The Bluffer’s Guide To Hiking

The third edition of the Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking – published by Haynes on 10th May 2019
ISBN (Print): 9781785215810

eBook available.

(Original version (Edition 1)published by Oval Books in 2009)
(Second Edition published by Bluffers in 2013)

Do you know your Naismith’s Rule from your Tranter’s Variation? Which of the three Norths should you use when out walking? And why is the definitive map called the definitive map, when it isn’t definitive? Whether you’re new to the hiking world, or wearing holes in your crampons, The Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking takes a light-hearted look at the world of walking. Read it, and you’ll never be lost again … merely temporarily misplaced.

DON’T SAY ‘Halt! Who goes there?’ to everyone you meet when walking Hadrian’s Wall. It’s not even funny the first time.

DO SAY ‘There’s a fine line between permissiveness and flirtation, and a ‘permissive path’ may cross this line on a regular basis. One day you can walk along one, the next day it may be closed. One minute it’s your best pal, the next, it just doesn’t want to know you.’


Take a hike
 – Mankind has been walking since around 3 million years BC (Before Cars), so understandably human feet are beginning to ache a bit now. However, in today’s congested world, it’s often quicker to leave modern transport methods behind and strike out on Shank’s Pony.

Never ask another hiker for directions. Not only does it confirm that you’re utterly clueless, but for all you know, he or she may also be temporarily misplaced.

You will realise that telling an angry landowner that the sign really should read “Trespassers will be sued”, not “Trespassers will be prosecuted”, is ill-advised, especially if he is pointing a shotgun at you.

When your granny told you to put a jumper on because you were cold and she was too mean to put another lump of coal on the fire, she was actually training you to be a hiker.

A hiker always has four-season walking boots, crampons, a survival bag and a two-week supply of dried food – and that’s just when going to collect the morning newspaper.

If you’re eating, remember that real hikers never have starters – unless they classify the first three rounds as ‘starters’.


“A hearty well done on the Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking – a cracking read! Love the tip about saying a cheery Good Morning, to give the impression you’ve totally lost track of time.” – Nick Hallisey – Country Walking magazine

“A humorous insight into the world of hiking with a rucsac full of gems and handy hints” – Lakeland Walker magazine

“Simon Whaley, who is genuinely knowledgeable about the subject, manfully tries to balance useful information with the ‘funny bits’. Fortunately he has a wry sense of humour and if the combination is a little strained at times (he clearly feels the need to impart proper guidance on being careful and safe) on the whole he brings it off quite well.” –

Amazon sales data on 23rd December 2015
Amazon sales data on 23rd December 2015

“Simon Whaley’s Bluffer’s Guide pokes gentle fun at the hautiness of some walkers, and offers pithy advice on how even the most lax of hikers can hold their own when mixing with those craggy men of the mountains!” – Scotland Outdoors magazine

“Great little book. Very quick and easy to read and parts of it are oh so true.

The chapter about outdoors shops really hit the nail on the head, every time I go to one of those shops I just quietly smile to myself as I look at the shop assistants doing exactly what they book says they do.

Its a quick read but one you may want to pick up again and again.” – Mr Chef (Amazon Review)

“The chapter on how to cope in an outdoor gear shop is hilarious!” – Samuel Muston – The Independent

“I read `The Bluffer’s Guide to Hiking’ expecting a totally spoof approach lampooning hikers with numerous witticisms and wisecracks, and high degrees of ridicule and satire. I was not disappointed as the text is delightfully light-hearted and full of humour – but it is also genuinely informative and it stresses the very real benefits of hiking. Excellent advice is offered on such matters as navigation, safety etc. and practical recommendations are included on footwear, clothing, equipment, guidebooks etc. plus both restrictions and `right to roam issues. For a small book it is far-reaching.” D Elliot (Amazon Review)

“A super funny present for any one who has hiker friends for popping into their stocking at Christmas, which stockings well read the book to find out.” Alessi Lover (Amazon Review)

“As I go walking this book was so funny so got 3 more as present’s for friend in our walking club” – Amazon Review

Now available as part of The Bluffer’s Active Collection: (ISBN: 978-1909365933)

Bluffers Sport Collection
Bluffers Sport Collection