Chris ScottDavid FlanaganNI Explorer
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Hikers' Essentials - Clothes, Kit & Food

Posted on August 27, 2014 @ 7:46 PM in Walking

Whether your journey takes you along coastal paths, forest trails, or into the mountains, there are few things more rewarding than being surrounded by the outdoors. To aid those getting out for a days walk, Hikersblog have put together some basic information on kit, clothing and food that you’ll need for a day out on the hills...

Hiking Clothes

It is important to remember that the environment and weather you plan on walking in will have a big say in the clothes you need to bring or wear. Remember to bring extra layers and spares in the colder winter months and perhaps consider zip off trousers or shorts in the summer, should you get too hot.

The most common method of protecting yourself from the elements while outdoors is the layering system. This normally consists of a breathable base layer and a warm insulating layer, topped with a waterproof coat.

Footwear is another important part to get right, arguably one of the most important – nobody enjoys blisters! To decide on what footwear to choose for your walk, consider what the ground may be like. For rough, uneven and wet terrain, walking boots may be the best choice, offering ankle support and waterproof properties. If the ground you plan on walking is flat and even, then perhaps consider wearing lighter walking shoes instead.

Essential Kit

Along with wearing the appropriate clothes when walking, it is also important to carry some extra pieces of kit. Some of this may never be needed, but it is important to remember to bring them for safety.

Head Torch – You could be outside longer than expected, and a lightsource could be vital to help you find your way. It can also be used to highlight your location in an emergency.

Emergency Bivouac Bag or Bothy Bag – Useful if injured and awaiting rescue, these pieces of equipment will help you stay warm when sitting still. Bothy bags are available for multiple people and are great to eat lunch in when it is raining, raising morale as well as keeping warm!

Map and Compass – Essential pieces of kit, as is the knowledge of how to use them.

Whistle – Six blasts at one minute intervals is the standard call in a emergency.

Sun Cream – So you don’t end up like a strawberry head while out walking in the sun!

First Aid Kit – A basic FAK is more than enough for dealing with minor injures. Anything major will probably require assistance from the mountain rescue etc. For example carry: plasters, 1 large bandage, 1 triangular bandage and a 2 pairs of rubber gloves.

Mobile phone – Fully charged, turned off inside a waterproof bag.

Rucksack Liner – To keep the contents of your bag dry.

Food

For shorter trips a sandwich and some fruit may suffice, a small lunchbox will protect them from getting squashed or soaked during your walk! Avoid simple sugars in your main meals, instead opting for complex carbohydrates, such as oats. Having a non-perishable sugar source in your pack such as Kendal Mint Cake provides a safety net should a member of your group suddenly experience severe fatigue, but don’t rely on these as a staple.

 

Hiking Food

A good trail mix with a variety of dried fruit and nuts can provide a slow release of energy and protein to help sustain you between main meals. Be sure to have this within easy reach, as it works best when eaten in small, frequent portions throughout your walk.

Hot beverages such as tea and coffee, though providing little nutritional benefit, can be great for raising morale and providing a psychological boost when hiking. A small vacuum flask is easily carried to provide these when out and about.

We hope this guide has given you an idea for what to carry when walking outside. Remember that practice makes perfect, and that this guide can be added to, to suit your individual needs. Above all enjoy your time outdoors, stay safe, and leave no trace.

Hikers Blog
Hikers Blog  Walking Enthusiasts and Blogger

HikersBlog.co.uk is a blog run by a group of Irish hiking and camping enthusiasts who can often be found exploring the Mourne Mountains and further afield. Happiest when they are outdoors they document their adventures through trip reports, videos and photos as well as offering gear reviews.

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