What to pack for a short walk or long hike
Check out all of these outdoor leisure retailers to help you decide what to pack for your short walks and longer hiking trips. Water is always essential and there are many different types of water carriers you can use. You may also want to think about food as you will burn atleast 300 calories an hour or more if you’re hiking at a brisk pace or on rugged or uphill terrain. Even if you eat an extra-large breakfast before you begin, you’re likely to get hungry on the trail.
Another essential item is a small first aid kit. This kit should contain bandages or sterile pads and tape, antiseptic, and aspirin or another painkiller. In addition, you may want to carry a pocket knife or a small pair of scissors, matches, a small flashlight, biodegradable toilet paper, insect repellent, and a good sunscreen. More often than not, it’s the walks you think are the easiest that turn out to be the most challenging – unless it’s a short family walk in somehwere like Epping Forest!
You may also want to bring a compass along. If you have a map of the area, be sure to keep it handy. To carry all these items, you’ll need a day pack or rucksack. The type you choose depends on the length of the walks you intend to take. If you plan on taking short walks, a day pack should be large enough. If you go on overnight hikes, however, you’ll need a backpack that’s a little roomier. Rucksacks come in a variety of models, sizes, materials, and colors. Some have internal frames, others have external frames. To find a rucksack that’s right for you, visit one of the advertised retailers or outdoor gear store like Cotswold Outdoor, Go Outdoors or Blacks etc that has knowledgeable salespeople. Discuss with them the type of walking or hiking you’ll be doing, the supplies you plan to carry, and the amount of money you’re willing to spend.
Be sure, however, to try the rucksack on before you purchase it. You’ll be the one carrying it around, so you’ll want it to suit your body frame and feel comfortable. The rucksack should conform to your back. It should also have adjustable, padded shoulder straps and an adjustable waist belt that will allow you to distribute the weight of the rucksack to your hips as well as to your shoulders.
Once you’ve taken several day walks, you may want to try an overnight hiking or backpacking trip. For these trips, you’ll need to carry more supplies, including extra food and water, a sleeping bag, a powerful flashlight, a change of clothes, and perhaps even a tent and a small camping stove. This collection of necessities can add up to a heavy
Government researchers have found that carrying more than 25 pounds of weight for long periods can do more harm than good by straining the shoulders, back, and knees. This research grew out of complaints from soldiers who had to carry heavy packs during long marches. So it may be best to limit the load you carry on a hiking trip to 25 pounds, if it’s at all possible.To cut down on weight, try choosing nourishing foods that don’t need to be cooked, so you won’t have to carry cooking utensils. If you’re purchasing a sleeping bag, tent, stove, or other equipment, choose lightweight models.
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