Community blog post
I love this time of year, Autumn is definitely my favourite season. There’s nothing better than spending time outdoors on a cool, crisp day surrounded by beautiful colours. However, the colder temperatures and shorter daylight hours bring new challenges. It is imperative now, more than ever, that you are wearing the right gear and have the correct safety equipment with you.
First Aid Kit
I have covered essential hiking kit before, and once again a decent first aid kit is top of my list. I always have a basic set with me, but recently we’ve been using a more comprehensive kit from Raitex that has really impressed us. This kit has an incredible 100 items in it, while still being light and compact, perfect for chucking in your rucksack ready for a day’s hiking.
As well as the usual array of bandages, dressings and plasters, there were several items that are really useful when outdoors, for example a foil blanket, whistle and compass. This Raitex first aid kit now stays in our rucksack, but it would be equally useful kept in the car or caravan for example, it could even be used around the home. It would also make a great gift for any outdoor adventurer.
I was also impressed with the price, at £19.99 you get a lot of bang for your buck.
As the nights draw in it’s all too easy to get caught out as darkness can fall very quickly. We always have a torch in our rucksack, in fact we’ve tried out quite a few over the years. Our longterm favourite has been our Led Lenser. The one we have is incredibly bright, but also quite heavy. You can lightweight versions which are ideal for hiking.
With the UK’s changeable climate, a waterproof jacket is a must. Rather than having a thick coat, I prefer to go for layers with a thin, breathable waterproof on top. This ensures that you don’t get too warm when walking. For an affordable option, I love this 3 in 1 jacket from Go Outdoors, which is super versatile for Autumn and Winter hikes.
I’m a recent convert to walking poles and I’ve found that they are a massive help, particularly when it’s muddy or slippy underfoot. They are great for helping with balance and navigating uneven terrain. I tend to use them more in the Autumn and Winter, when things can be a little more unpredictable.
I have never understood why people are prepared to spend lots of money on walking boots, but then scrimp on socks. They really are important for keeping your feet comfortable and preventing blisters. I tend to wear lightweight ones in the summer, and then as soon as Autumn hits I change to a thicker pair. I’m a big fan of Bridgedale socks and have a few different pairs to see me through the year.
There’s nothing worse than being on top of a hill with a cold wind whipping round your legs. I used to wear a pair of tights under my summer walking trousers, until I was lucky enough to get a pair of winter trousers. It’s a bit of an investment, but I love my Rohan winter roamers. They’re still lightweight and comfortable, but have a cosy, fleece lining for extra warmth.
As much as I love my gadgets and apps, technology can let you down at the most inopportune moments, so I also have a paper map with me when I’m out hiking. It can be problematic if you’re wrestling with a map while it’s wet and windy, happily there is a solution!
When you buy any paper map from the Ordnance Survey, you have the option to purchase it in a weatherproof version. Although more expensive, these maps are plastic coated so are more durable, yet can still be folded.
What are your autumn hiking essentials?
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