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Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
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useratlantisbird
Posted: 18 January 2010 9:25 PM
Subject: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Posts: 24



Hello everyone,
We are hoping to start an adventure travelling in motorhome in all weathers.
We want to buy before we start some suitable clothing which should be light,
comfortable and breathable in all weathers. We will require light walking boots as we are in our early sixties and one has had a steel hip which is not as good as it should be. Can you suggest shops to visit and what layers should we look at getting.
Is a Millets store the best place to start.
Over to you.
atlantisbird
Ann & Harry
userohgrandma
Posted: 21 January 2010 4:22 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 


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Hello, and welcome.

You might like to google some of the following places,

Yeomans for outdoor wear.
Mountain life.
Tog 24.
or even a visit to Scats. if you have one locally.

Hope this is of some help to you. Good luck.

Ria.
usermichele
Posted: 21 January 2010 4:53 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 


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Location: Rapido ..ask him what size


atlantisbird - 2010-01-18 9:25 PM

Hello everyone,
We are hoping to start an adventure travelling in motorhome in all weathers.
We want to buy before we start some suitable clothing which should be light,
comfortable and breathable in all weathers. We will require light walking boots as we are in our early sixties and one has had a steel hip which is not as good as it should be. Can you suggest shops to visit and what layers should we look at getting.
Is a Millets store the best place to start.
Over to you.
atlantisbird

Hi Ann & harry you dont say where you live ? the reason I ask is we all have different shops.

We recently bought brasher walking shoes brilliant thats to replace the old brashers .. Lots of layers as there is nothing like getting out and being to hot and finding you cant peel away or put back if too cold .

Good luck
Ann & Harry
useratlantisbird
Posted: 21 January 2010 10:15 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
Having a look around

Posts: 24



Thank you Ria ohgrandma,
I will look at the information you gave and find the sites.
I am intrigued to find out what Scats is as we have never heard of it.
kind regards
Ann & Harry
atlantisbird
usermel wood
Posted: 21 January 2010 10:22 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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If you have a 'Go Outdoors' store near you check them out. They do a wide range of all sorts of outdoors equipment and their prices are very good (after you have paid a£4 annual fee for a discount card. The savings on your first major item will more than make up for that.) Staff are generally helpful and there is no problem with 'returns' should you discover when you get home that ther item is not suitable.

Check out their wibesite.

If you haven't a store near you then you may be interested to know that there is one next to the entrance of the camping and Caravanning Club at Oxford. Very handy ton brouse in if you arrive at the site before 12 o'clock.
(Those who use CCC sites will understand the significance of this.)



I have also hear good reports from friends and my daughter about DECATHALON stores.
useratlantisbird
Posted: 21 January 2010 10:36 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
Having a look around

Posts: 24



Hello Michele and thank you,
We live near Howden East Yorkshire between York,Hull and Doncaster.
What sort of shop will we get to see Brashers and are they light to wear
and will we be able to say ride a bike in them, as we do hope to get one when we get going.
We are novices in outdoor wear for motorhoming, is there a simple book/magazine which will take you through essential equipment rather than a salespersons advice selling you things you do not need or will never use.
Kind regards
Ann & Harry
useratlantisbird
Posted: 21 January 2010 10:42 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Posts: 24



Thank you mel wood,
We are now getting some information to follow up.
Looking at web sites is a good start but we will need to see and try
them at an outlet as we don't trust ourselves to buy sizes ect.
Kindest regards
Ann & Harry
usermel wood
Posted: 21 January 2010 10:51 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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atlantisbird - 2010-01-21 10:36 PM

Hello Michele and thank you,
We live near Howden East Yorkshire between York,Hull and Doncaster.
What sort of shop will we get to see Brashers and are they light to wear
and will we be able to say ride a bike in them, as we do hope to get one when we get going.
We are novices in outdoor wear for motorhoming, is there a simple book/magazine which will take you through essential equipment rather than a salespersons advice selling you things you do not need or will never use.
Kind regards
Ann & Harry



I am on my 3rd pair of Brasher boots but choice of boots is very personal. Also do you want waterproof fabric boots or leather boots? You need to try on various pairs, walk around the shop then try them on in the house for a few days, walking up and down stairs.

If you haven't already got them, invest in good quality waterproofs, including overtrousers. You can start off with cheaper pairs to see how you take to 'the walking life' but goretex fabric whilst expensive, will keep you dry and last. Really you can start off with little expense - you may already have fleece jackets and suitable trousers for walking. (Avoid walking in jeans when the weather is wet. They take ages to dry and you will become cold if you have to walk far in wet jeans.)

Have a look at 'Country Walking' magazine. You do get 'gear' tests in it from time to time.

As I wrote earlier 'Go outdoors' has a wide range of all your reqiuirements at various prices. Choose what you are comfortable in and what you are willing to pay.
userohgrandma
Posted: 26 January 2010 6:16 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 


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Hello Ann and Harry, I note that you live in Yorkshire, so you wouldn't have known about scats. It is a Southern Counties Agricultural Trade Supplies. delivering to farms etc. they have stores which sell clothing, boots, and much more. I live in the Salisbury area. I also have a metal hip replaced when I fell and broke mine. I have not had a very good experience with mine either. I hope you have found the outdoor clothing you are searching for. and enjoy many happy holidays. Regards Ria.
useratlantisbird
Posted: 27 January 2010 10:31 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
Having a look around

Posts: 24



Dear Ria,
Thank you for your input we did look at the scats web but we would have to
go to one to see what is good for us in person. Bye the way if you have a right hip
as I have a left we could do a swop then at least one of us can walk in a straight line.

Can I ask if layers of silk as in long johns silks are any better than thermal clothing as a base layer as they would be lighter.?
Kindest regards
Ann & Harry
usermel wood
Posted: 27 January 2010 10:36 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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I guess you will only need long johns when the weather is particularly cold.
Again you will find a range at various shops. Feel them and decide which you like best.
userohgrandma
Posted: 28 January 2010 3:17 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 


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Hello Ann & Harry, Thanks for your reply, I would suggest silk as a base layer. as it is very light and breathable. cotton absorbs perspiration but, it will make you feel colder,when damp.

My 'wonky' hip is the left one, who has the new replacement. Ann or Harry?
very kind of you to offer, but, before I accept, I would like to know if it would be male or female.

Regards Ria.

p s. Ann, I think you would prefer the silk, much more luxurious than thermals.
userBrian Kirby
Posted: 28 January 2010 5:34 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 


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Location: East Sussex. Motorhome: Knaus Boxstar 600 Street


I assume you won't be fell walking in Winter!  So, what kind of walking are you contemplating?  Walking on roads or surfaced footpaths is far less demanding than walking on rough tracks, which require much greater ankle support.  So, for tracks, boots, for surfaced paths, shoes.

If you think you may walk on wet, windy, days you will need good waterproofs, including waterproof trousers.  For walking when it is cold you will need layers.  When it is cold and wet you also need good breathable fabric (though most will "sweat" inside under these conditions, just some more than others), and you will need a good breathable fabric if you take waterproofs (with one eye on the weather) when it is warm and muggy.  In this respect Gore-Tex is still, IMO, king, but it isn't cheap, and the detailed assembly of the garments with fully taped seams that preserves the fabric performance isn't cheap either!  Look at Berghaus, Sprayway, and North Face for example.  Garments are made in women's and men's fit and care is needed in selecting sizes for comfort.  There are many ranges from all manufacturers, aimed at differing uses and, because of the prices of the garments, stock costs are high, so smaller outlets tend to have limited ranges.  I would suggest a trip to George Fisher in Keswick who stock a very good range, and have helpful, knowledgeable, and intelligent sales staff.  See here http://tinyurl.com/yjeuoy8 

Because Keswick is at the heart of the Lake District there are a lot of other outlets nearby, but Fisher always seem to me to have the edge on service and advice - even if they are not always the cheapest!

Unless you intend making a habit of wandering around in the wet, I wouldn't bother with Gore-Tex trousers though, just lightweight and nominally breathable should be fine under most conditions.

You may also need waterproof gaiters if you think you may stray into long wet grass, which is probably the greatest test of boot waterproofing, or snow of any depth.

Walking poles may be of assistance with the hip, to aid balance, traction, and take some of the weight off the legs.

We have lightweight fleeces each, mid-weight windproof fleeces to go over these, and lightweight Gore-Tex outer jackets to go on top of that lot as needed.  I have never seen the point of zip-in fleece linings, and different makes all go happily on top of each other once you forget about matching fleeces to outers etc. 

Thus we can do any combination of the above to counter pretty much any conditions: all three for cold, possibly wet, and windy; outers only over either of the fleeces, or no fleece, depending on temperature if wet/potentially wet; windproof fleece only when breezy and dry, but not too cold; windproof over lightweight when ditto but colder - you get the picture!  If you get too hot, you just open up progressively, or start shedding layers.

You will probably need day sacks to carry some food and water, and for gear you take in case, or shed as you do.

Boots are another matter.  Socks first.  Get proper walking socks if wearing boots, because they help keep your feet dry and reasonably free from perspiration, and dry feet are less prone to blister!  Boots, as a first priority, must fit properly.  You must get the boots fitted wearing the walking socks.  Properly means leaving just enough width for toes to be wriggled, and just enough length to not be able to tough the end of the boot when standing on a down-slope.  Good boot shops will have a sloping surface on which you can try this.  They should be snug, especially at the heel, so that your foot does not move around in the boot as you walk.  They must be comfortable from the outset - don't be influenced by tales of breaking them in!  Modern boot construction doesn't break in, if they start uncomfortable they will be very likely to stay uncomfortable, but if they start comfortable they will just get better.

I wouldn't be too influenced by what they are made from, given that any "proper" walking boot will be reasonably waterproof, often relying on a Gore-Tex lining.  Leather needn't be heavy, and has a bit more "give" than synthetic fabrics, so a has greater chance to mould to your foot with use.  The fabric boots will give less, so immediate comfort is more important and, because they are fabric, will often get quite wet on the outside even if the inside remains dry.  Thus drying can be more demanding than with proofed leather, but the boot is less likely to suffer if left damp, or put by a fire to dry off, than leather.

For all the above reasons, you need that big store with a lot of stock from a large number of makers, and to be prepared to work your way through the lot - and then walk out if you can't find what suits you!

Silly to say, I know, but don't be tempted into matching his and hers with any of this stuff, it may happen that way, but different makes have different basic shapes that they size up and down, and you are very likely to find your individual comfort suited by completely different ranges of garments and boots from different makers.

It'll cost you quite a bit in one hit, and it will take ages, so don't be tempted to rush, and don't be too influenced by cost.  What works works, and if you do venture onto the fells, the wrong combination can get you into real trouble while the right combination will keep you warm, dry, balanced, mobile, and able to walk off even in extreme conditions. 

Remember, the weather changes suddenly, and in extreme ways, in hill country: a warm sunny morning can quickly turn into cold horizontal rain, and several miles of the latter at even moderate altitude can take its toll when paths are rough and slippery.  Get the right gear, and you'll come down elated and smiling: get the wrong gear, and you may have to be taken off by a mountain rescue team!  Happy shopping! 

usermel wood
Posted: 28 January 2010 9:44 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Atlantis bird - Brian's piece is very comprehensive and sound.
I hope you don't find it too daunting.

As I have said twice, if you go to GoOutdoors the range that Brian mentions will be there and the staff are helpful without being pushy. It will be worth a trip to one of their Yorkshire stores or the one by the CCC site at Oxford.

Brian's advice about walking poles is very sound. Make sure you each get a pair. Having a pair is better than having one as you are more balanced and walking is easier. They are great for assistance in going uphill; you are able to push with your arms as well as your legs. On descents they help to spread the load and are good for balance.

useratlantisbird
Posted: 28 January 2010 9:48 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
Having a look around

Posts: 24



Hello all and thank you.
Ria: It is Harry's hip, nahhh it is a hairy leg, good try.
Brian: This started out as a question about clothes and foot wear for
motor-homing to get some idea of what we can put on our list to examine
what is normal or good to buy so that when we go spending we will only buy it once and as it will cost plenty we want to look at the correct gear for all
general terrains we will come across. We are not likely to go fell walking but we will need suitable wear just in case we do.
The information you gave is very useful and at least we know a lot more than we did. Our intention is to live in a motorhome for a year at least and travel around Europe and further afield.
We really do appreciate all the input. Thank you.
Kinest regards
Ann & Harry
useratlantisbird
Posted: 28 January 2010 9:57 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Thank's for that Mel sound advice and very comprehensive as you say and we will
take some time out to visit Gooutdoors and some of the many other outlets mentioned here.
Will there be any stores of this type at the NEC in February's M/H exhibition?
Kind regards.
Ann & Harry
usermel wood
Posted: 28 January 2010 10:07 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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atlantisbird - 2010-01-28 9:57 PM

Thank's for that Mel sound advice and very comprehensive as you say and we will
take some time out to visit Gooutdoors and some of the many other outlets mentioned here.
Will there be any stores of this type at the NEC in February's M/H exhibition?
Kind regards.
Ann & Harry


It's quite likely BUT and it is A VERY BIG BUT:

any such stand is likely to be busy and probably cramped
you are unlikely to have a slope to walk up or down to try your boots
there may not even be seats to sit on to put on your boots
there are unlikely to be changing rooms to try on clothes
you are unlikely to find that staff have time to discuss your needs/requirements
there is unlikely to be the range that you will find aty a store

Apart from all of these you will not really be able to return an item you found uncomfortable/unsuitable/not a good fit when you get home.


Really you have all the guidance you now need from forum members.
What I (respectfully) suggest is you put aside a day or part of a day to go to one of the stores suggested.

Good 'hunting' and best wishes.
useratlantisbird
Posted: 31 January 2010 10:34 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Posts: 24



Hello and thank you all,
We made our first visit to Go outdoors Near Wakefield and had a very big shock.
The actual stock in this massive place was enormous and the staff seemed very
well versed in what is required for our adventures.
One member of staff told us about and explained marino wool base layers from
Icebreaker New Zealand as being the best at just over £40.00 for the top and same for the bottoms. We found the Brasher boots and some interesting socks
as the staff told us that in some respect the socks are more important for basic comfort and they should not be left out of the equation.
We also on our way back stopped in Monks Cross York and called in at Blacks leisure and their store is shutting down to move to another store unit on site
and our impression of Blacks is it is a jumble sale and we did not stay as it was awful.
Kindest regards
Ann & Harry
atlantisbird
usermel wood
Posted: 2 February 2010 3:42 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Hi Ann and Harry,

Glad you've made a start in getting your equipment and found Go Outdoors useful.

Maybe you visited a particular Black's store at a poor time. Possibly there were bargains but if it was a relocation sale I'm not surprised that the shop seemed disorganised.

Black's stores I have visited in the past have seemed very professional but not especially 'keen' on prices.

Now you have got some of your gear enjoy using it. Let us hope for some good weather.

Best wishes.

Mel
userMel B
Posted: 23 February 2010 6:44 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 


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We have picked up some very nice outdoor gear at motorhome shows, in particular at outdoor ones, there are usually one or two stands with bargain jackets and other gear (hats, gloves, socks etc) at a fraction of the price you'd pay normally, usually because they are last year's designs or such like. Don't forget the outlet stores either, if you're ever in the vicinity of Hornsea Freeport they have a Tog24 and I think a Regatta store which has discounted clothing.

We each have 2 jackets and a fleece in our motorhome, a waterproof slightly padded lined jacket, a thiner waterproof standard lined jacket, and a fleece. The fleece goes under the larger jacket when it's really cold, otherwise we wear the thiner jacket and/or the fleece. The thinner waterproof jacket is good just to stick in a rucksack as a 'just in case' job as it doesn't take much room up.

Outerwear - As for waterproof leggings, a good pair of standard ones suffices - just make sure they are truly waterproof and not just water resistant! Gaters again, can be bought quite cheaply. I must emphasise the importance of a good hat though, a wide brimmed lightweight waterproof one is worth the expense - nothing worse than rain going down your neck!

Footwear - We have a couple of pairs of walking boots each, but to be fair, we seldom use them, prefering our good 'normal' walking shoes as they are very comfy for standard pottering about. I'm a fan of Country Casuals, Foot Glove etc - tough and waterproof and very comfy. You really only need 'proper' walking boots if you intend to do serious stuff, IMV.

Other clothing - unless you are doing some serious walking then I'd hold off on getting the expensive proper underwear (long johns, vests etc) stuff for now.

A couple of pairs of good lightweight trousers is a good investment though - wind resistant (some have UV protection inbuilt) and quick drying so you don't end up with soggy clothes hanging around everywhere. They are easy to wash and don't generally need ironing - always a boon! Same with tops/t-shirt/shirts, some in similar material would be best - ideally with at least short sleeves to keep your shoulders and tops of your arms covered as these are the some of the more susceptible parts of your body when it's sunny and are easily burnt. Same with your neck and, if you haven't got a hat with a built in neck protection flap, use a piece of material or lightweight scarf tucked up under the rear of your hat and let it drape down to cover it.

Over the years we've also found that charity shops (and even car boot sales) can be a very good source of gear too, one of my brand new pairs of proper walking boots came from a car boot sale and cost £4!!! It's amazing what some people buy and they give away to charity shops having been totally unused!
useratlantisbird
Posted: 10 March 2010 8:03 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
Having a look around

Posts: 24



Dear Mel B,
Thank you for that information we will take on board the whole set of answers and it has been most helpful subject for us personally. We are in the last stages of our house sale going through and as soon as it does we will be on our way for the foreseeable future.
Our kindest regards to all
Ann & Harry
Atlantisbird
userDancer
Posted: 18 March 2010 10:03 PM
Subject: RE: Advice on buying good outdoor wear/boots
 
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Location: Sunny Chorley, Lancashire.


Hi Ann & Harry.
Some excellent advice, 'though a bit daunting in one big lump.
Don't forget to always 'know where you are' especially in open country, even more especially, as Brian mentioned, if the weather closes in at short notice.
Learn how to read a map & use a compass. Carry both at all times when out walking/cycling. A GPS (not a sat-nav) is also very handy but not to be relied on without a map ready at hand; batteries fail and severe weather may mask the satellites.
Take it easy and enjoy yourselves.

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