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Country Walking?

Discussion in 'CycleChat Cafe' started by GaryA, 29 Nov 2007.

  1. GaryA

    GaryA Subversive Sage

    Location:
    High Shields
    Do many of you do country walking at weekends-or indeed summer nights after work?
    This has been a growing addiction of mine-and the missus for the past 5 years or so...nearly every sat or sun (saturdays are usually quieter) almost exclusively in the North of England.
    Teesdale, Weardale, Northumberland, North York moors and county durham, on the doorstep, jarrod guides highly recommended...we usually do 6 ml minimium up to 9-10 recently, the limiting factor recently being carrying the 'bairn' in the harness.
    In lots of ways it is like going back in a timewarp..you feel a real connection with the past and appreciation of the scale of all those little places on foot
    My definition of a 'real' country walk would be one beyond the hearing range of (poxy) road traffic on paths that even mountain bikes stay clear of..I have found out there are many a small oasis locally where you can get away :biggrin:
     
  2. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Location:
    Thumberland
    Can't get enough of it! Almost as good as cycling!
     
  3. Dayvo

    Dayvo Just passin' through

    I agree. There are plenty of coastal, forested, park and country paths to walk on probaly only minutes from the cith centre. The weather's the biggest turn off at the mo. though, but in the summer, it's marvellous.
     
  4. SamNichols

    SamNichols New Member

    Location:
    Colne, Lancs
    I don't get much of a chance, but I do enjoy it a lot: I love donning my boots, putting my long johns on and stepping out onto the hills. I went to the Lake District last week and covered around 20 miles of some of the best terrain in England. I love the Lakes. It was a somewhat damp weekend, and I was slightly wet for most of it, but still enjoyed it. I prefer more technical walking/scrambling to simple walks though.
     
  5. not as such... but i have Richmond Park, Home Park (it's part of Hampton Court grounds), Bushey Park, the Thames, the Hogsmill Walk (a local green area that is thriving with wildlife) and the Wetlands Centre to go to. i've found them all great for escaping to and especially good when the mood is low and you can't face cycling. being somewhere 'natural' is a good aid for depression and certainly soothes my soul.
     
  6. Fnaar

    Fnaar Smutmaster General

    Location:
    Thumberland
    [pedant mode]I presume you put something over the long johns... [/pedant mode]:biggrin:
     
  7. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    I love walking as well. We live at the foot of the Mendips and we often go to Dartmoor for a weekend. The kids are both of an age now where they can manage longer distances. We are quite into "Letterboxing" when we walk with the kids. It's like old-fashioned Geo-caching. It's a very useful way of keeping the kids interest up though.

    I am constantly amazed though, at how many people we meet who have not the slightest clue as to how to read the map properly and are ill-prepared for weather changes etc. I may be a bit anal about the kit we take, but my 45l rucksack ALWAYS has a 1st Aid Kit, a thermos of hot squash, some food, a 6 man survival shelter, the relevant map, compass, headtorch, waterproofs, water, a small stove, tea-coffee, whitener, a pencil, waterproof notepaper, a knife, gaffa tape and a phone. Come to think of it, maybe I am a bit obssessed as this sits in the car boot all winter:blush: Having said that, I have needed some or all of the contents quite a few times.
     
  8. ColinJ

    ColinJ Hillfinder General

    I do. I'm lucky enough to live in Hebden Bridge which is a small West Yorkshire town in a steep-sided valley so it only takes minutes to walk away from the traffic and up into the hills.

    Hebden Bridge in the Spring

    hebden_bridge_hills.jpg

    The past couple of weeks haven't been very inviting for cycling round here - dull, mild and wet. I don't mind the cold as long as the sun is shining, but when it is wet I prefer to walk. As you can see in the photograph below, the hills tower over the town. That picture was taken about 1/4 of the way up the hill, about a 10 minute stroll from where I live.

    Hebden Bridge in the Winter

    wintertown.jpg

    A lot of my friends don't cycle so I go walking with them. I have other friends who only ride mountain bikes and tend to hit the hill-top bridleways with them at least once a week from spring through to autumn. The rest of my outdoor time is spent on my road bikes. I'm spoilt for choice really. It isn't the place to live if you love museums and nightlife, but if (like me) you love the countryside it is great.

    And now the sun is actually shining (*gasp*), so I'm switching the PC off for a couple of hours and going out on my road bike while it is nice - see you later folks :biggrin:!
     
  9. OP
    OP
    GaryA

    GaryA Subversive Sage

    Location:
    High Shields
    :biggrin:xx( nice

    In your location you maybe you have been to that hidden jem of the high pennines High cup nick colin?
    For those unfamilar this is a spectacular glacial valley in the high pennines-no pictures can do it justice- its like something out of the alps
    One of our longest, toughest walks Appleby-Dufton high-cup and back a few years ago...ahhhhh :biggrin:
     
  10. SamNichols

    SamNichols New Member

    Location:
    Colne, Lancs
    Yes, I put my nice North Face hiking trousers on over them. I waxed my boots after the weekend - my room still smells a bit like paraffin. Nice.
     
  11. SamNichols

    SamNichols New Member

    Location:
    Colne, Lancs
    Do you take the kitchen sink too? I take most of those things, although I definitely don't bother taking the stove with me... I probably would if i were in the alps, but it's not. The flask does me fine, if I bother to take it. I always take food of some sort with me: both lunch and some chocolate for energy levels. Phones are useful, but in the lakes (especially around Langdale) there is no signal. A whistle is a good back up for calling for help.
    Last weekend I saw a guy going out for the walk with his mate. He was covered in expansive technical clothing, put on his 45l with trekking pole attached and strode off. About 5 minutes later he ran back: what could he have forgotten? I laughed quite heartily when I saw him sheepishly re-emerge with his map case. All of those ridiculous extras, and he'd forgotten the most important thing.
    Map reading is a skill that is being lost. I can tell you why: decline in scouts attendance and increasing reliance on gps. I was taught to read a map at somewhere around 7 through cubs. I did it most weekends for around 10 years (cubs, scouts, cadets). This made me fairly proficient (although I'll probably need to relearn using a compass, as I haven't had to do it for a while). Nowadays people have their gps, which looks super but WHAT IF IT FAILS? You're kind of stuck then. A lot of the time, it is when people don't understand the terrain, or the conditions that might be faced, that the mountain rescue is called out. Even a walk up a 2500 footer in the lakes has a good amount of risk: I was nearly stuck at the top of Harrison Stickle on Saturday, as the wind was so strong. We were well prepared if things went wrong, they didn't and we made it back to the Stickle Barn about 10 minutes before dark.
     
  12. Globalti

    Globalti Legendary Member

    I've been dragged up mountains then going willingly since the age of eight. I think I've walked/climbed/scrambled just about everywhere thanks to enthusiastic parents. Nowadays I seldom go because my own son is only just at walking age now and trying to drive anywhere on a Friday evening is a nightmare. So I get my exercise from MTBing our local Lancashire fells, including of course over in W.Yorks around Hebden Bridge, which has some fine walks and rides on old packhorse trails.

    Mountain navigation is all about self-confidence and keeping your wits about you. I also don't own a GPS, I prefer the reliability of maps, especially with the UK being the best mapped country in the world. Navigation is about knowing where you are and having a sense for the geology and resulting topography of the terrain. There are plenty of tricks like aspect of slope and pacing, which can make navigating even with a 1:50,000 map pretty accurate in fog or darkness. I mean accurate to within a few metres, almost as good as a GPS.
     
  13. fossyant

    fossyant Ride It Like You Stole It!

    Location:
    South Manchester
    Not much of a walker I'm afraid - bike, bike or bike for me...find walking too slow, something to do with me never sitting still !!!
     
  14. Maggot

    Maggot Star of BBC 5Lives Ballot Box Brigade

    Location:
    Cheddar
    One of the reasons I take so bloody much is that I am a Walking Group Leader (WGL) and also teach people how to navigate. So when I take out groups I need it all, and I am so much in the habit that it just comes with me all the time. I do agree though, I could probably cut down sometimes, certainly the standard trip up and around the Gorge does not really need the headtorch, stove, tea and coffee, knife, spare waterproofs etc. It also means there would be some space for a confidence rope:biggrin: I'll work on it:blush:
     
  15. longers

    longers Veteran

    Love walking too me. Having a dog helps me get out as there seems more of a purpose to it.

    My Aunt got me started when very little. They live just outside Keswick so we'd get shipped off there for long periods of the summer holidays and I soon realised I enjoyed it.

    I still get out lots. Where I live now is on the very edge of the Peak District so it's all on my doorstep. It doesn't take long to get to designated Open Country where the route choice is down to you and the peat bogs. I started combining walks with Geo-caching and have had some of the best walks since I started this.

    The only problem is that the best days for walking are the best days for cycling.