Grip and slip!

Grip and slip!

These are terms we often use when talking about off-road driving as they are key to one moving forward or even backward. The grip on the terrain is critical.

However, the same criteria apply when you are not in a vehicle and are on foot. I recently had an episode walking to the local second-hand bookshop where I fell and stumbled over a rut much to my embarrassment. The lady who helped me up laughingly commented that I had “face-planted” myself. This turns out to be urban slang for someone who has fallen, flat on his face. Over a coffee ( which I owed her ) we chatted about the fall.

We looked at the reason, It’s important to me as I hurt my ribs and would not like this to happen to anyone else. The reason was simple: I had a bystander who not only helped me up but also sat with me afterwards.

It turned out to be relatively simple in her opinion and, in many respects covers many of the similar issues we address when we talk about going off-road and losing traction. Simply put I fell because my running shoes were not suitable for the undulating terrain. I now use shoes that have more grip and are suitable for diverse terrain. They may not be as light or look cool but they certainly assist when getting around.

In the discussion, I was made aware of the value of good footwear! I had never skimped in the past but had made a few mistakes. You need to look at good soles and lacing for the support they will give you. Inner soles with good arches are also extremely important for the support they give.

It helps if the shoe is reasonably water resistant and can dry quickly as you may get wet crossing terrain and will need a dry shoe as soon as possible thereafter. 

Keep a spare set of laces as you never know when you will need them, I have often seen folks break a lace and be in a pickle, so be prepared when you head outdoors. It’s a big world out there!

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