Gear Guide

Footwear

Walking boots

Walking boots will generally keep your feet drier than trainers if the ground’s wet and muddy and will normally be warmer and more comfortable to wear than welly boots.  They also give support to protect your ankles and tend to give a bit more protection to feet than trainers when we’re doing things like chopping wood. 

They’re essential for hiking on the fells.

It’s important to get a pair that fit well – ask for help from the shop staff when you’re buying. Generally walking boots need to be broken in by wearing them for short spells over a period of time before you wear them for a full camp or day’s hike (otherwise you might get blisters).  Fabric boots are generally lighter than full-leather boots and will need less breaking in to feel comfortable. 

We recommend wearing a pair of thick socks over your normal socks - this will make you more comfortable (and warmer) and help reduce blisters.

It’s worth taking time to clean and re-waterproof your boots after use.  You can get advice on how to do this when you buy them.

 

Welly boots

When the ground is very wet & muddy these can be the best choice for keeping your feet dry.  However they don’t offer any protection to your ankle or your foot.  We definitely recommend wearing a pair of thick socks over your normal socks to help reduce blisters and to keep your feet warmer.

As they’re also cheaper than walking boots and easier to put on and take off we’d probably recommend them over walking boots for Beavers & younger Cubs if you’re buying them just to come on a camp.  

 

Trainers

Trainers are good for our weekly meetings in the school hall or on the playground, and for meetings on the field or camps in summer when it's warmer and the ground is usually drier.  If the ground is wet or muddy, trainers won’t keep your feet dry (or warm), and we'd recommend wearing walking boots or wellies.

As trainers don’t provide much ankle/foot protection, we recommend walking boots for hiking and camping for Scouts and older Cubs (where we might be chopping wood). However, in these circumstances, if you don't have walking boots, a good fitting pair of trainers trainers are better than wellies.  

An old pair of trainers that you don't mind getting wet and muddy is ideal to wear for water activities like ghyll scrambling, kayaking, rafting and sailing.

 

Indoor shoes

If we’re staying in a building we normally ask people to bring a pair of trainers/slippers to wear inside.  This stops us from trekking mud all around the building but still gives you something on your feet to keep them warm on cold floors and stop them getting wet from spills in the kitchen or bathroom. (If you're bringing slippers, make sure they have a plastic or rubber sole!) 

 

Sandals, Crocs & flip flops

Sandals, Crocs or flip-flops can be useful to just slip-on for a trip to the shower or toilet (especially for long summer camps/big jamborees), or to wear on camps in summer when it’s hot.  They don’t give protection to your feet so aren’t suitable for wearing when chopping wood, fell walking, ghyll scrambling, etc. and we'd generally suggest that they're not suitable for regular section meetings.

For water activities, Crocs and flip flops aren't suitable as they can fall off too easily.  Sandals are OK to wear for kayaking, sailing and swimming, but because they don't protect cover your toes they aren't suitable for activities like ghyll scrambling (old trainers are best for this).

 

Wet shoes

Wet shoes are ideal for most water activities including swimming, rafting, sailing, canoeing and kayaking.  They normally have a neoprene upper and a thin sole, because they're lightweight and easily squashed, they're ideal to put in a rucksack if we're planning to do some wild swimming on a hike.  They're widely available during the summer months and relatively cheap.   Make sure that you get ones that fit snuggly.

As the soles and uppers are normally quite thin wet shoes aren't suitable for activities like ghyll scrambling.


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