There is always an inherent risk when you go for a ramble.

It doesn’t matter how much mobile signal you might have…

…or how close you might feel to the emergency services, when you take a walk into the unknown you run the risk of injury or ill health.

Thankfully there are a few light-weight additions to your standard rambling gear that should give you peace of mind when you’re heading on a slightly longer trek, you can check out prices for them at Trail Outdoor, in Ivybridge.

Survival Bag/Pop-up Shelter

A basic survival bag (or ‘bivi’ bag) is an extra layer of insulation between you and the elements. Should the worse happen, perhaps you fall in a river or succumb to a surprise cold snap, a thick plastic bag could be the last thing between you and hypothermia. You can buy these for a paltry £5 and they pack away small in you rucksack.


Torch/Batteries

A classic piece of gear for any trek. A compact but effective torch, with spare batteries, is a hugely useful tool. Whether you’re in need of illumination when setting up a tent, or simply find yourself running out of daylight, a torch is a crucial piece of gear. At a pinch, a strong torch can be used as an emergency light, allowing you to communicate using semaphore.


Whistle

By far one of the most affordable safety precautions that you can invest in, you can pick an emergency whistle for around a pound. Hung around your neck, so that it can be reached within a moment’s notice, this little piece of plastic could be your lifeline to others, should you find yourself lost. Six blasts of the whistle (or flashes of a torch) is the international signal of stress.


Warm Clothing

Although you might be able to get away with wearing just one layer of clothes (and packing additional waterproofs) for a short ramble. If you’re heading out on a longer excursion, then you should consider packing some more robust clothes, in case it gets cold or your get unexpectedly wet.

A warm hat, additional pullover and trousers can come in handy, if you happen to be caught out in a cold snap.


Emergency Rations

We’ve already discussed what food you should be taking with you on your first ramble, however, it’s always wise to provide for every eventuality. A stash of Emergency Rations should be packed separate to your initial food stash, so that you’re prepared for the worst.

These Rations should be comprised of foods that are easily accessible and long-lasting. A large bar of chocolate and trail mix are worth packing away. You can buy specialised ration packs online – just make sure you don’t tuck into them on your way home!


First Aid Kit

A compact First Aid Kit is an essential for any outdoors activity. Ideally, everyone in your party will be carrying one of these kits with them, with a designated member of the team carrying a larger pack with some bulkier items.

You can buy all-in-one First Aid Kits online and from Outdoor Pursuits retailers. Ideally, your kit will contain scissors, micro pore tape, safety pins, tweezers, bandages, anti-septic wipes, anti-septic cream and plasters. Depending on the walkers in your grip, you may need to take additional medication or preventative measures – make sure to plan this well in advance.


Ice Axe/Crampons

Lastly, this kind of gear will only be required if you are intending on rambling over more extreme terrain. If you’re rambling in the middle of Winter, in particularly rural areas, you might find that ice or even snow, may hamper your progress.

A simple set of crampons can be costly, but will also give you the much needed grip that you need on otherwise treacherous ground. An ice axe is only necessary for particularly challenging rambles on snowy terrain – always ensure that you are trained before using one.

As always, it’s worth considering where you’re rambling and what the weather will be like before you pack your bags.

There’s plenty of options to choose from at Trail Outdoors in Ivybridge, Devon – check them out before going anywhere else.