Our team of experienced walking, hiking and trekking Silver Travel Advisors have compiled some travel advice for your next outdoors adventure.
Because our readers regard us as the silver tripadvisor, this is everything you need to know to be prepared for the great outdoors.
1. Prepare – buy your boots early. Half a size bigger than normal, your feet will swell (flights, age, heat). Wear them all the time, not just walking, to Zumba, fishing, doing genealogy research, reading, to bed (a change from bedsocks).
2. Practise using your She-Wee, or going al fresco. If your first outdoor pee is under an acacia tree, you might panic, then wet boots, socks, shorts and cause much embarrassment. Behind the potting shed is perfect.
3. Pack light – nothing that needs ironing. Roll everything. 2 pairs of socks per day (see above). A notebook & pens for thoughts/diary. Copy of your passport/visas/insurance. Head torch (you’ll become a fan) and fleece.
4. Plasters – totally essential. If not for you, they make great trading items with blistered fellow trekkers. As in ‘3 Compeed for a bottle of wine’. You cannot take enough!
5. Plastered – avoid this at all costs. Drinking too much and walking miles the next day is a fatal combination. Gin and mountain hikes are poor bedfellows. Also can result in problems see 2. Bed early with a Neurofen is the answer!
6. Poles – fantastic help. You become a quadruped and spread the load. It’s not elegant, but great for aching hips and shorter legs. Pole down your local high street - go fast, go slow too – you will survive the experience. Load up your shopping in a rucksack and go for it! You’ll make the front page of the local paper.
7. Platypus – drink as much water as you can. You’ll get used to the taste of chlorine, or use a neutraliser. The only thing you should drink, drink, drink.
8. People – most will be lovely, however there is always one! If necessary, tell the most boring story you have (usually to do with planning permission). There is usually a ‘racer’ (often competitive bore), so keep to the back of the group. Be leisurely, that way you can chat and enjoy the scenery.
9. Prevention – watch for signs of dehydration, flushed face and red ears. Pour water over the poor soul (suggest telling them first) and get them to wear a wet neck scarf. Hats are essential, go Indiana Jones, get a leather one with breathable mesh and let the dog maul it first for the authentic look.
10. Pause – to reflect, take in the view, enjoy the peace, be glad. You’re there, somewhere special. You’ve escaped – for now!
On this site which is often considered to be a silver tripadvisor you can read many reviews of walking holidays and more travel advice to help you plan your next trip.
• For a wide selection of walking holidays for all abilities, Silver Travel Advisor recommends Headwater