By: Blonde Two
For many of us, the way we enjoy the outdoors has changed since the lockdown started in March. This is definitely true for the Two Blondes. We’re both walking more often than usual but have (for the most part) swapped our long yomps (such a great word) across Dartmoor for more local walks and explorations. We ‘ve both been enjoying this new local discovery phase but are also looking forward to getting back on the hills for our navigation and wild camping courses (starting at the end of July).
Whatever form your outdoor exploration takes, if you’re walking/running/cycling from home or only going a short distance, you probably don’t need as much equipment as you would on a longer, more remote outing. The question remains then of what the essential items to take outdoors are. It’s tempting to head out with just your pockets for company but, as B1 and I are realising, local walking outfits can be very different to hill walking outfits. You might be able to fit most of the below into your pockets but perhaps now is the time to dig out that smaller rucksack and stuff in our five essentials for any outside activity.
1. A bag to put rubbish in – hopefully, you’re not the sort of person who would drop litter but taking all your rubbish home is the right thing to do and made much easier if you have some kind of bag available.
2. A drink – hot or cold, a drink is essential, especially if you’re exploring. Who knows how dusty that green lane will be or how far you’ll end up striding across town. The other thing about a drink of course is that you can use it to wash your hands.
3. A mini first aid kit – on shorter explorations you’ll be nearer to help in an emergency but little accidents can still happen. We recommend at least some way of cleaning and covering a scrape, a triangular bandage, and obviously your own important medicine, EpiPens, inhalers, etc.
4. A map or mapping device – you’d be amazed how easy it is to get lost amongst streets let alone a network of footpaths. The Countryside Code asks us to stick to footpaths so it’s important to know where you are (especially if you only have one cup of tea with you.)
5. A snack – the old ‘hangry’ monster can strike at any time, and one of the best things about local exploration is its tendency to extend in both time and distance. Biscuits are great for pockets, bananas not so good!
So there we are. Probably the shortest kit list you’ll ever see from the Two Blondes. Enjoy it while you can, we’ll be packing six jumpers, three pairs of shoes and two tents each very soon!