A good pair of walking socks are an undervalued part of a walker’s equipment. The right sock can make a difference between comfort and blistering. Most available socks are breathable, which accompanied with a breathable boot, will decrease the amount of stagnant perspiration. Socks also come in different thicknesses for summer, winter or spring/autumn use. It is important that when purchasing boots that you try on thick socks to check the size can accommodate a thick sock.
Invest in a very good pair of professionally fitted boots as they really do pay for themselves. Your choice of footwear depends on your chosen activity. For wet and difficult terrain, waterproof boots with high ankle support are best suited. For dry flat walking you may prefer cross-trainers which give you best of both worlds. Make sure that you can get no more than your little finger between your heel and the back of the boot and you can flex your foot back and forward without the boot rubbing. Many sellers allow a return policy providing you haven’t worn them outside, so try them on around the house as much as you like within the return peroid to make sure you are completely happy.
Due to British weather, you should never be without your waterproofs. Again, you get what you pay for with waterproofs. Look for items with Gore-tex™, Karrimor’s EVENT™ The North Face’s Hyvent™ among with many others simply tagged as waterproof. If you’re caught in a prolonged shower without waterproofs, your body temperature could drop, leading to more issues.
An essential piece of equipment for short and long walks alike to ensure that you can comfortably carry money, mobile phone, spare socks, extra layers, food and drink, as well as heavier camping and walking equipment if you’re making a weekend of it. An ill-fitting or badly packed rucksack can cause unnecessary back, neck or shoulder strain or rubbing.
These obviously only apply in the winter months and cold weather, in warmer weather it’s all about layers. Layers mean you have a level of control over your body temperature no matter what the weather.
This is a particularly useful piece of equipment if you are walking to improve your health as well as for enjoyment. A pedometer is also good if you plan to share your favourite routes with other people, it gives you the chance to state exactly how far the walk is so that people can judge for themselves how long it will take them to complete.
It is essential to carry these items if you are hill walking or rambling as it can be dangerous if you get lost in the UK countryside and these will help to ensure that that doesn’t happen. Carry a mobile phone if you have one although in some terrains it may not work.
This should contain essentials such as antiseptic wipes, sterile dressings, bandages, disposable gloves together with any necessary prescribed medication. Always ensure that the walk leader/organiser is aware of any medical conditions prior to the start of the walk.
Full water bottle and/or flask hot liquid, packed sandwiches, crisps, chocolate, fruit, extra clothing (especially in winter) and emergency rations. Please take plenty of liquid on hotter and longer walks.
  • Always plan your walk thoroughly and inform a friend or relative of your route and when you plan to be back.

  • Take navigation equipment, a fully charged mobile phone and enough change to make a call from a phone box should you need to and if you’re out of range.

  • Don’t forget to take a flask or bottle of water and some high energy snacks in case you’re out for longer than you plan to be.