For the last 8 years I have been a fair weather walker. Not just to avoid the cold and rain but also because I like to enjoy the countryside by having a picnic during the walk.
From the beginning of this year, in preparation for a long walk planned for the summer, I have been walking irrespective of the weather conditions. Sometimes this has been unpleasant.
When the sun is out and it’s dry and crisp it is a joy,
but when it is dark and damp it can be a slog.
Irrespective of the weather, paths are now waterlogged and I have had to wade through up to 5 inches of mud and water. This has made me change my kit; I have returned to using leather walking boots rather than fabric shoes (even though these are Gortex lined) and invested in gaiters and trekking poles.
I must be slow on the uptake as poles make walking so much more efficient and are essential when the ground is slippery.
As well as cutting down on the post walk laundry, gaiters are definitely a good idea when entering the pub for a mid-walk break. I have always put on decorator’s overshoes when stopping for lunch but with mud up to my knees I was still dropping dirt throughout the pub. Being able to take the gaiters off means I can enter without looking like I have come from a mud wrestling competition.