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Turns out, I’m not a winter walker.

Hibernation isn’t good for getting hike fit, but the shorter days and colder weather make inside much more appealing than outside. With the solstice behind me and a New Year started, I’m ready to get back out there – but with new gear. And what better time to buy new stuff than in the sales?

First stop, a down jacket. That was a mission in itself as I wanted room to fit a fleece underneath and my waterproof coat over the top, but I managed to pick one up in the sales that will do the job

Next up, boots. My Merrell boots are fine until it’s wet underfoot, when they become downright dangerous as they don’t offer any grip. That’s the kind of thing you can’t find out til you’re out walking, so they’ve been relegated until we have better weather and in their place some shiny new Scarpa boots which were a whopping half price in the sale

While I was at it I upgraded my cook set to an Alpkit BruKit, and picked up their Hippo mini water filter at the same time. Not that I’ll need either of these while I’m walking round my local area, but because I’m doing the Cleveland Way later this year – guidebooks/maps were also purchased, including a 1990s Paul Hannon from a charity shop – and I can’t resist a sale

So that’s where we’re at – still middle aged and unfit, but all kitted out and full of enthusiasm. Hike fit will hopefully follow, not the super athletic kind but the not needing mountain rescue or dying on a hill kind

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