The sock is of paramount importance while backpacking, as your feet are part of your transport. The Woolpower range are a good sock for medium to long term expeditions, and are constructed the same way as the rest of the garments (see above). They are hard wearing, and give good moisture wicking and insulative value as the garments.
" Mike says "
Another long term piece of kit that I have used over the years. I purchase 10 pairs of knee length 600g socks every 3 years, and remove the old socks from service. I use a three sock system with one on, one spare and one in the wash. Changing my socks every 2 to 3 days and ensuring I wash and powder my feet at the end of every day.
Lorpen Allround Trekker Socks
Sock Height: Crew
Cushion: Heavy Full
Sock Content: 50% Coolmax®, 25% Tencel®, 15% Nylon®, 10% Ea. LYCRA®
"Mike says "
As I now only wear running shoes when out trekking and am not bothered with wet feet in the warmer months, I was looking for a synthetic sock that I could use. The reason for this is a simple one - I work on the process of three when it comes to socks; one on, one drying and one spare. I have done trials from a heavy wool content sock to a purely synthetic one, with the drying time greatly reduced using synthetic. This means I can wash a pair of socks in camp in the evening, put them on the outside of my pack if the following day is dry or put them next to my skin if not, so ensuring a clean dry pair of socks everyday.
Not only this, I find all Lorpen socks comfortable to wear and well made.
Scarpa Crux Mens Shoe
The ideal approach shoe should be tough, well protected and provide enough support foreasy climbing but comfy enough for the approach walk. The Crux takes technologies that have been developed inour trekking and climbing range and combining them together to give a hybridthat has all of the characteristics required to be a top approach shoe.
Toughness is provided by using our best quality suede in the upper, a rubber toe and heelrand gives protection whilst the new Vibram Vertical sole with sticky rubber, tough EVA midsole and forefoot cradle system ensures support and confidence. Its not just the colour thats green, theyre made using 50% recycledpolyester in the lining and mesh!
I have been trying to find a shoe to walk in for a while now as I am finding boots are sometimes heavy, and if possible I want a good compromise. There is much research to indicate that 50g extra on your foot is the equivalent to carrying 500g on your back. As I get older and doing more 2 and 3 days walking trips the weight savings are becoming more important. Working on this principle, the shoe is almost 500g lighter than the Meindl Burma boots I wear - so in theory, 2.5kg less to carry.
The Shoes are a good fit for me as I have quite shallow feet, and a 45 euro size with a medium thick Teko sock was a spot on fit. I decided not to break them in so did a 14 km flatish walk with them fresh out of the box. I followed this with 18km over Helvellyn via Striding Edge, so a stern test to say the least, with a wet valley walk of 12km on the next day.
Oh my god, what a difference. The walking seemed easier and lighter, noticeable not lifting the heavy boots every step. The weather was wet for the 3 days (as it always is in the Lakes) but the sticky sole advertised certainly was sticky - I did not slip at anytime on sharp edges, wet rock or wet grass. The sole unit has a flat section at the toes which gives an excellent platform to stand on small rocks jutting out, a real help on Striding Edge. The shoe is not gore tex lined but with the only mesh being under the laces I found the shoes stayed remarkably dry inside without avoiding any shallow puddles or obvious wet areas of the walk. My socks became a little damp on the last valley walk day and the shoes felt a little wet inside when we stopped for a brew. But a quick change of merino socks and the shoes were dry inside again by the bottom of the hill.To summarise, I am a convert. The shoes performed well in late September weather. I am happy to carry extra dry socks rather than lift heavier boots all day and have resigned the boots to absolute winter, torrential rain or snow
The Superfeet Green are designed for footwear with removable insoles, and provides maximum support and shock absorption.
" Mike says "
The back end of last year I was training for our Scotland trip, when a pair of Superfeet Green landed on my desk. I decided to give them a go in the lakes for a few days. At first they seemed a little strange under foot, but after a while I found the comfortable. I would not go walking without my Superfeet Greens anywhere.
Great piece of kit.
Helsport Bivvy Boots
Excellent for inside your tent or cabin, water resistant with breathable upper and no slide soles, and insulated with Thermoguard 6000.
" Mike says"
I have just used a pair of the Bivvy boots on a recent camping trip in the Lake District. After a day in the mountains with most of it on crampons it was a joy to come back to camp, wash and powder my feet, put on fresh socks and the Bivvy boots. Within seconds my feet felt like they were glowing with heat, I even for a time wore them in my sleeping bag but found that this was too hot. The Bivvy boots were a great advantage when I needed my 2am pee, which I can never figure out as I never need the toilet at home at this time.
Grivel Air Tech New Matic
This crampon is an all season chromolly steel 10 plus 2 point semi rigid design. It has built in the Antibott system that prevents snow build up between the points, and is compatible with the Scarpa Manta.
" Mike says "
A well made easy to fit crampon for use on snow and ice in mountain areas. As I only winter walk not ice climb etc, this crampon is every thing I need for those iced up tricky bits. The Antibott system is a revelation in crampon design, as I use to find in older crampons you were forever tapping out snow build up between the points with the shaft of your ice axe, the Antibott prevents this snow build up. It is adviseable that when not in use the crampons are fitted with crampon crowns to prevent injury and damage to your equipment, and stored in a crampon bag.
Multipurpose traction system that fits in your pocket.
" Mike says "
A good friend from the local Mountain Rescue team put us onto the Microspikes. I gave them a good thrashing in Bowland and the Lakes last winter, really convenient, lightweight and they work either on the hill or around town. Excellent.
Kahtoola Microspikes Quad
The Kahtoola Microspikes Quad is a snow and ice traction system that will go on any form of footwear.
The Quad version as opposed to the original Kahtoola Microspikes has an extra 2 points in the heal area for increased traction when walking with a normal flexible footed motion or a rocking gate.
This essential piece of winter kit is ideal for walking, hiking and running on snow-packed paths and trails or working on steep mud and grass. Strategically placed stainless steel spikes are connected to a dynamic flex-chain with a tough elastomer shoe harness, meaning they will outlast other lower quality alternatives by a significant margin as well as performing better too. There are no awkward straps or laces to mess around with - just pull them on and go. The Microspike chain adjusts itself to grip most surfaces. S = UK 3.5-6, M = 6-9.5, L = 9.5-13.
12 points plus chain through the foot for maximum grip
Elastimer harness for swift easy use
Low bulk and weight to fit in a pocket, bumbag or tote
" Mike says "
How can you improve on something that is already brilliant, well Kahtoola have with the Microspikes Quad. Massive fan of the Microspikes for some years now but with the improvement of two extra spikes I feel this aids descending a little better especially on ice. If you travel in the mountains in winter and don't need front points like crampons Microspikes are a must.