A lot has been written about using walking&camping kit for more than one use (normally its intended use!) as a way of reducing bulk and weight. For example using walking poles for, erm, walking with and for propping up your shelter. I have done this with a few things and found it useful and in the main worthwhile. What I havent explored until recently is using kit made for one outdoor activity and using it for another (fairly) unrelated activity.
I am referring to the upsurge in cycling activity that I now partake of in addition to walking&camping. Obviously some kit for cycling is just too specific to even consider using for walking or camping (eg cycling shoes!). Having said that I have found some crossover between the activities and some kit that can easily be used for both. In fact I have found some cycling gear that I feel is better than what’s on offer by the walking gear manufacturers.
Examples of kit I share with walking/camping and cycling include:
socks – fairly obvious but since I dont normally wear waterproof shoes for either activity, warm & quick dry socks are essential. I interchange these for both activities with the same type of socks now.
lightweight waterproof jacket/windshirt – the cycling variety can sometimes (not always) be cheaper than the walking “specific” ones and are fairly interchangeable but note that the cycling variety are normally a snugger fit 🙂
baselayers – many cyclists ascribe to the “string vest” type base layer under other layers as an insulation layer. Only just catching on in walking circles recently. Other than that “athletic” fit normal type baselayers work for both activities really well
Arm warmers – my god what a revelation. When I started cycling, I was introduced to these as an addition to a short sleeved top for when temperatures dropped. And they work…big time. If you dont want to buy a long sleeved version of a technical tee shirt then you could try arm warmers. Ok you could roll your sleeves up but the arm warmers are a snug fit and go from the wrist to the top of the arm (ie well under the limit of the tee shirt sleeve for extra insulation
Leg warmers – same principle and to be fair walking trousers sometimes have the zip off option to convert to shorts. Cyclists go the other way and have shorts and when the temperature drops add either full length, capri length or knee length warmers. They really work although they do give a Max Wall-esque appearance to your physique 😀
Bib shorts/bib tights – again these are close fitting leg coverings for cyclists but with a chest and back covering. I havent tried these during a walk but for winter, I would try them underneath ordinary trousers and baselayer as reckon this would work. One for the winter this year as a trial. The only thing to note is that bibs generally have a pad on the bum so a bulky pad might hinder walking 🙂
Gloves – as long as fairly close fitting – interchangeable for both activities to a point
Beanies – very interchangeable!
Ok, nothing extraordinary in the above but I have managed to avoid buying some bits of kit for my cycling because of the availability of my walking gear. Similarly, some of my cycling gear has been very useful for my walking where perhaps I might have bought extra bits for particular circumstances.
And trust me on the leg and especially the arm warmers…..great kit!