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:
- The duration of your walk
- 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.
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:
- 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.