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  1. The difference between walking boots and trekking shoes

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    It’s incredibly important to have a pair of comfortable footwear when you are walking or trekking.

    With footwear, you need to pick the right choice for your feet, activity and terrain. Without them, it can lead to bruised, sore feet that could end your walk or trek earlier than expected.

    As similar activities, it can be confusing to understand the difference between walking and trekking, and why they may use different footwear.

    That’s why we’ve put together this guide so you can tell the difference between the two and pick your perfect footwear.

    Walking boots

    Walking, or hiking, is a leisurely activity of walking long routes or nature trails. Walking is generally completed in a day, but can involve overnight stays in camping sites, hostels or huts along the way.

    Walking boots are sturdy, thick boots that provide protection for your feet. With a tough sole and high ankles, walking boots help provide support for your foot and prevent you from spraining or rolling your ankles.

    The thick protective material will also limit your range of movement, which can feel too restrictive for some walkers. The material will also need breaking in before big walks, otherwise, the shoes can be uncomfortable and cause rubbing or blisters.

    Walking boots are also made with waterproof materials to keep your feet dry in wet conditions.

    However, the waterproofing and thick material mean that water vapour can’t escape easily.

    So, if you need to cross rivers or your feet are fully submerged in water, your shoes will take a long time to dry out. If you wear them in the summer months, your feet will sweat more easily and can cause blisters.

    Overall, walking boots are strong, sturdy waterproof boots perfect for the colder months. They are also durable and can last you up to 1,000 miles when looked after.

    Trekking shoes

    Trekking is a multi-day long distance walk, where you will carry all your luggage and essential items with you. In general, trekking is a more challenging activity than walking and takes places in areas where other means of transport can’t access.

    Trekking shoes, such as trail runners, are made from lightweight and more flexible materials than walking boots. The lightweight material offers more flexibility, giving you a better range of movement in your feet.

    Trekking shoes are perfect for those who prefer lightweight footwear and are the ideal choice to get an overall lightweight kit. The shoes also need no breaking in and are ready for action right away.

    Designed with a low-cut ankle and multiple mesh patches, trekking shoes give you maximum breathability. As they are fast-drying, they are great for crossing rivers or through the summer months.

    However, trekking shoes aren’t as waterproof as walking boots and can’t offer the same amount of warmth through the winter.

    The lightweight material also doesn’t offer the same amount of protection as walking boots. With narrow soles, you can feel bumps and rocks under your feet which can be uncomfortable on the long days.

    Overall, trekking shoes are a lightweight, breathable and fast-drying shoe. However, they don’t offer the same protection, warmth or durability as walking boots.

    On average, trekking shoes should be replaced every 500 miles to prevent potential damage to your feet.

    Conclusion

    Overall, walking boots are tough, durable and waterproof boots that protect your feet. Trekking shoes don’t offer the same protection or durability but are more lightweight, breathable and flexible.

    When choosing between walking boots and trekking shoes, it’s important to bear in mind the weather and type of terrain you are going to face.

    During the summer months, or places where you are likely to cross a river you may prefer the fast-drying trekking booths. However, in wet, and colder months the waterproof walking boots may be the better fit.

  2. What are gaiters and when should you wear them?

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    Many backpackers and hikers swear by gaiters and use them year-round.

    Despite offering essential protection, gaiters are often overlooked and get confused in a long list of outdoor equipment.

    That’s why we’ve put together this guide so you know what exactly gaiters are and when you should be wearing them.

    What are Gaiters?

    Gaiters are lightweight, breathable and waterproof pieces of fabric that cover the upper boot and lower part of your legs.

    Working with your boots, gaiters protect all the tiny nooks and crannies that are vulnerable in certain weather or environment conditions, such as the top of the boot.

    In wet, muddy or snowy conditions, gaiters are essential for keeping your feet dry and can also provide an extra layer of insulation.

    In drier weather, gaiters will also protect you from debris such as rocks and sand that can uncomfortably lodge themselves inside your footwear.

    Gaiters provide great protection across a diverse range of conditions. Whether you are facing thorny bushes, marsh land or even snake bites, the gaiters will provide you an extra layer of defence to stop anything from getting into your boots or trouser legs.

    Made from mostly synthetic materials, gaiters are breathable, lightweight and quick drying. Gaiters are designed to be comfortable for walking and hiking long distances in a variety of conditions, making them an essential item for your pack.

    From puddles to thunderstorms, gaiters will keep you waterproof, insulated and protected.

    Generally, gaiters come in one of two heights: ankle-height and full-length.

    Full-length gaiters

    Full-length gaiters are a perfect fit for extreme weather conditions such as deep snow or heavy rain.

    Covering the tops of your boots and most of your lower leg, full-length gaiters offer the most protection.

    If you’re in terrains covered in snow, long wet grass, thick bush or you need to cross streams, full-length gaiters are essential for you.

    Ankle-height gaiters

    Ankle-height gaiters are made to simply cover the top of your footwear and bottom of your trousers.

    They don’t have the same level of protection as the full-length ones, and are best used for less extreme conditions.

    This type of gaiter is ideal for outdoor wear, with a good chance of rain and mud. It’s also perfect for offering protection from bits of debris such as stones, sand or bits of twig entering your footwear.

    This type of gaiter can also be a great fit for off-road and fell runners to provide protection from debris.

    For runners that want a more lightweight and fuller protection, our padded running gaiters may be the perfect fit for you.

    Conclusion

    Snow, water and debris can find a way into the most waterproof of boots and trousers. Gaiters are lightweight, waterproof and breathable, covering the ends of your boots and trousers, providing you with extra protection from the elements.

    Gaiters protect you from a range of outdoor conditions, including muddy puddles, debris, deep snow, streams and thick bush. Small and lightweight enough to stash in your pack, gaiters can be used year-round for almost every condition.

    Ready to unlock the benefits of gaiters? Browse our range today.

  3. New Base Layer Zip Turtle Design By Sub Zero

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    Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus Long Sleeve Zip Turtle Thermal Base Layer Aqua

     

    Sub Zero Factor 1 Plus Long Sleeve Zip Turtle Thermal Base Layer is a new addition to the award winning range.

    New developments in seamless knitting technology have enable Sub Zero to add a lightweight 18cm (7″) long zip to a garment based on the ever popular Factor 1 Plus Long Sleeve top design.  This new base layer top features an innovative seamless body construction that incorporates stretch rib zones for enhanced support and waffle zones for increased thermal efficiency. During the dyeing process, a hydrophilic treatment is pressure injected in to the yarn, increasing the wicking rate of the fabric, allowing much greater control of perspiration. The stand-up double thickness turtle will protect your neck during outer activities – an area of the body that is often left exposed when wearing other base layers. The zip used in the turtle is lightweight to prevent ‘zip ripple’ when done up, and the fabric chin guard will protect your face from zip puller rub. If you do get too hot when wearing the base layer then lowering the zip will give extra aeration (t also helps the wearer to get the garment over the head) . Integrated thumb holes in the cuff of the sleeves protect your hands on cooler days and allows you to wear snug outer jackets without your sleeves riding up.

    These new Sub Zero thermal zip turtle base layers are ideal for outdoor activities in the autumn and winter where extra protection of the neck is required, such as when winter walking, cycling, hiking and climbing. For greater insulation in the depths of winter, why not try this Zip Turtle base layer with the Sub Zero Factor 2 mid layer range. Used in combination, this layering system will keep you snug, dry and ready for your winter adventure.

    The new Factor 1 Plus Zip Turtle range currently comes in two colours, black and aqua blue, and in sizes XSmall -XXLarge.

     

  4. Extremities New Guide Tuff Bags Now In Stock

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    Extremities Guide Tuff Bag Mittens by Terra Nova are based on the award winning and highly popular Tuff Bags. The main difference between the two designs is that the Guide Tuff Bag has a leather palm for extra durability and grip when climbing and mountaineering. They still employ lightweight GORE-TEX® technology in the outer shell for keeping your hands dry and protected against the wind chill, and will pack down in to the smallest of pockets.

    Available in four sizes (small, medium, large and xlarge) these are ideal for the technical winter walker.

     

  5. Layering Clothing To Suit The Weather Conditions

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    On a news website, these headlines occupied the same page – ‘Indian summer this Autumn’ and ‘Nightmare winter’. Outdoors, it often feels like that in the same day, especially in the hills.

    Dressing to suit changing weather and different levels of exertion is easy these days. You’re not likely to need the same clothing heading up a mountain as you would coming down and you should never rely on mountain weather being stable. The answer is simple – layering. Modern fabrics, well-made in good designs will cope with anything you and the weather can throw at them – reliably, flexibly and not costing a fortune.

    Baselayers can use fabrics designed to keep you cool or warm with the aim of being consistently comfortable. Short sleeve or long sleeve, they’re worn next to the skin under other layers or on their own as appropriate.

    Over the baselayer tops, a mid layer is designed to deliver warmth by insulation. Light and durable, there are loads of options to suit the time of year, what you’re doing and where you’re going. Extra insulation, such as a down-filled jacket, is great in really cold weather.

    It’s not just the rain that an outer layer protects you from as wind can be an insidious force that steadily robs you of warmth.

    However, you chose to put the layers together, bear in mind the need to ventilate at times, by opening zips, rather than continually overheating. All too often people slog up a hillside and strip off layers on the summit. Taking them off before boiling up and replacing them to avoid cooling down too fast is the key.

    However you chose to dress, do check the weather before you go and, even if it’s looking good, pack spare clothing and a waterproof in your rucksack.

    Check it out!

    Mountain Weather Information Service – www.mwis.org.uk

     

  6. Clothing Layers For Keeping Warm When Winter Walking

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    In a few weeks’ time, the clocks go back, temperatures start to fall, days get shorter and walkers need to take even more care in the hills. Clear blue skies can change rapidly and windchill can sap energy and will. It’s not only those tackling airy mountain summits and ridges who need to be thinking hard about what to wear and what to pack in a rucksack as winter wraps around us but also walkers choosing less exposed routes. It’s always tempting to wrap up warmly and head off smartly but, if you’re not careful, it won’t be long before you’re hot, sweaty and uncomfortable.

    The key to comfort is layers of clothing – a baselayer to shift moisture away from your skin where it would chill as it cools; a mid layer for insulating warmth and an outer layer that will offer protection from wind, rain and snow. As a cold wind can whisk away body heat carrying an extra warm layer makes sense as does a cosy hat and gloves. Avoid overheating by sticking to a comfortable pace and letting heat escape by quick simple ventilation options such as opening zips and cuffs and whipping off your hat.

     

  7. Enjoy One Of Hundreds Of Winter Walks With The Ramblers

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    Winter is a superb time to enjoy Britain on foot and, even though our summer is still lurking about, there are great opportunities to embrace the winter, wrapped up warm and in good company. One way is to join one of hundreds of walks with the Ramblers this holiday season as part of the ever popular Festival of Winter Walks.  This year there will be more choice than ever as the festival expands to include over three weeks of events, with walks starting in the build up to Christmas and marching right into the New Year.

    Ramblers’ volunteers put on these walks to make the most of the wonderful winter scenery on offer in Britain and there is an open invite for anyone to join in, share their love for walking and discover the benefits of being outdoors as you walk with them into the New Year. From short festive walks to sup on mulled wine in cosy pubs, festive wintry jaunts and more challenging hikes to explore crisp frosted landscapes, there’ll be plenty on offer for you, your family and friends to enjoy.

    The festival programme typically includes:
    • Walks across England, Scotland and Wales
    • Hundreds of walks under five miles
    • Festive-themed walks
    • Walks for people in their 20s and 30s


    Use the Group Walks Finder to search for walks in your area.

    The Ramblers is Britain’s walking charity. It works to make it easy for everyone to walk, whether in countryside, cities, hills, coasts and on or off the beaten track. It has a grass roots network of over 17,000 volunteers who work tirelessly for a walking Britain. For over 75 years it has helped build and protect Britain’s 130,000 mile long footpath network, it runs over 38,000 walks a year, and campaigns for better walking routes and more walking opportunities.

    Follow Ramblers on Facebook www.facebook.com/ramblers

    Enjoy one of hundreds of winter walks with the Ramblers this holiday season as part of the ever popular Festival of Winter Walks.

     

     

     

  8. Top 5 Lake District Pubs For Hungry Walkers

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    Part of the fun of a winter walk over the Cumbrian fells and summits is looking forward to a warm fire and cheery pint in a Lake District pub. Even better when you can tear into a tasty meal as well. Dress warmly in thermal underwear and be prepared for fast-changing weather. You’ll probably have changed out of your boots when you got back to the car, but if not, be considerate and knock the mud off. Here are a few of our favourite watering holes. For more info on the Lake District check out www.golakes.co.uk.

    The Bitter End, Cockermouth
    A pub with its own micro brewery where the whole process can be seen through a glazed partition. With open fires, home-made meals and great real ales, this is a top spot to head for. On Tuesdays, there’s a free-to-enter quiz night with a case of beer as the winners’ prize.
    01900 828993; www.bitterend.co.uk

    Tower Bank Arms, near Sawrey, Ambleside
    Hilltop, Beatrix Potter’s former home, is just behind this pub which can be seen in one of the sketches for ‘The Tale of Jemima Puddleduck’. Dating back to the 17th century, this inn offers quality fresh food and a wide selection of traditional local ales. Children and dogs welcome.
    015394 36334; www.towerbankarms.co.uk

    The Drunken Duck Inn, Barngates, Ambleside
    A multi award-winning family-owned inn which serves fine local produce imaginatively prepared and served. The food is complemented by great local beers and a traditional interior with an open fire and Brathay Black slate bar top. Cracking bar meals!
    015394 36347; www.drunkenduckinn.co.uk

    Watermill Inn, Ings, near Windermere
    CAMRA’s Cumbrian Pub of the Year in 2009, there’s a relaxed friendly atmosphere in the Watermill and a micro brewery to boot. There is an extensive menu and a large daily Chef’s Specials board, emphasising traditional dishes.
    01539 821309; www.watermillinn.co.uk

    The Punch Bowl Inn, Crosthwaite
    In the heart of the unspoilt Lyth Valley, close to central Lake District. The inn is a blend of old and new, with excellent food, good beers and wines and a lovely location; the bar is warm and friendly with antique furniture, open fires, polished oak floorboards and  leather chairs.

    015395 68237; www.the-punchbowl.co.uk

     

  9. Safety Advice For Coastal Walks

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    A coastal walk should always be a safe and enjoyable experience. It is worth considering the following points particularly if you are new to walking, or you intend to explore the longer and more remote walks.

    • Stay on the path and away from cliff edges
    • Take extra care in windy and/or wet conditions
    • Always supervise children and dogs
    • Leave gates and property as you find them
    • Remember that mobile signal can be patchy in some coastal destinations so let
    • someone know where you are heading and when you are due to arrive
    • Protect plants and animals, and take your litter home

  10. Top Tips For Winter Walking

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    Walking in Winter Is Not All About Mountains And Snow

    In fact, the key weather considerations in most of the winter are wind and rain – a bit like summer! We’ve got some handy hints to help keep you comfortable and safe – pass them on.

    • Don’t charge off at speed – build up your pace gradually to give your muscles a chance to stretch and warm up.
    • Be aware of the surface – winter tracks and paths can be deceptively icy.
    • Carry water – dry winter air is dehydrating and you may be sweating without realising it.
    • Be visible – if you’re returning on country lanes as the light fades, consider hanging a reflective band or light/torch from your rucksack.
    • Wear layers – three layers of thermal clothing (base layers, mid layers and water/windproof outer layer) allows you to adjust how warm you are as weather conditions and and your exertion rate change.
    • Avoid cotton – it soaks up and retains moisture; you’ll feel cold and uncomfortable. Our clothing offers fast wicking, quick drying, flexible warmth options.
    • Wear thermal gloves and a thermal hat – for overall comfort and reducing heat loss. A light scarf or thermal neck tube helps conserve body heat and can be used over your mouth and nose when the wind chill really bites.
    • Consider carrying a pair of lightweight crampons and ice axe (learn how to use them properly) if you’re heading into the hills; ice grips are handy, lightweight and can be useful in town as well.
    • Navigation – be aware of where you are and where you’re going. You don’t need to be high in the hills to get lost and into trouble. Always take a map and compass as back-up.

     

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