Having the right kit will make your time outdoors safer and more enjoyable. This checklist will help you to make decisions when planning your trip. Some items are classed as Needed, you shouldn’t venture out without these. Some are Suggested and can make you more comfortable. Others are Extras, nice to have but your choice on the weight versus benefits.
Walking boots or walking shoes. Boots give more support for the foot and ankle in rough terrain, reducing risk of injury. Appropriate boots or shoes that wrap snugly around the foot also reduce fatigue in the feet. A robust sole will cushion the foot and provide grip on a variety of surfaces.
Small rucksack – we would suggest a 25- 35 litre size bag. Look for one that can be adjusted to ft comfortably and supports weight well. Small additional pockets are useful for storing important items.
Warm & weatherproof clothing – use a system of thin layers rather than bulky items that can be easily adjusted as needed. Use a wicking and quick drying fabric next to the skin, insulating layers and waterproof outers for poor weather. 100% cotton is a really poor choice for walking as it holds moisture making you uncomfortable and potentially making you cold and at risk. Synthetics are great as are modern wool fibres.
Warm hat & gloves or sun hat – retain heat and protect your hands or keep yourself safe from the sun.
Rucksack liner/dry bags – keep everything in your bag dry and organised. Use one large liner bag or several small bags to organise everything.
Drinks bottle or reservoir – it’s important to stay hydrated even on a short walk in mild conditions. Carry 1-2 litres of water and top up when available.
Personal First Aid Kit – carry a selection of plasters, blister plasters, a crepe bandage and any medications you may personally need.
Head Torch – useful for planned or unplanned walking at night!
Map & Compass – know how to use them and find your way.
Snack Bag – carry your lunch for a full day out or snacks to keep going. Carry an Emergency snack selection in case you end up out longer than anticipated.
Mobile Phone – most people have and carry a mobile phone but not everyone so it’s on the suggested list, however, it could be vital in an emergency. Make sure it is fully charged before you leave and maintain battery power by limiting use.
Flask – a hot drink on a cold day can boost morale and energy.
Walking Poles – really useful when carrying heavy loads or doing long descents. Poles will save your joints by spreading the load.
Camera – capture the highlights of your trip.
Binoculars – great for a closer look at the wildlife you’ll encounter and useful for plotting a route.