Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Will you be in the Grip of Winter

The winter will be upon us very soon. Snow and ice are predicted before the week is out. A slip can easily mean a broken bone or even worse if you tumble into ice cold water.

In those sort of conditions, the towpath and gangplanks to the boat are not the safest of places to be walking. But help is at hand. You will have seen people on TV climbing up frozen waterfalls using a pick axe and with crampons on their boots. Whilst I can't see a need for a pick age along the canal I can see a need for using crampons. I'm not talking about the big "Everest climbing crampons" I'm talking about mini-crampons that can be fitted in seconds to your boots and shoes.

If your winter walking doesn’t take you up Ben Nevis or Snowdon you don’t need proper crampons – but if you still have to deal with icy paths and slippery snow then Kahtoola Micro Spikes look a good choice.

They also make a light weight for carrying. They consist of a stretchy upper that fits over the shoe and eight very short spikes that are linked by flexible stainless steel chains. Fitting them to different footwear is easy. There are no straps or screw fittings. They are held in place by the tension of the lightly stretched uppers and there are four sizes available.

Priced at about £50 a pair from climbing shops.

There are other options available on ebay. The lightweight pocket sized mini crampon for use on most slippery surfaces such as ice and snow. Gives you the confidence to stay active outdoors all Winter. This grippy, durable, slip-on traction system features strategically placed stainless steel spikes connected to a dynamic flex-chain with a tough elastomer shoe harness. The unique "microspike" chain adjusts itself to grip nearly any surface - from ice and packed snow to wet rocks, concrete, and scree. durable spikes require no special buckles or straps. This pocket-sized traction device is the answer for people of all ages who want to stay active in the winter with convenient, effective foot traction. Securely attaches to everyday shoes, and boots.

Priced at about £20 a pair.

Another ebay offering is the The Magic Spiker.

Keep your feet firmly on the ground. The Magic Spiker is a uniquely designed footwear accessory that helps everyone walk with "slip free" confidence. Ice, snow, mud, sand and wet grass will stop being a hazard to you, giving you the confidence to venture out in any weather conditions! The Magic Spiker is designed for everyone; from children all the way through to adults. With a pair of Magic Spikers you will walk with complete confidence. Works on snow, ice, mud, wet grass and sand. Unique design allows rear heal to grip with rubber thread and front to grip with studs. Fits just about any boot or shoe (even high heels).

Priced at about £10 a pair.

If you decide to use a pair of spikes on your feet. Get yourself a small square of wood sheet or one of those perforated plastic mats to protect your boat deck. You need this to stand on whist you get your spike/cleats/ crampons on or off your boots or shoes and to save damaging your boats deck.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Please put your name to your comment. Comments without a name may automatically be treated as spam and might not be included.

If you do not wish your comment to be published say so in your comment. If you have a tip or sensitive information you’d prefer to share anonymously, you may do so. I will delete the comment after reading.