Saturday, 14 March 2015

Get togged up for your walk

Good morning, it's the weekend again. I'm excited, I have things to do. This afternoon I am going to a footie match, Scunthorpe v Sheffield. My friend tells me it should be a full house and I am looking forward to a new experience. Janet has very kindly invited me to take her hubby's seat as he has jetted off to the other side of the world. I have a new baby sitting on my driveway, the Focus is here, and boy does it look gorgeous. More about that later. 
In the meantime Ceriden sent this comment, which I will reply to here. 
When you mentioned about putting on waterproof trousers to enable you to continue with going out for a walk despite bad weather - I would appreciate any comments you might like to make re how to go out "walking when the weather is too bad to do so". Sometimes it howls an absolute gale here, but I would think it would be possible to still go out for a walk even when its raining heavily - and, to be honest, I haven't had to take that into account before I moved here and don't really have much idea whether its possible to dress in a way that you stay completely dry and comfortable no matter how bad the rain. So - all tips welcome on that.
Thanks for that  question. I don't normally go on a walk from home when it is raining, but if there is a chance it might rain while I am out I take my waterproof trousers. I wear the same jacket whatever the weather and it is waterproof. 
I don't know how I manage to get mud up to my knees, it happens when you are sloshing your way through the stuff. My trousers are not expensive, I don't believe in paying silly prices just so you can be seen in designer walking gear. Yes there is such a thing as label snobbery in the walking world, though some will say their £150 - £200 jacket or trousers are more waterproof and hard wearing than the cheaper version. My trousers cost about £15 from what I can remember, I've had them ages and they don't let water in around the nether regions. I would say if you are going to do a lot of walking in the rain it would be worth paying a bit more, but cheappies for an occasional wet walk will be fine. 
The only problem I have with mine is that I have to take my boots off to put them on mid walk, so this involves finding a sheltered spot in the corner of a field maybe, and standing on one leg in the hope I don't wobble and fall over. A big rock to sit on makes the job a bit easier. Waterproofs that open at the bottom would be better, but you've still got to slide the muddy boots through them. Maybe best to take them off anyway. 
A good pair of boots are essential for walking over rough ground. They need to be waterproof and mine are at the moment, but there will come a day when they start leaking. When this happens they get relegated to dog walking or dry weather walking. I don't clean them as often as I ought to, but a good scrub with a stiff brush and a coating of wax every so often helps to give them a longer life. Mine cost about £75, not cheap but not dear. I prefer the leather ones (sorry vegans), because they are more up to the job than those fabric fashion boots as I call them. My boots don't have to look pretty. You can pay mega prices for boots, again some prefer the designer labels and are more drawn to how they look. There are a lot of cheap walking boots on the market now, I would say if you are going to pay £15 - £25 they won't last very long. The soles will crumble and split in no time. At the other end of the scale are the £200 boots, not necessary in my opinion. With boots it's all down to how they fit.

My jacket cost about £30, I've had it a while and it serves me well. I got an XL size because that gives me the option of wearing several layers if needed. Our Trespass shop closed a few months ago but I have seen the name crop up in several larger clothes stores as a concession. That's probably a cheaper way of selling for them without the overheads of their own shop. If you are awash with money you can go for the £200 designer jackets.

Serious walkers will kit themselves out with expensive base layers. Some of them wick the sweat away from your body to leave you feeling warm and dry. I haven't yet tried any of those garments because I can't bring myself to spend the money on them. I don't mind getting sweaty and wear ordinary T shirts, sweatshirts and fleeces. I don't possess a pair of walking long johns, if the weather is a bit cold I will either put a pair of ordinary leggins on underneath a pair of lighweight joggy type bottoms, or wear thermal lined walking trousers. Again these don't cost very much, about £20 a pair.

A lot of readers seem to be living in extreme temperatures at the moment, some are freezing cold and some boiling hot. It's very difficult to get motivated when the weather conditions are not ideal for walking. I think you have to decide how important it is for you to get out, and dress accordingly. I personally don't like walking in deep snow, it is hard going, can't see the paths, can't find the way, and some of the landmarks are obliterated. I also find it tiring walking in hot sunshine. You just have to be sensible and drink a lot and use sun protection.

It's important to pace yourself, getting to know how your own body reacts to prolonged climbing up and down, and long stretches of straight flat terrain. Stop for a minute if you feel out of breath, stop if something hurts, assess the situation and decide if you can walk through it or slow your pace and shorten your walk. It's a good feeling to push yourself a bit, but not to the extent that you do damage to your body. Rain isn't going to kill you, but slipping in the mud could result in a fall and a broken leg.

Walking is the best exercise for the mind as well as the body. You don't have to walk a long way like I do, an hour round the block three times a week is better than no walking. I prefer not to get wet, but if I am caught out I just get on with it. I like walking in wind, and love the wild landscape as the trees bend sideways.

I think these days people are just too mollycoddled, they look out the window and shiver as they turn the heating up a notch. Moving about also warms you up. I see elderly people walking around our village and it makes me smile. They are out for a walk, just for the sake of walking. They are not going anywhere in particular, just walking. Two ladies from round the corner regularly walk to Normanby Park and back. I see retired people walking about because they want to keep fit. They walk in all weathers, sometimes wrapped up with scarves and hats, and good for them, they are making an effort.

So, if you have an hour to spare, and you are not knee deep in snow, put on your boots and coat, and get out and walk. Take your kids and grandkids to the park, walk the half mile to the shop and leave the car behind. Just do it, you will feel a lot better. Have a nice Saturday.
Toodle pip.

25 comments:

  1. Thank you for that. I will make some notes for myself about your comments there. I'm pretty new to the idea of doing much walking and still "feeling my feet" on this. I find Googlemaps a readily accessible tool for working out more urban distances for walking, but am not very au fait with more rural walking yet. There's a big difference between walking on the level and walking up and down hills that I'm still getting my head round. Thankfully it looks like blue skies out there today - so must get out for a walk this afternoon again. I'm taking it that I should expect of myself that its reasonable to walk, say, 4-6 miles in total. You never know...one of these days I might feel up to extending that to 8 miles worth LOL.

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  2. Good advice indeed. There was a dear old lady in tbe village who took a walk every day in all seasons. Some unkind people suggested she walked around the village in the winter to save on heating. She was known to be frugal. She was fit in mind and body though and managed to care and fend for herself until the end. I think the walking kept her healthy. Sitting by the fire is nice sometimes but a good walk every day is good for the mind and body.:)

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  3. I am a dry weather walker I hate getting wet, especially my hair.......

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  4. Brilliant advice again Ilona.
    Getting outdoors every day and connecting with other people and nature is so good for both mind and body.
    Jacquie x

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  5. I did a lot of research into which new waterproof jacket to wear. We get some extreme weather up here in the north of Scotland and I was sick of getting soaked to the skin some days, despite wearing waterproof jacket, trousers and boots. I saw a brilliant waterproof jacket in the sale (£200 off), a jacket which had been tested in force silly gales and rain apparently and was a well known make. It is waterproof up to a point. However, I've still come home soaked to my underwear on days when we've had gales and lashing rain. I've discovered that the rain is finding its way in round my face and neck and I don't think that there's any way to avoid this in certain weather conditions. The dogs insist on going out for walkies, whatever the weather!! As for boots, every pair of waterproof boots I have ever bought, don't seem to stay very waterproof for long. I think the answer may be oilskins and wellies!!

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  6. Great post on walking gear and proof that you don't need to spend loads of money to get equipped. Congratulations on your new car and wishing you many happy journeys. I love my Focus. Just wondered why you change your car every few years rather than running it into the ground? Is it more cost effective to do this?. I paid a grand for a 2002 plate diesel estate 15 months ago but have since had to spend a few hundred on different things although I'm hoping the car will last a couple more years without anything major going wrong. Kristel

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  7. Up until a few years ago I walked most days. This was before I retired. Since I got out of the habit I have slowly gained weight and have trouble sleeping. I'm hoping to get started on a walking routine again soon. Once all the snow is gone! I always felt great after a walk, it's good for the mind and the body.

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  8. An interesting question that has been posed. I don't mind getting wet - it reminds me that I am alive afterall. It is very good to read your angle on gear. Natalie

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  9. I used to love walking and walked after work every evening for an hour , I was the fittest and healthiest i have ever been , Unfortunately due to health issues i cant do it now but i love to read about your ramblings, we even used to walk in the rain and snow , As long as you are dressed appropriately and there is no need to spend a fortune with the exception of like you say boots , you get what you pay for but waterproofs etc , There are some good value things out there , we have a boundary mills near us and when they have a sale you can pick up some great bargains on walking stuff xxxx

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  10. I love walking too. Don't do as much as I used to, must change that.
    I hope you don't mind me asking something not connected to this.
    Do you or any of your readers know what &#39 means on some folks blogs? I'm curious & so far haven't worked it out!
    All the best to you.
    Rosemary

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    1. Hi Rosemary, &#39 is the HTML code for an apostrophe. It shouldn't be showing on the screen, likely to be a bug in the system to cause this. If you Google it there are solutions to get rid of it, that's if you understand computer speak. Just ignore it.

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  11. I'm a stalwart for leather boots too. They breathe! And I'll maintain that those expensive waterproof trousers are better for the same reason. It stops sweaty crotch syndrome. WIth regard to my jacket, I'm a total fashion victim and have a Rab. I find one at £100 off the RRP so feel slightly vindicated.

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  12. From Margie in Toronto - hoping to get out tomorrow for my first real walk of the new year! The snow is finally melting, the temperature is finally above zero and it isn't supposed to be raining so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I'm lucky in that I have a couple of large city parks right by me and I can even walk down to Lake Ontario from where I live and walk the shoreline paths - although I will probably wait for a bit warmer day for that as the winds off he lake can be bitterly cold. I miss not being able to get out during our winters but the snow is too deep and the minus 30 degree temps keep me indoors (I do walk in the underground mall system where I work but its not the same as being out in the fresh air).

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  13. My friend told me yesterday, "Sitting is the new smoking". I thought that was great. We all should be up and moving.
    Tana

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  14. Great post as always and I enjoy walking very much too,I agree with you it's good for body and soul.
    AussieCheryl :)

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  15. Hello, Ilona.Congratulations on your new car and happy driving! Interesting different ideas re:waterproof walking gear.In gentle to medium rains with light winds I dress similiar to you .In really heavy rain and gale type wind I wear waterproof lined boating /fishing hooded jacket(with deep pockets) and pants(that open up at bottom)over the top of wellie type mid calf boots with good treads and removable felt liners,with thin layers under depending on the cold.Also a water proof bibbed cap with earflaps and waterproof lined gloves that farmer's wear to work outside bought at the Farmer's Co-op.Clear wrap around work-glasses protect my eyes from flying grit etc. and couple of dry rags to swipe them clean when needed,this was for the kind of weather Ceridwen mentions.I find sporting goods stores ,work warehouses and the Co-op expensive and search the thrift stores and family and friend castoffs before I buy new.I walk regularly.When the weather is too treacherous I stay in and stretch, then go up and down the staitcase 10 to 15 times and then turn up the music and march and dance in a circle around the main floor of our house.If I get bored with that I'll put a good movie on and stand up walking in place swinging my arms around while watching it.(sent the incumbent bike to auction and could kick myself for that,ha,ha)Whew.Bye for now, D.

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    1. That's an idea, never thought of fishing gear.

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  16. In the winter, we tend to wear our waterproof trousers (Aldi) directly over our merino longjohns (Aldi) and wear a pair of gaiters (guess where from!) over our trousers - they are much easier to rinse off than the trousers.

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  17. Re Destemona's comment - I've started saving some dance videos for myself from YouTube. There's several different types of dancing that I like personally - so I can use instruction ones for bellydance, Bollywood or bhangra and am hoping I might find some reasonable length ones for line dancing too (I've only found ones that last a few minutes so far...the hunt goes on). If I've got to do exercise as such then I reckon I might as well make it enjoyable and learn a bit about the types of dance I like.

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    1. That's a good idea. I dance around quite a lot, not proper dancing though, just leaping around the room.

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  18. I bet you were straight across the road to Tesco for yellow stickers after the footie, i would have been.
    Snobbery amongst walkers doesn't surprise me, everything is about who has the best gear. Anoyingly they'll get the next latest thing way before the last item is worn out.
    Dave.

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    1. Hiya Dave. Nope, didn't go to Tesco. I was in Janet's car and she wanted to get back home for her dog. I went to Tesco today (Sun)

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  19. I can't wait to hear about your car. How do you manage to pay for a car on a pension?

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    1. Please note that I wasn't being nosy or judgemental or flippant. I truly wanted some knowledge to give myself a big kick in the pants as I am not a disciplined person and need to be. I think what you do is amazingly awesome. I love the photos of your walks. I hope one day to be able to visit Great Britain. The villages are beautiful.

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