When it comes to exploring the great outdoors, no pursuit gets you closer to the action than walking or trekking. As well as offering unparalleled access to some of the very best that Mother Nature has to offer, with an opportunity to get up close and personal with some fascinating wildlife and enjoy unrivalled views, such pursuits also have enormous health and fitness benefits.
Though the act itself is rather simple, the equipment required to do so effectively and safely is far from basic. From Hi Tec walking boots to the emergency supplies should disaster strike, there’s an awful lot to take into consideration before heading for the great outdoors.
When it comes to clothing, comfort and practicality is the key. This does not mean, however, that fashion needs to be sacrificed. A number of pieces designed with adventure in mind work just as well sitting in a beer garden as you enjoy a well earned drink, with brands like Merrel perfecting this fusion.
For a base layer, it is far better to have a wicking top as opposed to a cotton t-shirt; likewise with trousers: leave your jeans at home and wear tracksters or hillwalking trousers. For the middle layer, opt for a fleece or warm jumper while gloves and either a summer or winter hat, depending on the weather, should also make the trip. For spares, you should have at least one other fleece or thermal top and another pair of gloves.
When it comes to footwear, you really cannot afford to get it wrong. It goes without saying that you will be on your feet a lot, sometimes over some pretty arduous terrain, so it is vitally important that you buy quality shoes. Walking boots for men, in particular, come in a range of styles: ideally, you want to look for a pair that boast firm soles and decent ankle support.
Let’s face it, while out walking you are almost certain to encounter some testing conditions. Therefore, some garments to protect you from the worst of conditions are essential. At the very least, you want a waterproof jacket and some overtrousers. Ideally, these should also be windproof, thus protecting you from the two weather facets that are the curse of walkers everywhere.
Moving away from clothing, there are a number of miscellaneous items that should also accompany you on your adventure, a water bottle is, of course, one such piece of kit. Also ensure you have sufficient food for the day as well as some extra, high energy, sustenance in case of an emergency. Energy drinks are another option you may wish to consider. Furthermore, all sensible trekkers will have a survival bag. In this bag, as well as the emergency food supplies, should be a whistle, torch and a small first aid kit which needs to include both Compeed and plasters.
Cameras and mobile phones are important for capturing your journey, keeping you in contact with your fellow walkers and calling for help should you need it. A compass and relevant map will keep you on the right track while some midge repellent should keep you free of irritants.
For the serious trekker, walking poles are an essential helping hand while those who want to test themselves in the snow and ice will require goggles, boots with stiff soles and maybe even an ice axe and crampons. Anyone wanting to add a dash of climbing into the mix should take both a helmet and a harness.
The world is out there to be explored. Kitting yourself out in the right gear is the best way to ensure you do so both safely and as comfortably as possible.