Friday, 23 September 2011 2:23 PM
A hiking adventure in the Lake District can be the perfect way to enjoy Britain's natural landscapes, but it is essential that you pack everything you need in preparation.
The first consideration is how long you will be staying, as this will affect how many items you take with you.
Remember, you will be carrying everything, so you will have to judge what is most important and leave non-essentials behind in order to keep the weight of your belongings down.
High on any list of things to bring with you on a hiking trip to the Lake District is outdoor clothing.
Regardless of what time of year you are in the region, you could be up against adverse weather conditions, including rain, wind or the cold.
If you fail to take adequate precautions in this area, you may find yourself in for a miserable time when travelling through the countryside.
To guard against the cold, a breathable fleece is one option, with many garments offering microfleece fabric that keeps you warm while still allowing perspiration to escape.
Breathable fleeces are exceptionally lightweight, meaning they can be carried around easily should you need to take your jacket off when the weather takes a turn for the better.
Depending on the specific fleece you buy, you can also benefit from hooded garments to protect against light rain, as well as pockets to ensure orienteering equipment is close to hand.
For further protection against the cold, you can purchase base layer leggings and shirts, which wick away sweat while retaining heat.
Alternatively, a packable waterproof jacket may be required if it is raining heavily, as they take up little space in a backpack and prevent water droplets from penetrating the fabric.
If you purchase a breathable and waterproof coat, you will benefit by stopping water from getting in, yet still enabling moisture to escape.
A number of these jackets also come with reflective details to ensure high visibility, even when it is dark or foggy.
For your bottom half, durable and lightweight trousers are advisable, with nylon and polyester providing flexibility, wind protection and abrasion resistance.
It is important that your trousers have as many storage compartments as possible, as this is where you will be storing the gear you need access to quickly.
One of the most important outdoor clothing items is a set of comfortable walking boots, whatever terrain you aim to conquer.
Make sure you buy footwear that has a high ankle cuff, as this will provide essential support against injuries such as sprains or twists.
You will need to ensure they are flexible so your feet have freedom, yet are still able to deal with hiking over rocks and stones.
The sole should be thick enough to prevent harm from sharp geological features, as well as sufficiently sturdy to offer good traction and balance over problematic surfaces.
Aside from outdoor clothing, there are a number of other items that will prove useful if you are hiking in the Lake District.
These include a suitable walking or trekking pole, which will help to alleviate the pressures on the body caused by unstable or difficult terrain.
Not only will they assist you as you traverse slippery surfaces, but anti-shock models can also protect your joints if you have weak knees or ankles, with up to 30 per cent of weight being transferred to the poles if used properly.