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Essential kit for walking

New to the fun of walking then here is a rundown of 'must haves'



My feet, Photo by Walks with Kerry



Sturdy shoes & clothing fit for the weather

There you go that was quick wasn't! .......................................


I joke but in reality that is all you need to get started - along with a water bottle and some snacks.


You really don't need much more than that to get out and about


Where's the fun in that though when you're starting off a new hobby!
How you can fulfil the 'all the gear no idea' without the 'gear'

So, where do you start if you want to go walking more frequently? or start exploring more ground?


Footwear

I would still start with sturdy, comfortable shoes but I'd expand on this to say waterproof.


Personally I wear waterproof boots/shoes all year round. With the introduction of light weight breathable waterproof speed hikers, I'd rather know I'm covered whatever I might come across because damp feet is not fun!


What I would say is that is not all about what you pay!.


Don't get me wrong some of the pricer brands look and feel amazing and carry some great technical spec but don't let that sway you with ultimately going for what fits. I manage plantar fasciitis and so that means fit is more important than ever. Otherwise just walking around my house ceases to be an option let alone up hills.


For me I love my Sprayway boots for winter and my Adidas Terrex for summer. They fit, are comfortable and suitable for the season. The wear on them I think is pretty good. It's hard for me to judge as I walk many miles a week, so I go through them quickly.


I have dreams of some bespoke Altberg's but if anyone has looked at those prices they are definitely an investment piece for the future.


In conclusion I would get yourself to somewhere that can fit you properly. My go to recommendation would always be Cotswold Outdoor for expertise, price and range. You can find your local store and book an appointment here


Something to hold all your stuff

I've become a bit of a rucksack collector! I just find you need something a bit different for every season, length of walk and mood!


I've everything from a repurposed bladder rucksack for short sprints to a full Osprey 65l multi-day pack. I won't lie I love Osprey and now have 3 of them. I can carry so much stuff and it barely weigh a thing on my back.


Cotswolds Outdoors do a fab fitting service if you are unsure (and not just for Osprey)


I do have my eye on a trail running vest (no idea on which one yet) to replace my small rucksack and I love the look of Atom rucksacks - they have such amazing designs and look really functional, but I'll have to let you know how they fare when I get my hands on one!


Food & Water

I've found that I can't eat a lot when out for a long day so snacks are the solution.


I keep it simple with berries, energy bars and salty crisps. My favourite go to snack are Kind Bars.


Water - Just make sure the bottle doesn't leak and carry plenty espcially if you are going somewhere with limited refill opportunities. I don't have anything fancy, its a B&M special but so far its holding up.


Hot Drinks are my essential and I swear by my Contigo Mug. I am onto my third now. The first one lasted years and years, the second one is lost somewhere in Wendover Woods and my third is going strong!


Clothing

Here I can't give much advice as I am still just replacing my everyday 'gym gear' as it wears out. However, maybe that in itself shows that you don't need much to get started just something thats comfy for you and right for the weather.


I do have visions of supremely technical replacement rain coats and snuggly winter layers but for now my Go Outdoors Brasher for winter and my very very old Nike running jacket for Summer are holding out just fine.


If you do want to invest though I would always recommend Cotswold Outdoors for fitting and advice.


Navigational Equipment

If I am going locally then for me I am happy to go with just my phone and its built in mapping and favourite apps.


Further afield and even if it never comes out my bag, if I'm going to new ground, moorland or elevated, isolated terrain I take a paper map and compass.


For me I am a fan of OS Maps 1:25,000 and my Silva compass.


Other Essentials

Other items I consider essential are


A small first aid kit

A power bank

Weather appropriate gear like sun hat, bobble hat, sun cream etc


and finally let somewhere know your planned route........ just incase.

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