Many of us will be reminding ourselves just what a beautiful country the UK is this year, as the restrictions on foreign travel have led to a staycation boom. From the majesty of the Scottish Highlands, to the celebrated Lake District, or the wild wonders of Wales, there is no shortage of stunning landscapes.
If you are getting out and about in the hills, you will no doubt have invested in some suitable gear, such as a waxed canvas backpack, and sturdy walking boots. But what exactly should you pack in your bag for a safe and trouble-free outing? Here are some essential items to carry with you this summer.
A sit mat
Even in the height of summer, the uplands of Britain can have plenty of damp muddy ground. Carry a small waterproof mat with you for those rest breaks to avoid getting cold and wet. Even a sturdy plastic bag will do to fend off the worst, but a foam mat will be warmer and more comfortable.
A map and compass
A no-brainer, really. Download apps onto your phone, or go old-school with an Ordnance Survey 1:25,000 Explorer map. Many phones have a compass as a standard feature, essential if you are trekking forth into remote areas.
First aid kit
This should contain a range of sterile dressings and bandages, and any medication you need. Carry it in a waterproof zip-lock bag.
Whistle and torch
Whistles are the easiest way to attract attention if you are lost or injured, and can be clipped on to a backpack with no trouble. A head torch is the best option for mountainous areas, in case you take longer than planned to finish your walk, or need to attract attention.
Food and water
Take at least 1 litre of water, or more in hot weather. Take a mix of slow-release carbs, such as nuts and wholemeal bread, and quick energy boosts, such as dark chocolate and sweets. Pack more than you think you will need, in case of emergencies.