Walking Advice & Equipment

With variable weather, terrain and conditions, Berkshire Walkers recommends investing in some good walking boots and bringing along suitable equipment for the duration of the walk. Weather frequently changes and very different equipment requirements maybe needed at different times of the year.

Main Walking Equipment

Typical equipment includes:

  • Invest in a good pair of walking boots as terrain can vary (trainers are not really suitable for many walks)
  • Waterproof jacket (and trousers) to protect from the elements (i.e. wind, rain and wintry conditions)
  • During winter, a warm jacket, thermals, hats and gloves are applicable (also a flask for hot drinks)
  • Bottle of water (we recommend a 2 litre bottle during high summer due to the possibility of dehydration)
  • Bring packed lunches as we normally have a picnic lunch outside (pub stops en-route are for drinks only, unless explicitly stated in the programme)
  • Invest in a good rucksack with comfortable straps (big enough for lunches, water bottles & extra clothing)
  • Sun protection cream (sunburn can happen quickly during summer months; bring a hat for added protection)
  • Hay-Fever and other medication (always bring relevant medication as directed by your doctor or pharmacist)
  • Other: People bring money (pub stops, parking), flasks (hot drinks in winter) and walking poles (if required)

Winter Walking Tips

Although we rarely experience extremes of ice & snow in Berkshire, there are still a few useful tips to bear in mind when walking in Berkshire in winter.

  1. Don’t wear jeans: Even if the forecast is dry & sunny, it is often wet underfoot.  Walking through wet grass means lower legs soon get wet.  Once jeans are wet, they stay wet for a long time, making them uncomfortable and cold. Walking trousers or running tights are strongly recommended.  Both are quick drying, and brands such as Craghoppers are frequently on sale.
  2. Wear waterproof walking boots: In winter, one thing we can guarantee is that Berkshire will be wet & muddy.  Some years are worse than others.  Therefore, trainers are NOT recommended.  They will be ruined by the mud, and your feet will get wet if we have to walk through puddles of water that take up the width of the footpath.

Useful Tips From Our Walkers

Sometimes people pick up useful tips from other walks, so please feel free to email us with your best advice.

  1. To help avoid blisters with new walking boots: Wear a second pair of socks so the socks rub against each other instead of directly rubbing against the skin. It works, especially when ‘breaking-in’ new boots. Simply put on a thinner pair of socks under the thicker walking socks.
  2. Invest in some good hiking boot insoles: Even if people do not have the best, most comfortable or cleanest boots in the world, insoles are very good at reducing impact on knees and other joints; some shock absorption insoles cost about £10 (there are more expensive ones), but can considerably improve comfort on long walks.
  3. Bring a hat for hot summer days: The sun’s intensity is very high and the accumulated effect of walking in long periods can lead to people feeling weary. Reduce exposure by wearing a hat – it makes a big difference, especially when being out in strong sunlight (also drink plenty of fluids and bring a high factor sun cream).
  4. Add your tip here
  5. Another other walking tips? (keep them sensible!)