What to bring
What to bring on a walk
The following items must be carried by all walkers on all activities:
Water - a minimum of 2 litres for a day walk
Food for the entire trip plus extra for emergencies
Comfortable, tried and tested walking boots or shoes. Do not wear new boots for the first time on a walk! If in doubt, talk to your walk leader about your footwear.
First aid kit and space/emergency blanket
Rain jacket, jumper, sunblock and a hat, and make sure you do not wear cotton or denim. Wicking fabric is best.
Torch, whistle and matches in a waterproof container.
What to pack for a day walk:
All the essential equipment listed above;
Optional extras could include camera and personal insecticide.
What to pack for an overnight walk
As a general rule, your pack should weigh no more than 25% of your body weight. For females, approx between 12-18kg, and for males between 14-20kg, depending on duration of the walk, age and fitness level. Weight calculation should include 1-2 kilos for 1-2 liters of water (or more in some cases) that you may need to carry. Ask your walk leader for guidance.
Ask your walk leader for a full gear list, as gear may vary depending on the length of the walk.
The best way to sort out your packing is practice. The objective is to keep your pack as light as you can, and each walker will have slightly different weight priorities, according to what is most useful to them. Every walk will bring you new ideas.
What in your pack was useful? Is there some way you can make those useful things lighter? For example a well known member of our club doesn't see the point of carrying a full size toothbrush - he just takes half a one!
What was totally unnecessary? Do you really need to carry that third hard back novel?
What did others bring along that you might have used?
Packing like a pro
As you get more experienced, you will find yourself packing for the unique circumstances of the walk you are going on.
Tent - Are you camping on an exposed plateau or at a protected river camp site? Which tent will best suit the site?
Weather - What is the overnight temperature expected to fall to? Should you pack the winter or summer bag? Will you need a puffer jacket? If rain is expected, perhaps you should pack a fleece instead of a puffer jacket.
Camp shoes, waterproofed bag - Are you doing many river crossings or any swims with pack? How cold will it be at night? Will camp shoes be a good idea if your hiking shoes are wet?
Water - How much water will you need? How long until you come across water and how hot will the day be?
These are just a few of the considerations that will become second nature as your experience packing grows.