With 186 miles of walking, the Pembrokeshire Coast Path will test the most seasoned of long-distance hikers. However, the route will reward you for your efforts along the way as you soak in the continuous coastline, hidden coves and outstanding views along the walk. Fishing villages, quaint towns and an excellent choice of places to stay await. This packing list is aimed at helping those of you who are looking to walk the path using luggage transfer while carrying a day pack.
The UK has temperamental weather. In a single day, you can have high wind, sideways rain, some hail and then glorious sunshine. Packing for all eventualities is important to both keep yourself safe and comfortable, regardless of wet, or hot 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 Pembrokeshire Path is varied therefore a pair of sturdy walking boots or shoes are one of the most essential parts of your kit. Many long-distance hikers I know do now steer towards shoes due to their low bulk and weight which makes them an attractive option when walking longer distances. I personally recommend lighter weight boots, over heavy old-school leather ones.
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:
- Ligament and tendon tears from falling
- Broken bones
- Back pain
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 Pembrokeshire Coast 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 Pembrokeshire Coast 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 will probably get a blister at some point. Your first-aid bag should also include regular plasters, antiseptic 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.
I think that covers almost everything but if you have any further questions regarding packing, or planning your Pembrokeshire Coast Path walk please don’t hesitate to get in touch.