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Ben Nevis Summit

Ben Nevis Summit

Long Distance Hill Walking...!

Completing “The West Highland Way” once in May of 2007 would be enough for anyone; But my good friend John; has come up with another "crazy idea" that this year, we could walk the W.H.W. Again!

If you’re not familiar with the W.H.W. It is a Long Distance Hill Walk starting in Mulgavie Glasgow, and finishes in Fort William, some 97 miles later.

Mind you, it is a walk with breathtaking views; and some serious, "Lung Busting Climbs"

But this time John and Mick thought he would make it interesting by adding on the fact that we can; climb Ben Nevis while we are in Fort William...??? Hold on; there's more!!

Then we can carry on and walkThe Great Glenn Way” from Fort William to Inverness...!!!! This totals 200 miles plus; over 10 days, and a quick trip to the top of Ben Nevis.

Well, all I can say is, John; you were spot on mate; I would not have missed my chance to climb the famous Ben Nevis.

Even though I never thought that I would? For anyone reading this blog; if you are in reasonable health, and you like a challenge; you will not be sorry...!!! On a serious note…

"YOU NEED TO DO LOTS OF TRAINING"...???

The Mountain Trail of Ben Nevis, {A K A, The Tourist Trail} is a full 4 to 6 hours of serious uphill walking depending on how fit you are.

Then you got 3 to 5 hours of hard downhill walking. You must not treat it like a walk in the park! Climbing Ben Nevis is a serious challenge?

You must be prepared and you must carry all the necessary kit that you will need for the day...???

Like Food and Water,

At least 4Ltrs. Safety Equipment, Cold Weather Gear, Spare Boots, First Aid Kit, Whistle, Torch, Compass, and Wet Weather outfit, and a Survival Bag.

So as you can tell by this list... this challenge is definitely not to be taken lightly...

Now; having said all that; you will absolutely love it when you reach the top. There is no other feeling in the world to compare to it;

The sense of achievement is overwhelming, coupled with the feeling of elation. "You Can't Beat It" And you will NEVER” forget it!

Blisters...!!! How to Guard Against Blisters from Your New Boots!

Most all blisters you get on your feet come from “NEW BOOT and SHOES” rubbing your feet. Therefore it is imperative that you; “break-in” your new walking boots or shoes completely… before attempting to do any walking in them.



This is what I do when I have new boots… Mind you it is a good idea to have two pair of  walking boots/shoes that’s if you are serious about your walking. But you already know that don’t you!

You know when the ladies go out to buy a new pair of dressy shoes to match the outfit they brought, to go out in on Saturday night!


They take three hours to choose a pair of shoes, and then go back to the shop that they started from and buy the first pair they looked at…!!!  {I know; but we still love them for it}


My point is, the new shoes fit great at the point of trying them on and they look amazing!  Now on a night out ladies do not normally walk very far?


But I always find it funny that, three hours into their evening out, the lovely new shoes are crippling them to the point where they dis-guard the new shoes under the table; and end the night out walking around in bare feet…???   


“Oh the price of vanity”  There is only getting to the taxi to worry about… and our lovely ladies walk bare foot to the taxi; and bare foot from the taxi to the house.  {The distance covered in the new shoes, LESS than a quarter-mile} all night! 


The price of some new shoes for the evening for our lovely ladies; some pain and discomfort and one or two small blisters on the heel and around the big toe, the ball of the foot & the small toe. Never mind, in a couple of weeks they will do it all over again… {Bless their hearts}


Walking in new boots is a totally new ball-game; if you are on a long walk in new boots over rugged and or uneven ground…  you will NOT be able to kick your boots of and walk bare-foot; you will have to suffer the pain and discomfort of the rubbing and burning on your feet till you reach your destination.


When you eventually stop walking for the dayand remove your boots, the blisters will be able to evolve from the burning patches on your heels, toes and the balls of your feet, your ankles and your lower shins.


Plus the back of your lower leg these are all the places that new boots can and will rub you! Especially if you have never worn; ankle boots before?


Even if you are used to wearing ankle boots, new boots will still rub you because they are stiff and need softening up


O M G, the relief!  Unfortunately this relief will not last… because as soon as you put your boots back on the pain will return! Only this time it will be 100 times worse.

A good treatment for soft and delicate feet is to apply surgical spirit several times a week for two weeks, while you are breaking in your new boots.  This is an excellent way to harden the skin on your feet especially where your boots will rub you!



And that’s just putting them on, now you got to walk in your new boots some more. Believe me the pain… it just gets worse until in the end you can’t walk any further in your new boots, because they have tore your tender little feet to shreds’.


It’s going to be at least two weeks or more before your feet get back to normal, providing your Blisters are not to sever; and you now associate your new boots with pain and discomfort! Naturally you will shy away from the thought of ever wearing your new boots again!


Let’s get the facts down…

Always chose the correct type of boot for the terrain you are going to be walking on! If you are in doubt, ask at your outdoor store for assistance!


Always ensure your wearing your walking socks when trying on new boots/shoes!  Make sure your boots/shoes are the correct size for you! {Do not by new boots while wearing normal socks}


Once you are happy with your choice and have taken the above advice into account. The first thing I do when I get my new boots home is…


The First thing I do…

Leave my walking socks on, Take the laces out of my new boots and wear my new boots and walking socks around the house for a couple of hours a day, for several days!



The second week I put the laces back into my boots put my walking socks on and tie my boots very lightly on my feet. Again as above; do this for several days


Week three, wear your socks and boots as you would normally wear your ordinary boots and shoes… But guard against over-tightening your laces, especially across your instep? Adjust your laces several times if necessary until they are comfortable.


By week four my boots are beginning to feel very familiar to me, my walking socks and my feet. We are becoming very good friends and we are starting to trust each other! {This is what we want to achieve}


Please note; Leather boots  take a lot longer to soften up than other walking boots, do not rush this process or you will find that you’re walking boots will very quickly become your enemy.


By now your boots should be feeling like a pair of comfortable slippers… and when you slide your feet into them with your walking socks on you should hardly notice that you are wearing them! {Nice}


O K, Providing that you are happy and comfortable with your new friends; {Your Boots} let’s go for our first walk outside in our new socks and boots “Yes” 


Now… because the ground outside can be uneven and can vary greatly from being flat, to being sloping, going uphill or downhill.


My advice is to keep your first walk short say no more than 1 mile: You may be wondering why…? Well you have up to now, only worn your boots in the house… the terrain in the house is very flat and easy on the feet! Outside is a different story.


Your feet will be twisting and bending and adjusting in your new boots to cope with the uneven surfaces, this may cause some rubbing where your boots have not rubbed before?  This is normal, so keep your first walks short for a couple of weeks.


Well done; your new best friends {Your Boots} will look after you now for months to come while you are enjoying your walking and hiking, When walking, Your boots are the most important part of your walking equipment. Look after them, treat them with respect and they will take you a long way, and get you back again!


I wish you many miles of happy walking, and please remember; you can’t enjoy your walking with sore or blistered feet, Blisters are a direct result of ill-fitting boots/shoes that have not been properly prepared for your feet or for walking.


I cannot advise you on which boots/shoes would be right for you as everyone is different, and I would not dare presume that I know best! I only know what has worked for me, so if my advice stops you getting just one blister then I am very happy to have been of some assistance, and this article has done its job.   


PS. Don’t skimp on your socks either, buy good quality socks and make sure they are the right ones for the type of walking that you will be doing, if you are in any doubt always ask at your local walking and outdoor store.
The correct socks will add more protection for your feet against rubbing!


Weight Loss from Walking! Tips and Facts




To help ourselves in achieving our required objective from walking for weight-loss, I have put together some Facts & Tips that have aided me immensely to maintain weight-loss through my walking.

Tip: Try smaller portion sizes!

Ladies and Gents “I LOVE MY FOOD” So these next few lines are not flowing off the tongue like they should…??? I did it; it worked for me! Like I said, I love my food, & my Lady does like to feed me up.  Most of the time far more than necessary!  I have a massive aversion to leaving good food on my plate; as my lady is a great cook!

Fact!

 It takes your brain 20 minutes, to tell you stomach that it's full. You know that “phew” I am nearly full feeling. That's the time to stop? I don't think so; I still have half a plate of food left here; Sorry?

 Tip! Use smaller dinner plates.

It is possible and much easier with smaller portions. It took me a while to discipline myself but it gets easier! {Honest} Don't even go there; I know how hard it is to stop eating in the middle of a great meal, when your belly is telling you you’re full; and you mouth is saying feed me some more

Fact!

It’s the food that we eat; {that we don’t need} which causes us to gain some weight.  As in; our body stores the excess food that we really could do without. As we never get to burn off this stored food, our bodies are maintaining the calories that this excess food has produced for us to use as energy later on.

But most of us NEVER use this much energy!  So, it stays stored inside our body.  We then repeat this same action the next day and the next day and so on, storing up more and more energy that we don’t use; and we NEVER burn it off, the results are inevitable…!!!

Tip!

Replace at least three cups of coffee a day with Fruit Flavored or Herbal Tea. I know; "Gross" that's exactly what I thought when I started to do drink them.  But; after taking a good look around our shopping mall I found some flavored tea's and drink alternatives that are quite acceptable.

Fact!

Coffee' is a diuretic. I have 2 sugars in my coffee, and I used to drink between 6 - 8 mugs per day.  That equals 16 spoons of sugar per day, not counting the sugar that's in all the other stuff that I am consuming?

Try this little experiment! 

 Put 16 spoons of sugar into a Coffee Mug...!!!  O M G! Now times that by 7 days; that equals 112 spoons of pure sugar per week, or in scientific terms 112 Spoonfuls of empty calories. "WOW" Incredible don't you think!

If you are anything like me, first thing when I get up; a proper CUP/MUG of REAL COFFEE… is a must! I have got to have it. No two ways about it coffee at its best... with 2 sugars thank you!  No substitute, no fruit tea, no nothing.  “You’re with me on this, I can tell”

Fact!

The rest of the day I can put up with fruit tea. And yes I must confess right now I have a half a spoon of sugar in my fruit tea. But I also discovered that you can replace sugar with a spoon of Honey?

The healing properties in Honey are amazing to say the least; Google it… and discover the facts for yourself.

How to Avoid Blisters from Your New Boots!



As we all know that with any new pair of shoes/boots that we buy at any time there is always a danger of them rubbing our feet in one place or the other. 

They could be a little tight across the toes; or loose around the heel either way, some discomfort is felt, and I am sure you agree… it is most unpleasant. Until we wear them in.

This being the case, and I want you to be truthful here… Vanity plays a major part in our endurance to put up with the pain and discomfort for at least one evening because we have got to “Look Good tonight Girl” 

We brought these shoes just for this occasion, so we are going to wear them all night even if they cripple us, ok!

The truth always shows itself the next day; O M G! my feet are killing me, those bloody shoes near crippled me last night… I can hardly walk now and my feet are so sore, 

I think I’ve got a couple of blisters. Now after all that, any comfortable shoes that we put on are going to be very uncomfortable for several days…?  This is the exact same effect your new walking boots will have, My best advice, don't get a blister at all if you can avoid it!

Unfortunately you simply can NOT do this with NEW walking boots or shoes! if you try it you will suffer. Please take the following advice to save yourself from some serious pain! Please remember this, New Boots and Fresh Feet… DON’T MIX…!!! But wait... there is a way around all this pain!

           If you are a walker of any kind, a novice, beginner, intermediate, seasoned, or   professional the last thing you want is any kind of sores, irritations or blisters on you feet, ankles or lower legs. 

            So to eliminate most of the risk of getting a blister at all, follow these simple rules in my next article, as this one is going on a bit... so I will end here for now!




Choosing Your Walking Boots/Shoes.



Having written several articles about the benefits of walking, how it helped me to get to the summit of Ben Nevis, and how it can greatly improve your health and wellbeing over a relatively short period of time. 

Providing you are consistent with your efforts, and taking your walking enjoyment to a pace that suites you.  Remember, take things slowly... Walking is meant to be an enjoyable experience for you, so that you will continue to explore, expand, and reap the benefits that walking for Fun and Fitness will bring to you.

Now; considering whether or not,  the walking bug has bitten you, and you have found that walking is something that you are at ease with, maybe you feel you are ready to take walking to the next level, {one step further!} 

It is a good idea at this stage, to start to think about some good but inexpensive walking shoes/boots. Do Not be tempted to spend hundreds of $$$ on your very first pair, as this will prove to be false economy in the long term. 

The choice of shoes/boots that you will need depends largely on the sort of; terrain/ground that you are most likely to be covering during your walks.  The correct footwear for the type of ground that you will be walking is crucial...?  

The way forward at this stage is to visit your local outdoor clothing and supply centre. They will have a wide and varied range of, Boots and Shoes for you to choose from, with several different styles and varied colours for the fashion conscious walker!

It is essential to ask for advice on the correct shoes/boots that will suite your style of walking! Choosing the correct footwear can mean the difference between enjoying your walk and changing your mind about walking. 

This is one of the reasons why I repeat myself many times about taking your walking slowly; {don’t try to run, before you can walk} so to speak. As I have mentioned many times before, you have nothing to prove, just enjoy your walking, you are in complete control. A little more or a little less, whenever you’re ready. 

This would be a good time to mention “The Dreaded Blisters” I have been very fortunate in the fact that during all our miles of walking; I have only ever had, “one serious blister” It was a beauty!  So much so, that I took a picture of it.

Honestly, you really don’t want any blisters, a couple of good blisters could change the way you feel about walking forever. Look out for my next article, containing information on how to avoid the dreaded blister, and some great tips on how to break in you new walking boots or shoes.

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