By: Blonde Two

Today I am afraid that I am going to use you lovely Blondees and Blondettes for a bit of market research. You may feel a bit uncomfortable during this process because I am going to have to ask you a very personal question about your … wait for it! … about your rucksack.

I hope you don’t mind too much, but I would like to find out which little bits and bobs you always carry with you. I am not talking about the obvious (and very important) outdoor gear; like waterproofs, compasses and first aid kits. I am much more interested in those little things that lurk in your yellow dry bag (well mine is yellow) and only get used once in a … well actually, do they ever get used?

In a spirit of openness and fairness, here are my Top Five Hiking Must-Haves:

1.  Emergency hair elastics – I attach them in weird places to my rucksack and then forget where they are. I have almost certainly doubled my rucksack weight in this way.Hair Elastic

2. Cable ties – These must surely be extremely useful. I am not sure what for yet, but it will come to me one day. Mine are very clever because they are reusable ones; just in case I get two ideas about what to do with them on the same day!Cable Ties

3. A ball of red rubber bands – This bounces quite nicely and isn’t as big as it once was; this means that I must have found something useful to do with them at some point; but I am blowed if I can remember what it was. They are red, by the way, because I have collected them off the pavement where the postman has left them.Rubber Band

4. Flashing arm and thingies. I have been out in the dark on the moor and in the lanes many times; but have never remembered that I have some special arm whatsits to keep me safe. They sometimes cheer me up by doing unexpected flashing inside my yellow dry-bag.Lights

5. Waterproof matches. These are truly hopeless devices, clearly invented by a man (sorry men). They may well be waterproof, but they are also fire proof and refuse to light. I always carry a lighter, but for some reason, feel that I am less than of an adventurer if I don’t have the obligatory non-lighting matches.Matches