Friday 18 February 2011

Rambler's Holidays - A Life Less Ordinary

People are increasingly demanding more from their holidays and package holidays on the beach no longer cut the mustard. More and more people are opting for rambler's holidays as the pursuit of hiking and rambling grows more popular by the day. Obviously, rambler's holidays aren't something that you will book on a whim and you will want to ensure you have the right hiking equipment, such as boots and navigational tools, before booking any sort of rambling excursion.

Rambler's holidays can be booked in the UK in places like the Lake District, Snowdonia and various other locations and there are also so many great places throughout the world to enjoy hiking holidays. France, Switzerland, USA and South America all have must see destinations for ramblers and hikers alike but it is obviously crucial to have the right hiking equipment for the sort of terrains that you will be pitting your wits against.

Have you got the Right Hiking Boots for a Rambler’s Holiday?
It is important to realise that many rambler's holidays aren't for the feint-hearted and you will need to make sure you pack a good level of fitness and the right hiking equipment in your suitcase before you set off. Hiking footwear is the most important piece of the puzzle to get right because how enjoyable your rambling will be is largely dictated by how comfortable you are - and hiking boots are the main catalyst to achieving comfort.

A hiking holiday won't be the right choice for everyone but if you have a sense of adventure and enjoy the great outdoors then it might just be the perfect fit for you. Hiking trails will vary dramatically in just how difficult and remote they are and you shouldn't try to bite off more than you can chew if you are new to the world of rambling or hiking. Once you have the right hiking apparatus, you can build up your experience by going on rambler's holidays each year.

Rambler's holidays can be found all over the globe and once you've tackled one, chances are there won't be a hiking trail out there that you won't want to tackle. Regardless of what sort of rambling terrains you are going up against, it is important to respect the environment and ensure that you are properly prepared with all the right hiking boots, kit and apparatus. Hi-Tec hiking boots are firmly established as one of the most sought after and durable forms of footwear on the market today.

Friday 11 February 2011

Children's Hiking Boots - The Kids are Alright

Hiking is a pursuit to be enjoyed by people of all ages but children are beginning to take part in this invigorating activity in ever increasing numbers - and it is crucial that you find the right children's hiking boots for them. Comfort is paramount when hiking trails of any kind - be they mountain, woodland or countryside - and hiking boots are the most important piece of equipment when it comes to ensuring a comfortable walk.

Children's hiking boots are an important consideration for families that are heading on European or UK hiking trips and you should check with your children to see which style or hiking footwear they would prefer - because, safe to say, there are plenty of different styles to choose from. Hiking equipment really does make the trip because, without the right equipment, it won't be as enjoyable, so carefully choosing children's hiking boots will make sure they are happy from the moment the sun rises until you set up camp for the night.

What to Look for in Children's Hiking Boots 
There are many different features that will be important when it comes to choosing children's hiking boots. For the children themselves, the way that the footwear actually looks is likely to be the most important thing but for parents, and their practical way of thinking, comfort has to take priority over visual appeal.

Fortunately, however, it is possible to find children's hiking boots that have both style and comfort in abundance and the technology behind both children's and adult hiking footwear is improving all of the time. Needless to say, you will want to make sure that you have all the necessary hiking gear for a trip in the UK or overseas and a great place to find all of your hiking equipment is online.

If you're looking for an affordable pair of children's hiking boots, it is a good idea to consider leading brands like Hi-Tec because you know that you'll be getting the very best in quality and design for a price that doesn't break the bank.

Friday 4 February 2011

What sort of Hiking Trail is Right for you?

Obviously, people will have different ideas as to what type of hiking trail they wish to tackle but, as luck would have it, there are plenty of different hiking terrains to be negotiated all over the world. People fall in love with hiking from the first time they try it but it is imperative to have all the right hiking equipment if you are to really make the most of this immensely enjoyable pastime.

There are many different ways to enjoy hiking trails but many people like to turn a good hike into a camping trip and will stay for a few nights under the stars. When searching for the right equipment for tackling a hiking trail, it is a good idea to head online because this is where you will be able to find all the stuff you need - from hiking boots to camping equipment.

Gentle Stroll or Epic Slog - A Breakdown of the Hiking Trail
Choosing the hiking trail that you are going to tackle will be the first and one of the most enjoyable elements of planning a hiking holiday. Whether you are looking to tackle hiking trails in the UK like those in Wales and the Highlands or want to go a bit further afield in Europe or USA, you should look to ensure that you have the very best hiking equipment - such as footwear, GPS, maps and other essentials.

The intensity of hiking trails can vary dramatically so it really is wise to do a little research beforehand to make sure that you’re not tackling an Everest style ascent when you were after a gentle stroll! A hiking trail can take many different forms and you could be tackling woodland terrain one minute and rocky paths the next - so it is very important to have footwear that fits the bill in terms of durability and comfort.

Once you have picked the hiking trail, you can plan when you're going to tackle it and the sort of hiking gear that will be suitable for the trip. There are all sorts of hiking boots available to choose from and Hi-Tec are unquestionably one of the leading names in supplier the sort of hiking footwear that makes for a comfortable and enjoyable hike.

Friday 28 January 2011

Why do my legs and feet hurt after walking?

You know the feeling; you've just finished ten miles walking across gruelling but breathtaking countryside and you're feeling rather pleased with yourself after having conquered that seemingly never-ending summit and finally having arrived safely back at your base-camp. Perhaps you may be sat with a sandwich and a well earned glass of beer in front of a traditional country pub's log fire, exchanging stories with locals and fellow walkers. And then, once the adrenalin wears off and you get your breath back, you begin to ask yourself the question: why do my legs and feet hurt after walking.

The initial euphoria of your hiking success dissipates as you begin to feel the inevitable aches and tightening sensations on your leg muscles. They begin to realise that you're no longer giving them the strenuous work-out you had been doing and start to contract quickly.

As the muscles relax and contract, often the build up of lactic acid that is formed when heavy exercise is undertaken, can lead to cramps, especially in those whose muscles become fatigued more quickly.

Feet can also hurt after walking because of several factors including cramp. However, one of the most common ways that feet hurt after walking is down to the dreaded blister - the walker's curse. Blisters form where there is additional friction on the skin which has been caused by repeated motion and sometimes exacerbated by ill-fitting socks and walking shoes. Blisters are actually nature's way of protecting the area that has been damaged, by providing a last ditch attempt at providing a 'pillow' of fluid beneath the skin to protect the body underneath it. However, they can be very painful if, after they've formed the person needs to continue walking and worst of all if the blister bursts.

When a blister bursts (this can be because the blister's owner has deliberately burst it or because continuous wear from further walking friction has caused it) the protective bubble disappears, and whilst blisters can be uncomfortable by making walking or wearing footwear more difficult, bursting them is many times more painful and can lead to the area becoming infected.

So, the question 'why do my legs and feet hurt after walking' could be due to these two most common reasons. However, with a little rest and some proper warming-down exercises, cramp can be avoided to some extent and if they do appear, they can pass relatively quickly. Rest and a good hot shower will often be all a walker needs to help warm up the muscles, prevent cramps and give those blisters a break by taking the weight of their legs.

Tuesday 18 January 2011

Hiking Food - What Should You Take On Your Trip?

Before setting off on your hiking adventure, it is important that you prepare yourself for the journey ahead. That means wearing the right clothes and taking the right food. Your choice of hiking food can greatly affect your stamina and overall enjoyment of the hiking trip, so the key is to plan (and purchase) your food well in advance.

So what sort of hiking food should you take? The main thing to bear in mind is that hiking consumes calories, so you need food that will replenish your body with the calories you need to then burn them off during the trip. A common mistake is for people to think that 'junk foods' constitute as high calorie foods that are perfect for a hiking trip. Wrong! What you actually need are foods that will give you energy, not make you feel lethargic after eating them.

The best tip we can give you is to make sure you eat a healthy breakfast before setting off on your hiking trip. Porridge and rich oaty foods are ideal, and steer clear of the ever-so-tempting full English breakfast that will just laden your body up with unnecessary fats and disrupt your body's healthy start to the day. Choose foods that will release energy gradually throughout the day.

A lot of people choose fruit to take on their hiking trip. It is actually advisable to eat fruit as one of the first things in the morning, as it takes much longer to digest than other foods and should effectively be the first thing you eat so it has time to digest properly. Of course, taking bananas with you on a hiking trip is always a good idea as they give the body energy.

For longer trips, you need a different type of hiking food. This is where carbohydrates play an important part in your diet and you will need to be packing a bag full of things like pasta and meats, as the protein is also an essential.

Getting the right clothing and footwear is one thing, but your choice of hiking food is crucial if you are planning a hiking trip.

Tuesday 11 January 2011

Trail Running - Special Shoes for a Special Sport

Trail running is becoming a big mainstream outdoors activity which is attracting many new followers and participants who are keen to embrace the outdoors and get fit at the same time. And, unlike some other sports and outdoor activities, there is little financial outlay for those who want to get started when compared with other outdoor pursuits such as mountain biking. Except for a special pair of trail running shoes, there really is little else to buy.

Much of the equipment required for outdoor trail running can be assembled from the collection of items that most outdoor lovers will have in their possession already. These will include such things as special water-bottles or water-pouches that can be carried like a rucksack and connected with a straw. Other items include insect repellent, sunglasses and sun-block.

Of course, if you were doing this on foot, many would recommend taking along the 'ten essentials' for those exploring trails that are off the beaten track. However, a little common sense clearly goes a long way here. Without the necessary map and compass for example in high mountainous regions of the Scottish highlands, a trail runner could easily find themselves lost- but no-one is suggesting that trail running should be attempted in deep fog with poor weather conditions. In fact, trail running is just that - running a trail which by its very nature is usually well worn and well known.

Trail running shoes however are an essential item that all trail runners should use. They are constructed with a sole that is lower to the ground than ordinary running shoes to enable better balance over more uneven terrain. The soles are also fitted with special grips, to ensure maximum friction with the ground. Unlike road running shoes, trail running shoes are used over ground that is generally softer than roads, pavements or other hardcore running surfaces. This softer ground more than compensates for the 'lower to ground' design of a quality trail running shoe.

Trail running is an exhilarating activity that can increase fitness levels whilst offering the chance to enjoy the beauty of the countryside away from the beaten track.

We have some very exciting news regarding our new breed of Trail Running Shoes, V-Lite Infinity, so keep an eye on our website and social networks next week for an update!

Sunday 26 December 2010

How and Where to Walk Off Your Christmas Dinner Calories

According to the latest studies, the average Brit will eat and drink food totalling more than 4,000 calories this Christmas Day, with at least 1,000 of them coming from the traditional turkey dinner. So, there's more incentive than ever to get out into the great British countryside for a walk with loved ones after your festive dinner. However, if the scary calorie consumption statistics aren't enough to get you moving, then the beautiful Great British countryside at its wintry best ought to do the trick.

With that in mind, we've been kind enough to list the calorific content of your Christmas dinner below. But, fear not! We've also shared with you some of the most breathtaking walks around the UK so you can walk off the tasty treats. So, see you out and about sometime after the Queen's speech?

The average Christmas dinner... 
1 x portion of roast turkey = 149 calories

1 x portion of roast potatoes = 127 calories

1 x portion of stuffing = 231 calories

1 x portion of roast parsnips = 102 calories

1 x portion of boiled carrots = 14 calories

1 x portion of boiled sprouts = 32 calories

1 x serving of gravy = 17 calories

1 x serving of cranberry sauce = 45 calories

1 x serving of bread sauce = 42 calories

2 x pigs in blankets = 394 calories

1 x slice of Christmas cake = 249 calories

1 x portion of cheese and biscuits = 394 calories

1 x portion of Christmas pudding, custard and brandy butter = 587 calories

= a whopping 2383 calories!

So, get your walking boots on and get out and about on Christmas day. Here are our festive favourites around the UK.

Northern Ireland’s best...
Castle Ward, Strangford Lough

Overlooking the south shores of Strangford Lough, Castle Ward is one of Northern Ireland's finest demesnes or country estates. At its heart lies an unusual Georgian mansion, but there is a lot more to discover here... This walk explores the waterside, a ruined castle, woodland, an ornamental lake and follies. Visit in winter for a chance to see a fantastic range of migrating birds and the resident seals.

The walk is 2.5 miles long, and walked at average speed (about 2mph), could see you burn about 300 calories - you may want to go round the estate twice, or walk more briskly to really make a dent in your Christmas calories!

Wales' best... 
Rhossili Bay, South Wales

Take in the tremendous coastal views from Rhossili Down before descending to Rhossili Bay, considered one of the finest sandy beaches in the UK. At the southern end of the bay, when the tide is low, a finger of limestone rock leads to Worms Head where seabirds and seals can be seen- a real Christmas treat!

The walk is 5 miles long and will burn about 500 calories when walked at an average pace - although walking barefoot on the sand (if the snow's cleared!) or up a hill or two will burn plenty more.

The best of the North... 
Alderley Edge, Cheshire

This beautiful woodland walk begins at Alderley Edge railway station and is just 12 miles south of Manchester. Set around a dramatic sandstone escarpment in rolling Cheshire farmland and mature Scots pines and beech woodlands, the Edge has spectacular views, intriguing legends and an ancient history of copper mining which dates back 4,000 years to the Bronze Age!

The walk is 4.5 miles long so you're likely to burn just under 500 calories; the equivalent of two slices of Christmas cake.

The best of the South... 
Staple Plain, Somerset

Wander down through broadleaf woodland, into a bracken filled combe and up to the top of Beacon Hill to savour fantastic panoramic views across the Quantock Hills and beyond. Continue through lowland heathland, listening and looking out for red deer, skylark and Dartford warbler in this wildlife-rich environment.

The walk is 2 miles long so you'll burn about 200 calories. If you want to work harder, take the dog- he or she will encourage you to get moving!

The Midlands’ best... 
Calke Park and Abbey, Derby

As well as a grand Baroque mansion with a large natural history collection, Calke has secret walled gardens and 600 acres of parkland, much of which is a National Nature Reserve. The park is a rich and varied landscape of grassland, ponds and wood pasture - one of the rarest habitats in Europe. You'll also find majestic veteran trees and some great 'bug' - watching sites. There are no public roads at Calke so it is perfect for a peaceful walk.

The walk is 1.5 miles long so you’ll probably burn about 200 calories. However, the sights are so pretty that you may well end up strolling round more than once and, given that there are no public roads, you could add to the distance by walking to Calke to start with.