg602845