Thursday, 23 December 2010

Walking in a winter wonderland

Glentrek goes winter walking in Glenshee, Scotland

As traditional as the turkey on Christmas is our Glentrek festive walk. With some leisure time on Christmas Day, Boxing Day and the days afterwards we can think of nothing better than to head off for a countryside hike - or two, or three! This year, we're looking forward to walking in the fabulous snowy landscape of Angus.

Hill walking in the snow isn't for everyone and you should be experienced in the use of crampons, ice axes, avalanche awareness and navigation if you plan to head high into the hills. Otherwise, why not go for a lower-level walk, perhaps following the banks of a picturesque river or the pretty trails through Scotland's expansive forests?

Ensure you are wearing good boots with plenty of grip, lots of clothing layers, hat, gloves, a buff or a scarf and carrying extra layers as well as a drink and snacks. Even if you're planning to stick to trails it's important that you also take a map, compass and a mobile phone with you. And remember that the sun sets in the late afternoon at this time of year so ensure you have enough time for your walk in the daylight.

Wherever you walk the snow is sure to have created a gorgeous winter wonderland landscape. (Don't forget to send us your pictures of your walks this Christmas).

Thanks to Sue McKichan for this lovely photo of Water of leith

If you're based in town or a city then there are still plenty of wonderful places to walk for an hour or so. This photo of the Water of Leith in Edinburgh reveals the delightful scenery just minutes from the busy shopping streets.

If you are adequately experienced for winter mountain walking then you'll love this time of year. A snowy landscape offers a wealth of new challenges and experiences - and the views from a mountain summit are spectacular. We've enjoyed fantastic festive walking days when hardly another soul is seen. Having the landscape to yourself for the entire day is really special.

And while you're thinking about walking why not make a plan for 2011? Do you want to start a Munros round? Have you been wondering about conquering all the Corbetts? Would you like to learn how to navigate safely? Have you thought about heading off on one of Scotland's fantastic long-distance walking trails, such as the Cateran trail? If any of these ideals appeal, or if you are looking for other suggestions, why not give Glentrek a call? We will be delighted to chat to you about walking in Scotland.

Have a fantastic festive season.

Friday, 10 December 2010

All they want for Christmas...

Everyone knows a keen walker - but when it comes to buying them a new and original gift it's not always that easy. Most walkers will already have the full range of outdoors kit in their walking gear wardrobe. You might be lucky enough to know of a favoured item that has come to the end of its life or perhaps you've been listening intently this year and you are aware of a new gadget that they are hankering after. If not, then what should you buy your loved one?

Here we bring you a few ideas that should bring a smile to their face on Christmas morning.

The Ruffnek: A new version of the very useful multi-scarf/buff/neck warming thingie. This "ruff" is made of lovely soft fabric and is about as versatile as any outdoors person could want. It could be a scarf, a hat, a hat/scarf, a sweat band, a hairband, a fashion accessory. Pop a Ruffnek into a Christmas stocking for a lovely Christmas surprise.

Collins Ramblers Best Walks in Britain: A new book to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Ramblers' Association. There are lots of great walks in his hardback, coffee-table style book. No doubt your outdoorsy recipient will have walked all the walks but they'll still love looking at the pictures!

Heat holder socks: No walker can ever have enough pairs of socks. And a pair of socks that will be sure to keep their feet cosy on even the coldest hike will be more than welcomed. See how they grin as they pop their feet into these oh-so-cosy socks!

Go-lite: Why carry heavy kit when you can carry light (lite?) kit? Most walkers will welcome a lighter weight addition to their walking gear wardrobe so check out the equipment, including rucksacks, jackets, tops, tights, tents, sleeping bags, on offer at this forward-thinking outdoors company.

A Munro calender 2011: From the website MunroMap comes a gorgeous 2011 calendar. Now we'll bet no-one has one of these already!