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  • Bluedome
    all of England s highest mountains and many other heights which prove to be quite easily accessible Long distance walkers can pass through the area from Ulverston to Carlisle following the Cumbria Way and there are plenty of other suggested longer walks Casual strollers can sample a short stretch of lakeshore path beside most of the larger lakes and for a little more effort they can climb uphill in search of the more elusive tarns which are sprinkled across virtually every fell There are easy waymarked trails through the established forests at Grizedale and Whinlatter as well as level walks such as the Keswick Railway Path You can build a particular theme into your explorations such as searching for places associated with William Wordsworth even to the extent of using his oft republished Guide to the Lakes There were the other Lake Poets such as Coleridge Southey and De Quincey the latter one actually writing Recollections of the Lakes and Lake Poets Start trailing around after any or all of these and you will come across Beatrix Potter John Ruskin Arthur Ransome Hugh Walpole Charles Dickens and Harriet Martineau who wrote The Complete Guide to the English Lakes Knowing which guidebooks to select from the groaning bookshelves depends largely on what you are looking for as there are dozens added to the bookshop shelves every year The walking guides may well be dominated by the best selling Alfred Wainwright but prospective readers are advised that these are horribly dated Bookshop browsing is best reserved for a rainy day but with a bit of luck you won t get too many of those You can pick up rivetting facts as you travel around such as the fact that Seathwaite is the wettest place in England Places To Visit Brockhole The Lake District National Park Visitor Centre Ideal place to go to find out all about the history and heritage of the national park The centre is within an old house set in wonderfully wooded grounds with lakeshore access to Windermere Windermere Steamboat Museum Plenty of nostalgia Old steamboats in various states of repair including many which are still lakeworthy Swallows and Amazons fans can see some memorabilia associated with the childrens adventure stories Bridge House By the main road in Ambleside This tiny house stands on a bridge and is a one up one down place owned by the National Trust The building has had many uses and a cobbler once reared several children in it Hawkshead Grammar School Where Wordsworth was educated Hawkshead itself is delightfully cluttered and you should try and locate Ann Tyson s Cottage where Wordsworth lodged while he attended the grammar school Hill Top Beatrix Potter s house at Sawrey though she hardly had time to live there Has had to be strengthened to cope with the sheer number of visitors Beatrix Potter left land farms and flocks of Herdwick sheep to the National Trust on her death Dove Cottage Just off the main road at

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/treklake.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    PEMBROKESHIRE COAST PATH 180 miles 290km The crinkly coastline of Pembrokeshire in south west Wales is delightful Starting in St Dogmaels the Pembrokeshire Coast Path is essentially an exploration of the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Rugged cliff paths make up much of the route linking coastal towns and villages Offshore islands such as Caldy are additional attractions There is a length inlet at Milford Haven which has been spoiled by industry and some walkers prefer to take a bus around this stretch Beyond this extensive Army ranges sometimes curtail access to some of the best cliff scenery Check access in advance to avoid disappointment The route passes through Tenby to end at Amroth 14 OFFA S DYKE PATH 180 miles 290km When Offa King of Mercia built an earthwork to separate his territory from Wales he little knew that he was laying the foundations of a coast to coast walk through Wales Offa s Dyke can be traced from Chepstow to Prestatyn although in some places the line of the earthwork has been lost There are several interesting towns and villages along the way and gentle countryside near the Wye Valley is followed by a high level walk through the Brecon Beacons National Park The best stretches of Offa s Dyke can be traced around Knighton and Montgomery Hills around Llangollen and the Clwydian Hills offer fine views on the northern stretches of the walk before the seaside resort of Prestatyn marks the end of the walk 15 GLYNDWR S WAY 120 miles 190km Glyndwr s Way is being established as an official waymarked walking trail in midWales It links with the course of Offa s Dyke at Welshpool and Knighton so it could be completed as an immense circular walk Glyndwr was a Welsh prince who for a few years confronted the English in battle and for a short while re established Wales as an independent nation The route leaves Knighton and wanders through the lonely countryside of mid Wales to reach Machynlleth where Glyndwr established his parliament Returning across the hills via the huge Vyrnwy Dam the route reaches Welshpool Back to Index Scotland 16 SOUTHERN UPLAND WAY 215 miles 345km A coast to coast walk across Southern Scotland The route runs from Portpatrick on the Irish Sea to Cockburnspath on the North Sea Most of the trail is along tracks and minor roads but there are some high and exposed sections The route passes through the Galloway Forest Park to reach Dalry then crosses over the hills to Sanquhar After crossing the Lowther Hills and passing Moffat the route crosses more hills and approaches St Mary s Lough A fine range of hills is crossed on the way to Melrose then beyond Lauder are the heathery Lammermuir Hills Accommodation is limited at Longformacus and Abbey St Bathans The route ends with a short coastal walk into Cockburnspath 17 WEST HIGHLAND WAY 90 miles 145km This was the first official long distance trail in Scotland It runs from Milngavie on the outskirts of Glasgow to Fort William at the foot of Ben Nevis The first stretch is easy then the route hugs the shore of Loch Lomond on the way to Crianlarich The Highlands are most evident as the route proceeds from Tyndrum to Bridge of Orchy across Rannoch Moor to the Kingshouse and Kinlochleven The final stretch leads through a high glen before a descent to Fort William Ben Nevis the highest mountain in Britain beckons those who still possess the energy to make an ascent 18 SPEYSIDE WAY 60 miles 100km This short and easy trail comes in two parts The first part is largely routed along the trackbed of an old railway line hugging the course of the River Spey from it confluence with the sea The route passes Fochabers and there is a side spur to Dufftown The trackbed can be followed as far as Ballindalloch before the route takes to the hills The last stretch runs through the Glenlivet Crown Estate to end at Tomintoul One of the features of the Speyside Way is the abundance of malt whisky distilleries Three of those along the route offer tours and the chance to sample a wee dram Back to Index Ireland 19 WICKLOW WAY 80 miles 130km This was the first waymarked trail to be established in Ireland The route leaves the outskirts of Dublin and passes through the broad and bleak Wicklow Mountains Many parts have become very boggy and eroded through overuse The route passes the monastic city of Glendalough and takes in some high ground as it passes from glen to glen Accommodation can be limited in some parts and towards the end the bulk of the route is along minor roads and forest tracks The route ends at Clonegal and there is an easy link with the course of the South Leinster Way 20 SOUTH LEINSTER WAY 60 miles 100km The South Leinster Way starts at Kildavin and proceeds to climb over the flanks of Mount Leinster Much of the route is along roads and forest tracks but there is a good stretch of the River Barrow s towpath which is followed from Borris to Graiguenamanagh The trail continues past the delightful village of Inistioge crosses Mount Alto and passes through Glenpipe to reach Mullinavat The remainder of the route is along roads to end beside the River Suir at Carrick on Suir There was a direct link with the course of the Munster Way but due to problems of maintainence this trail has been removed from the official list 21 BARROW WAY 70 miles 110km The Barrow Way is essentially a towpath walk and so is mostly level and easy throughout It comes in two parts The stretch from Lowtown to Athy is along the Barrow Line of the Grand Canal while the remainder from Athy to St Mullins is along the actual River Barrow The whole of the navigable waterway is used by pleasure cruisers There are a

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/treklong.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    overload as you sweat too much and it cannot be removed fast enough In this case to stabilise the equation known as the moisture vapour transfer rate MVTR for short stop and ventilate to remove excess sweat If the former case is a problem then find a good pub to sit in or learn to live with the terrible weather How does this remarkable breathable fabric keep out the rain Breathable fabrics come in three forms The first is not truly waterproof as it relies upon the close weave of the fabric to keep out water This means that fluid can still be forced through the fabric in certain conditions The waterproof properties of close weave fabrics can be enhanced with the use of chemical water repellents It would certainly appear that the Nikwax Paramo system has overcome the above problems in an off beat way that has heralded a new look to waterproofs and can be recommended The other two forms rely upon either the hydrophillic water loving or microporous qualities of materials which come as either a coating or a laminated film The molecular chains of hydrophillic materials are stepping stones by water molecules The molecules are passed from chain to chain by the force of the temperature heat differential until they are released to the outside Water droplets cannot pass back across the fabric for it is non porous Microporous materials are created to have tiny holes within their structure These holes are large enough for water vapour molecules to pass through yet many times too small to allow the passage of water droplets Bi component materials are a combination of both the above materials How many ways can a material be made waterproof yet stay breathable There are six basic ways of creating a waterproof breathable fabric These mainly involve spraying a face fabric with layers of coating to form a waterproof coat The more layers the more waterproof and often less breathable Likewise a plate can be sprayed and the dried coating removed to create a film that can be laminated to a fabric The following are brand names associated with specific waterproof methods Microporous coatings TriplePoint Hydrophillic coatings Milair Scantex Microporous laminates Aquatex Hydrophillic laminates Sympatex Bi component coating Entrant G2 Bi component laminate Gore Tex What is a laminate A laminate is where a waterproof breathable film is bonded by a special gluing process to a fabric This could be to the outer fabric 2 layer and in some cases have a protective scrim bonded to the back of the film to create 3 layer lamination The fashion industry also laminates the film onto either a lining or scrim to form a drop liner This allows them the facility to create clothing with a better drape and handle How about clothing construction If clothing is to be truly waterproof then the seams have to be sealed against water entry This is normally done by glued tape applied under heat and pressure Further many

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/trekundw/trekundw.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    comfortable hard wearing perspiration wicking lining such as Cambrelle Soles Where do you start There is a vast array on the market most being designed by computer to provide eco friendly stability in a wide variety of conditions The composition of the sole is very important Shallow tread boots with a high carbon content may well last longer than a deeper lug rubber sole Unfortunately there is a good chance that they will provide less grip in certain conditions Traditional heels and soles emphasise heel strike and do little to alleviate the forces generated through the knees and lower back as the foot strikes the ground Modern soles try to minimise this in a number of ways Some boots maintain the traditional heel which provides the best grip upon descent and include energy absorbing plastic inserts The most widely known material for this application is ethylene vinyl acetate or EVA for short Another common way to absorb shock is by gluing materials of different densities together Unfortunately like in running shoes these materials will collapse or separate with age and use True dual density soles are created during molding and exist as a single unit which is not subject to collapsing or separation of layers Another method used to cushion the foot is by using a flat sole with a cut away heel Some of these soles are shaped to rock forward with the stride Although these provide a far more comfortable rolling action they can be pretty desperate when descending steep slopes Some other sole features include rands to protect uppers and shaped soles used in conjunction with midsole stiffness to take crampons Brand names to look out for are Skywalk and Vibram Salmon s own branded sole is also very positive Midsoles Here lies the real difference between the traditional boot and light weights Instead of using a last and shank the boots are constructed around a molded nylon midsole Like sport shoes these offer various grades of strength and flex to cater for different uses These wonders of modern foot technology support and flex with the foot offering instant comfort with little to no breaking in period Further they protect the foot from lateral twist and stone penetration Midsoles are normally bonded to the sole by glue or vulcanisation Sewing tends to be reserved for traditional style boots Inner soles or footbeds are another great improvement to boots These are normally shaped to the foot to provide instant cushioned support Gone are the days of having to endure the agonies created by soft feet molding unyielding leather during the course of breaking in the boot Comfort is offered in many ways Some footbeds are made of closed cell materials which trap millions of tiny air pockets in their structure to absorb shock Others have impact absorbing plastic inserts Few absorb sweat and are thus quick drying Others purposely hold sweat away from the foot until it has a chance to evaporate off Al1 are anti bacterial to

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/trekboot.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    and easy to use even when wearing gloves Plastic quick release buckles are now the norm and heavy duty YKK zips are renowned for their resilience Stitching should be checked to ensure that it will not come adrift especially at points of high strain such as the shoulder straps Larger capacity sacks may well have vulnerable areas such as the base reinforced with additional material Many bags are now contoured to sit and hold a load correctly Larger sacks often have a hip strap to assist stability over broken ground For the same reason side straps are sometimes provided to compress the sack to obtain a clean cut low profile when carrying small loads Shoulder Straps Rucksack shoulder straps should be padded and not compress under load Padding may come in the form of high density foam with reinforced stitching or dual density foam one foam providing the padding while the other creates lateral support to prevent the straps distorting and digging in Foam should also be of the closed cell variety to stop them soaking up water like a sponge Tapered straps are also available for comfort where a wide strap may rub Straps should be easy to adjust with one hand while the sac is on the back Some bags have an elasticated chest strap which attaches between the shoulder straps to hold them in the correct position when worn Back Comfort Back ventilation and protection from the pain inflicted by rogue flasks was once achieved by a light metal frame Backs are now protected by soft padded fabrics which unfortunately can encourage the back to sweat Manufacturers use a number of methods to overcome this problem These include sown V shaped channels to funnel air around the back and the use of foam and airmesh a string

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/treksac/treksac.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    will remove abrasive salt crystals and restore the garment s feel Once clean dry your garment in an airy place AWAY FROM DIRECT HEAT I have known people to dry nylon jackets on storage heaters only to return to a melted mess Clean dry garments should then be stored free hanging in a cool dry environment to prevent possible mildew attack Periodically check component items such as poppers No matter how good a manufacturer s component items can fail and it is better to get them replaced when at home rather than suffer the consequences of them breaking in the field Easy D I Y maintenance includes zip lubrication rub zip teeth with a candle or soft pencil and replacing drawcords attach a safety pin to the end of the drawcord to give you something to grip through the cloth and aid threading Although certain remedial action can be taken at home on the whole it is better to consult the retailer who is sometimes in the position to offer on site repairs such as popper replacement or advise on the proper course of action This is especially important in circumstances where a guarantee could be effected and the garment has to be returned to either a manufacturer or specialist repair company There are going to be times when your waterproofs are damaged in the field Tears and punctures can be caused by any number of things from crampon points to barbed wire In the days of neoprene jackets I used to carry a puncture repair kit and waterproof tape to cover holes to stop them from growing and to keep out the rain Upon returning home I would then sew on a doped patch ensuring that the subsequent stitching was also doped to prevent water entry through the needle holes The advent of breathable fabrics have brought their own problems Although you can still repair a tear in the above manner top manufacturer guarantees could be affected A surer way of repair is to send the waterproof back to the manufacturer for a proper patch with taped stitching To aid manufacturers remove field dressings W L Gore have developed an emergency patch for breathable fabrics that can be cleanly removed by the application of heat This ensures the best possible surface on which to carry out a repair From the above comments it has probably been deduced that it is highly inadvisable to pin things to your jacket and if you have to wear badges then glue them on don t sew Guarantees can be effected adversely through misuse Eventually a jacket will require washing and may even start to or appear to leak While technical fabrics such as Gore Tex and TriplePoint are easy to clean washing instructions found on the garment s sew in care label are normally dependent on the other components READ THEM Most clothes can be machine washed at 40C cheaper garments may need hand washing in warm soapy water or dry cleaned but

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/trekccar/trekccar.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    system and contain information regarding the terrain and ground features in addition to contour information and vegetation Printed onto a waterproof base the maps are ideal for walkers climbers and mountain bikers The Harveys maps employ the OS grid system for navigation and map references In other parts of the world map information can vary tremendously some remote areas have only simple maps with little detail most parts of the developed world Europe the United States for example are covered by excellent maps Some important areas such as the Himalayas have some high quality maps a series of Austrian maps cover the South American Andes but other areas can be very poorly served Compass The fundamental navigation device using one of the basic forces of nature magnetism A long thin magnet able to rotate freely will always point to magnetic north Wherever you are on the surface of the planet this rule applies It gives the navigator his main reference for finding out further information when combined with a modern map it allows accurate navigation The early Chinese are credited with inventing the magnetic compass allowing their navigators to sail and investigate the whole of the western pacific coastline The modern compass has become a highly refined instrument capable of great accuracy using jewel bearings and a liquid filled housing the compass needle will return an accuracy of a single degree or better With a rotating bezels and scale marking on the baseplate map work and navigation have never been easier so why do people still get lost No map and no compass is one reason for getting lost the two items go together Map and compass and still lost use your map at regular intervals to check your position and progress don t leave it until your are lost to figure out where you are Don t put your map in your rucksack keep it in a map case and refer to it at regular intervals Observation of the passing terrain is another source of bewilderment if the map says you should be in a pine forest and you are walking across open moorland something has gone wrong Observe as you travel and refer again to your map half of accurate navigation is about observation Contour lines drawn on a map allow the navigator to read a slope or hillside The closer the lines are together the steeper the slope will be with some practice and observation it is possible to visualise the landscape with some accuracy The ability to read contour lines gives you the ability to avoid very steep ascents and descents where contour lines become joined on the map you are looking at severe slopes and possibly sheer cliffs and dangerous ground Some compasses are fitted with a clinometer which allows measurement of the slope angle to add another level of accuracy to your navigation The map and compass represent a major asset for safe travel in the outdoors their proper use will keep you out

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/campingandwalking/treknavi/treknavi.html (2016-02-10)
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  • Bluedome
    time descending back to the valley bottom Eventually tired of such ascents and not liking the exposed look of the next one we decided to ford the river This proved harder than it looked the ice cold water being deep and strong and most people including many of the porters needed help to cross safely Trek leader Kit Wilkinson spent a long time out in the middle of the river helping people across mainly because at 6 3 he towered over nearly everybody else and was the only person who could stand up at all easily in the full force of the water Eventually the gorge began to level off the steep sides draw back and we entered the broad flat upper Tarap valley A series of small villages line the river here and we camped by the first of these Dho Tarap a wild place with the air of a medieval town Visiting Dho is like visiting the past Out in the tiny terraced fields villagers were threshing the barley with wooden flails while others ploughed the dusty soil with metal tipped crude wooden ploughs dragged by yaks Children with large wicker baskets on their backs prowled the nearby slopes collecting yak dung which was then spread out to dry before being used as fuel for fires It s the only fuel available in this treeless land At dusk herds of goats sheep and yaks came back from distant grazing grounds The people especially the children were friendly and curious watching everything we did Trekking groups visit Dho regularly so foreigners are not totally unknown Even so we were clearly of great interest to many of the locals In order to aid acclimatisation we spent a day wandering round the fascinating villages and gompas of the upper Tarap before starting the two day 1300 metre ascent to the first high pass 5300 metre Charkula Bhanjyang a broad flat saddle decorated with a large cairn topped with a network of white prayer flags The view was unbelievably vast the nearby brown semi desert hills ringed by distant higher snow topped mountains most of them somewhere between 6 and 7000 metres high The colours of Dolpo are those of the desert varying shades of brown and yellow that in places turn to dark red and black or in contrast a creamy white The hills are scree covered and rimmed by huge eroded half sand half rock buttresses and shattered unstable cliffs Dust is everywhere and our belongings were soon covered with a fine gritty film There is beauty here but it is a harsh savage beauty borne out of a searing sun and the rock shattering bitter winter cold A steep path led down from the pass into the wide Kahajeng Kohla valley where we camped beside a wide well used track On leaving Dho we had entered the restricted part of Dolpo and for the rest of the trek we saw no other trekkers There were plenty of local people

    Original URL path: http://www.bluedome.co.uk/Trekking/bigtreks/trekdolp/trekdolp.html (2016-02-10)
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