Friday, 26 March 2010
Brecon Beacons - One of the UK's most recognisable hiking mountains and great for both beginners and seasoned hikers. Combined with the Black Mountains, the Brecon Beacons offers hiking routes of all intensities and a day spent traversing these hills is sure to be a memorable one.
Snowdon - As hiking mountains in the UK go, few can compare with Snowdon. Wales' highest peak and in terms of grandiosity and exciting trails, few can compare. As with all hikes, it is important to get the right sort of equipment prior to setting out - such as hiking boots and camping apparatus if required.
Ogwen Valley - Another of Wales' premier hiking mountains and one that is immensely popular throughout the year. With spectacular views and trails of differing levels of difficulty, it is one which any hiker will consider themselves privileged to walk.
It goes without saying that hiking is an extremely invigorating experience and we all love the feeling of roaming through the countryside and over the many fantastic hiking mountain trails that the UK has to offer. It is a good idea to be prepared for any eventualities which may arise from hiking on lofty peaks - and this invariably means purchasing the right sort of hiking gear. Footwear is, of course, one of the main considerations for most - and one of the most commonly chosen forms is that of the Hi-Tec Rainier Event hiking boots.
Fun to be had Hiking Mountains
Hiking is a pastime on the increase amongst Brits and something which is partly responsible for this is the improvements which have made to the quality of hiking gear over the last few years. Such is the excellence of the equipment used nowadays; hiking is more rewarding and safe than ever before.
With summer just a few short months away, the thoughts of hikers invariably turn to which trails they will tackle from May to August. Hiking mountains and trails are to be found from the uppermost reaches of Scotland to deepest, darkest Wales and tackling these walks is likely to be an extremely popular pursuit over the next few months.
Product Link: Hi-Tec Rainier Event
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Going hiking at night may sound like madness but night hiking is an activity which is blossoming in popularity all the time. And for good reason. Hitting the hiking trails during the day is all well and good but many are now seeking the additional exhilaration of pounding woodland trails during the dead of night. This pursuit is obviously something which needs to be pre-planned and carefully executed but, with the right hiking gear, night hiking can be one of the most enjoyable walking pursuits out there.
Hitting hiking trails under the cover of darkness is something which is not for the faint-hearted but it really will open your eyes - so to speak. Having the right equipment is crucial for any type of hike but it is obviously of heightened importance when undertaking night hiking. All sorts of new sights and sounds are likely to reveal themselves during night hiking activities which won't typically be witnessed during the day. For example, nocturnal animals will be heard, if perhaps not seen, and most night time hikers find that their senses are improved due to a reduction in visibility.
It goes without saying that hiking equipment should be sorted before night hiking and gear like hiking boots and sticks are a must. As a result of the reduced levels of visibility when hiking at night, there are a few pieces of apparatus which you can't really do without which includes:
· GPS - Whilst global positioning systems may seem to fly in the face of the ideals of hiking, they really are a good idea for night hiking because it is much more likely you will lose your bearings when visual landmarks can't be used.
· Flashlight - An obvious thing, really - as it’s dark' you will need some form of artificial lighting. A resilient flashlight is an absolute must and you should carry spare batteries in case they run out at any point.
· First aid kit - It's clear that small injuries could be more likely to occur if you cannot see the path as clearly - but this is part of the fun of night hiking. A first aid kit should be carried to deal with any minor cuts and scrapes which occur.
Generally speaking, the one thing to get right when it comes to night hiking is the footwear that you choose because, without comfort, no hiking is enjoyable, night time or otherwise. An extremely popular variety of hiking boot amongst hikers of all capabilities is the V-Lite Mach 3 Wpi
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Before you embark on your first hike, it's vital to have the right equipment. Experienced hikers often claim that (accident or injury aside) nothing can ruin a hike like a bad pair of boots. The boots are there to support your feet and ankles during the hike, allowing you to get good traction on rocks and uneven ground without compromising on comfort. Our Light Hiking boot, the Altitude IVWP, is perfect for getting started: it has a fully gusseted tongue which means it'll keep gravel and other debris out and it boasts a waterproof leather upper. Even better it combines comfort from the soft leather colour and contoured lining with durability from the carbon rubber outsole.
Once you've got the right boots, make sure the rest of your clothing is up to the challenge. Even hiking for beginners calls for a little specialist equipment. Be sure you dress appropriately for the weather, but take into account the potential for sudden changes later on and always be prepared for the worst. We'd recommend a good few layers, which can easily be removed should you get hot and a waterproof outer layer.
Kit yourself out with a good backpack which is comfortable to carry and big enough to hold the essentials. Pack more water and snacks than you think you'll need in case you find yourself in an emergency, take a first aid kit and a map, torch and compass. You might think hiking for beginners wouldn't warrant so much kit, but it's all too easy to stray from paths and quickly find yourself lost.
Once you've got the kit sorted you just need to learn a few basic safety rules. In all honesty they're common sense but they warrant a mention. Don't ever hike alone; take someone with you, preferably a whole group of people, or join a hike lead by an experienced hiker. Take your mobile phone with you and make sure somebody at home knows where you're going and what time you expect to be back. Start short and easy and build yourself up to more adventurous hikes over time.
You can find more useful hiking for beginners advice here
Monday, 15 March 2010
Here at Hi-Tec we are always on the look out for people to test out our shoes in the most extreme of environments and we recently came across Liam Lonsdale, the manager of the Tog24 store in Kendal, who is a real outdoor enthusiast.
Liam recently embarked on a climbing trip to the world famous El Chorro Gorge, Andalucia, Spain, where he put our V-Lite Hornet Hpi shoes through their paces.
To read how he got on, check out his blog HERE
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Whilst it would be fair to say that most people will think of forests and hills when the word "hiking" is mentioned, this may not be the case for much longer as a new form of the pursuit grows in popularity - namely, urban hiking.
Hiking adventures are becoming much more diverse as urban landscapes increasingly come to the fore and people hit the pavement instead of going off the beaten trail. Built up cities may not seem like the best of places to explore but, as urban hikers will testify, cities have plenty of undiscovered sights to enjoy.
Urban Hiking Offers a New Perspective
It goes without saying that urban hiking will offer a completely different experience to more conventional forms of the activity and many have already fallen in love with the merits of urban hiking. It offers a much more stop-start walk as you will be negotiating elements that don't typically crop up in the backwoods - such as traffic lights and slow moving pedestrians!
For anyone wanting to experience the delights of walking around the towns and cities of the world, it makes sense to have a comfortable pair of hiking shoes - such as the Hi-Tec V-Lite Fasthike II low .
Take in the Sights
Comfort is crucial regardless of whether you are tackling fallen trees or smoothly laid pavements and your choice of footwear will need to be a primary consideration when heading out on an urban hike. The idea behind urban hiking is essentially to see the city in which you live from a new perspective - instead of from behind the wheel of your car. Just some of the features that an
urban hike may unexpectedly reveal include:
- Small parks or open spaces inaccessible by car
- Winding, narrow backstreets
- Statues or monuments that may have passed you by
Importance of Being Spontaneous
As with more traditional rural hiking endeavours, urban expeditions should be open to spontaneity and being prepared for unexpected circumstances - after all, that's part of the fun of hiking in the first place. Most people who set out on an urban hike will take a camera with them as it can be quite astounding just how different your city looks when you get closer to the action and negotiate it on foot.
If you are urban hiking in a city that you know well, then it may be fair to assume that you don't require any form of hiking map. In cities which are less well known to the hiker, it makes sense to familiarise oneself with the city beforehand - just to get a feel for it and make sure that you fit in all the areas which you wish to see.
Thursday, 4 March 2010
The number of people that go out hiking and get lost is steadily rising. People are seeking out the latest hiking routes and sometimes these can be quite obscure, so the importance of taking a hike map with you is ever present. Getting lost in the hiking wilderness doesn't sound like our idea of fun, and we're pretty sure it isn't going to be yours either.
Hike maps are a great way to keep track of where you're heading and give you some idea of how long your route might take. To those hiking wanderers that are confident enough to set off without a hike map, we recommend you heed some advice - hiking can go wrong! You can set off with confident intentions of getting to the right place at the right time and enjoying a fulfilling hiking experience, maybe even a pub lunch, but things don't always turn out this way. For one reason or another, you end up getting lost and your hiking dream turns into a hiking nightmare. That's why a hike map is so important, and those with hiking expertise and an understanding of how the journey might turn out, realise that a hike map is essential.
Of course, the most important thing when you go hiking is to have fun, and a hike map can give you that extra reassurance that you know where you're going. Some think they can set off on a hiking trip around the area they feel they know so well, but the reality is often much different. Things change and doing your hike at different times of the year can also have an effect. You might know the area when the nights stay light, but in winter months when they draw in, knowing where you're going in the dark can be a daunting prospect for some. A hike map won't let you down, and don't forget a torch too!