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Back in November, I published a blog post listing 12 essential things to bring on a Winter walk. As you will have guessed from the title, this post is going to be a summer version!
Summer is a fantastic time for walking. In general, the weather is warm, the ground is dry, and if you’re lucky, the sun is shining! You don’t have to worry about icy, slippery surfaces, cold temperatures and dark evenings that come with winter walking. However, the summer comes with its own risks, so it’s important to always be prepared when you go for a summer walk. Here are 16 essential items that you should always bring with you to ensure your walk is safe and comfortable.
16 Essential Things To Bring On A Summer Walk
1. Light, cool clothing
In summer, you are likely to get hot when walking. Therefore I recommend wearing light, cool clothing such as shorts and a t-shirt. Even if you feel a little too cool when you start off, your body will warm up as you walk. You can always start off by wearing a thin jumper or cardigan and take it off when you get too hot. This brings me to my next point…
In the UK, you never know what the weather is going to do. What starts as a warm, sunny day can suddenly turn chilly, especially in the evenings. There might even be an unexpected rain shower. Therefore I always recommend bringing an extra layer of clothing such as a cardigan or a thin raincoat when you go for a walk.
3. A comfortable bag
You’ll need to bring a bag on your walk to keep all these essential items in. This is especially true in the summer when you are wearing less clothing so you won’t have as many pockets! I recommend opting for a rucksack because this spreads the weight of the bag across your body and leaves both your hands free.
In the summer, it’s especially important to consider whether your bag straps are comfortable on your shoulders. This is because you will likely have bare shoulders or only a thin layer of clothing. You’ll want to make sure the straps don’t rub or dig into your skin.
4. Comfortable shoes
Last week I went for a walk and it was hot so I decided to wear sandals. The sandals I chose are comfy and I have worn them before (although never for a walk!) so I thought they would be fine. Unfortunately, after a while, they started to rub and I wished I’d worn trainers.
Unless you have some sandals that you KNOW are comfy for walking, I recommend always wearing socks and trainers even if it’s hot. They are just more comfortable for walking in. Also, don’t risk wearing new shoes for the first time on a walk. Wear them around your home or for short outings first so you can be sure they are comfortable and don’t rub.
This speaks for itself because in summer it is often bright and sunny. Sunglasses are a must to protect your eyes and keep you comfortable.
6. Sun cream
It’s hugely important to wear sun cream in the summer to protect your skin from getting sunburnt. As well as applying sun cream before your walk, I’d recommend bringing a small bottle with you so you can top up your sun cream halfway through your walk. It’s important to wear sun cream even on a cloudy day because some UV rays can still get through the clouds. Also, you never know when the sun might come out! I’ve been caught out too many times without sun cream because I thought it was going to stay cloudy. A lesson I need to learn!
7. A sun hat
Related to the points above, I recommend wearing a sun hat or baseball cap on a summer walk. This will give you an extra layer of protection against the sun and is especially important if you are bald or have thin hair.
8. A bottle of water
It’s always a good idea to bring a bottle of water on a walk, but if the weather is hot, it’s even more important to stay hydrated. You might even consider bringing several bottles of water if you’re planning a long walk, or plan your route around places where you can fill up your bottle or buy a drink. I have several Chilly’s water bottles and they are great for keeping water cool.
9. A snack
As well as staying hydrated, your body is likely to need an extra energy boost to keep you going when it’s hot. I recommend packing a cereal bar or a piece of fruit so you have a refreshing snack on hand.
10. Your phone
A walk is a great way to escape from the constant stimulation of your phone. That said, it’s very important to bring your phone with you on a walk! This is for safety reasons – if you got lost, injured or in any kind of trouble, you need to be able to contact someone or find out where you are. Your phone also doubles up as a camera so you can take some beautiful photos on your walk.
11. Your smartwatch or fitness tracker
Admittedly, a fitness tracker isn’t an essential item to bring on a walk, but I’ve included it on this list because it could enhance your walk. Whether you are walking for fitness or just for leisure, it can be interesting to track your route, your distance walked, and other health stats.
This is another non-essential item that could enhance your walk. In the summer, there are often beautiful, clear views for miles around. If you have binoculars handy, you can get a better look at the views, and maybe spot some wildlife up close!
I consider tissues to be an essential item to bring on a walk at any time of year. Some people are affected by hayfever, and this can be a bigger issue in the summer so it’s good to have tissues on hand. Even if your nose doesn’t run, tissues can be useful for wiping off dirt or wiping your fingers after a snack.
14. Lip balm
Lip balm is another item I always like to have on hand. My lips don’t get as dry in the summer as they do in the winter, but I still like to keep them hydrated. If you can find a lip balm that contains SPF, that’s even better.
It’s an unfortunate fact that injuries do happen on walks. We are even more vulnerable to them in the summer when more of our skin is exposed. I can remember times when I’ve tripped and cut my knee, got scratched by brambles or stung by nettles or insects. Plasters are great to have on hand if this happens. Another reason you might need plasters is if your shoes rub, and this is more common in summer, especially if you are wearing sandals (see point number 4!).
16. Insect repellant
Another risk factor of summer walks is getting bitten by insects, which can be annoying and often itchy or painful! Insects seem to be attracted to certain people more than others, and fortunately, I’m one of those they tend to leave alone while attacking whoever I’m walking with! But whether or not the insects tend to go for you, it’s a good precaution to wear insect repellant on a summer walk. I recommend using a natural insect repellant because it’s better for you and the environment.
What would you bring on a summer walk?
I hope this post has inspired you to get outside and do some walking this summer and helped you feel more prepared with what to bring. Is there anything else you’d bring with you on a summer walk? Let me know in the comments below!
Wishing you lots of happy and safe walking this summer!