Top 10 Things to Pack in Your Rucksack

New Year, new you? After the Christmas season of cheer and indulgence, the cold harsh reality of January can be tough when it hits. The best thing to do to brighten the New Year is to set yourself some healthy goals to achieve. Buy yourself a new healthy eating cookery book and aim to cook out of it at least 4 times a week, or set yourself a new fitness regime and stick to it. This week we’re exploring the possibility of a new hiking routine- explore the countryside and get fit all at the same time? Sounds good to us. Here’s what we’re putting in our rucksack:

1. First Aid Kit

The first and most important thing on our list is a first aid kit. Hopefully you won’t need it, but you never know when you could get a bad cut or scrape in the undergrowth. You can buy these ready-made from the chemist but if you’re throwing it together yourself, you will need to include anti-sceptic cream and assorted sizes of plasters. Don’t forget extra blister plasters too! We recommend Compeed. They’re awesome.

2. Energy Food

Now we know this post is all about getting in shape. New year, new you and all that jazz. BUT there is simply nothing worse than finding yourself being peckish on the top of a mountain. Tired. In the rain. With sore feet. While hiking, you will use a lot of energy so you need to keep those energy levels topped up frequently. It doesn’t need to be wildly unhealthy either, you could try something nutritious like celery sticks with peanut butter or a packet of tasty dried fruit. Or if all else fails, a good dose of Lucozade should sort you out.

3. Spare Socks

If you happen upon an unexpected area of marshland, chances are your feet could get wet very quickly. A spare pair of hiking socks will provide much appreciated warmth and dryness to soggy feet that will no doubt be feeling very sorry for themselves.

4. Map & Compass

Smart phones and their new-fangled navigation apps are all well and good- until they run out of battery. Keep a good old fashioned map and a compass with you and you will always be able to work out where to go.

5. Towel

I don’t know about you, but I don’t fancy falling in an ice cold river in the middle of January. But it could easily happen. This is Britain. It is very cold in winter and you never know what the weather will throw at you. Best to be prepared for the worst and a small towel will definitely come in handy, even for sponging the sweat off your forehead when the going gets tough. Remember: no pain, no gain.

6. Spare Layers

It can get particularly chilly the higher up you climb on your hike. Remember to pack an extra fleece just in case you are feeling the chill or if you get caught in an unexpected downpour.

7. Packaway Jacket

You will need a light waterproof cover up you can pull out and throw on over your clothes quickly when the rain comes on. We would recommend both a jacket and a pair of overtrousers to ensure you stay as dry as possible. Eh, hello Mac in a Sac!

8. Torch

Just in case you are still on the go when darkness falls, you will need a small torch to see where you are stepping. Remember you want to avoid getting that first aid kit out at all costs.

9. Water Bottle

It is very important to keep yourself hydrated on your hike so make sure you include a good full water bottle in your rucksack. You can buy all kinds of fancy ones in an outdoor shop to keep your water cool and make sure it doesn’t leak.

10. Rain Cover

More of an essential if you are hiking over a longer period of time, but a rain cover for your rucksack can be very useful for ensuring your valuables stay dry when the rain comes on. Not ideal if you reach for your spare set of dry clothes only to find they’ve been drenched too!

So there you have it: our top 10 items to carry in your backpack. All that’s left to do is throw it all together and get out there! Good luck with your new training regime!