EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT… KIT!
Is it sunny? Will it rain? BBC weather says one thing, Met Office another. Will I get cold, should I layer up, is it time for the winter wardrobe? For us walkers these Autumnal days can be confusing time kit-wise. Cold mornings, bright days, shorter evenings, dew drenched grass, and emerging muddy sections all require us to adapt our clothing and our footwear. Here’s some things to think about in the coming months:
Soggy feet? Ugh….Nothing spoils a good walk more than wet feet and it’s at this time of year you generally find out how watertight your footwear is. If you’re considering buying a pair of boots, Scarpa, Merrell, Keen and Salomon are all popular brands with Nordic walkers.
What about waterproof socks? Sealskinz saved my feet last winter during the Beast from the East days (with sock liners underneath to counteract the rubbery feel) but Aldi and Bridgedale also now sell waterproof socks. Just remember with Sealskinz to avoid drying on a radiator or other direct heat source to prevent damaging the waterproof membrane.
I think they are GREAT! All have a durable water repellent finish on the outside and the more expensive ones also contain a waterproof and breathable membrane, which means you don’t get sweaty lower legs. Gaiters come in different sizes and lengths and it is worth trying them on to make sure they fit round your calves.
Another must-have for Nordic walkers is a pair of waterproof trousers. You can buy over-trousers – they are light, very breathable and take up minimal space in a waist / back pack. You can also buy waterproof trousers and I particularly like Craighoppers as they are fitted, not too hot and can be worn in lieu of walking trousers / leggings on wet old days. Non sweaty too!
Tops and jackets
You all know the advice! Layer layer layer. I always buy light waterproof, breathable jackets which you can roll up and carry in your waist pack (purple of course). You get what you pay for! I love starting a walk warm so have a fabulous down jacket from Go Outdoors which is a steal at £20. Kept me snug before the September Coastal Half Marathon and then was left in the car until the end.
Hi-Viz / Head torches / Reflective gear for night walks
We love our evening walks and are out and about on Mondays and Wednesdays at Broadland Business Park and on Tuesdays in Eaton and Cringleford. It’s pitch black in places so a decent head torch is a must, along with hi viz outer layers to keep us safe. A lot of us have flashing lights on our poles (thanks to Karen from Aviva) which were purchased at Lidl for £1.80 a pair. The advice is, be seen!