Each year there is an abundance of charity walks and events that take place up and down the country in hope to raise money and awareness for specific causes, and they are growing in number per annum. A report conducted by JustGiving and ACTIVE Network last year revealed that event fundraising had increased by 8% in 2012 and since 2007 the amount of participants had doubled.
According to the report, the events that raise the most money are treks, triathlons, cycles, parachute events, swims, runs and walks. Some of those activities, such as parachuting or taking part in a triathlon or a cycling event, require a certain skill, fitness or braveness, where as charity walk is something that is more accessible, to most.
Many different charities such as the Rotary Foundation, Cancer Research, Red Cross and the British Heart Foundation, to name just a few, all put on charity walks varying in distances from one mile to twenty six, meaning that people can choose a route that suits them.
The majority of people who participate in charity walks are not experienced walkers and so although walking may not be as challenging or strenuous as cycling or running, it is still important to train prior to the event. The amount of preparation beforehand generally depends on the distance of the walk, for example people who are hoping to take part in a half marathon should begin planning two months or so before the walk, where as people opting for a full marathon should look at beginning training six months before.
Having the correct footwear and clothing is also important. Walking shoes or running trainers are advisable as they offer ventilation, comfort and support, it is also best to bed them in during training sessions so as not to be suffering with blisters around the course. Walkers are also advised to layer up with breathable t-shirts followed by fleeces, hoodies or jackets that are lightweight and easy to tie round the waist or stuff into a backpack.
Walkers should also ensure to keep hydrated throughout, so a large water bottle or even an hydration pack, depending on the length of the walk, is a necessity. It is also advised to drink plenty of water beforehand.
FieldandTrek.com have a vast selection of walking footwear, clothing and accessories, these can be found online at http://www.fieldandtrek.com/walking. Join in on the conversation at www.Facebook.com/FieldandTrekUK or www.Twitter.com/FieldandTrekUK
GPS’s and navigation systems are undoubtedly very useful, not only for everyday life, but also for scientific advancements and tracking. With this in mind there are therefore many reasons why we love GPS’s,
FieldandTrek.com take a look at some of their special features.
With scientists using them to determine the size of an earthquake and biologists using them to track animals through migrations the navigation system has come a long way since it was first used as part of a project of the U.S. military in 1978. Now, they are part of everyday life with people all over the World using them in cars and on foot to help plan and direct their route.
There are a wide range of GPS’s available on the market that all have various qualities and specialist features to help make life easier. An increasing amount of walkers are now using GPS’s, and although some people speculate that this will stop people from learning key compass and map reading skills, when used appropriately they can be very useful and contrary to popular belief, they still require navigation skills.
The Garmin GPSMAP 62s is ideal for serious adventurers. Featuring a durable and waterproof shell, this GPS boasts a 3-axis tilt-compensated compass to ensure precision, coupled with a built-in worldwide basemap with plenty of memory to store 200 maps. This navigation system also benefits from area calculation, sun and moon information, photo navigation and automatic routing.
Suitable for casual walkers and adventurers, the Memory Map Adventurer 2800 comes with a 2GB micro SD card with pre-loaded Ordnance Survey® Land Ranger® maps of selected British National Parks. This GPS also benefits from Memory-Map PC software for route planning and map printing.
Geocaching is the perfect family activity and for families that are new to the new-age treasure hunting then the Garmin eTrex 10 Geocaching Bundle is ideal. The device is waterproof and has a battery life of up to 25hours, coupled with a Worldwide basemap and sensitive GPS receiver with HotFix and GLONASS support. The kit comes with all the necessities to ensure that the geocaching adventure can start straight away.
Recent reports from the Mountaineering Council of Scotland have announced that wearing cotton clothing poses serious risks to suffering from hypothermia when out trekking in the winter. With this in mind, Fieldandtrek.com take a look at what mountaineers, expeditionists and serious walkers should wear during the bitter months.
The main reason why cotton is not a suitable fabric for winter activities is because as soon as it begins to rain, snow or gets a little wet, its insulation properties no longer exist, causing the skin to cool down very quickly. This in turn could cause hypothermia.
When out walking in harsh weather conditions it is vital to be prepared and wear the correct clothing. Many waterproof and breathable items are constructed from modern polymers and laminated with a polymer membrane called polytetrafluorethylene (PTFE) and polyurethane, so always check before purchasing waterproofs that they are constructed with these materials. When it comes to waterproofing and fabric being breathable it is also best to look out for jackets and trousers with eVent® or GORE-TEX® properties as they work to wick away any moisture.
In terms of insulation, microfleeces are much more insulated than a normal fleece, which is crucial when out in the snow or facing tough conditions. Down fabric, whether it’s goose or duck, is also desirable as it aims to retain both warm air and cold to ensure a comfortable temperature.
On a whole, synthetic materials are lightweight, strong and durable which is everything that is required from outdoor clothing. However, nylon is not the best option when it comes to protection in the outdoors. Although it is lightweight, tough and keeps water from seeping through, it also doesn’t allow any moisture to escape. Therefore, any sweat that builds up on the inside will stay there which won’t be very comfortable.
Wearing waterproof, breathable and well insulated clothing may seem like common sense, but sometimes it can be overlooked and wearing the wrong materials could pose serious health risks.
Valentines Day is just around the corner and with shops and online stores bursting with gift ideas, FieldandTrek.com take a look at a more subtle way to share the love this month – a romantic walk.
Many people spend a fortune on presents, cards and going out for meals on Valentines Day, but going for an idyllic walk promises just as much romance as any of the above. Rather than being crammed into a busy restaurant, a peaceful walk somewhere in the dales, for example, offers a more intimate and cherished atmosphere.
Bath is well known for its beauty and iconic history, including the Roman Baths, and offers stunning walks, both planned and unplanned. The Cotswold Way National Trail offers over 100 miles of stunning scenery with journeys through small villages and famous historic sites to choose from.
The Malvern Hills divide the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire and at their high points offer picturesque views for miles. Worcestershire is also home to the UK’s best-known rivers; the Severn and Avon, a gentle stroll along the Severn Valley will see the Holt Castle and Church as well as the beautiful countryside.
A trip to Dorset to walk along Durdle Door or White Nothe will provide an abundance of romance thanks to the coastal views and arches carved by the sea. If the weather is okay then a walk along the beach or through the coves would be a real treat.
For people who love nature as much as they do their partner then the Bodnant Gardens in north Wales is perfect. Owned by the National Trust, the gardens boasts stiles, kissing gates and wooden gates along the path which are perfect for stopping and admiring the views.
North Yorkshire is home to some breath-taking sights, and the Fountains Abbey and Studley Royal offer just that. The Abbey and Water Garden estates boast a tranquil and romantic setting thanks to the ponds, statues and temples as well as the river from the Abbey.
There are many benefits to using walking poles. Walking poles provide better balance, help you establish a rhythm, decrease stress on the legs as well as making difficult walking patches easier and safer.
There are four types of walking poles. Anti-shock walking poles feature internal springs to absorb walking shock. Standard poles are simple poles that are cheaper and lighter. Compact poles can be used by children as they are shorter and have smaller grips. The compact poles can also be packed easier. Nordic poles are used for full body workout walking.
There are two main types of material used to make walking poles, these are aluminium and carbon fibre. Aluminium walking poles are generally stronger and more economical, but they are heavier. Carbon fibre walking poles are lighter and more expensive. However, they can break and splinter due to stress.
It’s important that you are able to change the poles to fit your height and the terrain. In order to change the height of the poles, you need to use the locking systems. The two main types of locking mechanisms are screw and lever locks. The screw locks work by twisting the pole to tighten the adjuster. The lever locks have small levers that clamp against the poles.
With three types of grips, there are different shapes and feels of pole grips to suit you. There are cork, foam and rubber pole grips available. Rubber grips insulate from cold, shock and vibrations during cold-weather activities, however they can cause chaffing and blistering if you are walking in warm weather. Foam grips absorbs moisture. The cork grips resist moisture, decreases vibration and conforms to your grip.
Other features to consider when choosing a walking, hiking or trekking pole is the price, wrist straps, baskets and pole tips.
You can see and hear wonderful things while you are walking in Britain, but the top worldwide walking trips will give you a new perspective on the country you are walking in and the world. Check out the world’s top walking trips by FieldandTrek.com.
Great Wall of China (China): Stretching 2700 miles, the Great Wall of China was built over 2000 years ago to protect China’s northern border. The walk is a five day trek covering approximately 12 km a day through mountains and valleys.
Pembrokeshire Coat Path (Wales): This 180 mile trail that runs along the Pembrokeshire coastline passes by beautiful beaches and cliffs.
Everest Base Camp (Nepal): This world renowned expedition takes hikers through Sherpa land to meet the world’s highest mountain at Kala Pattar at the height of 5,545m.
Cinque Terre (Italy): Ideal for the person who loves to eat during a walking trip, the Cinque Terre goes through five of Italy’s coastal cities, sandy beaches and dirt paths.
GR20 (Corsica): The GR20 is a 15 day trek through the diverse landscapes of Corsica. The trail is a tough one with rocky paths, steep trails and rickety bridges.
The Narrows (USA): The 16 mile trek in the Narrows of the Zion National Park is a day to two day journey through canyons. The walk involves wading and swimming in the Virgin River.
FieldandTrek.com, the UK retailer has men’s walking boots, women’s walking boots, men’s walking clothing, women’s walking clothing and walking accessories. Log on to our Facebook and Twitter pages for the latest news and offers.
· Walking is an ideal form of cardio-vascular exercise for pregnant women. You can get fresh air and keep yourself fit. Exercise during pregnancy can also result in fewer pregnancy complaints and less weight gain.
· During pregnancy, feet and ankles can swell which means you may need to get bigger walking shoe sizes so the walking shoes can provide support to the arches of the feet and ankles. The hormones during pregnancy can cause a relaxing in ligaments which can result in foot strain, you should consult a doctor should this occur.
· If you exercised before you were pregnant, you can do moderate exercise for a maximum of 30 minutes four times a week, according to the NHS. However, if you weren’t active before the pregnancy, the NHS advises to do light exercise for 15 minutes three times a week.
· Due to the pregnancy, your centre of gravity has shifted, therefore walk slowly to begin with.
· Ensure you have good posture to prevent backache while you walk by standing straight, keeping your eyes forward, suck in your stomach and keeping your chin parallel to the ground.
· The main risk with hiking or walking comes from falls. Beginner trails are ideal for experienced hikers in early pregnancy. Local parks also have walking trails.
· You should stop walking if you experience dizziness, headaches, shortness of breath, pain or bleeding.
· It is very important to never push your body to the point of exhaustion. If you start to feel tired, stop walking.
· Remember that weather can affect pregnant mothers more so ensure you are dressed appropriately for the weather. If the weather is too warm or too cold, consider going to a shopping centre to walk around.
· To avoid the altitude sickness, a pregnant mother should not walk at heights over 2,500m above sea level until you have become acclimatised.
· It is important during exercise that a pregnant mother stays hydrated.
· If there are pregnancy complications ranging from high blood pressure to preterm labour, you shouldn’t go walking.
Walking can be an enjoyable experience. It is a great for social activity and can also reduce health risks. However, sometimes injuries can prevent you from going on a gratifying hike. Ensure you prevent walking injuries with the FieldandTrek.com’s tips on how to avoid injuries.
Choose the right walking boots or shoes for you: Walking requires relatively little equipment; therefore you should invest in a good pair of walking boots. When choosing your walking shoes, remember the shoes need to be lightweight with good arch and ankle support. If you enjoy longer walks, you should buy shoes a size larger than your feet to prevent blisters if your feet swell. Thick socks are useful to prevent blisters and absorb dampness. The best selling walking boots on FieldandTrek.com are Brasher SupaLite II GORE-Tex GTX walking boots which offer waterproofing, ventilation, cushioned EVA midsoles and a gripped Supalite soles.
Stay hydrated: You need to drink water before, during and after activity to keep hydrated. Water keeps you hydrated, helps to lubricate joints and prevents injury.
Warm up and cool down: Warm ups and cool downs are important to prevent strains and sprains. You should ensure you start walking at a slow pace, complete some stretches and then build up to full speed after 15 minutes.
Have good posture: It is important when walking that you walk heel to toe, you have your tailbone tucked under and your abdomen is tight to maintain good posture while you are walking. This will reduce the impact on your body preventing injury. Walking poles can be used to ensure you keep good posture throughout the walk.
Invigorate or refresh yourself with a short or long walk in the beautiful rolling hills or striking mountains. The easiest and best way to enjoy the outdoors is to go for a walk. Check out the walking for beginner tips from FieldandTrek.com.
· Walk in pairs or more: Important for safety, if you are walking you need to walk in pairs or more. It is best to walk with an advanced walker if you are a beginner.
· Plan your walk: Plan your walk beforehand so you know which track you are following.
· Pack and carry all the essential supplies: Walkers should always carry a map, a compass, a watch, sunglasses/ sunscreen, a rucksack, first aid kit, fire starter, walking poles, knife and a headlamp or torch.
· Walking clothing: Keep warm and dry while walking with base layers, fleeces, jackets, trousers and walking boots.
· Start walking slowly and easily: Try walking easy routes first to get yourself in to the rhythm. The easiest routes are flat and straight. As you build up your strength and cardiovascular health, you will gradually get more efficient and quicker at walking.
· Weather: Keep an eye on the weather before, during and after walking trips so that you can anticipate and be prepared for wind, rain, ice, snow and the sun. For colder weather, you should add extra layers to stay warm and vice versa.
Choosing the right GPS walking system for you is an important decision. There are many options to consider from screen size to the mapping capabilities. Take a look at our GPS system tips from FieldandTrek.com.
Specific mapping: The GPS systems on FieldandTrek.com all have maps to cover Britain. Additional maps can be added depending on the GPS device capabilities. The Garmin eTrex 10 geocaching bundle comes with preinstalled worldwide base maps.
Features: FieldandTrek.com has GPS systems packed full of features. Whether you need tide tables or simply an electronic compass, there is a GPS device to suit you. A key feature for any walker or hiker wishing to buy a GPS system is that it is waterproof.
Updating: An important component of the GPS system is the updating capabilities. If the GPS system does not offer updating, the GPS will quickly become out of date.
Cost: As with other technical systems, the cost of the GPS devices can differ from only £109.99 to £400. As the price of the system increases there are generally more features included on the system.
Size: Ranging from 5.4 x H10.3 x D3.3cm to 6.1 x 16.0 x 3.6 cm, the GPS systems range in size. This means that a customer needs to know what sizes they need. A good idea is to see the sizes in relation to a backpack or your hand as you will be carrying the GPS around most of the time. You may not be happy carrying a large GPS device around on top of all the other equipment so try to take that in to account.
Screen size: The larger the screen, the easier you can see where you are and where you have been. However, please remember that the screen size affects the size of the device.
Battery and recharge capabilities: GPS devices have different power features. The Garmin GPS systems are generally powered by batteries, whereas the Memory Map Adventurer 2800 GPS has a rechargeable battery built in. The battery life can last from only 8 hours such as the Memory Map Adventurer 2800 GPS to 25 hours such as the Garmin eTrex 10 Geocaching bundle.