This is the second edition of our blog on what is the essential equipment needed for walking and hiking. In this blog we concentrate on the longer side of things, what you would need to take with you for an overnight or a couple of days walking trip. Obviously, all the equipment we mentioned in our first blog is a prerequisite but if you are staying out in the wilderness you will also need to think about shelter.
Preparing for an elongated hike you will obviously be taking more equipment with you for comfort and survival. Normally attempting a longer walking trip you will be accompanied by fellow walking enthusiasts and it is common to share the communal equipment among each other. Even so, you will need a substantial rucksack for your journey. This must be large enough for purpose, light and waterproof. Not all rucksacks are the same and you should definitely try some on to find one that is comfortable for you. Remember you will have to carry this lump on your back the whole way, so you must find one that does not chafe or stick in anywhere.
The tent will be your shelter out in the open, the first decision must be being it for one or two people then select from there. Again you must select the lightest tent you can find that will give you the optimum amount of shelter. Modern tents now are all waterproof and are relatively easy to erect, pick a tent that you can pitch on multiple types of ground as you are never certain where you may be camping. And finally select one that is easy to put up in the dark, you never know you may be pitching camp after the sun has gone down.
On longer walks there is more time for things to go wrong, a small first aid kit with the basic medical supplies of band-aids, antiseptic wipes, gauze pad, tweezers, scissors and tape will suffice for most everyday walking problems. Sun protection is vitally important, and effective sunscreen is essential, remember to wear complete block on your face, do not wear a scented sunscreen it will attract bugs. Also, a decent pair of UV sunglasses will help stop you squinting in the direct sun, they can also help to prevent headaches. Finally, a good insect spray is a must, there is nothing worse than mosquito and gnat bites, and in tropical countries the mosquito can carry dengue fever and also of course malaria.
If you are taking an elongated trek then an emergency stove is recommended, the modern emergency stoves are small enough to fit in your pocket and weigh only a couple of ounces. You cannot always guarantee a campsite that is good enough to light fires, this could be due to weather or terrain, so you need something that can heat water. With these pieces of equipment, you can now navigate a longer walking trek and stay out in the wilderness for days. Perhaps you would like to undertake a pilgrimage of your own, there are many to choose from.