Walking is a great way to get some exercise while getting a pleasant view of the countryside.It’s also inexpensive, and so a popular choice for weekend breaks during the autumn.If you’ve got a dog, then it’s doubly advantageous – as you’ll be able to take your pride and joy with you rather than nagging a friend into feeding it – or paying a kennel to do it for you.
In order to get the best out of a walking holiday, however, you’d be well advised to take along a few items that’ll make the trip that much smoother – and more comfortable.Let’s take a look at them.
If you’re going to be walking through the countryside, then you’ll need footwear that’s fit for the purpose. An ordinary pair of shoes will rapidly cause painful blisters to develop – and they’ll do little to absorb all of the bumps in the path.
A walking boot should fit snugly, and support your foot.It should also be waterproof – as the last thing you’ll want is a soaking wet foot when you’re a ten-mile hike from civilisation.
You’ll want to pair your boots with a set of thick socks.You can get special walking socks which provide insulation while allowing your skin to breathe – be sure to wear a set of them when you’ve trying on your boots, in order to ensure the best possible fit.
Breathable clothing, too, is a must for any serious hiker.You’ll want clothes that are lightweight and able to exclude wind, but which aren’t too warm.Once you get walking, your body temperature will quickly rise – so a thin base layer is recommended.You can always take off a jacket if things should get a little bit too warm.
If you’ve going to be hiking a long way, then you’ll need to be concerned with the perils of dehydration.If you run out of water halfway through a day-long trek then you’ll be in trouble.If you’re a new walker, then a few bottles of water should be enough to see you through – just refill them every morning before you set out.If you’re taking things a little more seriously, however, then a more substantial solution might be called for.Get a large flask that fits within your rucksack.
Walking a dog requires a lead – particularly if you’re going to be walking it through areas of the countryside where livestock are grazing.But in order to make things that little bit easier, you might want to invest in a harness that’ll spread the force of your tugs across the dog’s chest.Not only will this make energetic dogs easier to control – it’ll prevent the collar from digging into the dog’s throat when you tug on the lead.
In order to stow away all of the items you’ll be taking with you, including your clothes, you’ll need an appropriate rucksack.The best are spacious and shapely, and will prevent hard objects like water bottles from digging into your back.
Walking is among the most low-impact forms of exercise one can partake in.But it does place a slight strain on the knees which over time can be debilitating. In order to guard against this, it’s useful to spread the weight of your body as much as possible.That’s where hiking poles come in – they allow your elbows and shoulders to absorb some of the strain.If you suffer from knee pain after long walks, then a pair of decent hiking poles might offer just the solution.
If you’re going to be transporting a dirty dog from one area of the countryside to another, then you’ll want a means of protecting your car against pawprints and stray hairs.This protection comes in the form of boot liners – devices which shield your boot, and can be easily removed and laundered when the time comes.These come in many different shapes and sizes – some of which are more substantial and effective than others.A cheap one will consist of little more than an ill-fitting piece of carpet, and will be no more effective than a blanket.For most cars, a more substantial device will make a wiser investment.The best are designed to fit a given model of car, and will provide a snug fit.Ford, Audi and Range Rover boot liners are all available from specialist retailers – along with liners to fit a host of other vehicles.