Look, we don’t claim to be experts (in anything), but we’ve done a fair bit of long walks over the years and we’ve learned a few lessons, so if you want to join us on one of these misguided excursions (or are looking for general ideas about hiking) we’d recommend bearing these in mind:
1. Wear proper boots. This is absolutely the most important thing we can recommend. This will make the difference between doing ten miles and twenty. We’ve seen the great and good meet terrible ends as their boots have let them down.
2. While we’re at it, good socks are crucial. And spare ones! We often do a cheeky sock change at our first pub stop to swap out wet socks for dry ones to reduce blisters and it works a treat. Some of us (not Alan) have really got into toe socks, like feetus, too.
3. You might chaff in your, um, sensitive parts. We’d recommend something along the lines of under shorts/cycling shorts, or good ol’ fashioned talc.
4. We learned the hard way that if someone is sick, injured or miserable, they need to drop out and make their way to a place where they can get back to civilization on their own. We call this Pete’s Law (see Hike 1). Don’t bring everyone else down with you, if for no other reason than we may kill and eat you.
5. Bring a packed lunch. You don’t want to get hangry and we don’t have time to do a proper pub lunch, sadly.
6. Being a bellend, late or otherwise antisocial with get you blackballed. Pretty self-explanatory.
7. Suggestions, additions and alterations to the plan as well as ideas for future routes will be voted on by The Planning Committee, with The Dear Leader having the deciding vote.
8. In previous hikes John has always included this: “Always obey the Dear Leader. If in doubt about the other 7 rules, please refer to this one.”
Putting the ‘Idiots’ in Walking Idiots, there’s normally a fair amount of drinking on the way too. Tradition dictates that people can carry a hip flask of something, or some cheeky premixes. As mentioned, there will be pub stops, but these are often limited to one pint (maybe two if we’re having a particularly great time,) in order to prevent the inevitable realisation that we’d actually rather spend the afternoon in the pub rather than wrecking our feet.
Finally, we like to finish as a group. Paces are likely to vary throughout the day, especially as the hike progresses, but at the end there’s no better way to finish but as the squad we set off with (excluding those we’ve lost along the way, of course).