I hope this section can help new walkers to get advice on equipment, clothing and boots etc.  Almost all walkers have suffered blisters caused by ill fitting boots, wrong socks, got wet through because their waterproof coat wasn't and many other ailments, this section should be able to help a new walker to get good gear at a reasonable price.

  • Before you start to go on any walks, buy a pack of 'Compeed' heel plasters.  Why?  because they are the ONLY way you can complete a walk if a blister occurs.  Expensive? - Yes  Do they work? - Definitely!
  • Heel blisters tend to be caused when the foot slips about in the boot. Wear a pair of 'Thousand Mile' socks, these are double skinned and if slippage does occur, your foot just slides on the outer layer, then a good pair of woollen stockings.
  • Go to a reputable supplier for your boots, be ready to pay £50.00 and upwards for a reasonable pair, a good boot should not let the foot slide forward when on an incline, these stockists have a special special inclined ramp to test for this.
  • Go in the afternoon as a persons feet swell as the day progresses.  Take the stockings you intend to wear - you will need at least a half size bigger than normal to accommodate the extra stockings anyway.
  • Make sure the foot is pushed down into the heel cup.  Some peoples feet still move when the laces are pulled tight and the gap between them is closed.  One way I have found to cure this is to cut a piece of dense foam (some old computer mouse mats are ideal - about 10mm thick) to fit under the laces and gradually tighten the boot from the bottom, pulling each set of lacings.  A good way to stop slip back is to pass the laces under each other, as if you were going to make a bow and then through the lace holes or grips. As you clean your boots, the laces will pick up any excess cleaner/polish you are using over time and will lock easily.
  • If you have a bunion, ask around for anyone that has a shoe stretcher.  This has a screw that when turned moves the wooden sections apart, stretching the leather.  Don't try too hard - you could split the boot!  Clean the boots first, rubbing plenty of cleaner/polish in the area to be stretched.

                                                        

                                              
The picture above is of a piece of bike inner tube about 150mm long, 20mm or so in the central strap and 30mm at each end.  The two holes are just touching to enable the full width of the slot to be used.  What's it For?  Have you a pair of gaiters with straps you cannot keep tight? or they slob about in use?  Remove the straps and try the above.  Pass the end of the strap through the bottom of the gaiter buckle and then stretch the head so that it passes over the top of the buckle and pull down.  This will lock it in place.  Repeat on the other side. To put the gaiter on:- Pull the loop over the heel of the boot and carry on as normal.  You will find the gaiter is well fitted and tight.

You may have to experiment with the length but these will last for ages and if they do break, they take little room up in the rucksack and COST NOWT!

  • Keep your clothes etc. dry in the rucksack by using the bags supermarkets use for bread.  Two different sizes, if you ask at the Bakery dept. for a few 'to freeze loaves/baps in' you will be given enough for a season.  Once again they COST NOWT!

  • Don't be tempted to pay the inflated prices some Outdoor"stores charge.  Trawl the Charity shops in your area for suitable clothes.  You will be amazed at the price some top gear goes for.
  • To ensure a cold drink for most of the day in summer; part fill your drinks container with whatever drink you like.  Put it in the freezer and place it at an angle of about 30 - 45 degrees and leave overnight.  In the morning, fill up the container.  The ice inside will keep the drink cold far longer.