Day and weekend walking kit checklists
Essential gear for healthier, happier hiking
If you're thinking of taking up hiking, it's important to get the right equipment prepared before you go out on a walk. Getting the right clothing, and even compass, can ease any difficulty that might otherwise arise during a hike. Here's the realbuzz.com guide on what kinds of things to take with you on a long or short hiking trip.
The equipment lists given below are a general guide but will vary depending on the time of year, terrain to be covered and the weather conditions.
- Backpack and waterproof liner.
- Map, compass and guidebook. There are many compasses available but by far the most popular model for hill walking is the Silva Expedition Four type compass.
- Route card for your walk.
- Food — sandwiches, chewy bars, fruit, nuts, confectionery.
- Emergency food — e.g. high energy food bars.
- Drink — 2 liters of water and tea, coffee or soup.
- Insect repellant.
- Sunglasses and sun cream.
- Whistle — a loud whistle to attract attention in an emergency during a walk.
- Lightweight head torch — in case you get caught out after sunset!
- Spare batteries for camera and torch.
- Spares walking shoe laces.
- First aid kit.
- Survival bag.
- Zinc oxide tape.
- A tough plastic bag to carry your litter home once you finish you hill walk.
- Tissue paper or wet wipes.
- Base layer top and bottoms.
- Mid layer top and bottoms.
- Outer layer top and bottoms.
- Hat and gloves.
- Spare mid-layer fleece.
- Spare pair of socks.
Optional walking items
The walking items below are optional and can be invaluable in some walking situations but can just be an unnecessary weight to carry in other situations.
Although you should never rely on a GPS receiver alone for navigation, they can be invaluable tools in poor visibility such as thick fog, at night or in an emergency. GPS receivers are now relatively inexpensive. A GPS receiver can be a great aid to learning navigation by simply confirming your location and boosting your confidence in your own skills.
Great for watching wildlife but also a useful navigational aid.
A great aid to reducing strain on your legs when carrying heavy loads and can help prevent ankle or knee injury on steep ascents and descents.
Weekend walking kit
The same equipment and clothing should be taken for a weekend walk or camping trip as it should for a day walk, with the following additions:
- Stove and fuel.
- Eating, cooking and drinking utensils.
- Dish washing items.
- Windproof lighter or matches.
- Sleeping bag.
- Sleeping mat.
- Tent (always check you have all the pegs and poles before you leave home!).
- Toiletries and towel.
- Paracord has many useful functions and lengths of cord tied to rocks and trees can be useful ‘handrails’ at night to guide you from your tent.