umbrellas

umbrella collectionSummer’s here! Wonderful evening walks in the neighbourhood.  Sometimes it rains. Being able to enjoy a walk whatever the weather is easier with the right “gear”.  For a walk in a light summer rain that just may be an umbrella.  And, there are some delightful umbrellas available today.  Pictured here are a few of mine. A golf umbrella – good for soccer games and more, a small traveling umbrella – good in a pinch when you don’t have space for something larger, a specialized black umbrella for the wind and my favorites: tigers on elephants – rarely used now because it is fragile after a windy, rainy day; black cats on green – my current umbrella of choice; and a sentimental blue with constellations – one that belonged to my Dad.

umbrella close up

new app at low tide

Nova Scotia low tideLast weekend we explored a new beach! We went for a very short walk at a beach just before Lawrencetown Beach Provincial Park.  Besides exploring this beach, I was trying out a new app to record walks and hikes.  It seems to have worked really well.  Check out Lawrencetown -1 at EveryTrail.com. The trace of our short walk actually shows where we walked and it looks like we walked through the water – we didn’t, but that’s ok – it was low tide.  If you want to compare – I did list the walk on my regular HRM map as well.

This app from EveryTrail was easy to install on the mobile phone and easy to use.  There are all kinds of trips recorded and available at EveryTrail.

Later we popped over to Lawrencetown Beach where the cobbles cover the shore.

Lawrencetown beach

Backpack – rain gear

Today I tried out my new backpack rain cover.  It’s great!  I have a small, light-weight backpack for walking to work.  It is totally not rainproof.  The pack cover was inexpensive and fit the pack well.  All my stuff was dry when I got to work.

Usually I walk with an umbrella in town.  Umbrellas are one of my favorite things, however in the wind…they are not.  So – the rain cover for the backpack and bonus:  your hands are free.  I would recommend this for anyone who walks in the rain with a backpack.  Any quick web search will turn up a variety of models and/or your favorite outdoor store should have one (or two).

traction on ice

ice-grippers_2010-cropped

A few days ago I wrote about walking on ice at Fort Anne.  The ice is still here and an excellent reason to try out a new piece of  footwear.  – At least I think it qualifies as foot wear,  those pieces of gear called on the label “all purpose traction aids” for ice and snow.  Essentially these contraptions are like rubber slippers with cleats.  They are intended to fit over your regular shoes/boots and should help you keep your footing on ice and snow.

I tried mine out tonight. Two aspects of these fancy ice-grippers are critical:  Do they work?  and how easy or difficult are they to put on?  For the first question –  they do work.  I found my very slippery driveway easy to negotiate.  But for the second question: ease of use – well it depends…I was able to get them on over two different pairs of boots (light boots), but it was a struggle.  The rubber has to be stretched and pulled to fit over the shoe or boot.  And, it has to be at least mostly even so the cleats are on the bottom.  So, the vision that I had of carrying these things and using them as needsed for a particularly treacherous walk…hmm.  I can’t see it.

(On further checking, it seems that the pair I have, a gift, were purchased for shoe sizes 5-7 and generally my shoes are in the 7-8 range.  Perhaps a larger pair would be easier to put on.) Would I recommend these ice-grippers?  Yes, especially for those who find icy conditions very difficult to negotiate or who are discouraged from walking by ice sidewalks.

The ice-grippers in action:

ice-grippers-in-action_1999-cropped

Are you ready?

raingear-1292_22

That’s my man and he’s ready…for the rain.

It’s raining today; and who wants to be wet and cold? Walks are good anytime, but you have to be ready for the weather.  Keeping dry in the rain means rain gear of some sort.  That orange suit is totally waterproof, designed for all day work in inclement weather – fishing boats, oil rigs, you name it.  Me, I prefer something a little more lightweight, a bit more comfortable.  Even so, I like the rain out so I usually opt for nylon coated with polyurethane…the rain stays out!  A myriad of rain gear is available. Some even breathes, so your sweat evaporates and it’s “waterproof”, and it’s expensive, but oh well, nothing is perfect.  And, if you’re hiking, not just strolling along, then you really do want something that breathes.