A Man’s Guide to Packing for a Rambling Holiday

  • Rambling

How you can stay dry, comfortable as well as stylish when packing essentials for a walking holiday

With an estimated 140,000 miles of public footpath in England and Wales (Ramblers), it's no secret that our green and pleasant land is a rambler's paradise. If you're lucky enough to be heading off to a Lavender Street cottage for a walking holiday this year, then you'll want to make sure that you bring everything you'll need to stay dry, comfortable, and stylish as you explore the wilderness. Just read on to discover the five essential pieces of clothing and equipment that you'll need to pack for a perfect rambling holiday. 

Find the right footwear 

If you pack just one thing for your walking holiday, make sure it's a pair of sturdy, comfortable hiking boots — preferably a pair that will provide proper ankle support. Your walking boots have the potential to make or break your holiday, so choose wisely, and make sure you buy a pair that fits you. It’s a good idea to take new boots for a test run before you set off, so you can make sure that your boots are a perfect fit. 

We would recommend looking for a pair of boots in a hardwearing, breathable fabric that will keep your feet dry without trapping heat and sweat inside the shoe. This pair of Treksta boots from Snow+Rock are lined with water-resistant Gore-Tex fabric, which will keep your feet dry out on the trail.

Be smart with layering

British weather is notoriously unpredictable, so the key to packing for a successful walking holiday is to bring plenty of layers. Layered clothing is warmer than one thick jumper, because the air trapped between the individual layers acts as thermal insulation. You'll also be able to add or remove layers to suit the weather, meaning it’s the perfect solution for our unpredictable climate. 

Lambswool is ideal for layering, as it's warm and insulative, but also soft and very breathable. Try teaming a long-sleeved T-shirt with a lightweight lambswool jumper: not only will it keep you warm, but it's also stylish enough to double up as an outfit for a night out at the pub. Joseph Turner have a great range of men's knitwear, including quality lambswool garments, and they even offer next day delivery if you want to make a last minute addition to your wardrobe before you depart.

Pack a waterproof field jacket 

Adventurous ramblers who plan to go out on difficult hikes in rough weather conditions will likely already have a fully wind-resistant, waterproof jacket. But, if you're just planning to do a few hours of rambling in fair weather, there's no need to go all out and spend a fortune on an all-weather waterproof. 

A waxed field jacket should be up to the job: look for a style with a warm lining and plenty of pockets. A field jacket in a classic heritage style should also be smart enough to effortlessly transition from walks to pubs and restaurants, so you won’t need to bring more than one coat with you. 

Wear lightweight, fast-drying trousers instead of jeans

A pair of light casual trousers will be fine on easier strolls but, if you plan to do some longer, more challenging walks across difficult terrain, then you'll better off investing in a pair of lightweight walking trousers. These are specially designed to give you a full range of movement and are made from a synthetic material that will dry quickly if they get wet. 

Whatever you do, try to avoid wearing jeans when rambling. These will restrict your movement while walking and will take a long time to dry should you get caught in a downpour. Wet denim combined with wind chill can make you dangerously cold, so save your best jeans for trips to the pub in the evening. 

Don't forget to pack emergency supplies

Ramblers are prone to all manner of cuts, grazes, blisters and insect bites, so you'll want to bring a few pocket-sized emergency supplies with you in case of mishaps. A travel first aid kit from this collection by Lifesystems should contain everything you need to treat minor accidents and blisters, and there are options available that are small enough fit in a pocket or backpack. 

When you’re spending hours out rambling, it can also be deceptively easy to get sunburnt, even on clear, sunny winter days, so it's always a good idea to have a travel-sized bottle of sun cream in your backpack. This is especially important if you'll be holidaying in a mountainous area, as you can burn more easily at high altitudes. 

There's no doubt that the UK countryside can make for a breath-taking walking holiday, but our changeable weather means you'll need to come prepared. As long as you pack these essential items, you should find that you have everything you need to stay comfortable, dry and stylish for the duration of your holiday.