|"A Walk on the Moors" - Essential And Not So Essential Items To Take
Never having done a long distance walk before I had no idea, other
than advice from books, web sites and friends what I should wear or take with
me. I'd originally planned to do the walk alone but during the planning Noelene
said that she'd like to go along too (but she driving the Pennine Way!) and we
thought that we'd do a combination of camping, B&B and Youth Hostels.
The last two forms of overnight accommodation were fine but we never
actually got around to camping!
Oh, I forgot to mention that Noelene had decided to do the Way by car
and meet me each evening (except the first)! So I had my very own Pennine Way
Sherpa Service - and they don't come cheap.
Here's what I took:
- One wife. Yes, only one or
you're in deep s**t (they tend to fight)!
- New walking boots (actually
broken in during about 100 miles of practice walks). Mine were Brasher GTX
boots and more about them later. Suffice to say that I wasn't so impressed!
- Sock liners. I took six
pairs of 1,000 mile sock liners - guaranteed that you'll never get blisters.
And I didn't.
- Six pairs of Bridgedale
socks. They were good too.
- The two National Trail Guides by
Tony Hopkins - "The Pennine Way South" and "The Pennine Way
North". These contain all the necessary maps and instructions to get
thoroughly lost if you're not careful.
- OS Outdoor Leisure Map 1
"Peak District". This was the only OS map I took and then only because
it covered the stretch where I'd got lost on one of my practice walks. Other
walkers told me that they'd bought all nine of the Outdoor Leisure Maps for the
Way (at ~£60) but ended up posting them home after using the first or
- An Ortlieb mapcase. I was
told that this was the best so I got one. But the soft plastic of the main part
made taking out and putting in maps and guide books quite tricky and at
£12.50 it definitely wasn't twice as good as the "cheaper ones"
- A compass. Not an expensive
one but it seemed to point North most of the time so I guess it was
- A new Spray Way waterproof
jacket. It was supposedly "breathable" but I must be really hot stuff
because it was always wet inside when I wore it.
- Gaiters. They were old and
pretty knackered but I wore these almost all the time and they kept my lower
legs dry and mud free and stones and other rubbish out of my boots. They also
saved me from more than one bootful of disgusting muddy peat.
- Waterproof overtrousers. I
didn't wear these at all and gave up carrying them after a few days.
- Ron Hill Tracksters. These
are thin, light, tight fitting (to show of all my best bulges!), warm and about
the best trousers for walking in. They're relatively cheap too. I also had a
rather fine pair of a Nike copy of the Tracksters and they were even better. I
took shorts with me too but only wore them twice. I'm shy, you see and was
rather worried that the sheep might fancy me!
- A small first aid kit. It
contained a huge number of Elastoplasts, Germolene, Vaseline to lubricate
moving parts and that's about all. Fortunately I didn't break my leg so I was
wise to have left the splints at home.
- Toilet paper. You can never
be too careful and it is biodegradable!
- A rucksack. To put all this
stuff in I bought a new Lowe Alpine 45 litre sack and it was just
- Water. Depending on the day
and distance I took either one or two 1 litre plastic lemonade bottles of
ordinary tap water. I started out with a Thermos flask but my hot coffee kept
going cold after an hour or two so I abandoned it.
- Some money. Just a few quid
for the (very) occasional stop at a village cafe or mobile food stall. And once
(YES only once) at a pub for a pint. With Noelene meeting me each evening and
nowhere to spend my money there was no point in carrying much and you can't be
too careful these days, can you?!
- A camera. I took my Pentax
Zoom 105 Autofocus but it packed up about two thirds into the walk so I used
Kodak disposables. There's lots and lots to photograph if, like me, you're a
- A personal stereo. I
originally had visions of walking on my own listening to Pink Floyd on tape or
The Archers on Radio 4 but radio reception was dreadful so I sang and whistled
to entertain those who were fortunate to be walking close to me!
- A Dictaphone ("Why don't
you use your finger like everybody else", do I hear you say?). Oh, didn't you
know that one of those is essential too? I made an audio diary as I walked and
will transcribe it for the web during the coming months.
- A few changes of clothes.
Being a very clean and hygienic person I insisted on a clean T shirt, undies,
socks and hanky each day. Noelene carried everything like that in the car and
laundretted a couple of times during the trip.
- A credit card. Walking the
Way ain't cheap, especially if you do it the way Noelene and I did. Altogether
we probably spent the best part of £1,000, about the same as a two week
holiday in Jamaica. But where would be the fun in that!
- Suntan cream. I used
Morrison's Supermarket's own factor 15. It stopped me from burning a treat and
I almost looked like a bronzed Adonis after the two sunny days of the walk.
Don't forget (Noelene's always nagging me about this) that "the wind burns too"
and there was plenty of that. Posh folk will probably want to take Ambre
Solaire at twice the price.
- Boot cleaning kit. I took a
small brush, rag and Aqueous Nikwax because you can apply it to wet boots. I'm
a real sad b*****d because I religiously brushed all the muck off my boots
every evening and then double treated them with the Nikwax. My feet were still
damp but at least I looked smart each morning!
- Probably loads of other stuff
too. But I can't remember at the moment and I'll come back to this page
The above are just some of the items I
brought along with me while walking the Pennine Way. If you are considering
doing a long distance walk for the first time, think practically while creating
a list of
to bring along with you. For instance, you may have a room full of
stuffed animals back home that
you can't live without, but you may find that they may not be the best use of
space within your rucksack for this
kind of trip.
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