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.
Digging into the web site statistics, I am surprised at the web site traffic for the National Trails. Is there an inverse correlation between my favourite trails and their popularity?
You would expect the Pennine Way and South West Coast Path to lead the table, but why is the West Highland Way so low in the chart when it is easily the busiest path I have walked.
…after 12 years of sneaking time off and pounding the paths, I have finally finished all 19 National Trails. Some 3,000 miles, over 150 days, perhaps 6 million steps over the most beautiful and awe-inspiring countryside in the world.
Now, what to do? Shall I wait for the completion of the England Coast Path and completed the Wales Coast Path first? What about a Scottish challenge?
Actually, the plan is to cycle the North Sea Cycle Route next year, if time allows. Some 6,000km from Bergen to Shetland via Dover. See the Cycling section as it evolves.
I even got an LDWA Diamond certificate. How sad is that? There are only 25 odd members who have done them all.
(Photographs pre-digital era, scanned film prints)
A great alternative to the SWCP, if time is limited. An excellent introduction to the pleasures of coastal walking. Outside the holiday season the path is quiet and there are numerous remote cliffs, headlands and beaches to rival any in the British Isles. Rugged and rewarding. Pay attention to the tide tables at Dale and the military range closures at Castlemartin, as alternative routes involve road walking.
Completed in September 2004, my first National Trail, inspired by a journey I took when I was 15 and responsible for committing me to this life long adventure.
Time of year
Ideal times are late Spring or early Autumn, when the YHA hostels are quiet and the bird life is more pronounced. Seal Pups can be seen seen from September and wild flowers proliferate in the Spring. Continue reading