Are you planning a whole day hike during these fabulous long warm days? It’s hard to beat fine weather, stunning views and good company - but it’s important to be organised. This month’s Trail magazine has a double page spread on packing essentials for hillwalkers. We mostly stick to the lowlands but it’s always useful to have a check list of what to take so here’s our Bristol Nordic Walking recommendations:
Daypack - I have a 20 litre pack but that’s quite large. Use one that has a comfortable back system and a supportive waist belt to take the majority of the weight. It makes a huge difference to the enjoyment of a day-long walk.
Hydration - Either water bottles or a bladder-type hydration system with drinking tube. You can add electrolyte tablets if your hike is long or strenuous. These will help replenish the salts and minerals lost through perspiration.
Food - Besides your packed lunch, nuts, seed and dried fruit mix are great for steady energy release. Jelly babies and energy gels provide a quick fix if you’re flagging. You might not think you’ll need them but I’ve handed them out on pretty much every day walk I’ve led and I’d never be without them.
Map - unless you’re sure of your route. You can either carry the paper version or use the OS maps app (download the relevant section if signal might be poor). 1:25000 scale is best, as it shows terrain in good detail.
First aid kit - There’s loads you could include but my essentials are antiseptic wipes, plasters, dressing, self-adherent bandage (can be used with a dressing or for a sprain), ibuprofen, blister plasters (Compeed).
Mobile phone - For emergencies and mapping your walk. OS Maps and Viewranger are good mapping apps. They can be energy thirsty so a power pack and cable are worth carrying too.
Other emergency kit - I always take spare laces; spare Nordic walking paw and straps; scissors/knife; money; and ever since once walker’s boot fell apart on a day hike up Blorenge, a section of gaffer tape (Trail magazine recommends rolling it round a pencil). A head torch and whistle are also sensible (all Osprey packs have a built-in whistle in the chest strap clip but apparently the noise doesn’t travel far). Plus toilet paper!
Mat - to sit on. Multimats are excellent.
Dry sack/ plastic bag – for those things that absolutely can’t get wet (let’s face it, unexpected downpours do happen in this country).
Extra clothing – Waterproof and layers depending on the weather. I usually take an extra pair of socks on a day-long hike and change half way round. We have 250,000 sweat glands in our feet which can produce up to half a pint of perspiration daily so a dry, fresh pair of socks is a gift for your feet.
Seasonal extras – suncream, sunglasses, cap/hat, insect repellent.
I hope that’s fired and inspired you to plan a day’s hiking. Our next club day-long hike is the Sugar Loaf 10 mile circular from Abergavenny on Saturday 29th September. It’s a stunning walk and great day out. Click here to read more and to book.