Walking kit list suggestions
Relax, take some well-deserved time out to reconnect with nature in an adventurous and stress-free way. Walking is one of the most cost-effective ways to keep fit and promote natural wellbeing. We have compiled a list of a few suggested basics for day trip walkers.
This checklist features a basic overview. Each walker is different, and you know your needs more than anybody, so use this list as a guide.
Suggestions for kit for a day out walking
• Waterproof Outer (Can always be kept in the rucksack until needed, don’t leave home without it)
• Insulating Mid layer (Fleeces, softshell jackets, down jackets, dependent on the weather)
• Breathable Base layer (Look for technical materials, avoid cotton t-shirts)
• Walking Trousers (Quick drying trousers with a good range of movement, avoid denim)
• Waterproof Over trousers (A great option for over your walking trousers in a downpour)
• Hats & Gloves
• Rucksack/Daypack (Well fitted, adjusted correctly and comfortable)
• Watch (Or any reliable method of telling the time)
• Walking Boots/Shoes
• Breathable Walking Socks (Merino wool is ideal, avoid cotton if possible) What to carry in your rucksack?
• Personnel First Aid Kit/medication
• Mobile Phone
• Emergency Whistle
• Map & Compass (Even if you use GPS)
• Torch or Headtorch
• Sun cream
• Sunglasses (Snow can be bright, so worth taking them in winter also)
• Blister Relief
• Spare Laces
• Bottled Water (Keep yourself hydrated)
• Flask of Hot Drink
• High Energy Snacks (Flapjack, Kendal Mint Cake offer a release of energy when tired)
• Tasty lunch sandwiches or wraps or soup and sandwich
• Spare Warm Clothing
• Spare Socks
• Emergency Contact Details
Other things you may like to add as personal preference
• Walking Poles (Help take some of the pressure off your knees when walking)
• Sit Mat
Pack as light as possible – you will need less than you think.
By Angela Owen
Only take the things you can’t do without and not the things you could do with.
1) You don’t need that. Or that. Or that either – should be your mantra when packing don’t take things you might need on the off chance. If you are saying what if? – you won’t need it so get rid.
2) If your clothes take up more than one third of your bag you are taking too much. Pack one set of dry clothes and wear the clothes you will need for walking.
3) Accept that you are going to be smelly, I would rather pack an extra chocolate bar than have a clean pair of pants. Bamboo underwear is great when you need to wear the same pair for a few days.
4) Pack as you would for a night away, you don’t need any more stuff than that.
5) Don’t carry more than 15% of your body weight as it will make your journey miserable and sore.
6) You always pack your rucksack full so go for a smaller one.
7) Merino wool clothing is great it is super lightweight keeps you warm in the cold and cool in the heat and you can wear it for days without stinking.
“He who would travel happily must travel light.”
-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry
Pack as light as possible, you will need less than you think.
What to pack in your expedition rucksack: –
• A large rucksack between 35 and 65 litres:
• Small tent or bivvy bag
• A portable stove, basically you want a stove that won’t weigh you down too much and is easy to get up and going. There are lots of tasty expedition meals available where you just add water. – Don’t forget the gas.
• Waterproof Jacket
• Warm clothes, pack a fleece and avoid jeans – which are a nightmare when wet. I wear my walking kit and then just pack a pair of leggings and a warm top as tent wear, I wear my socks to bed and they dry overnight.
• Cutlery: cup/plate/spork,
• Sleeping mat
• Sleeping bag: Something appropriate to the season. Down is great for winter but if it gets wet you’ll be in for a world of trouble. Bonus tip: A dry sack or bin liner will help keep your sleeping bag dry even if the weather turns sour.
• Head Torch
• Large water bottle – I use a Nalgene bottle as it will take boiling water and I put it into the foot of my sleeping bag as a hot water bottle.
• Food and drinks and chocolate: High energy snacks such as nuts are a great way to keep you going.
• Water purifying tablets. (I boil fresh running water for around 10 minutes to purify it but this can carry health risks.)
• A dry bag: keeps your clothes and sleeping bag dry. Bring a few if needed.
• Insect repellent: Stops the midges making your life miserable and wards off ticks.
• A whistle.
· Camping Pillow or you can always roll up clothes.
· Small trowel, the best way to dig a hole in the event of needing the loo, wet wipes and hand sanitizers are also useful.
· Sunglasses and sun cream.
· A first aid kit with the addition of a tick remover. (I will be carrying a comprehensive first aid kit)
· Toiletries and any medication kept in a dry bag, if you need to use soap, please ensure it is biodegradable to avoid any negative effect on the environment.
· Gloves, a buff, a warm hat, sun hat with a cap.
· Walking poles – I take them when carrying a heavy pack as it reduces the impact on my knees.
· Pen knife.
Please also ensure you have supportive and waterproof boots suitable for getting off the beaten track.
See my blog about keeping your feet happy and blister free.
What I have packed for a 6 day expedition.
You don’t need that. Or that. Or that either – should be your mantra when packing don’t take things you might need on the off chance. If you are saying what if? – you won’t need it so get rid. Bamboo knickers are a great investment
Minimising the impact when camping in a remote location.
• Wild Camp off-the-beaten-track on open hills away from houses and farms.
• Pitch tents later in the day and leave early to minimise our visual presence.
• Leave no trace that we have camped. This is how long it takes for some items to decay, a banana peel – a month, paper – a couple of months, a wool scarf – 1 year, a hard-plastic container – 3 decades and a rubber boot sole – 7 decades.
• Don’t light any fires and only use gas stoves for cooking.
• Toileting should be at least 30 m away from any water source or path, and waste buried at least 15cm deep and covered over. Carry paper and any sanitary items away with you.
• Take away all rubbish and food scraps with you.
• Do not pollute the area with any non-eco-friendly detergents and must not use streams and rivers for washing with soaps or other washing products.
• Choose your pitch carefully and avoid digging ditches, trampling plants and moving rocks and stones just to accommodate your tent.
• Be quiet.
• If possible, use unobtrusive coloured tents that blend in with the scenery.
It was remote – we were the only people to walk on Beinn Odhar that day – even though I got a little excited on the way down to find footprints going up, I quickly realised that they were ours.
Scotland in late February gave me what everyone had promised – lots and lots of the white stuff I was so desperately looking for.
The complete white out came from nowhere and forced us to focus completely and to trust the compass bearing we had taken at the bottom which would get us to the top. It was literally all we had – both iphones were dead due to the cold – so no reassuring sneaky checks on the OS app. My walking partner disappeared out of sight after taking 20 steps. It was too steep to retrace our way back down safely, so the only way was up. Get to the summit and take a bearing from the top was the plan, looking at the map we knew there was a less steep spur we could take down to the valley we just had to get an accurate bearing from the top to it. We knew we could do it and stayed positive.
Stay Calm and Focus in the White Room!
I would be lying if I didn’t admit to being afraid – I was scared. If I had closed my eyes and been spun around I wouldn’t have had a clue where I was. At that point I was clinging on to my sense of direction and memory of where I had been and relating that to the map. I stayed calm and focused on the accuracy of the bearing we were leapfrogging on 20 pace legs. It was a slow process but it felt like the safest thing to do. We were overjoyed when we hit the summit just 2 meters to the left of the cairn. We were so proud that we had trusted the map and compass and our pacing, it had certainly paid off.
On the way down we were able to relate what the land was doing to the map, in conjunction with pacing and timings – which helped reassure us that we were on the right track. This was invaluable in featureless terrain.
Being prepared -planing well helped us know what we expected to see and when –visualising the route before we set off really helped. Trust in our abilities and faith in the map and compass is what kept us calm and positive.
It was an amazing and invigorating experience one which has left me hankering for more Scottish winter days. Watch this space…..