It was a revelation when someone introduced me to Zinc Tape for blister protection and recovery. I have been using this for many years and it has saved the day on many occasions.
Then someone told me about Hypafix tape. A few youtube videos later and I realise this is used by runners and extreme athletes for blister prevention.
This stuff really works and is very easy to apply, maintain and remove. It is useful stuff for improvised plasters – just add lint and disinfectant to a wound and seal in place with Hypafix. If you do get a blister, you can build custom solutions with this tape quite easily.
But for me, it’s all about prevention. I tape up any part of my foot, which is beginning to feel it might blister beforehand; usually my heels, but everyone will have their own blister hot spots. A good covering of 1-2 layers really works wonders.
All the gear together, just need to tune the engine.
I’m now at the dangerous stage of adding things I don’t need and removing things I do. Pleased to see the gear weight is 13kg. Bike weighs 21kg including tools, lock, lights and fitted bags. Add another 8kg for consumables. I shan’t say what the engine weighs, but the fuel consumption is terrible.
“Hey mate! where’s the ski slope?” is one of the more polite comments I get using walking poles on the National Trails from unenlightened bystanders. So why do I love my Leki trekking poles? My conversion to the walkers equivalent of 4 wheel drive has been a gradual process over many years. Initially, I used a only one pole on my early heavy weight backpacking trips and now use two carbon Leki poles on all my adventures.
After a while, using the poles becomes second nature to the point where you forget you are using them, especially when they are light weight. I perhaps have 4 walking modes, depending on the terrain:
- Level easy going – difficult to describe, but the pole placement is every 2 steps, about half my walking cadence. Emphasis is on stability. Placement is approximately level with the leading foot, driving the pole gently rearwards.
- Uphill, easy terrain – pole placement is every step, right foot with left hand pole forward, driving purposefully up the hill with arm and leg. Placement is ahead of the leading foot.
- Uphill, difficult terrain – pole placement is more random for optimum balance, but using my arms to pull up my weight, trying to imitate the uphill, easy terrain mode, as best I can.
- Downhill – palms on the top of the pole, controlling my descent, usually with hands outside of the straps if the descent is very steep. Placement to give security and stability.
A Canadian skiing friend of mine Continue reading