What to pack

Before you head out to explore Yorkshire make sure you have everything you need packed and ready to go. Here is our handy guide for all the useful bits of kit you'll need. First things first, get a rucksack to put everything into.

A good day pack can be anywhere from 10-30 litres, for a weekend away a medium back pack of 30-50L works well and for longer trips a rucksack with 50+ L capacity is needed. If you can look at a rucksack in a shop to get a feel for how big the different sizes are and how your stuff might fit into it that is great. 

Size

Rucksacks can have several features which make them more comfortable to carry and use. This article from Go Outdoors is pretty good for summing up some of the main features of different types of rucksacks. If you are on a budget remember that some of the features are there to improve comfort and you can still survive without them. There are also alternative options, for example if you have a daypack without a raincover you can put everything in a plastic bag inside your rucksack to avoid it getting wet.

Features

Rucksacks have many different straps and clips which can be adjusted which means you can suit your rucksack to fit you even if you are borrowing someone elses. Check out this great article from Cotswold Outdoor about fitting your rucksack.  

Fit

Rucksack

Food

Unless you have planned out a route that cleverly takes you through a village at lunch time and you want to spend money on lunch out it is likely that you will be taking a packed lunch with you. My usual choice is a bread roll sandwich as it is easy to make and easy to carry. However in bad weather I may also bring soup in a flask to stay warm. A lunch that can be carried in a paper bag rather than a box is good as it is lighter and takes up less space in your rucksack. (Plastic bags can be used but single use plastic is not good so try and find another options if possible). Don’t try and be healthy and take a small lunch, you will be using lots of energy so pack an extra sandwich and plenty of snacks. Carbs are your friends. 

Lunch

Lots of this. Keep one as an emergency bar that you don’t eat until the VERY end or if there is an actual emergency so if you get caught out in the cold you have some sugar. Top tip from my dad is to keep your chocolate next to the water as this is the coolest thing in the rucksack so it is not going to melt (although let’s be honest most days in Yorkshire chocolate melting is not a big problem).

Chocolate

Very important. Bring lots of it.  Spending a day walking you could well want to drink a litre more than you would on a normal day. However water is heavy so don’t go completely over the top and if you know of a place en-route where you can top up water then you may be alright with a smaller bottle. You can get hydration systems, which are pouches with a tube attached so you can drink on the move. They’re quite fun but not at all necessary so there is no need to splash out on one. If you do have one remember to clean and sterilise it before use. 

Water

Clothes

On a walk you may change temperature a lot over the course of the day therefore multiple thin layers are more useful than one really thick layer so you can always be adjusting.Even if it feels really cold when you set of it is good to have a t-shirt as the bottom layer as the day may get warmer and you will warm up quickly when walking, especially up steep hills. Likewise even on a really sunny day take extra layers, you never know when you will come across a windy, chilly spot. Don’t forget hats, gloves and scarves. They don’t take up much space and can make a real difference to your temperature. Although you can easily spend lots of money buying different walking layers it is fine to just wear ordinary t-shirts and thin jumpers and loose trousers. Jeans can be worn for walking but they are not the comfiest option and take aaaages to dry if they get wet. 

Layers

It is essential that you have waterproofs with you, especially if doing a long walk which will transport your over a significant distance and take all day. It may be sunny when you set off but it can easily change and it is never fun to be walking in wet clothes. Walking in waterproof trousers is not the most comfortable thing and it can get warm but it is definitely worth it compared to getting wet trousers. Don’t wait until you are already wet to put on your waterproof layers they won’t be very helpful by that point. Again there are lots of places you can get relatively cheap waterproofs. Just be careful about spending too little, on the hills it is easy to get in a LOT of rain and you want something that works. 

Waterproofs

The shoes you wear may vary depending on the time of year and the type of ground you will be walking over. In summer you may be able to get away with sturdy walking trainers if the route you are taking follows well made footpaths and the weather has been dry for a while. The most important thing about your shoes is that they fit well. If it is the first time you are wearing a pair of shoes it is wise to bring some blister plasters with you just in case. They should fit well with a thick pair of socks on. For long walk, particularly over rough ground or down steep hills having boots with proper ankle support is important. Waterproof shoes are great, particularly in winter or if going across boggy areas. You can also buy a gel to re-waterproof shoes. 

Shoes

Kit

Definitely need this. Check it is the right scale (orange Explorer OS maps are great) and covers the whole of your walk. If you want to be fancy you can get water resistant maps or buy a map case to keep the map in. You can’t rely on google maps on your phone, they don’t have all the footpaths on and you may find yourself out of signal in some of the places along the walk. For information on how to read a map look here.

Map

Not one of the cheap compass keyrings you can buy because they almost never work. To be able to do proper navigation with a map and compass you need one with a baseplate. For information on how to use a compass go here

Compass

Just a small one will do, best to include some plasters and antiseptic wipes. If you have new shoes you may want to bring some blister plasters. You may want to brush up on some basic first aid as well. Find out more about staying safe outdoors here

First Aid Kit

Take a phone that is well charged in case of an emergency. Phones also have loads of extra features that can come in handy and save space: a camera to capture your adventures, music to keep you entertained on a bus, a torch for when it's dark and notes for if you want to capture any thoughts you have along the way. If you are planning on using your phone for all these things it is great to also have a portable charger as there may not be opportunities to charge it whilst on the move.   

Phone

Depending on the time of year and weather. You can buy small bottles so it might be worth taking some even if you don’t think they will be needed just in case things change over the day. 

Insect Repellent and Sun Cream

This may well be the largest Item in your backpack and so try and find one as small and as light as possible within your budget. Cheap tents may seem like a great deal but there’s nothing worse than waking up in the morning in a damp sleeping bag with only damp clothes to put on with half of the tent pressing against your face and still have two or more days of your trip left to go. Pop-up tents also always look appealing in a shop but do not hold up well to bad weather and are a pain to transport.


 

Tent

Often the second largest item in your rucksack, and occasionally the largest your sleeping bag is another item that it’s best not to be too thrifty on. The main issue with sleeping bags is often not how warm it will be on the evening (most decent sleeping bags will comfortably keep you warm during any British season assuming your tent is waterproof), it is the size that they pack down to. Often cheaper sleeping bags are incredibly bulky and will quickly limit space for other necessary items. Most sleeping bags will come with a seasonal rating and so you may find you have to choose your bag for your holiday, you can always just buy the mid-range bags and sleep with the door open in summer (remember to keep the fly netting closed though), and potentially buy a sleeping bag liner for the autumn and spring to add an extra layer.


 

Sleeping Bag

An often overlooked element and regularly the first to be left behind when your bag is looking too bulky for the trip, your sleeping mat makes a huge difference to your evening temperature. Most of your heat loss during the night in a tent is through the groundsheet and into the cold (often wet) ground beneath you and so a solid insulating layer is a must. Fold out mats can be a good cheap alternative to the inflatable types and can pack down smaller than the classic roll mat. They also double up as pads for sitting on during the day when the ground is damp. Don’t bother with a pillow, fill a fleece or similar item of clothing with other clothes and use that.

 

Sleeping Mat

In the evening it’s often nice to have a hot meal and so a small stove can be useful, many people opt for the Jetboil brand of stoves which are great, fast and work in nearly all conditions but they are quite pricey, a smaller stove top that screws onto a small fuel canister will also work and could save a lot of money but can be inefficient in anything but ideal weather conditions. If using a cheaper stove top be sure to also purchase a metal wind guard which will make a huge difference to the time taken to boil anything. Many campsites have on site taps to fill up your water but it’s always worth bearing in mind water for cooking when you are packing your bags in the first place. Remember that when hiking and camping, especially in colder months, you will be burning far more energy then you usually would and so be prepared to eat far more than you usually might.
Camping shops often stock official camping meals which can be alright but if it’s a shorter trip a couple of packets of instant noodles and rice can work just as well and will be far, far cheaper.




 

Cooking Equipment

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