When undertaking any long-distance walking tour, one of the major questions people have is what to pack. Of course, using a company such as Macs Adventure, who will organise your baggage transfer, takes the sting out of this a little, however, this little list of essentials will help you organise your Coast to Coast Walk.
Keeping your feet happy and comfortable is essential on the Coast to Coast, especially as the terrain can be quite tough and you are out walking over a long period of time. You have two choices when it comes to footwear. Traditionally boots were the only option but recent advances have meant walking shoes are becoming more popular, though due to the terrain I would recommend the ankle support that boots provide for the Coast to Coast. Whichever you choose, ensure that they are comfortable and well worn in.
There is no point spending money on good boots or shoes and then not using the right socks. I would always recommend wearing just one pair of good quality walking socks. Again ask for advice from a specialist outdoor retailer. Take a minimum of two pairs on your trip and preferably three. Personally, I swear by both Smartwool and Bridgedale. A great tip to prevent blisters is to coat your feet with Vaseline each morning then put on your socks, this stops rubbing and blisters appearing.
Pack light for your day on the trail.
If you are booked through Macs Adventure, your main bag will be transferred, but you still need a backpack to carry spare clothing, food and water. There are numerous models on the market, ideally, yours should be 15 – 30 litres, comfortable and have a waistband.
Walking poles are becoming more popular. I use and recommend them. A pair is best but many walkers start with just one. Leki Makalu anti-shock poles are some of the best although there are numerous brands on the market.
I generally walk in a loose-fitting pair of comfortable walking trousers or shorts (zip-offs are great in the summer) and a comfortable fast-drying shirt or T-shirt. This combined with a warm mid-layer (fleece) and a breathable waterproof jacket and trousers take care of most weather conditions. Important: A good sun hat which covers the back of your neck is essential in the summer. A waterproof jacket and trousers are highly recommended as it can rain at any time of year. You will need a warm hat and gloves in the winter, spring and autumn.
A large water bottle is essential. Keeping hydrated is a key part of enjoying your day on the trail. Hydration systems with a reservoir in your pack and a drinking tube are becoming more popular and do tend to ensure you drink regularly.
Remember the sunscreen!
This refers to your needs during the day; don’t forget comfortable shoes and clothes for the evenings as well as any medical and toiletry requirements.
- Walking boots/shoes
- Suitable clothing including good walking socks
- Waterproof jacket (It does occasionally rain in this part of the world)
- Water carrier/bottle
- Food and snacks
- Guidebook & Maps (supplied)
- Blister treatment kit (Compeed plasters are best used preventatively and Vaseline on your feet is a good, though slightly odd measure)
- First aid kit
- Cash and credit cards
- Whistle, torch
- Walking poles (handy for some of the tough descents on the Coast to Coast)
- Camera (with spare batteries and film)
- Toilet tissue (biodegradable)
- Sun and wind protection
- Spare socks.
- Mobile phone
- Gaiters (there are a few sections of the walk which can be a bit boggy)
Download our Free Guide to the Coast to Coast here.