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Walking Accessories

  • Winter Walking Devices

    Ice Warning Triangle

    Winter Walking

    Winter walking can be one of the greatest experiences in the Lake District, the pure solitude and beauty of making new tracks in an untouched snowscape.  But as with everything round here, there are some things to know first.  Limitations are something that don’t just apply to physical fitness or time constraints, it heavily applies to the kit we use, and how we use it.

    Walking Aids have been on the market for years in the form of Full crampons (an area we could write essays on), but for now we shall leave them in cupboard and focus on what’s available to your average walker with reasonable levels of self preservation.

    Firstly lets identify which is for you… here’s some points to help:

    • Yaktrax Walker - £14.99

      Low Level – Great on packed snow and ice, limited to lower levels.

    • Yaktrax Pro - £20.99

      Low level – Great on packed snow and ice, limited to lower levels. More secure than the walker with a toe strap and stronger coils.  More off-road than Yaktrax Walker

    • Grivel Spider - £29.99

      Low to mid – Work on snow, ice, mud, grass. Low profile with an aggressive grip.  Fits all shoes. Packs away well.

    • Hillsound Trail Crampon - £49.99

      Up to high – Very versatile, good flex to match most footwear.

    • Stubai Twin peaks - £74.99

      Up to high – Walkers crampon, slight flex, no front points, not for steep use.

    • Grivel Monte Rosa - £79.99

      High – C1 Crampon, front points, compatible with B1, B2,  B3 Boots. Lightweight. Great first pair.

    Overview

    1. Yaktrax Walker

      Yaktrax Walker

      Firstly we shall start with the Yaktrax Walker, which last year were in such demand that retailers all over the country sold out several times. They are a simple design of walking aid that works very well on packed snow and ice. The way they work is more of a 360° friction, as opposed to the aggressive purchase you see from walking spikes etc.  The benefit of which is that you don’t run the risk of creating a trip hazard with the very thing designed to help you!

    2. Yaktrax Pro

      Yaktrax Pro

      Next is Yaktrax’ other contender, the Yaktrax Pro, this follows the same design as the Walker, with the added benefit of a more durable coils, and a toestrap, this gives more security and less chance of them popping off at a crucial moment.

    3. Grivel Spider

      Grivel Spider

      Third on the list is a different solution called the Grivel Spider, a Ten-pointed instep device, which is a versatile beast devised for use on all shapes and sizes of shoe. As well as all sorts of terrains, Snow, Ice, Mud, Grass…pretty much anything they can get their teeth into!

    4. Hillsound Trail Crampon

      Hillsound Trail Crampon

      Hillsound Trail Crampon is where things start to ebb towards the more serious; here we have a rubber/chain/spike affair that comes in several sizes, working under a similar fit mechanism to the Yaktrax, but incorporating a far sturdier, far more aggressive grip design. You could really call this a miniature ten point crampon.

    5. Stubai Twin Peaks

      Stubai Twin Peaks

      Now we would look to the Stubai Twin peaks, a “walking crampon” which essentially is the same format as a full crampon but without the front points, now this is an intentional limitation, that reduces the chance of tripping and/or stabbing your stationary leg! Nice and lightweight, this crampon is aimed at the walker without a crampon rated boot, but still requires relatively stiff boot for use.

    6. Grivel Monte Rosa

      Grivel Monte Rosa

      Finally we look to the Grivel Monte Rosa, now this particular one IS a full crampon, with a C1 crampon rating.  What this means is that it is the lowest use rating afforded to a Crampon, and that you can use it with all crampon compatible boots(B1,B2,B3). This then steps up the intended use of the device, and as such the risks.  They are a great first crampon and should standardly be used with an ice-axe in hand (Ice Axes are to stop you once you’ve fallen or slipped, and are essential when on a higher level winter walk).

  • Choosing which Trekking Pole is right for you.

    It doesn't have to be confusing

    Although there are loads of different brands making loads of different types of trekking poles, they all do the same thing really. All you have to do is decide which features you want and find the pole with those features.

    We have made a video to try and explain the different features on a trekking pole, why they are there, what to insist on, and if they are relevant to you. As with so many things in life, the more you spend the better the trekking pole will be. But do you need to spend money on a spring when you always walk over soft ground, and are you happy to pay more for a lighter pole?

    Its like being in the shop

    I talk through the Leki and Black Diamond poles we do at the Glenridding shop, but we also have Trekmates trekking poles at the Pooley Bridge shop and these are available on catstycam.com.

    D'oh

    The only thing I forgot to mention is a walking stick ferrule or pavement tip. These are rubber shoes that go over the tungsten carbide tips and stop you wearing down the tip if you are walking on the road or hard tracks for long periods. They have a metal disc in them to stop the tip shredding them and stop the clickety-click noise when you are walking on the road.

    I hope this is useful and helps you narrow down your search, but you can’t go too far wrong. Using any trekking pole is a million times kinder on your knees than not using a trekking pole, and makes you a lot more sure-footed.

  • Walking or Trekking Poles Explained

    Glenridding or Hollywood?

    We have started making a series of short videos that we hope you will find useful. Because just about everything we sell in the shops goes straight into use, we need to make sure our customers know how to use their new kit. So we thought we would help people on the World Wide Web to choose the correct product and know how to use it, if they are unlucky enough not to be able to pop along to Ullswater to see us.

    Our 1st Video

    The first one is about trekking poles and it is over 10 minutes long with me repeatedly saying “Knees”. I thought I could just talk to camera unscripted as if I were talking to a customer and it would all be great. It has turned out not too bad, but that is mainly down to Mikes editing skills.

    Have a look here to see our 1st go at making a video.

    2nd film up to scratch with Mike Scorsese behind the camera

    I am much happier with our 2nd video. We have learned quite a bit from making that 1st video, and also been given some great advice. We have broken the 1st video into 2 parts, and tried to bring a bit of order to the occasion.

    I would like to introduce you to number 1 in a series of films about all things connected with hill walking round Ullswater.

    Trekking Poles are a really popular product for us. They are one of those products that really do work. If your knees hurt on a long descent then try using a pair of trekking poles. They take tons of pressure off your knees over a day’s walking, and that 3rd point of contact with the ground really does improve your stability. We used to hire out trekking poles as a try before you buy thing and just about everybody bought some. You notice the benefits they bring straight away and by the time you are coming down off the hill without aching knees you want a pair of your own.

    So our 1st official Catstycam video is about how to use a Trekking Pole and adjust the length for different terrains. I really do hope you find these videos useful , and if there are any topics you would like us to cover please get in touch and let us know.

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