• Kit

10 things a walker needs in their rucksack

Illustration by Alys Mordecai at Eleven.

What exactly should you pack for a day walk?

Your planned route – its location, length, altitudes – and the weather or season will always determine your final list. But here are some tips from a seasoned Sheffield and Peak District walker, to help you prep your rucksack the night before:

1. Flask
I’m rarely without a hot drink, even in summer. Good hydration is vital, whatever the weather.

2. Map & compass
Having just a book/print-out isn't always enough. And electronic devices are great – but signals disappear, screens break, batteries die. Maps show the bigger picture and simple map reading skills can save your life.

3. Hat
Protect your head and warm your ears instantly when you get up high in cool, windy conditions.

4. Shades & sun cream
Days that begin overcast can catch you out. Pack travel-sized sun lotion and stay protected if the sun pokes through.

5. Buff
Buffs (or similar pieces of multifunctional headwear!) are versatile: use as a head-warmer, neck-warmer or hair tie.

6. Head torch
If anything unforeseen happens when day turns to night, a head torch means you'll always have light to either attract attention or continue finding your way. Be sure to pack spare batteries.

7. Food
At the very least, carry a chewy bar in case your energy reserves drop. Pack enough food for the length of the walk.

8. Long-sleeved top
A spare insulating layer is great for when the weather suddenly changes.

9. Emergency supplies
If the absolute worst happens, a first aid kit and bivvy bag can save your life. Carry any emergency medication, plus an ID card showing medical conditions, allergies and an emergency contact.

10. Waterproof jacket
The weather can change quickly. A waterproof jacket will keep you dry and is also great wind protection.

Other items that come in handy include: lip balm, mobile phone, spare laces, dog poo bags, tissues, and gloves. And if you're heading into the Peak District, take a look at this fun video of what to do and what not to do while you're there.

Written by Jacquie Budd



Useful links: For more tips on getting active in Sheffield, take a look at Move More.

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