Tuesday, May 10, 2005

These boots are made for walking

Photo: trekking boots

In training

I'm heading off to Nepal for a trekking trip with my friend Chris in October. In preparation for the trip, we've taking up bushwalking. This will give us the opportunity to try out the gear that we'll be taking - boots especially - and improve our fitness as well.

I've been wanting to get into bushwalking for ages now, but lacked the motivation. Planning the trip to Nepal has given me the focus (or the fear, perhaps) I needed to get moving. I didn't know anything at all about bushwalking, so the list below are some of the things I've found useful for making a start.

Bushwalking basics

  • Don't rush out and buy a whole lot of gear. Borrow things to try out first if you can. Hiking gear isn't cheap (and the cheap stuff probably isn't worth buying), so you want to make sure you're buying the things you really need.
  • Get good boots before going on a long walk. Don't walk on difficult terrain or in the wet without decent hiking boots.
  • Don't be stingy when it comes to buying boots. I spent almost $AU400 on a pair of gore-tex lined full leather italian boots (La Sportiva's "Tibet", pictured above) and they've turned out to be fantastic.
  • Start off with easy-to-navigate walks. Learn how to use maps. Don't try a difficult walk without the assistance of an experienced walker. Join a club if you can't find anyone experienced to walk with.
  • Look out for decent walking books. Two I'd recommend (if you live in Melbourne) are Day Walks Melbourne and Day Walks Victoria