That old Scout motto ‘Be Prepared’ is a philosophy that most active travellers adopt - after all, you never know what might happen in the great outdoors. This is as much about comfort as it is about safety, because you’re not going to enjoy yourself very much if you’re carrying an overly heavy bag and are wearing uncomfortable clothing.
Here at Trekwear, we’ve come up with a list of accessories that we think any active traveller will want to have in their backpack. So, whether you’re about to embark on a trip and would like to check you’re properly prepared, or are searching for a gift for someone outdoorsy, check out our suggestions of what to take along.
Packaway Waterproof Jacket
As anyone who spends a lot of time in the great outdoors will tell you, a packaway jacket is no substitute for a proper waterproof when it’s really pouring down. However, they are incredibly handy things to have stashed in your backpack, in case the weather takes an unexpected turn.
Because they are designed to be packed into a small pouch, they are nowhere near as bulky as a proper waterproof jacket
, which makes them much more portable. They are especially useful if you’re planning a trip to a country with a warmer climate than the UK as well.
If you’ve got a thick waterproof jacket for wearing in Britain, chances are you’ll find it makes you incredibly hot if you wear it somewhere considerably warmer - not to mention the fact that it will take up a lot more space in your luggage. So, a packaway waterproof jacket is the ideal solution - it will protect you from any downpours you experience, is easy to fit into your backpack and typically much lighter, so you won’t get overly hot.
For anyone who spends a considerable amount of time out and about in the UK, waterproof trousers
are a real must. As with the jackets, you have two options - trousers that pack away and can be pulled on over whatever you’re wearing and those that can be comfortably worn as a pair of trousers.
The latter, which are often made from breathable, stretchy fabrics, are brilliant if you’ll be hiking in changeable conditions, as it means you’re prepared for every eventuality. Packaway waterproof trousers are a good backup in case you get caught in an unexpected deluge, though.
While it’s sensible to prepare for wet weather when you’re heading outdoors, don’t forget to protect yourself from the sun as well. Sun hats are an essential piece of gear to have, in the UK and abroad.
Shielding your head from the heat of the sun is important and can help prevent you from getting sunburn and sunstroke. It’s also much better for your eyes if they are kept in shade, so make sure you choose a peaked cap or wide-brimmed hat when you’re heading outdoors.
Anyone who’s ever been camping, either in the UK or overseas, will tell you that mosquitos are a real annoyance when you’re spending a lot of time outdoors. Having a strong mosquito repellent is all well and good, but often those pesky bugs manage to find an unprotected patch of skin and will bite you anyway!
For the next level in mosi repellent, pick up a couple of pieces of NosiLife clothing
. These items made by Craghoppers have an insect repellent woven into the fabric, which means that they don’t weaken with wear or washing and provide an ever-present barrier to biting insects.
If you’re planning a safari trip or walking tour anywhere that has a risk of malaria, it is even more important to make sure you’re well protected. While NosiLife clothing isn’t a substitute for anti-malarial drugs, it can be a useful tool to help minimise the risks, not to mention make the whole trip a lot more comfortable because you won’t be covered in mosquito bites!
If you’re going to be out on long hikes, or generally plan to spend long periods of time outdoors doing any kind of activity, it’s sensible to have a compass with you. Of course, the chances of you needing to use it are slim if you prepare properly and have a well thought out route to follow, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a handy addition to your backpack.
Plus, compasses are small and very light, so they’re not going to add a great deal of weight to your bag. Having a map (preferably protected in a waterproof map case) of the area you’re in will make navigating with a compass that bit more effective, but if you are completely lost and only have a compass to go on, at least you can be confident you’re heading in the right direction.
One of the great pleasures of going into the great outdoors is observing nature and seeing the local wildlife wherever you may be. If this is a particular passion of yours, make sure you’ve got a pair of binoculars with you at all times. Whether you want to identify birds perched at the tops of trees or get a better look at exotic creatures while you’re on safari, a trusty pair of binoculars won’t let you down!
If there are any other accessories that you like to have with you when you’re out and about let us know #TrekInspired.