The Ultimate 2020 Solo Walking Holiday Long Distance Hiking Kitlist
What is the Ultimate Hiking Kit list for your solo walking holiday?
Good question, and sorry for the clickbait. Let’s get right into it.
For me, the ultimate hiking kit is a compromise between durability and low weight. I’m personally not into lightweight hiking. Instead, I want my kit to last, which lightweight kit does not, and I like the comfort of marginally heavier kit.
That being said, heavy jackets and canvas bags are in my opinion, not a good choice.
Cut the nonsense. A good quality nylon backpack will last just as long as your woven cotton bag, remain water-resistant for longer. And nylon jackets over a cotton jacket. Come on, we are in 2020.
Plastic may be evil, but I would rather not carry the weight of a heavy Ventile cotton garment.
So let’s get into my line up of good quality kit for your 2020 adventures!
I’m not going to recommend a pair of boots or shoes. Why? Everyone has a different preference, foot shape, and style of shoe they prefer.
That being said. I strongly feel that you get what you pay for when buying shoes.
Walking boots from Aldi, Sports Direct, Target, Costco, even Walmart are often rubbish, lacking in support, and held together using bad stitches, cheap glue, and will probably fail you when you least want them to.
Buy a decent brand.
Scarpa, Mendil, Asolo, La Sportiva, Solomon. Anything but Kirkland walking boots, if they even sell those.
Shoes & Boots
Honestly it’s hard to weigh up between the stunning beaches, castles, villages or the Holy island. This is such a beautiful and unspoiled part of England, which has so much to offer, especially if your a solo or enexperienced walker as there is little to go wrong, the elevation is forgiving and theres pleanty of places to stop each day.
Take the stunning Lindisfarne Castle for example, built in 1550 which sits at the highest point of the Holy Island, which itself is only accessible in low tide.
There’s a lot of companies out there selling socks. Personally for me, its always been Bridgedale. The socks just last.
They use ‘Fusion Tech’, which is a manufacturing method of using a blend of yarn and knitting technology to create the perfect fit.
I’ve no idea what this means, but I can tell you, their socks are comfortable.
I recommend going for merino socks. They are far more comfortable and better at regulating heat without the need for the weight which polyester/nylon socks have.
You can buy these socks from Cotswold Outdoor
I’ll come clean. I hate wearing waterproofs.
Well, they are expensive rubble sacks, which happen to ‘breathe’ and keep the rain out.
The best ‘GoreTex’ waterproofs are great, but they seldom pack down small and are usually pretty heavy.
On the flip side, lightweight waterproofs don’t work well with packs, since they tend to wear quickly, therefore, in my opinion, making them unsuitable for long-distance walking in anything other than summer as an ’emergency’ layer.
Where does that leave us?
In my opinion Paramo, and Rab is two great brands to look at.
Paramo offers its Analogy fabric which pushes water away from the wearer, with an outer layer that slows down incoming rain and wind. Rab, offer a range of fabrics including Proflex, and Pertex fabrics.
I’m a huge advocate of down sleeping bags.
Down bags, are for most people the best choice of bag to buy.
1. Great value for money! Yes, that’s right. You get a lot of bag for your money/ Why? Because this kit lasts!
You see, a synthetic sleeping bag eventually fails you when the inside filling breaks down, and turns into lots of useless clumps, instead of a consistent sheet of warmth.
2. They are lighter. Your down bag is lighter, takes up less pack space, and therefore is not a burden.
3. They are just more comfortable. There’s something nice about sleeping inside a down-filled cacoon.
So what to buy? All the big brands sell sleeping bags which honestly are neck to neck.
Marmot, Rab, Patagonia, the list goes on. The best advice here, as with most outdoor kit is to visit your local #independent outfitter who will be able to provide the best advice.