The type of walk you do will influence the amount of equipment you need to take with you. I’ve done some light walking with only a packed lunch and some water, to full on trekking in the Himalayas with all weather equipment, so I thought I’d share some of things I’ve found useful to take with me.
Firstly, things that are useful/necessary on any hike: Water, food, sun cream (even in the UK!) and a sun hat/sun glasses. The rest you can pick and choose depending on where you’re going, and how long for. I find it’s always good to pack a waterproof coat though!
A good pair of boots or sturdy trainers with good grip are a must. I almost always wear hiking boots, as well as keeping my feet dry and warm, they give some extra support to my ankles. Mine are from Berghaus and are pretty darn good. They do need waterproofing occasionally, but so far I’ve had no wet feet. I’ve found sock preferences are particular to each person. The ones my cousin loves, just feel uncomfortable and scratchy to me. After a lot of trial and error, I found these ones from Bridgedale are perfect for me with a liner underneath. They also come in different thicknesses which is super handy.
So this one depends very much on where you’re walking and the time of year. I always check the weather forecast before I set off, and then take clothes for all weathers anyway! I like a lightweight long sleeved t-shirt to save having to sun cream my arms, and I also love this sleeveless jacket (gilet?) from Craghoppers that I got as a present last year. It is wind proof and water proof, and keeps the warmth in without making me too hot and sweaty. I also usually take some sort of hat and gloves, especially when walking up hills, as the weather will often be colder, windier and wilder at the top. It’s no good getting all the way up there and then not being able to enjoy it!
I have a couple of bags I use for hiking, this is my general weekend one. I have a bigger rucksack for longer trips that I’ll do a separate post on, so stay tuned for that. A bag must have water bottle pockets on the outside for me for easy access, and also must be water resistant. Just in case of a full on downpour while out though, I have some dry bags to go inside my rucksack for extra piece of mind. No-one wants soggy sandwiches.
These were a new thing for me. I have some problems with my knee from an old injury, but it doesn’t really bother me for most hiking trips but I do get the odd niggle. My recent hike in Nepal was more intense so I thought I’d try them out. They turned out to be one of the best things I took with me. Taking just enough weight off my knees on the downhill parts so as not to trigger my injury again. Definitely worth the investment if you are in a similar situation.
Wherever I’m going I try not to take too much, as a heavy bag can make a walk miserable, but so can being too cold. It’s a bit of a balance 🙂