My main poles for a while now have been the LEKI Speed Pacer Varios and the LEKI Travellers Carbon.
Klean Kanteen stainless steel bottles have joined my battery of somewhat battered Sigg aluminum models.
In addition, my footwear tends to vary, from SpringBoost Nordic Walkers, to New Balance walkers and trail running shoes and even to my Fabiano Mountain boots, if the conditions require such a heavy duty piece of footwear.
I have also been regularly using a MapMyRun app in my Droid phone. This provides me with a precise GPS-based readout, distance, time, elevations and also maps, some of which can be seen in My Nordic Walking Diary.
Following is the original article.
First of all, my usual poles are the Swix CT2, 100% carbon poles in the 125 cm size. They have been retrofitted in the spring of 2006 with the new Swix Twist&Go tips, with the improved spring and pin and much larger, rubber pavement paws.
I have tried Leki, Exel and Komperdell poles and while most of them seem to be well designed and made, personally at this point at least, Swix poles seem to agree with me the best.
Second, comfortable footwear. Many people swear by different brands and models. I am a believer in the “if it fits, wear it” school of thought. Have had excellent luck with Vasque low-cut, light hiking shoes and with New Balance walkers. This is not an endorsement of neither brand, but rather my personal preference.
As far as other clothing is concerned, in most cases the weather and the terrain pretty much dictate the choice. Anything from running shorts, T-shirt and a hat against the sun, to a full winter get-up.
If going out for a solo Nordic walk, I usually bring my iPod, with the Sennheiser behind the neck headphones, as the Apple earplugs and most earplugs in general tend to slip out of the ear, particularly if one sweats a lot.
The iPod’s on-the-go playlist has in my case some 60+ songs, set for random play and which, despite belonging to all kinds of genres – from Vivaldi, through Brubeck, the Beatles, Bare Naked Ladies, etc, do have a similar, specific tempo – one that allows ME to walk at a bit over four miles per hour, without skipping a beat.
Another very important accessory is the belt pack, with a 3/4- liter Sigg aluminum bottle. That is usually sufficient for walks lasting up to two hours. For longer walks, if there’s no possibility of refilling the bottle, I sometimes carry a larger belt pack, holding two 3/4-liter Sigg flasks and other goodies. The belt pack is also the repository for car keys, wallet and the all important iPod.
A hat is also a useful, if not a constant part of my attire. I either use the excellent, cotton Tilley hat, or one of the straw hats that I keep around the house. Sunglasses are also part of my outfit.
In the winter, although Nordic walking makes me sweat within a few minutes – no matter what the temperature is – often a pair of light gloves is necessary. Swix has a nice lineup of cross-country skiing gloves, which are reinforced in just the right places and very comfortable. Some sort of a light fleece jacket, maybe a windbreaker and of course warmer socks and tights complete my winter equipment.
Since as many of you must have noticed, I do maintain a Nordic walking diary on the site, knowing the distances and timing the walks becomes important – not only for the diary entries, but also in order to be able to track my progress, over known routes.
Many of the routes I walk have mile markers, length of others can be estimated either from maps, or by the simple expediency of estimating the distance by the time of the walk. I average 4.25 miles per hour on most walks and sometimes go as fast as 4.75 mph. These estimates have proven to be remarkably accurate in most cases, as I did have the opportunity of measuring the distances later, either with a car’s odometer, or with a bicycle computer.