General Walking / Hiking Advice
Please read below to give you some ideas and advice on walking
Equipment recommendations: (remember
these recommendations should be taken in view of the walking that
will be done).
What you can find below?
Hiking Advice - be prepared for the great outdoors!
Equipment needed for
a one day walk + Comfort
- Acquaint yourself with the area and
its trails ahead of time so you can set a reasonable timetable.
Many guidebooks give time estimates for trails.
- To save fuel and avoid the nuisance
of shuttling cars, plan hikes that begin and end at the same
- Carry more water than you think you'll
need, as much as you can comfortably carry. Fill your canteens
before you leave.
- Backcountry water sources are unpredictable.
Use of iodine tablets (or other suitable water purification systems)
- Carry more food than you think you
will need. It's better to take extra snacks home with you than
to go hungry on the trail.
- Store your clothing and food in different
colored sacks in your pack so you can find them easily. Put the
items you need most frequently, such as your water bottle, guidebook
or jacket, at the top of your pack.
- Weather on the trail can change quickly,
especially in the mountains. Layer your garments, and be prepared
for severe weather.
- If you are driving into remote regions,
make sure your vehicle is in good running order and top off your
- Start off slow to avoid fatigue partway
through your hike. Take frequent breaks.
- Let the slowest member of your group
set the pace. If skill levels are dramatically different, break
into groups and meet at agreed-upon locations.
- To increase your chance of seeing wildlife,
choose less traveled trails and start your hike early in the
morning. (When you choose less traveled trails, you also help
reduce erosion on overused ones.)
- Leave your itinerary with someone you
trust, and check in with them when you return.
a one day trip:
- Walking Boots - A good pair of walking
boots is very advisable. Trainers are not generally suitable.
If your footwear is unsuitable then you may be asked to do a
less dangerous walk.
- Trousers - We would prefer if you did
NOT USE JEANS, for safety reasons as they get heavy when
wet and can cause hypothermia.
- Rucksack - A small rucksack or bag
big enough to hold spare clothing, food and drink, camera, waterproofs,
safety gear e.g. a torch. Note that carrier bags are not suitable
(but very useful for storing stuff inside a good rucksack).
- Waterproofs - A good water proof/wind
proof top is essential for the hill walking. Waterproof trousers
are also advisable.
- Gloves and hat - It is best if these
are woollen and waterproof, remember it is much colder on the
hill tops than you think.
- Clothing - Lots of thin layers are
best to trap warm air, cotton is again not a good idea because
it traps sweat. Fleece is warm and light.
- Food and Water - Onigiri, chocolate,
dried fruit or other high energy foods.
- Money - For emergencies, restaurant
and onsen afterwards!
This section is termed comfort as opposed
to safety. All matters regarding safety are dealt with in the
When stopped, put on an extra layer of
warm/windproof clothing, as you get cold very rapidly. Also don't
start the walk with all your clothing on - you will get hot quickly.
Carry some reserve clothing for when it gets cold.
Eating carbohydrate foods beforehand
is a good idea (pasta or potatoes for example). On the mountain
eat a little, but often. Chocolate bars are a good source of energy,
giving nibbles to accompany sandwiches etc. Dried fruit is also
full of energy. Some extra food is needed as emergency rations
in case you get delayed. .
TWMC c/o John Payne
Tsukuba Walking & Mountaineering Club