This week I have imposed upon myself the task of saying something to you concerning the proper preparation for your tramps, and the rewards you may expect to reap from your endeavours.
For many outdoors activities much preparation is necessary, for a day’s walking these are reduced to a minimum. The time of year makes little difference, and the weather does not make much, for the open air to my mind is always enjoyable.
However my friends never skimp upon the necessaries for tramping, it could be at your peril if you do.
Comfortable boots and good quality socks will see you right over the sternest terrain. Avoid a heavy coat, for your difficulty after an hour upon the trail will never be how to get warm, but how to keep cool. The expense of a good set of waterproofs will be repaid many times over, whilst an extra layer and spare socks folded at the bottom of your sack will be reassuring and most welcome should they be needed. With a hat at your discretion, perhaps a stick and gloves, you are set for whatever a day upon the hill or dale may bring.
A map and a compass always please, it would be foolish to be out without. Remember, familiar or not with the landscape, we are all blinded should the weather be foul and the cloud base fall. Be prepared with food and beverage to match the day if light refreshments will more than an easy distance from your track.
Heed my advice and you will be ready to be off.
You will do well to have a simple goal to walk to. My experience tells me that the reason why so many pedestrians give up is because they are too ambitious with their endeavour to begin with. The terrain and the contours will limit you, as will your stamina and ability to persevere. During your first days, pick easy targets or decide upon circular routes which are eminently doable. You will quickly learn your pace, and with it you will begin expand your horizons. Remember gently does it at first.
And to your rewards……….
Nobody can appreciate the delights of walking save those who experience them. What with hours in the open air, the body always in motion, the muscles taking exercise and then rests and meals which you feel you have earned, all combine to make a satisfied mind.
No cold or nor chill, nor ache nor pain, can survive a few hours’ walking, and all one’s cares and worries go the same way. I have never yet returned from a tramp without a longing to be off again, and I am never free from ‘the tickles of the feet’.
Walking is an education. It fixes the mind on the course of rivers, the height of the mountains, the flora and the fauna. It is an infallible cure for low spirits and the ‘blues’, and teaches one what a deal of kindliness and good humour there is in the world, only waiting for us to enjoy it.
Ockle Head Mountain Inn.
Lent MM XVI