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Did you know that May is National Walking Month? Regardless of this fact, it’s a brilliant time of year to get out walking. The evenings are light, the weather is improving and the world is looking green and lush as spring bounds into summer.

I always spend a lot of time going on about how easy it is to start walking and how little kit you need. In reality, a few well chosen pieces are a very wise investment and should ensure years of trouble free hiking ahead.

Here are my 7 things you need to hike like a pro.

Rucksack

A decent rucksack is a lifesaver. Take the time to make sure it’s comfortable and adjusted properly to minimise wear and tear on your body. It might feel alright for the first few miles, but if you’re covering long distances, it will soon start to feel uncomfortable. Cotswold Outdoor currently have up to 20% off selected rucksacks and this Osprey Talon 33l rucksack caught my eye.

I personally find 33 litres is perfectly big enough for a full day hike, like here in the Brecon Beacons

Boots

The number one rule when walking is look after your feet. In fact, I’ve found that a very useful rule for life! I’m lucky in that I get to try out a lot of different types of walking boots over the last few years. My number one favourites are still my Merrell MOAB mid boots. The reason I love them is that they are light, yet sturdy and weatherproof. They are perfect for trips to the park or hikes up Helvellyn. Once again, take time to try a few out, read some reviews and take into account your requirements. It’s worth paying for quality as a good pair of boots should last for years and can be the difference between miles of enjoyable walking or miles of pain.

Socks

Looking after your feet doesn’t stop at boots. A good pair of hiking socks will keep your feet cool, dry and comfortable for hours. I’ve also discovered that good quality socks mean that your feet will be significantly less smelly after a walk. I personally love my Bridgedale socks, which are so comfortable and the best that I’ve found for hiking all day. If you suffer from blisters, Armaskin anti blister socks are a godsend, they enabled me to complete my 50 mile charity walk last year in one piece.

Looking fresh faced by the sign at the start of my 50 mile walk last June, ably assisted by my support team

Flask

With the emphasis on reducing single use plastic, a good flask is  great investment for everyday, not just walking. My personal favourite is my Hydro flask, which is great for both keeping cold drinks cold, and my cup of tea piping hot. The bigger sizes can also be used for carrying soup during winter hikes. An insulated flask is also super useful when camping for keeping water cold in a warm tent.

Map

As much as I love using apps and technology when outdoors, there’s always room for a good old paper map. I love a good old browse through the Ordnance Survey shop when I’m planning walks. I also love their custom service, where you can choose the centre point of your map, it often saves having to buy 2 maps. If your navigation skills are a little shaky,  there’s lots of information available online to help you brush up your skills.

Waterproof coat

With the British weather being as it is, a good coat is a very wise investment. Unfortunately, if you’re going to spend time outdoors in this country, you can’t avoid the rain. Look out for waterproof and breathable fabric with taped seams and leave enough room to layer up underneath. I love the look of this Berghaus Women’s Hillwalker jacket which I’ve spotted has a £50 off at the moment.

Walking Poles

I am a recent convert to using walking poles and I find them so useful for a variety of reasons. Like anything, it’s down to personal preference, but I suggest that anyone gives them a go to see if they can help. I personally found them great for helping my balance and enabling me to keep up a good rhythm when striding along.

Our Craghoppers Prolite poles came in useful for a multitude of reasons

What are your must haves for a day out hiking? Let me know in the comments below.

This post contains some affiliate links. If you click through and subsequently make a purchase, I may earn a small commission to hep towards running this blog with no extra cost to you.

 

 

The post 7 Things you need to hike like a pro appeared first on The Helpful Hiker.


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