/ Pennine Way (May/June) gaiters or not?
I’ll be walking the Pennine Way this coming May or June and am undecided on wether or not to take gaiters. I’ll be wearing a pair of Merrell Moab mid Gore-Tex boots and camping most nights.
I’d be interested to hear from others who have done the trail. Did you wish you took some or left them at home? Maybe there was a certain one or two sections where they would be useful.
I’m trying to go light, so if they’re not really needed I don’t want to carry them.
I did as far as Hebden Bridge in a few days, back in August wearing non-goretex trainers. That seemed like the right choice at that time of year, a lot of the path is now flagstones. Some mini gaiters like some runners use might be good to keep grit as much as water out of your boots. Decathlon sell some for not too much.
Walked it in 1981 before all of the flags and never had gaiters. If you're worried about wet feet and a bit of mud then take them but even with them you're going to get these to a degree. Keeping blisters at bay was much more of a concern. Then again crap boots were all we could afford back then.
The only time I use gaiters is on snow.
I've never wished I had gaiters on a long distance walk.
I did the PW in 2008 and any time it was wet enough to want them we were needing overtrousers on anyway.
> I've never wished I had gaiters on a long distance walk.
> I did the PW in 2008 and any time it was wet enough to want them we were needing overtrousers on anyway.
Completely the opposite for me. Gaiters were brilliant at stopping the boots and socks filling up with heather and peat. That was circa 1980, mind
By the time I did it most of the marshy bits had been paved so it was all about the wet, long grass tbh.
If I did it again, I'd get much more shock absorbing footwear: we had very sore feet at the end of each day from impact on hard surfaces all day. Some waterproof trainers or similar would be pretty much ideal I reckon.
Too hot at that time of year. I only use a stop tous type gaitor if there is deep snow
I did it last year starting late mid-June. If wild camping then I'd say yes to gaiters. I was, and certainly needed them for the first three/four days going S to N. After that I could probably have done without, barring Rottenstone Hill, patches around the Rapishaw Gap, and the forest stretches. Worth bearing in mind that when you reach the Wark Forest it will be very boggy no matter how dry the weather has been. But by then you'll be only a day or so away from Kirk Yetholm.
I toyed with the idea of trail running trainers, so tried them earlier this year on the Hadrian’s wall path. They started causing me problems after about 15 miles even though i’ve worn them in the lakes before on day walks (albeit with a much lighter pack).
Thanks for the info. I’ll be mainly staying on sites but may wild camp once or twice.
Was any of the Rapishaw gap paved when you were on it? I believe there are some flags now. I have a friend meeting me for the night in his camper van, near Byrness so i’ll make sure he brings fresh socks and something to dry out the boots.
If you get to the Cheviots you will probably need gaiters... unless we have a serious drought which is unlikely.
At that time of year, I'd just get the fell shoes out and get wet - then dry out again.
This is a classic 'not what you asked for' UKC answer.
From Glendue Burn over Hartleyburn Common and then from Hadrian's Wall through the Wark Forest was very boggy. It's all unflagged. Good call having someone meet you at Byrness btw: there is now nothing there; the inn is closed, petrol station derelict, and the Forest View turns campers away unless they pay £50. From Byrness over the Cheviots was ok.
We camped by Chew Roman camps above the midges at Byrness. It also reduced the distance to Kirk Y on our last day. Blisters and bog made me skip the Cheviot and it was over 30 years before I got there - nice pavements all the way now!
Yes, getting above the midges is quite a trick... I didn't think of camping at Chew Green; camped outside the Auchope refuge hut just before the Schil on my last night though. The evening was so spectacular that I couldn't bear the thought of wasting it on the last couple of miles into Kirk Yetholm.
Depends how you want to walk it. I'm all about fast and quite light and didn't wear them (because I'm pretty mobile so I can hop bogs, avoid the wettest stuff etc.). If you're going to be packing loads of gear, 2 weeks of food, heavy nylon stuff, big walking boots etc. then you might want some.
I know people who just trudge through whatever is in front of them when they hike. If you're going to walk like that then you might want gaiters.
I did it all in 12 days and yes, I did get my feet a bit wet in the cheviots, but I don't think I would choose gaiters if I was going it again.
Personally, I only wear proper gaiters in the winter and non-waterproof mini-gaiters (like trail running gaiters) in the summer if the path is gravelly.
A lightweight compromise would be some waterproof ankle gaiters, on a wet day they will stop the rain from running off your trousers straight into your shoes. Something like these:
Depends. If you wear them over trousers as a gaiter should be worn, the water will run into your shoes worse than if you weren't wearing them at all. If you wear them under trousers then you mostly negate the benefit of wearing them at all.
Frankly, you're mental if you're not wearing shorts on the PW in the summer anyway.
I love the *idea* of wearing shorts on the PW. And as a Yorkshireman I should probably have done it last year in shorts & flip-flops, shirtless. But...
...the reality was waterproofs for days. On 16th June it was hailing hard on Stanage. If I'd been wearing short trousers I'd have been having nasty flashbacks to primary school days.
I was reasonably lucky with the weather but I just can't bring myself to walk in trou!
Unless it's sub-freezing, I'll be in shorts. From memory i was in shorts, a mid-weight capilene long sleeve, buff and cap. Merino long johns and long sleeve to sleep in. I was frequently boiling and sometimes a bit chilly but I just walked a bit faster to stay warm.
I remember getting absolutely mullered on Great Shunner Fell and sitting in a tea room in Thwaite feeling very sorry for myself for an hour or so afterwards. Amazing how quickly the paths turned into ankle-deep rivers (no normal gaiters gonna help you there!).
To be honest I didn't really enjoy the PW much. It never felt wild until the Cheviots, which is one section I did really enjoy. If you'd never done any of it before I'm sure it would be really enjoyable but I'd walked most of the honey-pot sections before, and the rest just seemed to be trudging through farms full of shit. Sleightholme Moor was particularly bleak.
Oh and I wild camped the whole way, which I'd recommend. The only other people I met doing the whole thing were staying in hotels or hostels.
Hi Paul, I don’t suppose you have a copy of your itinerary plan I could have a look at? I’m also planning on a 12 day walk and would be keen to see where you pitched up/slept.
That's the way to do it ! Far from being an exploit, being autonomous does add something to it , certainly a great deal more satisfaction.
As for gaiters, you could try the famous Moroccan ones made by Ali !
I did it really light and cheap, buying changes of clothes at charity shops along the way, binning the smelly stuff !
I find it surprising that apparently so few people do it North to South, as I did. By the time I got to Blackstone Edge I could have done the rest blindfolded ( which was just as well, as it turned out).
Decide nearer the time - it is too early to tell.
> I find it surprising that apparently so few people do it North to South
Really? Given the most likely direction of any incoming bad weather (south west) you're more likely to have this coming from behind more times than not on a south to north march. Plus, when the sun shines it's not in your face so much. I was quite lucky in this respect as we only had one day of proper rain going from Tan Hill to Middleton.
Can send you mine if you want, Ned. I did it over 17 days, not 12, mostly wild camping.
If you wouldn’t mind that’d be great. I’ll ping you my email thanks.
I plan on meeting the Mrs for a night in a hotel at the end. We live in the north east, so makes sense for me to do it that way and I also took into account the more usual SW winds.
12 days is pushing it somewhat? I was 21 when I did it and took 15 days. We carried camping kit but stayed in hostels on about 5 or 6 nights. Found it quite something and I was fit as a butchers dog then. Ditch the gaiters if you're going for 12.
I’m planning for 12 but I’m allowing for 14. If I’m feeling particularly tired or the weather is really bad on a couple of days I’ll cut them short. If it happens more than a couple of days I’ll just have to push on.
It's a long time ago but I do recall that my mate and I only had a very loose game plan. That was the beauty of being self-contained, being able to stop or move on whenever camping places (wild or otherwise) allowed. Three of us set off from Edale but 'Doc' gave up at the first road-crossing after Black Hill on day two. He hadn't come on the 'training' trip in the Howgills when we sorted all our kit out and showed up at the start with all sorts of things hanging off his pack. That, and his amazing ability to find and then fall into bogs (attended by much laughter - from us) probably did for him. One of our days was very short, from Gargrave to Malham. We would probably have carried on beyond, perhaps to Horton, but we were both suffering and put it down to either the beer or the chips we'd scoffed in Gargrave the night before. We were also carrying far too much food in the mistaken assumption that we'd not be able to re-provision much en-route. Back then, a lot of farmhouses and cottages on or near the way were offering tea and cakes which we never passed by!
Flexibility is good. My first attempt on the PW floundered because we struggled to get to a pre booked hostel when my mate had a bad asthma attack.
A year later I went on my own at Easter. Mixed camping, hostels an b and b meant I could go my own pace ( 20 miles a day, which turned out much faster than my previous attempt schedule). Met and walked with loads of people en route .
> Hi Paul, I don’t suppose you have a copy of your itinerary plan I could have a look at? I’m also planning on a 12 day walk and would be keen to see where you pitched up/slept.
Sorry for late reply; I had to dig out my trail guide to see where I pitched up. It was something along the lines of:
Night 1 was about a km up from Laddow Rocks below Bareholme Moss. It was near a big boulder (a lot of that area was boggy but there was a nice flat bit of higher ground near this boulder that was fine). I was eaten alive by midgies here.
Night 2 was next to Stoodley Pike (amazing place to camp!)
Night 3 I camped at Winterhouse Barn in Cowling
Night 4 I camped on top of Malham Cover (another amazing spot)
Night 5 I camped up past Dodd Fell just before Hawes (I think it was v windy here)
Night 6 I camped just before Keld (after Thwaite)
Night 7 I camped somewhere on the way down into Middleton-in-Teesdale
Night 8 I camped on the side of Brownber Hill (if you can put in a massive day here and go another 8km or so you can stay in Gregs Hut Bothy. I stopped for a brew there the following morning).
Night 9 I camped before Lambley (just past Thinhope Burn)
Night 10 I stayed at Haughton Green Bothy (was a massive relief, as I didn't know it existed and it was pissing it down. Saw a sign on a trail going off into the forest about respecting the Bothy Code and took a total punt. Around 1km later I had a roof over my head!)
Night 11 I camped at Blakehopeburnhaugh
Night 12 I stayed in the mountaine refuge hut on The Cheviot and rocked up to the put at 10am the next morning.
Hope that helps! I go pretty light and have pretty good legs for it, though I didn't find it too physically demanding.
And if you want any further inspiration, I posted some photos here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10159419473965311&set=a.10159419470340311&type=3&theater that you should be able to view.
pub*, not put.
Cheers Paul that’s brilliant, just what I was after. I may stop on the campsite at Malham as I was cycling through this summer and the pubs looked really nice.
Yeah the pub is decent. From memory it's only a short walk from there to the cove anyway, so you could still go to the pub and wild camp (unless, you know, you wanted a skin full and couldn't be arsed with the walk up to the top of the cove!).
When I camped there, the spot on top of the cove was better than any campsite pitch I've been to (sheltered by a natural wall, completely flat because of the limestone pavement under the surface, and grass impeccably groomed by the resident fauna).
You’ve sold it
Don't forget to fill up with water before you climb to the top of the Cove (unless you have a bucket and long piece of string!).
I thought I saw a crocodile once but no gators.
> From memory it's only a short walk from there to the cove anyway, so you could still go to the pub and wild camp (unless, you know, you wanted a skin full and couldn't be arsed with the walk up to the top of the cove!).
I can confirm that even having had a skin-full its still a relatively short walk, or indeed drunken stumble, to the top of the cove - it is quite up hill though and skin-full or not, try not to fall off the top! I'm not sure where it came from, but among my friends someone had a bottle of red wine with them that we consumed whilst watching the stars and trying to remember whether it was clint or a gryke we were sitting in. God, I had a hangover in the morning, and it made about the easiest climb at Malham Cove feel utterly desperate (it was a severe IIRC!).
Base Jumper Tom Erik Heimen and trail runner Kilian Jornet "race" up & down the iconic Romsdalshorn (1550m) in Norway.