What Gear Do You Need To Start Hill Walking

Your first walk in a hill or mountain area is an experience you will almost certainly remember. But poor planning or bad weather (or even a closed tea shop!) can quickly ruin things. One of the great pleasures of hill-walking is that it can so easily take the form of an impromptu clamber to an easy lookout point, or be a spontaneous outing to a convenient viewpoint prompted by a day of settled weather. You might reach your objective by way of a well-defined path but nonetheless you still need to be adequately clad as the calm of the valley is often replaced by wind or cooler air on the summit. The bare essentials are: sturdy footwear with good a grip, an outer garment which is windproof, and a rudimentary map of the path, or route.

On the higher and remoter hills more consideration must be given to the vagaries of the weather, with protection against wind and rain assuming a greater importance. The type of terrain will almost certainly be rougher and will, therefore, call for more preparation. Your rucksack is an essential piece of equipment and can help you focus on the items you need to take with you. It is important to carry sufficient equipment without becoming overloaded. A suggested checklist would include: jacket, spare warm layer, a map, compass, a survival bag, a whistle, a torch and spare batteries.

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