You do not have to have all
the following, except for a watch to monitor progress. They all add to the weight.
However, the items are recommended (not in any particular order of
best way to look after maps when walking is to use a proper map case. This
needs to be waterproof and after trying various kinds over the years, my
personal favourite is the Ortlieb
Waterproof Map Case. This is not the cheapest type but I have found
Ortleib to genuinely waterproof and I think my OS maps are worth looking
after. Sometimes the Ortleib cases can be hard to source in shops but are
worth seeking out.
2) First Aid.
12 plasters in various sizes
A large sterile dressings for
1 medium sterile dressing for
care of larger wounds
2 triangular bandages to
support suspected broken bones, dislocations or sprains
An eye pad
Safety pins to secure
Disposable gloves for good
Tweezers and/or tick removal
Anti-histamine cream for
Lip-salve - cold winds can be
Sun cream - decant some into a
small bottle. It is easy to underestimate the power of the sun at
especially at altitude
where the air may be clearer and the breeze gives a false temperature
You can buy ready made first aid
make up your own. A small zip bag of some sort is useful to contain it.
3) Small foam mat about 35cm sq.
on which to sit for sandwiches.They weigh
next to nothing, cost little and greatly increase comfort by keeping your bum
dry and insulating it from cold/wet ground. They greatly widen the options
for picnic stops. See examples of foam
Torch - especially for
longer winter walks - small "wind up" ones are now available
which get round the problem of batteries getting "past it" and
some will also provide emergency power for mobile phones. Modern LED torches
make for much longer battery life. Consider a head torch which will leave
hands free. Torches are useful for attracting assistance if you are stuck in
the dark - see Safety.
5) Whistle - to summon help in
an emergency. They cost and weigh little. See the main menu section on Safety.
6) Mobile phones - again a useful
emergency measure for summoning rescue services. Forgetting your sandwiches
is not an emergency! Some mobile phones now offer a GPS
facility which can be used to aid navigation.
7) Insect repellant - can be
useful on warm muggy days, near water and especially in Scotland. Only
compositions which contain DEET have any realistic chance of working. Some
people report a good deal of success using Avon Skin So Soft Original Dry
Oil Body Spray (previously known as Woodland Fresh) as a repellant for
midges in Scotland.
"Bivi" Bag - large strong
plastic bags which will accommodate a person. These could save your life if
you are stranded/injured etc on a mountainside in inclement weather as they
will keep you dry and warmer. Unfortunately, they are rather heavy. They are
perhaps something to take on mountain expeditions but leave behind on low
level walks. Examine one and see what you think.
- Do not
underestimate the glare. Even in winter and especially if snowy, sunglasses
may be necessary.
camera - Nowadays many use phones for photos. However, it could be worth
saving a phone's power for emergencies!
11) A pedometer
- Some swear by
these, some swear at them! Theoretically useful to gauge how far you have
walked. The problem is that they have to be calibrated to your step and of
course this varies according to the terrain.
12) A watch
- This should be
regarded as essential. It will enable you to monitor progress against
expectation and available daylight.
13) Small binoculars
- These are useful
if you are interested in wildlife and can be useful for spotting a far off
stile if you are not certain as to directions.
Visit the Happy Hiker (in
Association with Amazon) on line Hiking
Store to buy hiking sundries.
All information on
this site is given in good faith and no liability is accepted in respect
of any damage, loss or injury which might result from acting on it.