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Do you have a question about sporting good or outdoor products? We are a bunch of very enthusiastic hikers and athletic people. When we are not in the office, you can find us playing outdoors. We can give you great advice on hiking gear, travel issues, running gear and other outdoor products and activities. Leave your question in our comment box below and we will return with an answer.

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Posted by maricki   @   13 April 2010

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Apr 27, 2010
#1 Emely :

I want to go hiking for the first time, do I need to buy hiking boots? What else is important to take on a hike?

Apr 27, 2010

Hi Emely,

thanks for posting your question to us. Well, when it is really your first hike and you will only do a couple of miles and you are testing whether you like the activity, I would not purchase boots yet. However, if you are just starting to hike and you are working towards a big trail hike, I would strongly advice to get boots. The most important equipment for hiking are your boots. You need to choose them carefully. I suggest you find an outdoor store and ask the sales assistant to do a fitting. They will judge form the size of your foot and shape which shoe would be the best for you. Famous and good brands are Columbia, Salomon, Lowa, Mammut etc.

Other important items include hiking socks. They protect your feet from the insight. Don't save money on socks, they are very important. Depending on the lengths of your hike, good water bottles or bladders would come in handy. Bladders are easy to carry, they adjust to your body. When you do longer hikes then we are looking at backpacks, sleeping bags, cooking gear etc. Let me know whether you have any other questions on this year.

The Shopaholic Team

Apr 28, 2010
#3 Emely :

Thanks for your quick reply. It was very helpful to me. Do you have any recommendation on hiking boots you like best?

Apr 28, 2010

Hi Emely,
it really depends on your foot. I would definitely not buy a cheap model. I once went on a 5 day hike with a friend and he got cheap shoes (they looked pretty robust) and on day 3 they broke. I couldn't believe it! So, don't just go for looks but for quality. A good brand is Lowa and Velcro Hiking shoes. For more information please check out our hiking blog post. Hope this helps. The Shopaholic Team

May 12, 2010
#5 John :

Hi Shopaholic Team, my name is John and I want to start exercising. I like ball games but for most you have to be in good shape already to play in a team. Do you have any suggestions for me on how to start exercising?

May 12, 2010

Hi John,

Thanks for your question. It’s always good to hear when someone wants to get involved in sports. Let’s see if we can help you. In general, ball games or team games emphasize fitness and athleticism. Endurance matters the most. As you often have to withstand a match that lasts around 15 to 30 minutes (football is a tiring 45 minutes), you’ll need to train and get fit to prepare for that type of physical exertion. A workout bench or dumbbells won’t help you much in the area of endurance.

The best way to do cardio conditioning is walking, running or biking. Playing tennis or squash also helps to train your coordination and balance. If you want to get into the right team spirit, we suggest grabbing your best friends or colleagues and having a basketball or football tournament in a nearby park. That way, you can get some exercise before joining your preferred team. If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to ask. Have fun!

Your Shopaholic team

May 12, 2010
#7 John :

Thanks for advise. Putting a team together is a great idea. I will give it a try!

Jun 10, 2010
#8 Sally :

I am planning to go on vacation with my boyfriend for the first time. Do you have any tips on how to approach this?

Jun 11, 2010

Hello Sally,

planning a holiday is really fun! The most important is to talk to your boyfriend to find out what the two of you want to do and how much money you want to spend. Take a look at this blog post "Top 5 Tips to find your next Holiday Destination" . It is a helpful check list to plan your holidays.
Have fun and a save trip!

The Shopaholic Team

Jul 6, 2010
#10 Kathryn :

Hi Shopaholic Team,
in summer, I love spending time in my garden. Recently, I read about organic gardening but I’m not entirely sure what that means. Could you please give me some instructions how I could do that?

Jul 7, 2010
#11 The Shopaholic Team :

Hi Kathryn,

thanks for this wonderful question! We have written the blog post "Turn your Garden into a green Paradise" especially for you and hope that it answers your question.

Enjoy organic gardening!

- The Shopaholic Team

Jul 7, 2011
#12 Alan :

Dear experts
I would like to buy a device that would back up my map reading skills.
I have just returned from a hiking holiday and although I am fairly proficient in reading a map, there were a couple of times where I wasn’t EXACTLY sure where I was.
I would therefore like to buy some sort of GPS device that would aid me in certain circumstances – eg in dense wood or in the hills.
I have done a little bit of research, looking under companies such as Garmin, but a lot of their devices are a little _too_ detailed or _too_ specialised (eg having a heart monitor on them).
Therefore what I want is something fairly basic that is (a) wrist worn – but this is a 90% ‘would like’ (b) can show UK lat/lon grid references – this is a 100% ‘must have’ (c) does *not* have spurious (or as few as possible) ‘extras’ such as paces taken, height above sea level, heart rate, heart monitor, speed of walk, multitude of way points etc. (d) is not *too* expensive (e) is fairly waterproof and ‘chunky’ so that it doesn’t keep falling off my wrist
Do you have any suggestions or recommendations?
Many thanks

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