Walking boots
The shoes are important as they will mold to your feet. On the right my old pair of Meindl Birma
and on the left my (then) brand new Hanwag Nepal.


The boots are essential. If you want to reach the nice viewpoints scattered around on Britain's mountains you have to manage to get across bogs and rough, stony ground. Leather walking boots allow your feet to breath, reducing the risk of blisters and giving the ankles essential support. They are also water resistant to some extent. As the shoes will mould to your feet (see picture at the start of the page) always buy a brand new pair. Wear them a few times on short, easy rambles before you set of to walk The Coast to Coast .

Trousers and breeches are very much a personal choice, as are the (optional) shorts. Waterproof trousers may be very useful. The usual top of a light, warm shirt and pullovers - don't forget the spare - should be augmented by one or more outer layers, such as an anorak. The combination of clothes should be warm, waterproof and windproof. Color is also important. Red and yellow are better visible in the mountain scenery than darker colors like green and blue. Be warned jeans can be dangerous as they get heavy when wet and can cause hypothermia. Gloves and a hat should be taken at all seasons. The advantage of multi-layer clothing is that one can adapt clothing as one goes from a warm, sunny valley up on a windy, chilly or even wet hilltop.

Some smaller pieces of equipment should be taken, see also the part about

If your going to walk a long distance footpath you have to take all the above mentioned items, together with spares, and a good book, with you in a backpack.
Backpacks come in different shape's, sizes and even colours. They are like clothing very personal and like boots very essential. You will carry your (heavy) home in it around for some weeks. Try different models, try them on with a reasonable load. And if you made up your mind try to get some trial period from the shop for using it at home (indoor). Try packing it with a real load and walk around indoor. Does it fit? Is it comfortable? And if you made your decision use it first on a few short, two or three days walks.

But there is more. Take with you a tent which can resist harsh weather conditions and midges.

Tent on Dartmoor Tent in Rosedale
Tent schematic A tent that can resist harsh weather conditions and midges. This is mine, an Erdman Schmidt Mier (Ant). It is a typical Dutch tent with just one pole. It sounds quit instable but I survived Atlantic storms in it and the clouds of midges on Dartmoor. It is big enough for two plus two backpacks weight approx. 3 kg with a height of 1.45 m. It comes in three small, handy packages and a telescopic pole.
Above left - Seen on the back on top of Dartmoor.
Above right - Seen from the front with yours truly.
Left - Lay-out and measurements in cm.

A good quality sleeping bag, nights can be very cold even in summer. Take a stove, pots and pans and spare food for two or three days. A first aid kit, plastic bags etc etc. However, the equipment to be carried should be ruthlessly reviewed to cut it down on weight. Never carry more than one third of your own weight, and for comfort between 12 and 16 kilos would be a desirable target weight. What to take with you and what to leave at home is personally, however, some sites provide packing lists.