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Kindle Books

20 Yorkshire Walks with only one map OL21

Kindle book - My Lanzarote. 10 walks and a personal view

Kindle Book And A Pub For Lunch

20 Walks in the Yorkshire Dales with only one map OL2

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Choosing Equipment

Read below and/or click the appropriate item.

To ensure no items get overlooked for your trip, the "checklist" of clothing/equipment on the Hiking Store page may help.

Purists might argue there is a difference but for our purposes, whether you talk about walking, hiking or rambling, we are talking about the same thing here, namely getting out into the countryside to enjoy and explore its scenic beauty, the flora and fauna, not to mention the benefits of the exercise.

There are degrees - from gentle strolls across local fields to marathon journeys and ascending major hills.

To enjoy, you have to be comfortable and safe. This means having sensible clothing and equipment, knowing where you are going and knowing how to get back. What you need depends  on where you intend to walk and the time of year. The top of Ben Nevis in January will obviously be subject to greater extremes than a stroll by a river in July. At best, if you are inadequately equipped, you will be uncomfortable. At worst, you will die! Harsh but true!

Entering an outdoor shop and seeing the plethora of clothing, footwear and other walking equipment (and much of it expensive) is a bit daunting at first and it puts people off. Then there is the question of map reading and navigation.  Where do you start? Well, try Finding Your Way.

Read on.

Try and find a small, local, well established outdoor shop. If it has survived, it has demonstrated that it is more interested in the long term than a quick buck. The chances are that the staff know what they are doing and can be relied on for advice. Go for a true outdoor shop not one which sells a few walking items amongst a primarily fashion range. Try and pick a quiet weekday when they will have more time to help you.

Of course some of the larger chain outlets such as Cotswold are very good but if seeking advice, you need to avoid the inexperienced Saturday assistant.

There are also many on-line sources which can save you money though it would be wise to try on garments, boots and even rucksacks somewhere before ordering. Although some sites and indeed magazines include reviews of equipment, it is reasonable to assume for example that if a garment/boot is made from GORE-TEX or similar, it will keep the rain out (although see the section on waterproofs). The rest is down to preference on colours, style, cost etc and no review will help you here.

Do not be misled into buying anything just because a review acclaims it. You could well be disappointed by the fit, practicality etc in relation to your needs. Make your own judgements. I am in any case sceptical of reviews, because many  manufacturers send items for review free. If reviewers trash the products, more "free stuff" is not likely to follow! This is one reason I do not do reviews despite requests.

Always buy the best quality you can afford. If you have to make some economies, bear in mind the advice in these pages.

Visit the Happy Hiker Hiking Store.