There is no doubt that having good gear can help make a walk more enjoyable. Over the years I have had some rotten, inappropriate gear and being honest I have never been that bothered; it has almost been a macho challenge to complete a walk regardless of being soaked through, badly blistered or simply uncomfortable. Really though that is just daft and over the last few years I have gradually got together a set of gear I like and I am comfortable with – they may not be the best on the market (some are) but for myself they are ideal.
At the foot of the page are a few really informative articles from people who really do know what they are talking about written specifically for Where2walk.
Before that though here is what I use and what I like…
Footwear: To me this is the most important item of clothing/gear for any walker or climber. In fact I am now operating on 3 different shoes/boots depending on the type of walk I am doing.
1. Good walks of more than a couple of miles – the staple! Berghaus Explorer Trek Lightweight . For my walking the 2 key elements are comfort and weight – 4 days in Sutherland, Scotland in rough underfoot terrain of rock and grasses convinced me these are ideal 3 season boots. Ankle support and waterproofing are good and they have lasted fully in tact after a rough (and very wet) season walking.
2. Winter walking/Rough , wet summer walking. Scarpa Leather Boots have satisfied me for many years, partly because they are robust enough for all British walking whatever the season but also they can take a crampon with the stiff sole. The lighter gore tex boot is better for longer summer days as I have found the heavier leather boot can rip my feet to bits on longer days.
3. For short dog walking on a double daily basis I buy a cheap pair of trainers – all I am after is shoes which have some water proofing and I can slip on easily as I walk out the door. A symptom of this new disposable world
Waterproof Jacket: I use the excellent Berghaus Morraine jacket in bright red! It keeps out the rain over an extended period (which you would expect but most importantly for me it is exceptionally comfortable, particularly when waving my arms around – the design has more under arm flexibility than anything I have ever found before. It is also lightweight and easily folded in to a pack. My only criticism is that the hood could be stiffer. Really impressed though.
Fleeces: I look for windproofing and a certain element of waterproofing in my fleece although comfort is key. I am sharing my use at the moment with my old and trust Berghaus Choktoi fleece (so comfy). Update 2013* The old fleece has finally given up the goast but I have a new one and it feels even better.
Legwear: I have some lightweight Craghopper trousers with zips which can turn them in to shorts and some more robust Berghaus waterproofs which do the job without being particularly comfortable.
Rucksack: Berghaus 65 plus 15 Bioflex Long hard days camping in Scotland proved an excellent test for the rucksack. Once I had succeeded in adjusting the belt correctly I found it comfortable, sat high for comfort and somehow carried the weight of my tent etc without pain. The pockets are convenient to use and a good size, so much so hat I use the rucksack for long days as it compacts very well.
Camping Gear: I have an excellent 2 man Terra Nova tent which has served me well for nearly 10 years (the new model seems to cost a little more than I remember) – lightweight and simple to put up in the wind it has yet to spring a leak. It is tight for ‘2 men’ and better suited for a more friendly companion or in my case Mist the dog!
Advice and Information from the Experts
What to wear when the rain arrives
Are military boots the toughest for walkers?
Try Walking Sandals in the summer months
Choosing Footwear that will not let you down.
Give consideration for Army Surplus nightwear
As an alternative to traditional walking clothes consider the value and durability of Army Surplus Gear . Read on….
- Getting to grips with carrying gear on the hills