Walking PolesOriginally we thought that meant Leki poles, and we bought one each. Then we realised that we really needed two poles each. One a walk one day Geri discovered a lady using a pair of Pacerpoles. From that moment on she was sold on them. So I then had the 2 Leki’s for my own use and I discovered that 2 poles were much better and safer than one. However I noticed that at the end of a walk my wrists ached a lot an so I tried Geri’s Pacerpoles. Suffice it to say that I was sold and bought a pair for myself. We bought their carbon fibre version which come as a pair with ergonomically designed hand grips. No more aching wrists and a lot more help rom the poles when climbing - well worth the investment.
RucksacksI had never owned a rucksack and so I sought the advice of good friend who introduced us to walking. They recommended the Berghaus free flow 20 daysack. It’s light, capacious and very comfortable to wear. Mine lasted me 8 years before the main zip failed - not I hasten to add because of poor manufacture, but more to my own clumsiness and impatience when trying to zip up an overfull sack. I have since moved to Karrimor Wind 25+5 sack which is a little larger so I’m not tempted to force things. Additionally it doesn’t have a zip closure!
All conditionsDrinking water! If you don’t get thirsty, then fine, but beware of becoming dehydrated.
Sun ScreenTake it and use it. Having suffered skin damage with a non-threatening skin cancer, it doesn’t take much for me to put on my sun hat and slap on the sun screen.
Icy conditionsIt’s not often that we venture out in icy conditions, but we discovered that if its’s really essential to so ice walking, then Yaxtrax are the things to wear on your boots. You could run across a frozen lake in them if you were mad enough to try it! However, they are not suited to walking in deep snow as they clog up very quickly.
CompassSo you’ve got your gps and/or your phone with gps facility. But if the battery goes flat, then your built in compass app isn’t going to do you a lot of good. For a small sum get yourself a compass to get you out of any trouble you might find yourself in.
First Aid KitLooking on the black side - then maybe a first aid kit is worth taking along. At least have a sling and a few bandages and maybe some plasters.
PlastersTalking of which - we find that Compeed plasters are excellent. Remember that they are date limited, so don’t leave them forgotten in the bottom of your sack and expect them to stick like the proverbial in 2 or 3 years time!!
Foil Survival BlanketOkay, I hear you laughing. But for the cost of a soft drink you can have one of these which weighs nothing at all, in the bottom of your rucksack. It might not be you who needs it - maybe a good friend walking with you.
• Made from metalised polyester film
• Ideal for treating or preventing hypothermia
• The emergency foil blanket retains most radiated body heat while protecting against wind and rain
BinocularsSo not an absolute essential, but for birds and sea life I could make a good case for a pair. When we first started walking a good friend and his wife had a pair of Leica Ultravid binoculars. Once you look through the lenses you’ll be hooked. Not cheap, but well worth the outlay.