BookMyTrail

Wanders for Women: A Day in The Lake District

“The woman who follows the crowd will usually go no further than the crowd. The woman who walks alone is likely to find herself in places no one has ever been before.”

As a solo female traveller, I’ve wandered and walked in some truly amazing places. From the stunning pathways that meander around Lake Como, Italy, to the breathtaking views from the summit of the Montserrat mountains, Catalunya, Europe has a lot to offer. I never thought I would find beauty to match mainland Europe in the UK, until I reached the Lake District.

Growing up in Newcastle upon Tyne, I was always relatively close to this countryside utopia, but it took 28 years for me to reach it! It’s the ideal place for a solo female traveller, no matter what age you are, which country you’re from or how much experience you have in walking and hiking. There are friendly faces waiting in each of its towns who are happy to help. Speaking of which…

FIRST STOP, WINDERMERE!

The easiest way to get to Windermere is through the local line that runs from Oxenholme train station, which is accessible from most of the UK. If you’re travelling from abroad, the nearest airport is located in Manchester.

Windermere is England’s largest lake and should be the first stop on your journey. Head to Bowness-on-Windermere and be greeted by true northern hospitality. There’s a Tourist Information Centre which is a great first port of call when you’re travelling solo. A friendly Scouser helped me prepare for my chosen walk. I asked him what equipment I would need and he told me he used to run up Scafell Pike (the highest mountain in England) in his trainers when he was a kid, but he advised against this! He recommended proper hiking shoes, outdoor clothing and a trekking pole. I didn’t invest in these but, in hindsight, I should have. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED.

Head down to the lake and you will be met with awe-inspiring views. The lake itself is majestic, swans lie peacefully on the lakeside and green hills roll up on each side of its shores, making for one of the most picturesque images I’ve ever witnessed. If you have time to take a stroll through the town, there are plenty of cafes and bars to relax with a book or have a chat with the locals. I met some true characters. And dogs. There are so many dogs.

ADVENTURE TIME!

I chose my walk from Lake District: Low Level and Lake Walks by Vivienne Crow. I would recommend using a guidebook if you’re travelling solo as there were times I found myself wandering alone for a long time. I took a few wrong turns along the way and Vivienne’s book became my bible.

Orrest Head

Orrest Head was my first stop-off after a relatively easy climb. There are benches here for you to sit and admire the view over the lake and its surrounding fells. Alfred Wainwright, a famous British fell-walker and author, is known for his writings about Orrest Head. He wrote,

“Quite suddenly, we emerged from the trees and were on a bare headland, and, as though a curtain had dramatically been torn aside, beheld a truly magnificent view.”

In my opinion, it’s a really inspiring panorama and one of the most intimate of the Lakes. As you head higher, the views are spectacular but can be a little bit daunting at times. There’s a high chance you’ll be met with other walkers at Orrest Head. Photo opportunity time!

Troutbeck

Before you reach Troutbeck, you’ll pass by Dubbs reservoir and through the Limefitt Holiday Park. As you ascend towards Wansfell Pike, you start to become aware of the height. I did this walk in May and the winds were high which was a new experience for me. Also, at this point, I lost my way with the guide, so I headed to Troutbeck for a quick stop-off. I found a cosy local cafe owned by a Londoner – it appears that everyone in the Lakes is running away from city life! He helped me back onto the route. There’s also a pub in Troutbeck called the Mortal Man. I didn’t stop as it sounded like a dangerous move for a Geordie, but I’ve heard they do great food and (obviously) drink.

Wansfell Pike

Okay, now the book says that this is a low level walk, but I found Wansfell Pike to be quite a challenging one. The winds were really strong by this point and, when you reach the summit, the paths are not as clear as you would like. It really is quite a steep and arduous ascent so, like I said earlier, bring equipment. Saying that, I seen an elderly couple and even a man with a baby attached to him attempting the climb, so you should be fine!

Oh, and the views are phenomenal. Really phenomenal.

Ambleside

The path back down towards Ambleside is long and winding, but there are a few fantastic features to keep you motivated. As you head into the woodland, you’ll come across the Stockghyll Force waterfalls. Surrounded by ravines in the heart of the forest, they are a dramatic ending to the walk and the perfect finale.

SHOULD YOU STAY OR SHOULD YOU GO?

Once you get down to Ambleside, there are plenty of options. You can take the 555 Lakeslink bus back to Windermere or, if you want to stay over in Ambleside, there are some hostels that cater perfectly to solo female travellers. Try the YHA Ambleside or Ambleside Backpackers Hostel. Of course, there are also hotels and, if you want to splash the cash, plenty of lodges to stay in close to the lakes.

THE END IS NEAR…

When it was time to leave the Lake District, I felt very inspired by what I’d seen. It’s such an incredible spot for walkers, hikers and climbers, and I never felt unsafe or uncomfortable as a woman travelling solo. There is an abundance of books available for you to plan your walk, and the amiable locals will make sure you enjoy your adventure every step of the way. Happy hiking!

Taken at Orrest Head, Windermere.

 

Kayleigh Crispin is a travel writer currently residing in Barcelona. She has completed many walks and hikes around Europe as a solo female traveller, and she is looking to other continents to plan her next adventure! You can find her freelance writing profile here and see some of her travel snapshots on Instagram – @kayleighcrispin.

 

Walking the South West Coastal Path with kids

Spectacular scenery, and some challenging climbs, walking South West Coast can be tough but is well worth the effort.

It’s a crisp clear morning in March. I’m standing with my wife Charlie on the sea front at Minehead beneath the starting point of one of the most challenging and beautiful coastal walks in the UK – the South West Coastal path.

Between here and the path’s terminus in Poole lies 630 miles of undulating pathways, steep climbs, rapid descents and jaw dropping scenery. It can be a tough ask at the best of times, but now we have an added complication – in the form of the one year old Tabitha. We’re about to see how easy it is to complete this path with the added burden of a baby.

Getting ready

As with anything walking the path is all about preparation and breaking those 630 miles into manageable chunks. To get us started we’re spending the next couple of days walking the first and arguably most challenging section, across Exmoor. From here we’ll travel roughly nine miles to Porlock Weir where, all being well, we’ll stop at the Ship inn.

From there, it’s a 13-mile hike to our campsite at Caffyns Farm just outside Lynton and Lynmouth before we tackle the path’s highest point at the summit of the Great Hangman.

Walking the path with a baby, it turns out, is perfectly possible as long as you come prepared. Slung on my back is a baby backpack carrier which has enough room for the baby and most of our kit.

Add a tall sun shade to cover the baby, a hat and, a good helping of sunscreen, together with some toys to keep her occupied and you’re ready to go.

Aside from that you’ll need all the usual things to guide you on your way. Most of the path has pretty good mobile reception so we’re able to find our way using the OS app. The distances on here tend to be somewhat more reliable than the sign posts which seem to pick a figure more or less at random. For back up, though, we have also come with a guidebook and map.

On our feet, we’ve both got a sturdy pair of walking boots. It’s been raining recently, and the path is likely to be a little slippery, so it helps to have as much grip as possible. However, due to the strenuous nature of the walking it can also pay to bring a pair of trainers as back up.

Half way through our walk Charlie’s feet start to wear in the boots, so the chance to change into a softer pair of trainers is a life saver. Most of the pathway can indeed be walked in any kind of footwear.

Getting the right clothing is also essential. As we start the day is just beginning to warm up, so it’s important to dress light. However, the weather can be unpredictable on the path so you’ll need waterproofs and warmer clothing on standby.

And of course – no matter what the weather, a little sunscreen is important. The cool breeze coming off the sea at Minehead, disguises the strength of the sun. It’s easy to get burnt without noticing it.

Walking the route

So, with everything prepared, it’s time to get started walking the South West Coast Path. The pathway starts innocuously enough at first before entering the first of several steep climbs through the woods. From there you can choose an easier path along the cliff top or a slightly more arduous route up and down the undulating coves leading into Porlock. The latter can be tough but is by far the more attractive and exciting option.

Once the paths converge you’ll enjoy an incredibly steep descent down into Porlock Bay. You’ll only appreciate the scale of what you’re coming down once you look back up it as you arrive in the village.

From Porlock Weir you’re quickly climbing again and the path begins to take on a similar pattern. Again, you can choose between the high road featuring stunning cliff top views or a lower undulating pathway through the woods.

Either way the walk becomes more spectacular the further you go in. The landscape becomes more rugged, the path a little narrower and the drop off to the right somewhat more disconcerting. If you don’t have a head for heights, this might not be the most enjoyable segment. If you have a baby strapped to your back it really concentrates the mind.

Once in Lynmouth we head up to a beautiful little campsite at Caffyns farm which is perfectly set up for walkers. As well as access to a beach it also offers some pony trekking and cycle hire for those who are tired of the path. Best of all there’s a great breakfast which steadies us nicely for the third and most demanding stint.

The walk from Lynmouth to Combe Martin clocks in at almost 14 miles and is possibly the most strenuous of the entire route. The highlight is the Summit of the Great Hangman which, at 318 metres, is the highest point on the entire path. The locals warn us it will be tough, but it’s well worth the effort.

As we arrive, exhausted, at Combe Martin, we can take time to reflect on how tough this path can be and, but if we’re in danger of feeling smug about our achievement, the couple who pass us at a quick jog put us firmly in our place. Tabitha, meanwhile, has survived the ordeal in tact and has taken the opportunity to have a little kip.

 

How to keep kids entertained while hiking

Walking is a fantastic way to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and here at BookMyTrail we believe it’s something the whole family can enjoy together. It’s free, it can be completely spontaneous and it’s a fantastic opportunity to get your children outside, enjoying the beauty of nature. What’s not to love? Below we have compiled some of the best ways to keep younger ones entertained whilst hiking, to help inspire you and contribute to a relaxing and stress-free day. From sleeping outdoors, to eating S’mores, our list below has you completely covered.

Create a scavenger hunt.

Kids love collecting things and what better way to keep them entertained on a daytime hike through the countryside than a scavenger hunt. Research the area you will be walking through ahead of time and create a list of fun and exciting items for them to find. They will relish the opportunity to get excited about it and be raring to go when the day comes.

Capture your memories.

Make sure you take a camera with you to capture the beautiful scenery you will be hiking through, as well as any funny moments that might occur. Once you are home you can spend time as a family sorting through your pictures and creating scrapbooks of the best ones. Why not invest in an inexpensive camera for older children and allow them to do this themselves?

Teach them the local history.

Many walking trails will have elements of local history that you can research and relay to your kids as you discover it together. This is especially good for slightly older children who may take more of an interest, and if this is something that really appeals to them why not plan a day out to a specific area of interest. Hadrian’s Wall is a prime example, but there are sites all across the UK that possess a rich heritage just waiting to be discovered.

Follow the leader.

For each hike you take pick a ‘leader’ and have them lead the way at different points of your walk. Give them decisions to make, such as which path to take at a fork and where to stop for lunch, to give them a sense of importance and excitement.

Let them choose.

Involve your kids from the beginning and let them choose your hiking route (within reason!). The National Trust website is a fantastic source of inspiration for days out all over the country and very user friendly. Sitting down as a family and picking your day out together will ensure you are all looking forward to it and letting your kids take the lead is a fantastic way to support their decision making and boost their confidence, as well as making sure you are all getting as much enjoyment out of your hikes as possible.

Create interest in the outdoors from a young age.

If you keep your kids in contact with the outdoors on a day-to-day basis they are far more likely to develop a healthy attitude towards, and interest in, nature, as they grow older. Outdoor nurseries, such as The Enchanted Garden Day Nursery are becoming more popular in the UK and are an ideal way of creating healthy attitudes towards the outdoors through their focus on fresh air and outdoor learning. They create a healthy environment where children can experience the freedom and simple joy of spending time outside, adventuring in ‘the wild’.

Take a camping trip.

Kids LOVE camping. No matter where it is, what the weather is like, or how long it takes to get there, there’s always something intrinsically exciting about a camping trip when you’re a kid. Bedding down in a sleeping bag outside never gets boring and pretty much anything that has been toasted over a fire tastes amazing. (If you’ve never tried them put S’mores at the top of your list straight away – you can thank us later.) Although family camping trips require a little more planning than your standard day out, they are a great way of getting away relatively inexpensively and enjoying some quality family time together. Websites like Get Out With The Kids have some fantastic tips on how to plan your perfect camping trip, as well as handy tips for keeping the kids entertained and fantastic recipe ideas for your campfire.

Make it fun.

The best way to interest your kids in hiking is to make it fun for them! However you do this is ultimately up to you, but think about what your children enjoy and try to create a trip that will provide fun for all of you. If they are having fun, then it goes without saying that you are too.

Pembrokeshire Coast Path Certificate

The Pembrokeshire Coast National Park Authority distributes a leaflet, which includes a chart for walkers to record, and sign their stops.You can then visit one of the pubs at either end of the walk, to claim your free Pembrokeshire Coast Path certificate. Embroidered badges are also available to attach to the collection on your rucksack. You will need to send a cheque into the address below to the value of £5.00.
If this is not possible, simply post it to Tenby National Park Centre, Ruabon House, South Parade, Tenby, SA70 7DL. produces a ‘Coast Path Challenge’ leaflet, which includes a table to record your progress.

Once you’ve completed all 186 miles and filled in your form, visit one of the pubs at either end of the Coast Path – Amroth in the south or St Dogmaels in the north – hand in your form and claim your free certificate.

Click here to download the leaflet if you wish to print it prior to your walk.

 

Elephant Box – The ideal plastic free lunch solution

Elephant Box – The ideal plastic free lunch solution

4 minute read

Going plastic free is tough. It really is, especially when your busy with either your career, family, or whatever it is which keeps you consumed throughout the day. Convenient foods, wrapped in plastic are just too easy to grap from the shelf – the contents are quickly consumed, and the plastic thrown away to lie somewhere on this earth to never really decompose. 

Plastic is perhaps mankinds most important invention. It paved the way to cheap manufactring of almost everything we use today. It’s durable (if made well), keeps food fresh, can be formed intothe most complex of shapes, with the tiniest of detail. However its vast use has come at an immense cost. Microplastics are found in almost all bodies of water throught the globe, and even in our freshly filtered bottled water, which is also served in  plastic. 

I want you to wrap your head around something.

 

You buy a bottle of Buxton Mineral Water. It’s a hot day, you consume your bottle of water in a few minutes and throw it into the nearest bin. You feel refreshed and revitalised. Great! 

Your bottle however, at the expense of your 2 minute drink will now take the next 1000 years to break down. IF your lcky it will be in direct sunlight an will break down sooner, but it will probably be buried in a landfill and forgotten until its disapeared. However the run off from that decomposing bottle will continue to enter the waterways, and leach into the soil.

ANd the scariest part is this. We have no idea what the long term exposure to Microlpastic and plastic related toxins is going to do to us. 

 

So that 99p bottle of water, which gave you a quick fix wasn’t really worth it. ANd should you be lucky enogh to find a public recycling bin, your bottle will be turned into something else, which will only be thrown away again. 

Awful shame, but this is the reality we live in. The problem is massive, and it needs us all to work extremely hard to do our bit to eradicate plastic, put pressure on retailers and manufacturers to make and lead the change. Meanwhile we need to simply act in order to be a part of the change on he ground. 

 

So how can you help?

Although I am not into replacing all of my plastic tupperwear with metal, simply because I see little point in chucking plastic which I could just use for a long time. However I have been curious about metal lunch boxes. 

I remember the Tiffin boxes while traveling in India. They were wonderful re-usable steel containers designed for delivering amazing currys to workplaces. To my delight Elephant Box, a UK based company, who manufactuers their boxes in India, had brought the idea of a tiffin box to the UK. 

I reached out to see if i could trial one, with my main interest being in the idea of using one while on the hill to hold sandwiches and the rest of my lunch. I wanted a durable, solution which could keep my food fresh which doesn;t weigh too much. 

A few days later I received my Elephant Box and large twist canister in the post. The product was beautifully branded, and looked amazing, with the clean polished steel also serving as a great portable mirror – Seriously, if ever you are traveling and need a shave, take this as your food container, and use it as a mirror too!

Now I must admid, and also apologize to the team at Elephant Box. I moved house since receiving the box and have not been able to get around to enjoying a walk on the hill, where I intended to test this product out. But finally, today I managed to escape to the Peak District. 

I packed up a sandwich in the main box, some fruit in the canister, and put it together in my bag. 

The product fit well in my 27 rucksack, and eventually, around lunch time i took it out. 

Now honestly, there was something really special about eating your lunch out of a proper lunch box while on the hill. Usually my sandwiches are chucked in to the top zip compartmet of my bag with keys and phone, wrapped in clingfilm. By the time I get to them, the clingfilm has caused the food inside to soak out, and you end up with a miserable sandwich. Instead I had a wonderful feast, well presented in a beautiful box to endulge in. 

The verdict? If your out for a new lunchbox and want to avoid the cheap plastic options available in most supermarkets, which only last a year or two, visit Elephant Box. 

https://elephantbox.co.uk/

They offer a range of boxes and canisters, but also metal water bottles, and even bees wax wraps (a great alternative to foil or clingfilm). 

 

 

 

Why your next adventure should be a solo one

Why your next adventure should be a solo one

8 minute read

Adventuring alone is simply wonderful. It builds self-sufficiency, offers incredible opportunities for contemplation, meditation, and communing with nature, and delivers a real sense of personal achievement.
There are a couple of different approaches when looking for walking holidays for single travellers. Deciding which approach is right for you will probably come down to the reasons why you are travelling solo.

Guided walking tours for single travellers


There are now many specialist walking holiday travel operators who cater specifically for solo hikers. These guided walks offer the advantage of having everything planned for you, plus meeting new people, making new friends, and having someone there for you if something goes wrong.
Choosing a walking holiday for single travellers from such a company also ensures that you’re not going to feel out on a limb, because everyone is in the same boat. It’s also a good way to introduce yourself to travelling solo without going for full-on isolation from trek one.
If you are going to trade a truly solitary experience – and shell out for a guide – for a guided walking tour, it is probably worth looking for a route where you’d have to book and pay for a guide even if you weren’t walking alone.

 

Adventure holidays for single travellers: Machu Picchu


Since the Peruvian authorities introduced limits to the number of visitors accepted along the Inca Trail and to the beautiful mountain-top UNESCO World Heritage site of Machu Picchu, it is mandatory for hikers to be accompanied by an official guide.
This is one of the most famous treks in the world, and for good reason. It’s a hard but extremely rewarding hike along ancient Inca trails through beautiful mountain scenery and subtropical forest at altitude. The dramatic ruins don’t require added hardship to be appreciated, but this hard-won arrival at the cascading Inca ruins at sunrise definitely does add to the experience.
Numerous walking holiday for solo traveller specialists offer this route as part of a guided walking package, or an alternative route via Salkantay mountain.

Walking holidays for single travellers: Everest Base Camp


The trek to Everest base camp with Sherpa Guides is another popular route for guided walking holidays for solo travellers, and is another classic trek where a guided tour is advisable. Again, there are numerous operators that offer this walk as a package holiday for single travellers, taking you along hilly passes and past traditional Buddhist monasteries and offering sparkling vistas under blue, blue skies and snowy Himalayan peaks.
It isn’t a trek you could do without support, so is a good option for solo travellers who want to make the most of being in a group.

 

Going solo: heading off alone


Of course, on a guided walking holiday for single travellers you gain convenience and company, but lose the solitude, silence and much of the self-determination you get from setting off truly on your own.
If the ability to go at your own pace and feel truly at one with nature is important, a guided walking tour isn’t going to be for you. But, if you haven’t hiked solo before, it can be a hugely intimidating idea.
Before you take the plunge, there are some basic safety principles you need to follow: make sure you leave a detailed itinerary behind before you go, have check-in points, and keep your family or friends informed of any changes to your plans. Do your research – understand the risks and how to deal with them. Take a first aid kit, and know how to use it; you might want to take a wilderness first aid course before you go. Pack a map and compass, and know how to use them – don’t rely on GPS, even if you have backup batteries and chargers.

 

Walking holidays for single travellers: Cinque Terre


If you are heading off on your own for the first time, choose a route that isn’t too challenging and that offers plenty of opportunities for hopping off the trail if necessary. This gives you an opportunity to test out your skills, your preparedness, and how much you enjoy the experience, as well as building your confidence.
The five beautiful villages that make up the Cinque Terre on Italy’s Ligurian coast are the perfect spot for this, especially if you choose to go in Spring or Autumn to avoid the worst of the summer heat. These clifftop paths take you past scented lemon and olive groves, vineyards, rocky coastal vistas, and panoramic sea views.
Walk from Monterosso towards Rio Maggiore and you will enjoy the stunning views of the pretty pastel-hued towns as you wander the coastal path towards them. These well-marked, populous routes are a rewarding hike without being too challenging. There are trains and boats connecting the villages, so you can hop off the trail if you need to. You could even take the route in sections and stay at one hotel for the duration of the trail – returning every evening. As well as saving weight in your pack, this gives you the added peace of mind that you know the person who is expecting you to check back in every evening.

 

Walking holidays for single travellers: GR10


If you are used to walking alone and want to extend this to a long-distance route, the GR10 is a great choice. This 538-mile route stretches the length of the Pyrenees from Hendaye on the Bay of Biscay to Banylus-sur-Mer on the Mediterranean.
The entire route requires a commitment of at least 52 days, but with careful planning you can easily enjoy sections of it at a time to create a shorter walk. Late Spring and early Autumn are the best times to enjoy it; without the snows or the punishing sunshine. It has a sister walk on the other side of the Pyrenees, but the French path is better maintained and marked, so is preferable for a solo hike.
It is also dotted with Refugios, staffed CAF cabins, and pastoral huts that offer places to stop or stay, plus, in many sections, hotels just off the route. The beautiful snow-capped peaks, flower-filled mountain meadows, waterfalls and crystal-clear lakes offer perfect moments for contemplation and simply enjoying the scenery for the solo hiker – you can’t feel alone with views like these.

 

Other options for single hikers


If you want to enjoy the benefits of hiking solo, but aren’t sure where to start, or would like the peace of mind that comes from someone knowing where you are going, a good hybrid approach is to use a professional route planning company to plot and organise your walk.
This enables you to combine the joy of trekking solo through the wilderness with the comforting knowledge that someone knows where you are (or are supposed to be), as well as being able to tailor your itinerary exactly as you want it.

 

Walking holidays for single travellers: the South Downs Way


One of Book My Trails’ most popular routes is the South Downs Way. It’s great for international visitors who want to combine a visit to London with an authentic experience of the rural idyll that is the English countryside.
On the 100-mile route that leads from Winchester to Eastbourne, you’ll hike through green river valleys, shaded ancient woodlands and flower-festooned chocolate-box villages, before culminating in the dramatic white chalk cliffs of the south coast.
The great thing about choosing the hybrid approach that Book My Trail offers, is that you can choose from luxury glamping yurts, basic campsites, welcoming country pubs, or luxury guesthouses and hotels, and know that your hosts are expecting you at the end of a tiring day walking – gaining the convenience and peace of mind of a guided walking tour without compromising your schedule or your sense of solitude and achievement.

 

Which walking holiday for solo travellers is right for you?


Ultimately, deciding which approach is right for you will probably come down to the reasons why you are travelling solo and what you want to get from the experience.
The Book My trail team are on hand to help and offer advice if you would find it useful to talk through your trekking goals with us.

 

Packing for the Hadrian’s Wall Path

Walking the Hadrian’s Wall Path is no easy feat. At 84-miles in length, the going can get quite tough at times. But as a reward for your efforts along the way, you’ll witness two beautiful coastlines, some of the most breath-taking scenery in the UK and no doubt make new friends along the way.

The UK has temperamental weather made up of rain, rain and more rain. Just ask the locals. So, when you’re packing for the Hadrian’s Wall Path, it’s important that pay particular attention to two things:

  1. The duration of your walk
  2. The weather

 

How to pack a rucksack

When it comes to the ideal kitbag, no two walkers have the same opinion. But, for the sake of safety there are a few things that are considered an absolute must.

 

Walking boots

The terrain across the Hadrian’s Wall Path is quite varied so a pair of sturdy walking boots are one of the most essential parts of your kit.

Without correct footwear, your feet and body are exposed to all sorts of injuries, from the mild:

  • Blisters
  • Discomfort
  • Toe rubbing
  • Light knee and ankle pain

To the more severe:

  • Back pain
  • Ligament and tendon tears from falling
  • Broken bones

What sort of shoe you choose depends on the type of walking you do, the season and of course, the weather. Head to your local outdoors shop and get properly sized up with the right shoe for the journey ahead.

For more information, check out this youtube video.

 

Choosing the right tent

If you’re wild camping, your tent is your lifeline and your home for the duration of your walk.

Weather resistance: The weather has a habit of changing on a dime in the north of England, so make sure your tent is suitable for heavy rain and wind – even in the middle of summer. If you’re walking in the winter months, be sure to plan for snow.

Weight: Most people take between seven and 10 days, depending on their level of fitness. Your tent needs to be light enough to carry and small enough to pack easily – especially in the rain. Sharing the load with the rest of your party is a good way to keep the weight down.

 

Nutrition for backpackers

When you’re packing for the Hadrian’s Wall Path, you need to think about a couple of things when it comes to nutrition; weight and shelf life.

Many walkers choose dehydrated foods like instant oats, noodles and pasta. They’re light, cheap and calorie dense. Though tinned goods have a fantastic shelf life, they’re also very heavy and will weigh you down.

It’s also a good idea to steer clear of any goods that are easily perishable. Generally speaking, if you usually keep it in the fridge, it shouldn’t be in your kitbag. Steer clear of meat, fish and dairy as these can become harmful if not stored properly.

As for water, a hydration bag is your best bet for carrying large amounts of water easily. And, just in case, always make sure you’ve got water purification tablets with you so you can fill up in running streams along the way.

 

The Hadrian’s Wall Path Kitbag

Waterproofs: Always pack a good set of waterproofs as close to the top of your kitbag as you can. That way, they’re always within reach for when you need them.

Gators: The last thing you want to be doing is putting muddy, wet boots on every morning. Gators help keep the moisture and muck off your boots and out of your laces, making the morning that little bit easier.

Clothes: Of course, the main thing is to pack for the weather. But, generally speaking you should have at least two pairs of each: Long-sleeved breathable base-layer, breathable mid-layer (tech t-shirt), jumper, hat, gloves, and scarf.

Toiletries: Though there are public toilets at all major stops and some port-a-loos along the way, at some point or another you’re going to have to do your business in the wild. Always carry toilet paper in a zip-lock bag or sandwich bag. Keep your toothpaste, soap and toothbrush in separate zip-lock or plastic bags too. That way, if anything leaks, it won’t go everywhere.

Health and safety kit: No kitbag would be complete without blister plasters. Like it or not, someone in your party with get a blister at some point. Your first aid bag should also include: regular plasters, anti-septic cream, bandages, pain killers, splints, slings and of course, sunscreen. Outdoor shops sell packs with everything included.

Camping kit: Camping stoves come in all shapes and sizes, but we recommend staying away from anything that requires gas canisters. Trangia-type stoves are best as they’re compact, easy to clean and can run on bio-fuel gels or eco-friendly fuels.

Guidebook: Despite being a well-marked trail it’s always best to carry a guidebook, map and compass in case you get stuck.

Tech supplies: If you’re carrying a mobile phone, GPS watch or any other electrical device that needs charging, make sure you carry some form of charging pack. Most outdoor shops sell solar-powered charging kits that run on the sun while you walk.

Your bag: Finally, a good sturdy bag with plenty of back support and a waist strap is a must. Make sure it’s big enough to carry all of your supplies for the duration of the walk. If it doesn’t have a rain cover, line your bag with bin liners to keep all of your personal items dry.

 

20 Incredible Female Outdoor Bloggers to Follow in 2018

Whether you’re traveling around the UK or further afield, there’s always plenty of outdoor spaces to explore. Revisiting the same place can provide completely different experiences depending on the weather, and it can be fascinating to see the changes throughout the seasons.

However, it’s always helpful to have a bit of inspiration, and what better than fellow female outdoor enthusiasts? You’ll find lots of women sharing their experiences in online blogs, and these are a great place to find inspiration – and the motivation to try something new!

With so many to choose, it can be difficult to know where to start reading so we’ve narrowed it down to the top 20 outdoor bloggers who you should follow in 2018.

 

The Girl Outdoors

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If you want to read about some real adventures, The Girl Outdoors is a great place to start. Sian Anna Lewis tackles everything from wild camping to mountaineering, with practical tips along the way. There are both domestic and global suggestions so whatever your budget is, you’ll be able to have a go for yourself.

 

Lady on a Rock

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Christy Rosander is Lady on a Rock, a blog dedicated to the possibilities of hiking solo. Strapping on a backpack and heading off on your own, whether it’s for a walk or something more adventurous, is something that no-one should be afraid of experiencing.

 

Blues, Twos and Walking Shoes

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Emma Cusworth is the brains behind Blues, Twos and Walking Shoes and by own admission, she’s hoping to encourage more people to pull on their boot and explore the outdoors. Firmly focused on walking rather than any more adrenaline-pumping activities, this blog leaves you with a sense of balance and peace, much like the feeling of walking in the outdoors.

 

Appalachian Trail Girl

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Megan Maxwell is a committed solo hiker and has named her blog after one of her most enjoyable endeavors. This site aims to encourage other women to try out solo hiking and camping, whether it’s simple trail walking or heading off to the Himalayas.

 

Wild and Words

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Having a focus while you’re outdoors can be a wonderful way to motivate yourself and in Wild and Words, Athena shares her love of photography and walking. Very much a global adventurer, Athena shares her experiences from around the world accompanied by some stunning pictures which will leave you with an itch to travel.

 

Phoebe Smith

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If you’ve ever fancied reading about sleeping in weird and wonderful places, Phoebe Smith is your girl. Working as a travel editor by day, in her spare time she devotes every moment to finding remote places to explore and sleep in. Strangely compelling, this blog will leave you wondering what it’s like to wake up solo on a mountain summit….

 

Outdoorista

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Outdoorista belongs to Anna Paxton, and it’s a blog that’s dedicated to championing women who are role models for the outdoors. A keen fell and trail runner herself, Anna is an expert on her local Peak District. She has also travelled to various other parts of the world, such as Yosemite to experience urban adventures in new places.

 

Mountain Journeys

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Mountain Journeys is the joint blog of Kate Ayres and Mark Eddy, a couple who split their time between the Lake District and a small village in the Costa Blanca mountains in Spain. Working as mountain and climbing guides, the blog is full of fascinating insights from both home and away.

 

The Thrifty Magpie’s Nest

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Jenni Tulip aka The Magpie’s Nest is a rainbow-haired, woodland dwelling outdoors enthusiast who loves nothing better reconnecting with the natural world. This blog shares the mission to slow down and relish being outdoors through walking, camping and exploring. Jenni also runs a group which connects other outdoor bloggers, and this include Splodz Blogz (see below).

 

Fiona Outdoors

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Never one to be able to sit still for long, Fiona Russell set up her blog, Fiona Outdoors, to capture her various outdoors adventures. Passionate about Scotland, Fiona runs, walks, cycles and wild camps in various spots around the country which gives her blog a varied and fresh feel.

 

Ness Knight

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A true explorer, Ness Knight likes to journey to new places, discover different cultures and immerse herself in extreme environments. Also working as a motivational speaker, she believes that “ordinary people can achieve extraordinary things”. Conservation and natural sciences are also passions, and these themes are woven seamlessly into the blog.

 

Adventure She

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Adventure She is the brainchild of Jane Harries and is an online magazine which takes readers to all four corners of the world on a variety of sports and endeavors. A celebration of the spirit of adventure, this blog sets out to empower all women by sharing their true stories and experiences.

 

Outdoor Women’s Alliance

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Founded by Gina Begin, the Outdoor Women’s Alliance is a non-profit making organization that aims to support and inspire women worldwide. The OWA offer a vast number of different programs which are designed to promote, engage and recognize women who are in adventure sports, lead an outdoor lifestyle or have athletic ability.

 

Kitiara Pascoe

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Kitiara Pascoe is a journalist with adventure in her soul, and she’s on a quest to challenge herself. Sailing around the Atlantic for 17,000 miles changed her outlook on life and she writes to share her experiences and to inspire other women to reach for what they might think is impossible.

 

Splodz Blogz

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Zoe is one of the champions of the One Hour Outside movement, a campaign that encourages everyone to spend an hour outside everyday even if that’s just running errands. On a personal level, Zoe loves nothing better than being outside and in Splodz Blogz she shares life-affirming experiences and images from home and around the world.

 

Hiking Lady

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Created by Carol Roberts, Hiking Lady is the one-stop shop for expert advice, information and inspiration about backpacking and hiking. A comprehensive site with an endless number of features to explore, this blog makes hiking appealing to everyone.

 

Zo Outdoors

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Zoe describes her site as an online diary where she documents all of her outdoor escapades. With a mixture of low-key and more epic adventures, the blog is a great source of inspiration for anyone who’s considering spending some time outside.

 

Dirtbag Darling

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Dirtbag Darling is the creation of Johnie Gall and showcases her expeditions outdoors. From across the ocean to closer at home, Dirtbag Darling celebrates the natural world and highlights the importance of environmental awareness. Although Johnie has a passion for surfing and rock climbing, Dirtbag Darling is all about responsible adventures in the outside world.

 

Two Blondes Walking

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Lucy Atkins and Fi Darby are the inspiration for Two Blondes Walking, an online blog where they capture their outdoor activities. Although primarily focussed on walking, particularly around Dartmoor, there’s also wild swimming and some other activities included for additional inspiration.

 

Bearfoot Theory

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Kristen Bor is the founder of Bearfoot Theory, but she’s got a team of likeminded women alongside her. Their guiding principle is that you don’t need to be an adrenaline junkie to explore and discover the world outside, and you don’t need a limitless budget either. Aimed at the everyday enthusiast, this blog encourages you to take outdoor activities to the limit that suits you.

 

Enjoy Exploring!

The above 20 bloggers all share a love of the outdoor world and enjoy exploring it in a variety of different ways. While it’s important to make sure you take sensible precautions, there’s an unbridled joy in striking out to see what joys the natural world holds. Why not get inspiration from one of the above and set off on an exploration of your own?