Walking in the Cotswolds is generally a pleasant experience. However, this ‘green and pleasant land’ did not get so green by sunshine alone! With this in mind, we wanted to offer a comprehensive guide to what you should be packing for your walking adventure in the Cotswolds.
You’ll need two bags; a small day-pack rucksack for the essentials you want to take on the trail, and an overnight bag.
Your day pack is the bag you carry with you on your walk containing food, water, spare clothes, cameras etc. It can be anything from 15 – 40 litres capacity (around 30l is ideal for walking in the Cotswolds). It should be a rucksack with a waistband to help distribute the weight and support your posture and back, and if you can get one with a chest strap even better. A helpful extra is a built-in rain cover, although you can buy a waterproof liner bag to fit any rucksack too.
Your overnight bag should be a maximum of 20kg (for our baggage operators). Rucksacks are often more manageable for the baggage team to handle, although you can take any bag for this. Bear in mind you won’t have access to this during the day.
Good walking boots are an absolute must. Don’t try to walk in the Cotswolds in anything other than hiking boots or shoes. We would recommend boots for their extra ankle support and more protection from the elements, but for some people, walking shoes are more comfortable, and comfort is the end goal. If you are buying new boots, head to an excellent outdoor retailer who will give you advice, and make sure you gradually wear them in before starting the trail.
There is no point spending money on boots and then not using the right socks. Wearing one pair of good quality walking socks is ideal, and take a minimum of two pairs on your trip and preferably three (you can hand-wash at your accommodations). Bridgedale is a brand we love, and opting for a merino wool sock is a great way to keep the feet warm, dry, and able to breathe. We also have some tips for avoiding blisters on the blog.
Macs Adventure will provide you with maps and guidebooks, which you should carry with you on the walk, and although the Cotswold trails are well waymarked, a compass is a handy extra to help navigate “just in case” or if the cloud closes in. Always carry a well-charged mobile phone too, with which you can download the Macs App and use it to ensure you never get lost.
Much of what you pack is down to personal preference, but it is always important to be prepared for every weather eventuality as even a completely clear forecast can change. Thankfully both waterproofs and sun protection are relatively light items to pack, so make sure you don’t forget either.
Happy packing, and have a safe and fun adventure!