Kit

Long walks checklist

The weather’s gorgeous, you’re feeling fit (thank you Nordic walking), and you fancy a lovely day’s walking with friends.  But how to prepare and what to take?  Here’s your handy checklist.

Clothing
Shorts might seem like a good idea on a hot day but brambles and nettles etc have grown over most paths by mid-summer, so light weight walking trousers or leggings are a better choice if you don’t want your legs shredded or stung.  It also cuts your chances of ticks latching on.

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Top 5 questions on Nordic walking poles

As someone who has run a Nordic walking business for nearly ten years I am understandably asked lots of questions about Nordic walking poles. 

Whilst there are many Nordic walking pole manufacturers Europe-wide, in the UK the choice is still fairly limited.  Leki and Exel are the biggest selling brands followed by Gabel and Fizan, the latter two offering slightly cheaper options. 

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Three of the best apps for Nordic walking

Last week I wrote about fitness benchmarking and the satisfaction derived from being able to walk longer/faster/hillier as your walking fitness increases.  Lots of you have fitbits, apple watches, garmins and the such like which record steps, miles, pace, heart rate, route etc.  These are a great and I certainly have a couple of them.  But did you know that there are also some fantastic apps you can use with your smart phone which are easy to download, often free, and don’t require any fancy watches to activate.  Here are three of the best:

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Nordic Walking pole maintenance – answers to common questions

For some reason, January is always the time of year I think about giving my Nordic walking poles an MOT.  Whilst they’re pretty low maintenance, it’s worth checking over the straps and paws every now and then.  So here’s some tips on pole care and what to do if things go wrong.

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Which Nordic walking pole?

So you’ve discovered Nordic walking and want to buy your own poles?  Congratulations.  Having your own poles is liberating.  You can go out any time you want using a pole that is suited to your needs and a strap that fits your hand properly.  There’s also much more choice than a few years ago so it’s a great time to be buying.

This blog’s here to help you answer:

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Nordic walking kit for the summer/autumn transition

August is fading fast and the season of mists and yellow fruitfulness is almost upon us.  It’s a bittersweet time for many and whilst I will miss those wonderful long hot sociable summer days, September is one of my favourite months.  An elegant synthesis of reflection and fresh energy, it’s the transition between the end of summer on the start of winter.  For us walkers it can be a confusing time kit-wise.  Cold mornings, hot days, shortening evenings, dew drenched grass, and emerging muddy sections all require us to adapt our clothing and our footwear.  Here’s some things to consider:

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Your daypack checklist

Are you planning a whole day hike during these fabulous long warm days?  It’s hard to beat fine weather, stunning views and good company - but it’s important to be organised.  This month’s Trail magazine has a double page spread on packing essentials for hillwalkers.  We mostly stick to the lowlands but it’s always useful to have a check list of what to take so here’s our Bristol Nordic Walking recommendations:

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New Exel Nordic walking poles arriving soon

New colours and the introduction of folding poles are in the fresh range of Exel Nordic walking poles available to buy from August.

We’ve been waiting a long time for the new range of Exel poles.  The production has been beset with delays and complications that have led to the poles being frustratingly late.  We are assured though that the wait will be worth it!  There’s more detail below about what’ll be available to buy but the key changes are:

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Don't forget about... socks

We have 250,000 sweat glands in our feet which can produce up to half a pint of perspiration daily.  So having the correct socks as well as shoes when you go walking seems obvious.  Yet how many of us consider our socks when we think about our feet?

This blog gives you the low-down on socks – things to consider for Nordic walking, what’s on the market, plus a few handy tips.

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The Kit guide to: waterproof jackets

A group of us had the perfect opportunity to test the efficiency of our waterproofs a few weeks ago whilst on a walking holiday in Girona, Catalonia. They don’t seem to do ‘light’ rain there.  When it rained it was very heavy and very wet!  We all know the saying ‘There’s no such thing as bad weather – only the wrong clothes’ but even though many of us had top brands, barely anyone’s jacket withstood the onslaught entirely unscathed.  It re-affirmed to me the importance, not only of a good jacket, but of properly re-proofing it regularly.

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Registered Excercise ProfessionalsInternational Nordic Walking FederationBritish Nordic WalkingBristol Life Awards Winner