The weather is at a turning point in the UK, the sun is peaking through the clouds, and it seems like we suddenly rolled to spring. It can only mean one thing: outdoors are calling!
If you're thinking about enjoying sunshine and green spaces, make sure you have the following items in your backpack!
Although it feels like we're on a different season than two weeks ago - when we were complaining about the amount of rain, temperatures are still not at a British (or Caribbean) summer standard, and they still dip quite quickly. If you head out (especially if you're planning to hike in the Peak District, Lake District, or mountains), don't forget it can get quite windy and cold up there.
Good pair of hiking boots
Except if you want to ski down hiking paths, an appropriate pair of shoes might be of great help. You have two options: hiking boots or trail running shoes. Both will be more comfortable than typical shoes but will also have more grip to allow you to stay on track. Hiking shoes will help protect your feet and support your ankles whereas trail running shoes will be more dynamic and lightweight.
It is not because you don't see them that they might not be real game-changers. Fit walking insoles into footwear and get the support you need on your walk!
For example, PX1 technology increases shock absorption to reduce the impact on your feet, knees, and hips. In doing so, it also improves muscle function, provides greater energy return, and minimises muscle fatigue.
Even if we might not be sweating it out, we still get dehydrated when we hike or walk for a long time. Try drinking before hitting the trail, and, during your walk, make sure you sip regularly - even before you even feel thirsty. Dehydration has proved to cause hikers to be confused and disoriented.
You can use a thermal water bottle, to carry iced tea or warm tea. For smaller bags, soft flasks are a better option for cold drinks. They are lightweight and compressible and will easily fit into your pockets.
Shop water flasks here.
Picnic and snacks
Can we bring back picnic season? Yes! When you're out on a long walk or hilly hike, your body still consumes energy and needs to refuel. So, don't forget to pack sandwiches or this chocolate bar or flapjack you like. It is usually recommended to keep emergency food if you become lightheaded, especially if you plan to wander on the less-traveled path.
Now let's speak about safety.
Kudos if your phone battery lasts more than 12 hours! You might be one of these people who enjoy living life on the edge, scrutinising when the red flashing battery at the right of their smartphone screen, but it is not a risk we recommend taking on an adventure.
If you're aware that your phone battery might be playing with you, do not hesitate to bring an external battery and cable. At least, 1) you'll be able to listen to music, call friends and family and take as many pictures/videos as you'd like; 2) you might use your device to get around mountains and trails and; 3) you'll be able to reach out for help in case of emergency.
Sunglasses and suncream
Sun is back, so suncream should be back too. There is no need to remind you damage UV can create overtime on the human body over time. You might be even more sensitive if you live in a country like the UK or Scotland, where the sun makes rare though noticeable appearances. You might also want to pack sunglasses for when the sun will hit. No one likes closing their eyes as it is too bright outside to open our eyes.
A map or connected device
Some play it old school, others prefer the latest gadgets offering a range of additional data. If you plan on going on a hiking spot excluded from main roads and traffic, make sure you've got a way to identify where you are or recognise how to come back to where you parked.
Let's celebrate spring coming back and summer to come. Explore, walk, go on an adventure, have fun out there. There is something for everyone: runners who love spending time outdoors, friends with takeaway coffee cups up to catchup, families who walk their dogs and let their kids run (and get tired before dinner), or injured athletes who can only walk to maintain their fitness. You do you, but make sure you stay safe and wear the appropriate kit to avoid injury!