Do not walk!

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Maxwellol

Tenderfoot
Feb 10, 2013
90
0
Manchester
This is probably a self-answering question, to which the answer is "any human action will cause an impact" but....

Today I went for one of my very first "off the beaten path" walks in the woods. While it only lasted about 15 minutes, and the path was mostly in view for the whole time, AND it's been piddling it down with rain for at least 48 hours, I had a constant, horrible, overwhelming feeling of "YOU'RE DESTROYING EVERYTHING YOUR MASSIVE CLODHOPPERS COME INTO CONTACT WITH. STICK TO THE PATH LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE YOU CRETIN!!!"

I didn't like this feeling. I don't want to feel guilty just for wanting to explore and enjoy woodland - especially since I spotted two deer today (within 3 miles of a massive city centre, surrounded by conurbation!)

Now, I was wearing a very cheap "outdoors-y" kind of shoe, neither trainer or walking boot, but somewhere hideously in-between. Very big, very heavy; but at the same time, they keep my feet warm and dry and provide EXCELLENT grip on uneven ground.

Is there any kind of (affordable...meaning under £40-50) footwear that can perform usefully outdoors in the average British weather but which won't have such an immediately devastating impact on whatever land your foot touches? And if there is any answer but "no" where can I buy such shoes?
 

The Big Lebowski

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Aug 11, 2010
2,320
3
Sunny Wales!
Without wishing to cause offence, just get out and enjoy.

You wont be the only 'thing' walking through the woods, let alone falling debris, extreme weather, poor seasons and on it go's. Just look at where your feet are going
and try not to repeat your steps if its going to be a regular access point.

Most of all, just enjoy and chill :)
 

SimonM

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Apr 7, 2007
4,014
2
East Lancashire
www.wood-sage.co.uk
Without wishing to cause offence, just get out and enjoy.

You wont be the only 'thing' walking through the woods, let alone falling debris, extreme weather, poor seasons and on it go's. Just look at where your feet are going
and try not to repeat your steps if its going to be a regular access point.

Most of all, just enjoy and chill :)
ditto...avoid over used paths, camp in different spots allowing "nature" to recover from your last visit.

simon
 

boatman

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 20, 2007
2,444
4
74
Cornwall
At times your feet will even be setting seeds firmer into the ground thus improving the chances of more plants growing.
 

Bumbler

New Member
Feb 22, 2013
256
0
Norway
www.bushcraft.no
Until this is readily available to the public, I walk wherever I please with the best of conciences, I suggest you do the same. Just go out there and enjoy. And as my wife would say: You think to much!

 

Zingmo

Eardstapa
Jan 4, 2010
1,274
84
S. Staffs
I know this feeling. It can feel bad if you know you are walking on seedlings and such. My advice would be to revisit places and see how quickly nature recovers.

Also, have you considered taking off your boots and socks?

Z
 

Corso

Full Member
Aug 13, 2007
4,984
332
none
does a fox,deer,rabbit etc feel the same way? - ok so your a bit heavier/bigger but realy....
 

boatman

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 20, 2007
2,444
4
74
Cornwall
Going nearly naked in a wood including barefoot can be a great experience. I tried it following reading a bit in The Archer's Craft by AE Hodgkin.
"Man is ideally equipped by nature for going silently, if only he goes naked. His skin makes no noise against the twigs and branches, his feet fall without sound and can feel everything underneath that might crack."
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
Hi Maxwelloll,

If worried have a check online/O.S. map. There are certain areas usually denoted as "S.S.S.I." where one does have to be carefull. Like the plateu at Cairngorm. Even though they allowed the building of that awful railway to the top, they're not supposed to let the hoards loose on the fragile top.
Watch out for breeding animals. And don't litter, even things like a banana skin in somewhere like the 'gorm plateu can badley effect the plant/soil balance.
If you're really worried take home others litter then you're actively doing good - be carefull though.

Cheers,
GB.
 

Tristar777

Nomad
Mar 19, 2011
270
0
North Somerset UK
Going nearly naked in a wood including barefoot can be a great experience. I tried it following reading a bit in The Archer's Craft by AE Hodgkin.
"Man is ideally equipped by nature for going silently, if only he goes naked. His skin makes no noise against the twigs and branches, his feet fall without sound and can feel everything underneath that might crack."
You will make a noise if you come across some nettles or thornes!! OUCH!
 

Bartooon

Nomad
Aug 1, 2007
265
0
64
New Forest
The only caveat I would like to add is don't walk off the path to avoid a muddy bit. All that happens is that the path (and mud patch) gets wider and wider until a small, relatively unobtrusive path becomes a hideous wide scar that may never recover.
 

Dreadhead

Bushcrafter through and through
i used to love my soft star shoes for this reason when i felt i was making too much impact with my german paras. but the difference is really just peace of mind, after all just being there in the first place with human sounds and smells affects the wildlife all around you anyway so just relax and enjoy. I liked the suggestion of actively picking up litter to help out, good man!
 

Macaroon

A bemused & bewildered
Jan 5, 2013
7,115
270
70
SE Wales
This seems to me to be taken care of by evolution - the movement of animals must be factored in, you are an animal and none of it can work without movement over the ground............I have come to the conclusion that you either walk on the paths or else well away from them - as previously stated, skirting obstacles just enlarges them. Also, it's amazing how resilient seedlings and the small things are - they spring back after careful walking. Just be aware of the special and delicate places and enjoy what's there without guilt............atb mac
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
There is a school of thought about "ketteling" folk into certain beauty spots like Loch Lomond up here in Scotland. It gets trashed and the folk who'll never learn without electrotherapy get to enjoy themselves while sparing the rest of the country.
 

Laurentius

Native
Aug 13, 2009
1,862
168
Knowhere
Yeah but do you think a totally "natural" deer walking through the woods is going to do less damage than you? More most likely.
 

boatman

Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)
Feb 20, 2007
2,444
4
74
Cornwall
There is a school of thought about "ketteling" folk into certain beauty spots like Loch Lomond up here in Scotland. It gets trashed and the folk who'll never learn without electrotherapy get to enjoy themselves while sparing the rest of the country.
A favourite dream of some on this forum so that only proper people can enjoy the rest of the countryside.
 

Goatboy

Full Member
Jan 31, 2005
14,956
11
Scotland
A favourite dream of some on this forum so that only proper people can enjoy the rest of the countryside.
I hope you'll notice that I put it forward as a school of thought, I'd rather folk followed what I said in post #9. We are having a discussion and some environmental groups put it forward as a valid management practice.