You’d be surprised how easy it is to start rambling.
There are just a handful of pieces of equipment that it’s best to make sure you have before you set out on your first rambling adventure:
A sturdy rucksack is the first tool in any rambler’s arsenal. This bag needs to be lightweight when empty, so that you can fill it up with plenty of gear for your hike. Make sure the shoulder straps are well-padded so they don’t rub uncomfortably on your skin and you have plenty of room for the next important thing.
This is the most important consumable that you’ll take with you on your ramble; water should be seen as a must-have item. How much water you take with you will depend on how long your proposed walk is. Humans should drink around 2 litres of water a day, you’ll need more when you’re hiking. If you’re thinking of heading into wilder areas then you’ll need to pack water sterilisation tablets (make sure you read the instruction carefully before using them!)
You should never head out on a walk without some form of fuel. It’s usually best to take a variety of food stuffs with you so that you’re covered for every eventuality. Slow-burning carbohydrates, like sandwiches and cereal bars, are great for general sustenance. You’ll also need some foods high in sugar, fat and protein to keep your body topped up whilst you’re on the move. Nuts, fruit and chocolate are a good idea to keep as snacks.
Regardless of the weather forecast expected, you should always pack a decent set of compact waterproof clothes with you. A lightweight set of waterproof trousers and a jacket is all you’ll need from Spring through to Summer. Worn as a final layer over your practical rambling gear (lightweight durable clothes that preferably wick away sweat), these garments will deflect rain and also protect you from the winds.
Although you might think that you can get away with going on a hike without boots, you’ll be making a grave mistake and leaving yourself open to a potential injury. Outdoor terrain can never be predicted and shouldn’t be relied upon. Trainers may well suffice for a simple walk around the block, but you’ll need something a bit more rugged if you’re heading out into the countryside. Most online sporting outlets will stock decent hiking boots for around £30-40.
Make sure you ‘break in’ any boots before go on your first ramble. Pop them on around the house for a few days, just make sure not to step on anyone’s toes!
Map & Compass
Hopefully you’ll know where you’re going for a ramble, before you set out. Whilst Great Britain may well be one of the safer places in the world to go for a walk, you never know when the elements could turn on you. It’s always best to make sure that you have a hard copy of a map and a traditional compass, so that you can find your way.
If you’re not quite sure how to use a Map and Compass, then there’s some great Tutorials online that can help or try contacting your local Ramblers group for some hands on training!
Lastly, and most importantly, it always pays to have some friends along with you for the ride. You should never attempt a ramble in the great outdoors, no matter how trivial, without a friend along with you.
As much as you might be attracted to the romantic ideal of walking out into the great unknown alone, if you do so you are inviting disaster. Regardless of the mobile technology that you believe will help you if you get into trouble, it should never be relied on. The best thing that can help you, if you injure yourself or fall ill, is another person.
Check our Resources page to find out how to build your Rambling connections, so that you can get started all the sooner!
Have you collected all of these things?
Then congratulations – you’re ready to Ramble!