Tag Archives: Preparing for your adventure

These boots are made for trekking…

It is every trekker’s worst nightmare. You’ve prepared for an adventure, endured the blisters of breaking in your trekking boots and packed your spare laces, then halfway through your trek your boots decide they’ve had enough… Before you take off, it’s essential to look for signs that your trusted trekking boots may not be up for the journey.

With this simple guide, your feet will stay snug and comfortable, so you can focus on enjoying your adventure of a lifetime.

First and foremost, you must check all the seams, stitching and shoelace eyelets of your boots for excessive wear and tear. If your boots are buckling under the strain of training, it is likely they will not stand up to your adventure. Next, inspect the area where the sole bonds to the upper material. If you can see gaps or places where the glue has started to deteriorate, you must have this professionally mended or face having soggy feet for the majority of your adventure.

Whether you’ve had your boots for 10 years or 10 minutes, how you care for them primarily determines how well they will hold up as you take on the world. So how can you extend the life of your boots? Chris Mein from Paddy Pallin shares his best tips.

Keep them clean Clean your boots thoroughly after every trek. Dirt and grime that settle in the material can act as abrasives. Chemicals in soil, such as fertilisers and salt, can also pose a serious threat to the rubber, glue and leather of your boots.

Keep them dry When drying your trekking boots, avoid extreme heat. Instead of drying your boots next to a fire or a heater, stuff them with newspaper and let them air dry. When storing your boots, ensure they are in a dry place, away from direct sunlight.

Keep them Conditioned Boot conditioners work a treat on full grain leather boots. Apply the conditioner after a long trek and before setting off on a new adventure.

Don’t forget, as an Inspired Adventurer, you receive a 15% discount at Paddy Pallin when you have your boots professionally fitted by one of their footwear staff.

Feeling Inspired? Try out your boots on one of our treks

Beyond the Lycra: Best Cycling Gear

Inspired Adventures staff have covered more kilometres on bicycle saddles in Southeast Asia than most. Here are our top gear tips for cycling adventures throughout SE Asia and beyond.

Cycling in Southeast Asia is an experience like no other! Scooters and tuk-tuks zip through the seemingly organised chaos, honking their horns to alert you they’re passing by. Street vendors and market stalls line the roads with an array of local delicacies and squeamish culinary delights. As you cycle along unpaved and uneven surfaces, the humidity causing you to sweat uncontrollably, locals will come out to wave and cheer you on. The adventure may be tough; however, preparing for your cycling challenge is half the battle.

There’s a cycling kit, and then there’s a Cycling Kit. So let’s start at the bottom (literally) and invest in a good pair of padded cycling shorts. Personally, I would buy at least two pairs, so you can enjoy the luxury of a clean pair, while the first pair is drying after a good wash. Wrapping the washed pair in a towel and then twisting the towel, will wring out a great deal of the excess water. This will help combat the humidity while they dry, but get used to the fact that each day you will be wearing clean, but slightly damp shorts.

A couple of good quality wicking t-shirts are also worth their weight in dollar coins. Designed to draw the moisture away from your skin, they are invaluable when faced with the heat and humidity of Southeast Asian countries. I recommend long-sleeved wicking shirts for the added protection against sunburn. Light colours are best!

Buying a top quality cycling helmet is also a must. Make sure it is adjustable and has appropriate ventilation. As you will find, some models have huge vents that, along with fresh air, allow large insects to fly in. I always choose the models that have thin mesh covering the vents. Dealing with a creepy-crawly inside your helmet while negotiating the bustling streets of a foreign country is not desirable. I also recommend that you invest in a helmet hat to protect your face and eyes from the sun.

Speaking of eye protection, sunglasses not only offer protection from the sun, but also from air-borne dust and insects. I always take a spare pair with me, and advise that you do the same. Most helmet straps do a good job of holding sunglasses onto your face. However, if you are worried about them falling off while cycling, buy or make straps for them. A couple of elastic bands looped together works quite nicely.

Having covered heads, shoulders and knees, let’s move on to toes. Most of you do not intend to turn your cycling adventure into a professional cycling career, so rethink the need to purchase cleated cycling shoes. The bikes we use also don’t have cleated pedals. If you do choose to use cleated shoes (or you have them already), pack your pedals and our bike mechanic will happily swap them over for you. With all that motion, there’s bound to be some friction, so make sure you pack plenty of socks! And don’t forget some thongs or sandals to let your feet air out after a long day pumping the peddles.

Southeast Asia is as unpredictable as it is alluring. Always carry a waterproof jacket and trousers, as well some layers to change into if and when the rains come. You can keep these items safe and dry in the support vehicle. The only thing I recommend that you carry with you while cycling is a small backpack rehydration system. This allows you to drink (via a hose and mouthpiece) while keeping both hands safely on the handlebars. Ingeniously, the packs also have a small pocket for lip balm, sunscreen and snacks. Camelpack is the brand everyone knows, and they’re great, but you can find cheaper alternatives at most adventures stores.

Finally, it is imperative that you go to a trusted cycling store, where the staff themselves are keen cyclists. They will have the knowledge and know-how to properly prepare you for the adventure ahead. Who knows, they may have even cycled in similar conditions.

Feeling Inspired?

Visit the Inspired Adventures Calendar to find a cycle!