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Getting started

Posted 12 June 2012
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Many people looking for walking gear will be experienced at heading out into the wilds; people who have spent years regularly walking in the woods, climbing hills and scrambling up mountain peaks.

For such individuals, buying gear will often simply be a case of replacing worn out old clothes, boots or equipment. Anything new might simply be the next step in adventure, such as purchasing crampons and an ice axe for some winter mountaineering.

Others, however, may benefit from plenty of advice on getting started. After all, there can be nothing worse than getting the desire to explore the countryside, only to have the enjoyment ruined by a day out that ends miserably when it rains and cold, soaked jeans stick to the skin while wet socks rub against feet and cause blisters.

A spokesman for outdoor gear maker Regatta advised that having "good basics" is the first thing those taking up hill walking need.

He said: "You would need a good waterproof and breathable jacket, waterproof and breathable boots or shoes and a warm midlayer - either fleece or softshell."

The spokesman added: "A decent rucksack is always worth investing in - around 25 litres for a day pack, 35 litres for a weekend camping."

The value of rucksacks should not be underestimated come rain or shine. In summer, for instance, changing weather and varied altitudes can mean at various times the rucksack may be used to store extra clothes when warm and then store them for when they are needed on a windy hilltop - not to mention the importance of having waterproofs for when the rain suddenly arrives.

And for those prone to sweating in the heat, a dry shirt to change into can prevent people getting cold later in the day.

Regatta is one of many suppliers whose goods are sold at Go Outdoors, including fleeces, walking boots and waterproofs.

New walkers should also remember to take Ordnance Survey maps of the area they are walking in and learn how to use them, particularly when they are unfamiliar with the location they are exploring.
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